Thousands of people get hurt in car accidents. The injuries range from minor bruises to significantly serious ones, which can affect almost every part of the body. The road to recovery after a car accident can be challenging depending on which body part was injured and the severity of the injury.
Drivers and passengers are prone to have head and brain injuries when they hit the windshield, side window, roof, steering wheel, other people, and loose objects in the car. One of the common injuries they may experience is a concussion or traumatic brain injury. During the accident, your brain might bounce inside your skull. This injury causes chemical reactions inside your brain, and the symptoms may not show right away. The symptoms, which may take a few days or weeks to appear, include headache, neck pain, dizziness, and nausea.
A mild concussion will only need some rest to treat, along with cutting back from physical activities and those that require much concentration. The symptoms will go away in two to three weeks.
However, if the injury is more severe, you must see a healthcare professional. You may have bleeding under the skull, which is a medical emergency. The recovery may take longer, depending on the severity of the injury.
2. Facial injuries
Hitting the windshield, window, steering wheel, and other parts of the car can also cause facial injuries, including wounds on the skin, broken teeth and bones.
Minor scratches will require a bandage and cuts will need stitches. However, surgery may be needed for broken facial bones and other severe injuries. Scrapes may take a few days to heal, while operations may take a few weeks to months.
3. Neck injuries
Your neck can snap quickly during the crash, and the injuries can range from mild neck strain to dislocation of the bones of the spine. Over-the-counter pain relievers can treat mild neck strain, but you may need to undergo a surgery if your bones are dislocated. The symptoms can last several weeks before they fade, but full recovery from surgery will take months.
4. Collarbone and rib injuries
Seatbelts keep your whole body safe during a crash by minimizing your movement. However, when your body’s weight presses forward against the seatbelt, it can result in collarbone and rib injuries.
With the help of special braces, a broken collarbone can heal on its own, but surgery may be needed when the damage is severe. You can recover between six weeks to four months.
5. Back and spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries often result in reduced feeling or numbness in extremities. Back muscles, tendons, and ligaments can also be strained. Minor back pains can be treated by hot or cold compress and over-the-counter pain relievers. The pain should subside in a few weeks, but if not, you need to see a doctor to get an evaluation.
Severe injuries on the spine, broken bones and muscle tears may require surgery. Recovery may include therapy and months of healing. Broken bones heal in three to four months, while spinal cord injuries can take up to six months.