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Common auto accident injuries

Statistics report that about 3 million people in the United States experience an injury from a vehicle crash annually, some of which result in a permanent disability. There are many injuries that a driver in Vancouver, Washington, may experience ranging from mild to severe.

Soft tissue injuries

A soft tissue injury causes damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons; the knees, ankles and wrists are the most prone. Sprains are a common soft tissue injury after auto accidents that tear the ligaments, often causing intense pain and swelling. A sprain may also cause bruising, a pop at the time of injury and trouble moving the injured muscle.

A strain causes injury to the fibrous connective tissue, joining the muscles to the bones, which tears or overextends the tendons or muscles. An example is whiplash, an injury that throws the neck muscles out of alignment from the head jerking backward and forward. Common signs of whiplash include hand, arm or shoulder pain as well as headaches, dizziness, nausea, decreased range of motion and neck stiffness.

Traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury occurs from the harsh force of the skull hitting a hard surface, such as a dashboard or steering wheel. A TBI is classified as a closed injury, which doesn’t pierce the skull, or an open TBI if it pierces the skull.

An example of a mild, closed TBI injury is a concussion, which often causes headaches, dizziness, vomiting or nausea, balance issues and blurred vision. Mild TBIs, such as concussions, can cause a short loss of consciousness, but it doesn’t have to be present. Flying objects, metal and breaking glass can cause an open TBI from auto accidents and commonly need immediate medical attention.

Some injury symptoms do not appear immediately because the body masks the pain with adrenaline. Drivers should not delay medical treatment. Delaying medical treatment makes the injury seem less serious to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, so the insurer may offer a lower amount of compensation.

Further Reading

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Understanding distracted driving and how to avoid it

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