After being involved in a “minor” accident that does little damage to a car, it can be easy to assume that the people involved have probably not received any injuries. This erroneous assumption is usually falsely confirmed by the adrenaline the body tends to release after a car accident, which can often mask the pain of injuries a person might have sustained. As a result, a person might not even realize they were injured in the crash until much later.
If you were involved in a minor car accident, you must recognize how a personal injury might have occurred, even if you felt fine at the time. Understanding the risks of these accidents can help you know what steps to take if you sustained an injury.
When Crashes Are Considered Minor
If you believe that serious injuries are more likely to occur in crashes that cause severe damage to vehicles, you are absolutely right. However, this often leads people to assume that there is little or no chance that a person might sustain a serious injury in a crash in which less damage occurred, such as accidents that caused:
- Dents in a fender or bumper
- Scratches on the vehicle
- Broken headlights or taillights
- Dents in the side of the vehicle
Furthermore, drivers often believe that an accident must not have been that bad if they can drive their vehicle away from the accident scene, if their airbags did not deploy, or if the accident happened at a relatively slow speed in a parking lot. However, all these cases can still lead to injuries. Sometimes, these injuries can be serious.
The Potential Dangers of Minor Crashes
Regardless of how fast the vehicles involved might have been moving or how much damage they sustained, there is a significant amount of kinetic force in every car crash. The average car weighs about 4,000 pounds. When any car collides with anything else, it can create a level of force that no human body is built to withstand.
As a result, there are several injuries you might suffer in minor car crashes, and they all have the potential to have a detrimental effect on your life.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in car crashes, particularly when one driver rear-ends another. The action of your head being thrown forward and backward can cause a serious strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck. This can lead to serious neck, shoulder, and back pain, and severe headaches.
A back injury can occur even if your back is not struck by anything in a crash. This happens because people often tense up when their vehicle is hit by another. In combination with the jostling action of the crash itself, the pressure your back undergoes can cause you to suffer a sprain, a strain, or even a herniated disc.
As with back injuries, you do not necessarily need to hit your head on anything for your brain to sustain an injury. The jostling action of a crash can cause your brain to move back and forth rapidly, thereby hitting the insides of your skull and damaging brain cells. This is the nature of a concussion, which can lead to symptoms such as:
- Memory issues
- Poor balance
- Nausea and vomiting
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical treatment right away. If the crash caused bleeding in your brain, you may face serious, permanent, and possibly life-threatening brain damage if you do not receive immediate treatment.
Meniscus tears commonly occur in car crashes. Even at low speeds, it is possible to hit your knee on something within your car, causing damage to your ligaments.
When a driver’s vehicle is struck by another car, they often attempt to brace themselves by gripping the steering wheel. This can sometimes lead to broken or fractured hands, wrists, or arms in a crash.
Contact an Experienced Charleston Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident, even a “minor” one, you have the right to claim compensation for your losses. The experienced Charleston car accident attorneys of Crantford Meehan can handle every step of your claim, from negotiating with the insurance company to taking your case to trial if necessary. We will fight to get you the full, fair compensation you deserve. Call us today at (843) 417-0469 or contact us online for a free consultation.