Car accidents often lead to acceleration or deceleration injuries.
The abrupt changes in the car’s speed can cause blunt impact of your body against parts of the car.
Often, these accidents do not give drivers or passengers enough time to react, and motorists attempts to brace themselves could easily make injuries worse.
When Acceleration or Deceleration Injuries Occur
A car can suddenly accelerate when it is idling at a stop sign only to be rear-ended by another vehicle. Cars also decelerate quickly when they strike other vehicles such as a telephone pole, road barrier, or other vehicle.
These sudden changes in speed can cause parts of the body to hyperextend or contract, tearing muscle, tendons, and ligaments, as well as impacting nerves.
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This is one of the most common car accident injuries, often seen when vehicles are rear-ended. The force generated causes the head to overextend forward, causing strain and stress to the ligaments and muscles in the neck and upper back. Then the head violently rocks back, in a whip-like motion, causing the neck to compress dramatically.
Whiplash symptoms might take a day or two to fully manifest. Instead, you might only feel slight soreness immediately after the collision, but you soon can experience:
- Neck stiffness
- Headaches that get worse
- Shoulder pain
Whiplash happens when tendons in the neck and shoulders stretch or tear. Generally, the best treatment is ice, heat, and rest. However, doctors no longer recommend completely immobilizing the neck. Instead, patients should reintroduce gentle movement with massage and other physical therapy.
If mild, whiplash can clear up on its own in a month or two. Very serious whiplash, conversely, can leave someone sidelined for six months or more, and many people suffer from chronic pain.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Whiplash can also cause the brain to jiggle around in the skull, changing how it works. Any direct blow to the head can also cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
When a TBI is mild, you might black out for only a second or not at all. With more serious TBIs, victims often pass out for hours or more. Other symptoms include confusion, impaired speech, poor memory, mood swings, and impaired movement.
The severity of the TBI will dictate what treatment you should receive. A mild TBI, like a concussion, might only warrant over-the-counter pain medicine and rest before clearing up in a few weeks. More serious TBIs often require months (if not more) of physical therapy before the patient can reach maximum medical improvement.
Rapid acceleration or deceleration can also damage the shoulder, which is very complex. Any number of things can go wrong, but in car accidents, motorists often tear muscles in the shoulder. These tears can cause considerable pain and limit your ability to move.
If you lose strength in your arm or notice sharp pain whenever you move it, then you should go to the doctor immediately. You might need surgery to repair your shoulder.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Kapuza Lighty, we will handle the legal aspects of your car injury accident, including negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurer for compensation to cover your claim. Contact us today online or call (509) 866-4166 to schedule a free case consultation.