In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
The Three Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
In the state of New Hampshire, the three most common types of injuries that victims sustain in automobile accidents are soft tissue injuries, headaches, and whiplash. In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at these types of injuries and offer some advice on what you should do after an accident.
Defining What Whiplash Is
Whiplash is not a formal medical term. It is a common phrase used to describe injuries to the soft tissues of the neck (ligaments, tendons, and muscles). Whiplash can also be used to describe damage caused to the joints between each of the neck’s vertebrae, the neck’s disks, and the nerve roots that branch outward from the spinal cord.
Whiplash occurs when an automobile suddenly decelerates in an accident. The sudden decline in speed causes a motorist or passenger’s head snap forward and back. The formal medical term used to describe this motion is “sudden extension and flexion.”
Since whiplash is an umbrella term used to describe so many different types of injuries, it has a plethora of different symptoms. The most commonly experienced symptoms of whiplash include stiffness or pain in the upper back or neck, shoulder stiffness or pain, dizziness, headaches, or an itching or burning sensation in the arms, shoulders, or neck. If the auto accident was particularly severe, whiplash can create depression, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.
Whiplash symptoms frequently develop immediately after an accident. Most individuals will emerge from a vehicle after an accident feeling a slight twinging sensation, but it is not uncommon for a victim who has been involved in an accident to feel immediately fine right after the accident and not develop the symptoms of whiplash for a couple of days after the accident. The injuries associated with whiplash tend to relatively quickly, but in more severe cases, the symptoms can last for weeks or even months.
If you have been involved an automobile accident and begin to experience neck pain, then you should seek immediate medical treatment, particularly if the pain is severe.
Most victims involved in an auto accident will experience at least a slight headache even if they did not strike their head on anything. If you think about it, this is fairly reasonable. The human body was simply not designed to capably withstand sudden deceleration from 40 MPH to 20 to 0. The majority of headaches resulting from car accidents disappear relatively quickly, but there are some that do not. If a headache continues to persist for more than 48 hours after an accident, then medical attention should be sought. While it might be nothing, it could be a symptom of a more problematic injury.
Soft Tissue Injuries – Strains and Sprains
The human body’s soft tissues are defined as tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Ligaments are what connect each of the bones to one another, and a tendon is what connects the muscle to the bone. A soft tissue injury is defined as the tearing, stretching, or bruising of the soft tissue. The formal medical term used for soft tissue injuries will depend upon the particular part of the body that was injured. Technically, a person sprains a joint or ligament, but actually strains a tendon or muscle.
Symptoms of injuries to the ligaments, tendons, or muscles often include aches and pains in the muscles, pain of the joints, and limited range of motion or flexibility in the injured portion of the body. Once again, such symptoms can develop immediately after an accident has happened, but it may be several days before symptoms appear. Mild injuries to the soft tissue usually heal fairly quickly, but a severe strain or sprain can continue to cause problems for weeks or months on end. A good analogy would be a sprained ankle. Most individuals who have had a badly sprained ankle have felt that the injury was much worse than breaking a bone because the injury requires so much time to heal and because it can be very painful.
Do Not Delay In Seeking Medical Treatment After an Accident
The importance of this statement cannot be overemphasized. If you or a loved one is suffering from pains, aches, or other similar symptoms after being involved in an automobile accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. If, after the accident, the pain is severe, go straight to the emergency room. If this can’t be done, make it your first priority to make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.
Here’s the problem with delaying the seeking of immediate medical attention: If you fail to do so, an insurance provider will believe that you are not really injured as severely as you say or that you weren’t injured at all. Secondly, in the event that you need to file a personal injury claim, you will need to have documented proof of your injuries in order to substantiate your claims.
After seeking medical attention, your next step should be to hire the services of an experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorney in order to learn what your legal options are and to ensure that you receive the monetary compensation to which you are entitled. This is where our personal injury lawyers can offer their assistance. Your initial consultation is free. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, so please contact us today.
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