Regardless of how much care you take as you drive in Albuquerque or on other New Mexico roads, another driver’s negligence can change your life in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, collisions seem minor, and injuries are not immediately visible. However, if you do not keep a close watch on your mind and body in the days and weeks after the accident, you might not link delayed symptoms with the car accident.
For that reason, a thorough medical evaluation after a car accident is crucial. A doctor can identify injuries that could cause problems in the future, and the sooner you receive treatment, the lower the risk of long-term health damage.
Factors that affect car accident injuries
The circumstances of each car accident are unique. The resulting injuries will depend on whether you were the driver or a passenger, seated in the front or rear seat, and whether you wore your seat belt. Also, the location of the impact on your car and the speed of both vehicles immediately before impact make a difference.
Musculoskeletal injuries are usually invisible, but you can look out for the following:
- The force of a collision can stretch, bend or compress your ligaments, muscles, tendons and nerves.
- Musculoskeletal injuries can cause as much pain as fractured bones.
- Activity typically worsens the pain.
- Redness and swelling could indicate inflammation of soft tissue.
Musculoskeletal injuries can compromise your ability to work or perform even simple tasks, and leaving it untreated can cause long-term damage.
Blunt force or compression during a car accident can cause any bone to fracture, but the following are most common:
- Extremities like the feet, legs, hands and arms are most likely to break.
- If you are the driver and your car is struck from behind, your hands, wrists or arms might fracture because of the way you hold the steering wheel.
- Signs of fractured bones include bruising, redness, swelling, deformity, severe pain and loss of function.
These injuries are more visible, and the location and severity of the break will determine the course of the treatment.
The force of the crash impact can throw your head back and forth, causing your brain to smash into the inner walls of the skull. This could cause a concussion, in which case you may experience the following symptoms:
- A concussion can occur even without your head making contact with the windshield, dashboard or anything else.
- Symptoms like seeing stars, feeling dizzy, or losing consciousness can happen upon impact.
- Follow-on symptoms could include head pressure, headache, ringing in your ears, problems with concentration and focus, and you might experience memory loss.
A doctor can perform a neurological evaluation to identify a concussion.
Whiplash is almost par for the course in car accidents, due to the rapid whip-like movement of the head upon impact. Although invisible, you could experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in the tendons and muscles in your shoulders and neck is a telltale sign of whiplash.
- The pain can cause stiffness, and the pain you experience with movement can affect the range of motion.
Whiplash injuries can resolve on their own, or they might need additional medical care.
If another driver’s negligence caused the car accident that led to your injuries, you might have grounds to pursue a claim for financial relief. Along with your physical injuries, crashes can cause long-term emotional damage. Mounting bills for medical treatment and therapy, along with possible loss of wages can cause havoc in your finances. An experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney can be an invaluable asset throughout the navigation of a civil lawsuit to recover documented financial and emotional damages.