The Barnes Firm

Common Car Accident Injuries Difficult To Diagnose

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Car crashes can have a lasting impact on every part of the human body. While seat belts can improve the chances of avoiding serious injury and death, statistics have shown injuries can still happen in some of the worst crashes.

Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) measures the crash protection safety of new motor vehicles using their 5-Star Safety Ratings System. According to this system, a head-on crash rating evaluates impact stress injuries to the head, neck, chest, legs, and feet of drivers and passengers.

The NHTSA considers these areas on the body as the most likely places to suffer an injury in a car accident. However, a Bay Area Car Accident Attorney says there are several types of injuries that may not be caused by typical impact stress and may go undiagnosed for days, weeks, even years.

“A driver may experience a slight headache after a crash and not think much of it but that headache could be a symptom of something much more severe like a traumatic brain injury,” Bay Area car accident attorney Landon Vivian said.

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI’s, are one of the most common injuries suffered in crashes. Although most of these injuries are directly related to an impact, it is not always the case.

“Sometimes a driver or passenger can suffer a concussion from a sudden jolt,” Vivian said. “Even though their head doesn’t hit anything, this sudden movement can cause the brain to shift and impact the skull.”

The most common injury in a vehicle, regardless of whether there is a direct impact or not, is whiplash.

A whiplash injury can suddenly stretch the spinal cord and quickly snap it back into place. Even if there is no impact with the body, whiplash can damage the vertebrae and disks that line the spinal cord. This can cause a person to lose function with portions of their body or create a condition known as chronic pain, which can last for the rest of your life.

“The bottom line is if you’ve been in a car accident, you should check-in with your doctor,” Vivian said. “Many times, people living with pain for months or even years before realizing the pain they feel was caused by their car crash.”

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