Millions of people receive medical attention every year for car accident injuries, and yet there are still many myths and misconceptions regarding car accidents. Whether you were in a major crash or rear-ended by another driver, it’s important to make sure you get checked out by a specialist to make sure that you don’t have any injuries. We welcome you to reach out to AICA in Jonesboro to ensure that you receive a proper exam for any potential injuries from your car accident.
Below you will find five of the most common myths regarding car accident injuries.
#1 Your car does not have any damage, so you cannot be injured.
Lack of damage to your vehicle does not mean that you are not injured. In a low-impact car accident, your body takes most of the transferred force, which can potentially result in an injury. Minor fender-benders can actually cause one of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash. Whiplash, along with concussions and herniated discs, are three of the most common car accident injuries that can all occur as a result of a minor car accident.
Whiplash occurs in a car accident when the force of impact from the accident causes your neck and head to snap forward and backward, which can strain the tendons and muscles in your neck. This movement can also negatively affect the ligaments and joints surrounding your neck. Whiplash can occur immediately, but it may not be apparent until days after the car accident. Typically stiffness and neck pain are the most common symptoms of whiplash, but it can also affect the surrounding areas such as your shoulders and back.
A concussion may occur in a car accident if you hit your head. The impact may cause your head to move and hit parts of your car, such as a window or windshield. When your body is jolted by a vehicle collision, your brain can move inside your skull, even if the accident seems minor. Even though concussions may seem common, they are a mild form of traumatic brain injury and can be quite serious. They can be dangerous because the symptoms may not be present immediately following the accident. Headaches and dizziness are some of the common symptoms that may occur initially, but confusion and memory loss may start to occur in the days after the accident.
During a car accident, your body’s instinct is typically to brace in order to stay upright. Doing this causes you to tense your back muscles and can put stress on your spinal column, causing a disc to slip out of place and press on a nerve. When these discs are displaced, they are referred to as herniated. The most common discs to herniate in a car accident are typically in the lower back, which may result in numbness or tingling in the legs. In addition to this numbness and pain, other symptoms of a herniated disc may include issues controlling your bladder, neck stiffness, and vision problems. When left untreated, herniated discs can lead to lifelong pain and additional long-term issues.
#2 I cannot be injured if I was wearing my seatbelt.
Seat belts are a feature that have saved many people’s lives; however, they do not necessarily prevent injuries from occurring. They were designed to prevent people from being ejected from the car during an accident, but they cannot always fully protect you. Wearing a seatbelt makes you less likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident since your body is held in place from shoulder to hip, but extremities such as arms or legs can still get jostled around, and you can still experience an injury. Your head and neck may still experience injury as well from a car accident injury such as whiplash since the seatbelt does not protect those body parts. Seatbelts are extremely important and the best way to keep yourself safe in the event of a car accident, but it’s important to understand that they do not necessarily always prevent injuries from occurring.
#3 I have no pain, so I do not need to see a doctor.
People tend not to get checked out by a doctor if they do not experience any pain after a car accident. Injuries from car accidents are often referred to as hidden injuries due to internal injuries such as soft tissue damage. Pain in muscles, tendons, and ligaments may take some time to actually show up. In some instances, it can take hours or even days for someone to experience symptoms of discomfort or pain after a car accident. Some of the most common delayed injuries after a car accident include headaches, neck pain, back pain, abdominal pain, and pinched nerves. While you may not experience any symptoms of these injuries immediately, they may still be present, and it is important to have a thorough exam for your doctor to check for any of these potential injuries.
The stress and trauma of the car accident may cause your adrenaline to get pumping, and the shock can actually mask the pain that you may be experiencing. Once the shock wears off, typically within 24-48 hours, you may feel pain. Sometimes it can take even longer for various reasons. Swelling and inflammation take place over time, so you may not notice them immediately. Also, it’s common for people to take it easy from strenuous activities after a car accident, so they may not notice that anything is wrong until getting back into their normal routine.
It is important to understand that while you may not experience pain immediately after a car accident, you may still experience pain later, or you may have internal injuries where you experience little to no pain. It’s recommended that you visit a doctor within 72 hours of a car accident for an exam.
#4 I can just take over-the-counter medication for my pain and rest instead of going to the doctor.
Car accident injuries and issues are much different from other types of trauma. The pain doesn’t just go away and it may linger for a long period of time. It’s important to see an accident doctor after a car accident who can determine the extent of any issues that you have as a result of the accident.
Waiting for the pain to go away or trying to treat the pain from a car accident yourself may result in an injury going untreated. An untreated car accident injury can also lead to additional complications and chronic pain in the future that can negatively impact your quality of life. It’s important that you pay attention to when you first notice the pain and if certain activities or movements make the pain worse. This information can help your doctor to determine what exactly is causing your pain and the treatment that will be best for you. It is always recommended that you see a doctor and that you do not attempt to treat the injury from a car accident yourself.
#5 I can wait before seeing a doctor after a car accident.
If you wait days or weeks after a car accident to see a doctor, you run the risk of not getting your medical expenses covered by your insurance. It may seem unusual to see a doctor if you’re not feeling discomfort or pain after the accident, but it’s important to see the doctor right away. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you’re able to start treatment if you do have any injuries that may require treatment. Waiting to see a doctor can cause issues for you and your claim.
It is also important to make sure you see the right kind of doctor for your car accident injuries. All doctors are trained to help and have good intentions, but it is important that you see one who specializes in these specific types of injuries. Doctors who specialize in car accident injuries have the knowledge to provide you with an accurate diagnosis along with a proper treatment plan if needed. At AICA Orthopedics, our team can help match you with the best doctor for your injuries after a car accident.
Get Treated Today
Visit AICA Orthopedics to learn more about how our team of doctors can help you receive a proper diagnosis and provide you with an effective treatment plan for your car accident injury. Our specialists will talk you through all of your options for your injury, and our doctors will help you determine what treatment will work best for you. We also have physical therapists who work alongside our orthopedic surgeons and other specialists to ensure that you receive quality, comprehensive care as you recover. It is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible after a car injury to diagnose any injuries and to get started on treatment if necessary. Call or visit us online to get started at an AICA Orthopedics location near you.