It can be helpful to think of three degrees of injury
- Minor – an injury that does not threaten your life
- Serious – an injury that directly affects your quality of life
- Critical – an injury that result in a high chance of losing your life
Although injuries sustained in auto accidents are virtually limitless, the following are the most common.
- Soft tissue
- Herniation of a spinal disk
- Severed spinal cord
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
Soft Tissue Injury
One of the most common types of injuries resulting from an auto accident is called a soft tissue injury, because it typically refers to the soft parts of the body.
Examples of areas to which soft tissues injuries could occur are:
Symptoms often include localized pain at the site of the injury.
Herniation of Spinal Disk
Another common, but more serious type, is herniation of a spinal disk.
Symptoms of a herniated disk can sometimes be displaced to another part of the body, leading sufferers to not realize its true nature as a back injury.
Broken bones are a good example of a collision-related injury that can be anything from relatively minor to life threatening.
The traumatic movement that breaks the bone can also dislodge it, causing the bone to tear internal organs, muscles, or even through the skin.
Brain Injury and Concussions
Another type of common injury in any auto collision is brain injury. At its most minor, it may be nothing more than a concussion, which, like many related injuries, may not present themselves at the time of the crash.
More severe brain injuries are generally associated with frontal or side-impact collisions. Injuries to the neck and back (i.e. "whiplash") are far more common.
What To Expect
If you’ve recently been rear-ended, remember that injuries may not present immediately after the collision. Minor soft-tissue injuries, in particular, may take a day or two to develop.
Be sure to seek medical attention after a collision. Just because you think there is nothing wrong doesn’t mean you’re right. What may feel like a minor injury could, in fact, turn out to be life threatening.