Common Automobile Accidents Injuries: Whiplash, Sprains, Strains, and Contusions

Auto Accident Injuries Orange County

With over 250 million registered vehicles in the US in 2006, car accidents have become a common occurrence in the daily lives of most Americans. An auto accident can lead to a wide variety of physical and emotional injuries. The most common, and often overlooked, of these physical injuries are soft-tissue injuries. Soft-tissue injuries include whiplash, sprains, strains, and contusions (bruises). If you’ve been in an auto accident and suffered from a soft-tissue injury, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation from the person responsible for causing the accident. Learn more about these auto accident injuries, and contact The Roberts Law Firm, serving Orange County and other Southern California areas, for experienced legal representation.

Whiplash

Whiplash is the most common injury that results from an automobile accident. It is the non-medical term used to describe the pain in your neck after an injury to the ligaments, tendons or muscles of the neck. Whiplash is caused when an unusual amount of force is applied to the neck which causes movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion.

The most common symptoms of whiplash are neck pain, neck swelling, tenderness along the back of the neck, muscle spasms, difficulty moving the neck, headaches, and pain shooting from the neck to the shoulder or arm. These symptoms may appear immediately or may take as long as a few hours after the accident to develop. It is also common for the symptoms to go unnoticed for a day or two until the pain increases, making the injury noticeable.

Sprain & Strain

A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Usually sprains occur due to a stretch or tear to a ligament. A sprain often occurs when too much force is being applied to a ligament and the ligament is being stretched too far from its normal position. The most commonly injured ligaments are in the ankle, knee, and wrist.

A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. The injury may be either a stretch or a tear of the muscle or tendon. A strain, often referred to as a “pulled muscle,” may occur if the muscle itself tears, if the area where the muscle and tendon blend tears, or when the tendon tears partially or completely.

Both sprains and strains occur when the body is under stress and often occur after a single incident, like an auto accident. The first and most prevailing symptom of sprain or strain injuries is immediate pain. Concurrent with this pain, or even minutes to hours after the first indication of pain, symptoms of swelling, spasms, and inability to use the body part may develop.

Like most injuries, the treatment of sprains and strains vary depending on the degree of severity of the injury. Mild sprains or strains are usually treated by rest, ice, compression and elevation, but may also require rehabilitation exercises and activity modification during recovery. Severe sprains or strains may require more serious treatments like surgery, immobilization and months of therapy.

Contusion (Bruise)

A contusion occurs when a direct blow from a blunt object strikes part of the body. In car accidents, this can occur from any object of the vehicle striking the body, including a steering wheel, window, or frame. A contusion is caused when the strike crushes underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue without breaking the skin.

Most contusions are minor and result in discoloration at the injured site with swelling and mild to severe pain. These contusions are usually treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. However, occasionally a pool of blood collects within the damaged tissue and forms a lump over the injury, known as hematoma, and if severe enough could cause shock. If the hematoma is so large that it does not go away in several days it could lead to a surgical procedure to drain the pool or blood to speed healing.

Contact The Roberts Law Firm

If you have been in an auto accident and suffered from whiplash, a sprain or strain, a contusion, or another injury, contact attorney Jeff Roberts. With over 10 years in experience in personal injury litigation in Orange County, Mr. Roberts helps clients who have suffered auto accident injuries receive the monetary compensation they deserve.