The prospect of suffering a road traffic accident isn’t something we like to think about. But the possibility is one that we accept every time we head out onto the road. According to government statistics for 2019, 25,945 people were seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the UK. On top of this, 125,461 people reported being ‘slightly’ injured.
There are two problems with these figures. First, changes in reporting methodology make them difficult to compare with previous years – they’re more accurate, which means they might give the impression that road accidents are worsening (when really they’re just being measured). Second, not everyone who suffers an injury in a road accident actually makes it known to the data-collectors.
In fact, many of us might not even realise that we’ve suffered an injury, because many of the injuries inflicted by road traffic accidents can often be subtle and difficult to detect. On the other hand, many of the injuries reported can be life-changing. A personal injury solicitor can help you to claim compensation against the negative effects of each of these injuries.
Let’s look at a few of the common injuries suffered by road accident victims.
The parts of your neck and back that support your head can be injured by a sudden change of direction. The head carries on travelling in the direction it was going – and stopping it suddenly can exert a strain. In most cases, whiplash is a mild strain that goes away after a few weeks.
When the tissue between your vertebrae swell and rupture, the results can be extremely painful. You might have difficulty moving, lose control of your muscles, or lose sensation. Sometimes these symptoms can manifest straight away; sometimes they take weeks or months to manifest.
Your bones have adapted to bend a little when they’re under stress – but under severe enough stress, they’ll break. A fracture needs to be treated to avoid the risk of the bone setting improperly.
If your head is being thrown back and forth, then you’re at risk of concussion, even if you don’t actually impact against anything. This can result in headaches, loss of sight or consciousness, and dizziness. Any of these symptoms should prompt an immediate visit to the doctor for further evaluation – concussions can be serious.
Not all injuries are physical ones. You might also notice a proliferation of negative patterns of thoughts and feelings following an accident. These might include strong emotions when you get back into a car or revisit the scene of the accident. While you might not be able to see them, these effects can be just as debilitating – and deserving of legal redress!