After a seemingly minor fender bender, we thank our lucky stars, and sometimes, just move on. We think, oh that damage will buff out.
What we may not realize is that even low-speed car accidents can have serious consequences for crash victims.
Car crashes are exceedingly common
According to the National Transportation Safety Administration, there are about 1.5 million rear-end collisions per year in the United States. These crashes result in about 2,000 deaths and over $18 billion in damages. However, many of these 1.5 million crashes occur at low speeds – sometimes less than 10 mph.
Speed not the only factor
All too often, we focus on the speed of car accidents, yet speed is only one factor that impacts the severity of crash injuries. Other important points include: the position of the vehicles’ occupants at the collision point; the type and weight of the vehicles involved; whether everyone was using seat belts; whether the airbags worked appropriately; and the direction of the impact.
Traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injuries can be particularly serious, and are often not immediately apparent. These occur when your body or head are suddenly jerked, or when your head is impacted or pierced. This can cause brain tearing, bruising, bleeding and other injuries. Victims may feel pain, stiffness, headaches and/or experience blurred vision, personality changes and many more symptoms.
Brain tissue doesn’t heal as easily as other parts of the body, and so these injuries can lead to permanent conditions that require costly treatment and rehabilitative therapy. They can also affect a victim’s ability to work for a living.
Take all car accident seriously
A seemingly minor Tampa car accident may be just that: minor. However, you will not know that until you are checked out by a medical provider and cleared.
So, in every crash, call 9-1-1, if possible, get a police report, exchange information, document the scene, gather your photographs and get checked out by paramedics.