A little old lady rear-ends a vehicle that was stopped in a sudden traffic backup. There was virtually no damage to either car. The other driver was a big, bulky linebacker standing 6’4” and 300 pounds. He seemed to be completely fine and had no obvious injuries. However, in the following weeks, the man made the other driver aware that he had been experiencing neck pain and headaches and tells her that it is because of their minor accident. Could this pain possibly be the result of his “minor” fender-bender? The answer is, yes, it could. Accidents at speeds as slow as 5mph can cause serious injuries, including whiplash and soft tissue damage.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by minor car accidents. Whiplash occurs when the impact from a rear-end crash forces your head and neck to move forcefully back and forth. Symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Stiffness of the neck
- Sharp neck pain
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Back problems
In some cases, whiplash may have a greater effect on one type of person compared to another. Sometimes, minor head injuries can lead to a more serious injury such as bruising or bleeding within the head, and these problems are more frequent in the elderly and people who take blood thinners.
Soft Tissue Damage
A soft tissue injury means damage to a muscle, ligament or tendon in the body but these injuries are not always easy to see or diagnose. Depending on the type of profession someone is involved in, a minor injury causing soft tissue damage can affect his or her ability to work more than that same minor injury would affect another. For example, a professional guitarist may be unable to continue working after minor damage to a muscle in their hand or fingers, but this type of injury would not have as great of an effect on someone in another occupation.
You may not realize how serious the injuries are until days after the accident when neck or back pain begins or you begin experiencing memory loss. You should always get a medical examination or go to the emergency room immediately following a car accident in order to help detect any minor injuries. There are certain x-rays or medical scans that will spot this type of muscle or tissue damage. Additionally, you may want to schedule a visit with a chiropractor because they are trained to evaluate and treat soft tissue injuries and to look for the causes of potential pain. If you feel that there is still something wrong when a doctor has not diagnosed you with any injury you should also consider consulting with a specialist for a second opinion
At Rankin & Rankin, we want you to have every opportunity to make you whole again if you have been injured in a minor or serious car accident. To discuss your first steps following an accident, schedule a free consultation with our Conway, South Carolina car accident lawyer at (843) 248-2405.