Even a low-speed impact in New York could leave you with a concussion or whiplash. Many factors in a car accident influence the severity of head and neck injuries. You may recover from minor bumps and bangs in a matter of days or weeks. On the other end of the spectrum, you may require surgery or hospitalization for serious brain or neck trauma.
Concussions common in vehicular accidents
Concussions result from blows to the head. After your head hits a steering wheel, a side window or another person, your brain literally bounces inside your skull. Even a minor concussion alters the chemical interactions inside your brain. As a result, you may experience dizziness, headaches or nausea. In extreme situations, bleeding occurs inside the skull. This is a very serious situation requiring hospitalization.
Less serious concussions will call for a few days or weeks of rest so that your brain can recover. Symptoms should abate as you take it easy and avoid mentally demanding tasks.
An impact with another vehicle can make your head flop back and forth quickly. This strains the soft tissues of the neck, which can produce pain and stiffness. Mild cases may respond positively in a matter of days or weeks to rest and treatment with common pain relievers.
A serious whiplash injury can leave you with one or more dislocated vertebrae. In such a case, you can expect surgery followed by several months of recovery time.
Medical evaluations are critical
What you perceive as a small bump on the head after a car accident might cost you weeks away from work. Medical treatment following a crash could alert you to a concerning head or neck injury before the symptoms fully present themselves. In addition to medical care, you may want a legal perspective about your situation. A personal injury attorney may help you document the full extent of your damages. Legal support might also prepare you to reject an inadequate settlement offer that an insurance company hopes you will accept before realizing the complete consequences of an accident.