Even minor accidents can cause major damage to bones, joints, and muscles. In some cases, the symptoms of serious injuries may not be obvious right away, even when they are connected to serious or life-threatening medical complications. It is critical for anyone who is involved in a fender bender to undergo a thorough examination from a medical professional following an automobile accident.
The Physics of an Automobile Accident
Modern automobile bodies are designed to crush and crumple in a crash. This allows them to absorb and dissipate the forces generated when a car strikes another car or fixed object. The higher the speed, the greater the force and the more readily apparent the damage. These forces can be significant even at low speeds and the sudden jolt generated in a collision can easily be two or three times the force of gravity. This force can be sufficient to strain muscles, break bones, cause nerve damage, bruise the brain, etc. However, because the accident occurred at low-speed many people fail to immediately recognize that they have suffered an injury. In many cases, pain, discomfort, and other physical symptoms can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest themselves. In the interim, individuals often exacerbate the injuries because they fail to take proactive measures that allow the injury to heal.
Common Injuries from “Fender Benders”
Fender benders can cause injuries to the upper and lower back, the neck, the head, arms, and legs. They frequently cause herniated discs, whiplash, nerve damage, and concussions. In some cases, they can cause traumatic brain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, and internal bleeding. If not properly recognized and treated following an automobile accident in Illinois, these injuries can worsen over time and lead to potentially life-threatening situations. Individuals should be particularly aware of muscle pain, signs of bruising, headaches, loss of balance, as well as difficulties with speaking, breathing, and hearing.
Documentation is Essential
It is not uncommon for automobile insurance providers to deny claims based on injuries sustained in fender benders. The most common reason for denial is lack of evidence that clearly establishes the motor vehicle accident as the cause of the injury. Even if no visible damage is present on the vehicle, driver, or passenger, a medical evaluation provides an opportunity for individuals to document the impact of the accident on their body. When symptoms present themselves or persist, this establishes a clear record establishing the cause.