It is critical for everyone to wear their seatbelt when they get into a motor vehicle, no matter how safe they think they might be. Unfortunately, even though seat belts save lives, they can also lead to injuries. But it is better to suffer an injury than to be killed in the accident. If you have been hurt by your seat belt it is still important for you to make sure you get your injuries treated. The first step in treating a seat belt injury is to properly diagnose the problem.
What are a few examples of injuries that people might suffer because of their seat belt in a motor vehicle accident? There are several examples to keep in mind, and don’t forget to reach out to a car accident doctor in Florida who can help you.
GI Injuries and Ruptures
One of the most serious injuries that someone may suffer in a motor vehicle accident is a GI injury. This type of injury is common if you are wearing a seat belt that only has a lap belt. For example, someone seated in the middle of the back seat might not have a shoulder belt.
In a motor vehicle accident, the lap belt is going to restrain you, preventing you from moving forward; however, it is also possible that your torso may fly forward over your hips. When this happens, it could stretch some of your abdominal organs, such as your intestines, to the point of tearing. This is a medical emergency, and it is important to head to the emergency room as quickly as possible to be evaluated.
Compression Fractures of the Back
If the shoulder belt does not properly restrain you in a motor vehicle accident, you may end up with a hyperflexion injury of the back. What this means is that your back may fly forward over your torso, stretching your spinal column in the process. When this happens, you may put an extreme amount of stress on the vertebrae in your back, causing compression fractures. Not all compression fractures require surgery.
You should reach out to a car accident doctor for further evaluation. That way, you can develop a treatment plan that can reduce stress on your spine and make sure your vertebrae are in proper alignment.
A Herniated Disc
You may also suffer a herniated disc due to a seat belt injury. Even though your seat belt should restrain you, there is a chance that your back might still fly forward, particularly if you were not wearing your seat belt properly. Furthermore, if you did not have a shoulder belt at all, you could place a tremendous amount of force on the discs in your spinal column. The most common location for a herniated disc is between L3 and L4 or between L4 and L5. You might notice shooting pains traveling from your back down your legs, and you might detect some numbness and weakness.
A car accident doctor can conduct a full evaluation to see whether you have suffered a herniated disc. Then, the doctor can use adjustments to make sure your vertebrae are properly aligned. By increasing the amount of space between your vertebrae, it is possible to alleviate compression on the nerves in your back.
Skin abrasions are also very common in a motor vehicle accident. They are commonly located on the torso, and they extend diagonally across the chest. Indeed, this is commonly called the seat belt sign because the marks are usually in the shape of a seatbelt.
Even though skin abrasions themselves will heal, they are often symptomatic of more serious underlying injuries. For example, you may have suffered an abdominal hematoma in your motor vehicle accident. That is why it is always important to be evaluated by emergency medical personnel, no matter how minor you think the car accident might have been.
Injuries to the Ribs, Sternum, and Clavicles
Skeletal injuries are among the most common injuries that someone may suffer in a motor vehicle accident. A few examples of common skeletal injuries include rib fractures, sternum fractures, and clavicle fractures. Even though these fractures might be relatively minor, they are also located very close to the heart and lungs. That is why you always need to have emergency imaging of your chest completed following a motor vehicle accident. You need to make sure bone fragments do not damage any of your vital organs. Then, do not forget to follow up with a car accident doctor who can make sure your injuries are healing properly.
Shoulder injuries are also incredibly common in motor vehicle accidents, even if you were wearing a seat belt. Because of the force of the accident and the restraint of the seat belt, you may still suffer shoulder injuries. For example, you may be diagnosed with a tear of the rotator cuff following a motor vehicle accident. Or, you might be diagnosed with a stinger involving the neck or shoulder in a motor vehicle accident. You need to work with a car accident doctor who can identify potential shoulder and nerve injuries. Adjustments can be performed to free up nerves that might have been impinged during the motor vehicle accident, and physical therapy can help you restore your rotator cuff muscles.
Finally, you may also be diagnosed with vascular injury following a motor vehicle accident. Some vascular injuries are relatively minor, such as small bruises underneath the seat belt; however, there are also more serious vascular injuries that could result from a motor vehicle accident. For example, in a particularly severe car crash, you could even be diagnosed with a tear of the aorta. This is a medical emergency, so you always need to be evaluated by emergency medical personnel after a motor vehicle collision. Then, don’t forget to follow up with a car accident doctor who can help you make sure that you recover appropriately.
Call Doctor Wagner for Help With Seatbelt Injuries
These are just a few of the many examples of injuries that someone may suffer in a motor vehicle accident because of their seat belt. We are Doctor Wagner, and we have a significant amount of experience treating different types of car accident injuries. It would be our pleasure to work with you and your family as well.
We will give you the care you deserve in Daytona, Florida, particularly after a car crash. Even if you were wearing your seat belt, you still need to schedule an appointment with a car accident doctor because you may have suffered an injury. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you with the recovery process.