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A minor car accident doesn't always mean minor injuries

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You’re driving down the road, and as you’re about to make your way through that intersection you have been through a thousand times, another driver T-bones you from the left. He didn’t see the red light. The accident is shocking, but you handle it well: pull over on the side of the road, call the police and exchange insurance information, and when the police officer asks you how you feel, you say, “I’m fine.”

The above scenario happens daily across the state of New York and everywhere in the country. At first a driver who has been in a minor accident may feel fine, but does that mean they haven’t suffered any injuries?

Although often hard to spot, a concussion stemming from a car accident can have long-term effects. After a crash, a doctor may perform a test to see if a victim has a concussion. They may look for specific symptoms: neck pain, blurred vision, memory issues, loss of consciousness and nausea. They may also test a patient’s balance.

Doctors may also look for any broken bones or injuries that may have resulted from a deployed airbag. They may check the skin and chest for any kind of damage. Similarly, they might concentrate on the legs and hips. If a patient feels significant pain when a doctor hits the bottom of their foot, it may be a sign of an injury.

Much like tripping and falling in a public place, victims in car accidents often try to bounce back quickly from an accident as if nothing ever happened. Walking away from an accident with no injuries would be the ideal scenario of course, but that is not always the case. 

Source: Atlanta Magazine, "Walking away from a car crash: What can happen to the body in an automobile collision," Christine Van Dusen, Oct. 9, 2013

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