Coping With Car Accident Injuries: Your Guide to Healing and Utilizing Help From a Pain Management Doctor

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Millions of people hit the roads every day. For Americans under the age of 54, crashes are the leading cause of unnatural death. No matter where you are in the world, you have to share the streets with other vehicles, busses, bicyclists, and pedestrians. You and other drivers share a responsibility to keep one another safe. If you suffered severe injuries in an accident, you might require the help of a pain management doctor. Use this guide to learn how to care for crash injuries.

How Common Are Car Accidents in New York?

Every year, car accidents injure about 2.4 million people. It’s rare for a person to walk away from an accident uninjured, even in slow-speed accidents. Accidents are common across the globe, but a couple of factors increase your risk of an accident.

For example, young adults aged under 29 have a higher likelihood of being in an accident. Likewise, men tend to be more likely than women to be involved in an accident. In fact, over 70% of all traffic deaths involving persons under 25 are men.

What Factors Increase the Risk of Car Accident Injuries?

You and the other drivers have an obligation to everyone you share the road with. Vulnerable people are the most likely to be injured in an accident. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. The following are the most common reasons that accidents happen.

DUI and DWI

If you drive while compromised by drugs or alcohol, there is a high likelihood that you will be in an accident. Drinking slows your reaction time and affects your judgment. Drinking while under the influence increases the chance of an accident resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.

While the U.S. has a legal BAC limit of .08%, the risk for an accident begins when a person’s BAC is .04 g/dl.

Speeding

Unfortunately, a lot of drivers choose to ignore the speed limit. When drivers become used to an area, they may also be more likely to travel at higher speeds. They become comfortable with familiar streets and may think there is less danger.

When drivers speed, they increase their likelihood of a crash and increase a serious crash. Every time you increase your speed by 1%, you create a 3% increase in the risk for a serious crash.

Distracted Driving

Most people are guilty of distracted driving at one time or another. When you take your eyes off of the road to change the radio station or leave the house upset, with your mind on something else, you are driving with a distraction. When it comes to distracted driving, there are physical distractions, visual distractions, and cognitive distractions.

Drivers who use mobile phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. When you’re on the phone, your reaction time slows down, particularly when it takes you to break the vehicle. It may be difficult to stay in the right lane or to follow at a safe distance. Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions in a vehicle. When you text, you not only take your eyes from the road, but you distract your mind from driving.

Unsafe Infrastructure

In an ideal world, all of the roads would be designed with your safety in mind. However, this isn’t always the case. There is not always adequate room for traffic, for bicyclists or pedestrians. Safe roads tend to have wider lanes, crossing points, footpaths, and cycling lanes to keep all people safe. In cities with flawed infrastructure, the potential for a crash increases.

Insufficient Traffic Laws

Having traffic laws reduces the likelihood of an accident. People are more likely to obey the law when those laws are enforced. If you live in a municipality where no one faces speeding or distracted driving punishment, people are less likely to follow the rules.

For safe roads, there has to be effective enforcement. The road rules need to be updated regularly, and the laws should be enforced with appropriate penalties.

Failure to Use Safety Gear and Restraints

No one wants to think that they will end up in an accident. However, you should never consider yourself invincible before you hit the road. For drivers and passengers who do not wear their seatbelt, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries or death. In fact, for front-seat passengers, the risk increases by 45% to 50%.  For those in the backseat, their risk increases by 25%.

Unsafe Vehicles

A vehicle’s safety rating may also play into whether or not you suffer injuries in an accident. The UN has regulations that apply to manufacturing and production standards. All vehicle manufacturers must meet front and side, and impact regulations, including electronic stability and safety precautions such as airbags and seat belts.

What Are the Common Car Accident Injuries?

Car Accident Injuries in New York

An auto accident injury doctor New Jersey residents count on understands the nature of crash injuries. They have experience with the type of damage a wreck can cause to the human body.

We are not meant to withstand the amount of force behind a car accident. Your body may twist in ways that are unnatural and damaging. While some drivers and passengers may walk away with bruises and contusions, serious injuries require prompt medical attention and continuing care. When you need a pain management doctor, odds are you suffered from one of the following injuries.

Here is the rundown of injuries and how a doctor may help you manage your health following an accident.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, occur due to a sudden jolt to the head. When you suffer a TBI, it can alter how you think, feel and act. Every person’s brain is different and so every person who experiences a TBI may have different results. Your recovery is based on your injury and experiences. While the symptoms may vary from patient to patient, one of the most common symptoms is pain.

Not only do TBIs cause pain, but because of the jolt, you may also suffer neck injuries that can cause headaches. Unfortunately, TBIs can also make your pain feel worse because of the changes to your brain. About half of all people who undergo treatment for a TBI suffer from chronic pain.Pain from a TBI can prevent you from working or participating in activities that you used to love. Additionally, pain may prevent you from participating in physical therapy or exercises that could help your brain heal. Other symptoms include:

Doctors may warn against strong pain medication, such as narcotics or opiates. The problem with narcotics is that they can have an unpredictable impact on your brain. For some patients, the use of opiates made the TBI worse. The narcotic use resulted in memory loss, fatigue, substance abuse and memory loss.

For car accident pain management, doctors tend to choose non-narcotic pain medication. They may prescribe numbing medications to apply to the skin and over-the-counter pain relief.

Other suggestions doctors have for pain management include:

  • Avoiding stress
  • Avoiding caffeine or alcohol
  • Avoiding foods and drink that may trigger headaches

Daily exercise and physical therapy may also help you manage pain.

Broken Bones

An auto accident injury doctor in New Jersey may be accustomed to seeing broken bones. When it comes to fractures, there are several types. These fractures include the following:

  • Compound fractures: A compound or open fracture is determined by the bone piercing the skin. This type of break requires immediate and aggressive treatment.
  • Incomplete fractures: If your bone fractures but does not separate into two separate parts, you have an incomplete fracture.
  • Closed fractures: On the other hand, a closed fracture occurs if your bone splits into two separate pieces.
  • Greenstick fractures: Greenstick fractures occur when the break doesn’t crack all the way through. Think about what it looks like if you were to try to snap a green piece of wood. Since children have more flexible bones than adults, this type of break is most common in kids.
  • Displaced fractures: When you have a displaced fracture, the bone splits into separate pieces. Additionally, the pieces to the break are not aligned. To align the bones, you may need to undergo surgery.

Treatment for broken bones depends on the type of fracture and where the fracture is located. For pain relief, doctors may order medicine to reduce pain and inflammation. For example, Tylenol, ibuprofen, or a combination of both. For severe pain, doctors may prescribe stronger medications.

For severe breaks, you may require surgery. During the operation, surgeons implant an internal fixation device. These devices include screws, rods, and plates. Patients who may require surgery suffer from multiple fractures, loose bone fragments, ligament damage, crush injuries, and unstable fractures.

Whiplash and Neck Injuries

Whiplash Caused by Auto Accident in New York

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries car accident victims suffer from. Whiplash occurs because of a sudden jolt or blow that forces your head to jerk forward and back again. The force of the blow has the ability to tear the tendons and muscles in your neck.

If you have whiplash after an accident, you will experience a decreased range of motion, tightness in your neck, and pain when you rock your head side to side or back and forth. You may also experience pain when you look over your shoulder. Many patients also report headaches at the base of their skulls. The headaches radiate towards the front of the forehead.

For mild whiplash, you may only need to ice your neck to reduce pain and swelling. Ice your injury every three to four hours for about 15 minutes per day. Doctors may provide a neck brace or collar to support your neck. However, you would not use this long-term because it can weaken the muscles in your neck.

Your pain management doctor may suggest stronger painkillers or muscle relaxants for severe pain.

Back Injuries

Back Injuries in New York

Back injuries are among the most severe injuries you can suffer in an accident. A collision can cause herniation or ruptures of the discs in your spine, along with fractures. Sometimes injuries to your back will not be automatically apparent. If your pain lasts for days following the accident, you should see a doctor for car accident pain management and treatment for your injuries.

While some injuries take time and physical therapy to heal, some spinal cord injuries do not heal. If you suffer a spinal cord injury, you require medical attention directly following the accident. In the early stages of treatment, the doctors will maintain your ability to breathe, immobilize your neck, and prevent further complications. For example, stool retention, blood clots, and cardiovascular difficulty are common with spinal cord injuries.

Surgical intervention is common. Your physician may need to remove bone fragments, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or foreign objects to avoid spine compression. Surgery may also be able to prevent future pain by stabilizing the spine.

Pain Management After a Car Accident

Your auto accident pain management team may recommend physical therapy to strengthen your muscle function and to help you develop fine motor skills. You may require medication or other procedures to handle your back pain or in more severe cases, spinal cord injury. Medication helps control your pain and muscle spasticity. Other medications improve bowel and bladder control.

What Are Common Pain Management Medications?

When you visit your car accident doctor in New York City, they may go over the variety of pain medications that may help your condition. Keep in mind that not all pain medications work the same for all patients.

Opioids

Opioids are narcotic pain medications. Doctors may prescribe natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic opioids. Opioids are best for short-term pain after surgery or immediately following an injury. Opioids do not cause bleeding in other parts of the body, including the stomach, but they effectively treat severe pain.

The main concern with opioids is that they are extremely addictive. Those who have a history of substance abuse may need to take alternatives to opioids. Most injury doctors in New York City will not suggest opioids for chronic pain relief.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids relieve inflammation, itching, and allergic reactions. For pain, you may be given pills or injections that target your joints. Prescription corticosteroids include:

  • Prednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone

Due to the varying side effects, including mood changes, ulcers, weight gain, bone thinning, and high sugar levels.

Miscellaneous Pain Treatments

For patients who do not respond to painkillers, you may require additional help from a pain management doctor or team. Lidocaine patches can aid with pain relief and so can physical therapy. A physical therapy known as TENS utilizes patches that send signals to the brain to help stop the pain.

Spinal cord stimulation may also be used to treat chronic pain. Surgeons implant a small device, similar to a pacemaker in your epidural space, close to the spine area that causes you pain. The device sends electric pulses to try to interrupt the pain signals.

How Can You Collect Damages Following a Car Accident?

If you suffer from chronic pain, you may be owed compensation for your car accident pain management. A car accident lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim. When you file a lawsuit, you claim that someone else’s negligence is the reason for your injuries and your pain. While money cannot make up for the pain the accident caused you, and it can help you cope with medical bills and lost wages.

Assessing Damages

First, assess your damages. Your damages include your medical expenses, future medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of earning capacity. To calculate the damages, you would add up the costs you’ve already paid and the future costs. To calculate pain and suffering, insurance companies and lawyers use a multiplier to calculate the damages.

Get Pain Relief From a Pain Management Doctor

Pain Management Doctor in New York

If you suffer from acute or chronic pain after a motor vehicle accident, you already know how bad it can impact your life. You may be unable to participate in your old hobbies, not to mention many pain sufferers cannot work like they used to. If your chronic pain or injuries were caused because of someone else’s negligence on the road, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the party.

In the meantime, there is help for pain after a car crash, depending on the injury you suffered. Consultations with a pain management doctor need to happen as soon as possible. To deal with the aftermath of a car accident is overwhelming, but you never have to go through it on your own. If you need help following your car accident, visit us at the Accident Help Zone as soon as possible! Physicians listed on our directory accept most insurance plans, including worker’s compensation, no-fault, PIP (personal injury protection), and medical liens. Call (888) 412-8488 to schedule an appointment with an experienced doctor near you!