The involved vehicle could be a company car or one you own and use while on the clock. When any type of automobile injury occurs involving a work-related vehicle, there’s always the potential for serious injuries, or long-term issues with chronic pain and similar problems that could make it difficult to resume your normal on-the-job duties.
Work automobile injuries are ones that involve a car you drive for work-related purposes.
Common Work Automobile Injuries
More than 3 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States. Granted, such injuries don’t always involve work-related driving. Even so, there are certain injuries that tend to be commonly experienced by people involved in any type of car accident. One of these is whiplash, which is caused by sudden and violent back and forth head and/or neck motions.
The severity of the injuries sustained will depend on whether or not seatbelts were worn, how fast the vehicle was going at the time of impact, the direction of the impact, and other key factors. Possible injuries from accidents of this nature may also include:
- Severe cuts and scrapes
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lower back muscle strain and other spine-related issues
- Injuries affecting the chest, arms, or legs
- Collarbone and rib injuries
- Head or traumatic brain injuries
Diagnosis & Treatment
With injuries like whiplash, the severity of symptoms may not be immediately known. For this reason, work auto injury victims are encouraged to be evaluated and accurately diagnosed as soon as possible. This process usually involves X-rays, MRI scans, and other image tests. Range of motion and flexibility may also be tested. If nerve damage is suspected, nerve conduction studies may be performed; and balance and vision are usually checked if a concussion is suspected.
If there is skull bleeding (subdural hematoma), surgery is usually necessary. Whiplash and other spine-related injuries are often treated with medication, therapeutic exercises, temporary bracing, and various forms of physical therapy. With severe cuts and scrapes, medication usually reduces the risk of infection after the wound has been cleaned and stitched, if necessary.
Work Automobile Injury Recovery
There is no standard length of time to recover from a work automobile injury. Minor muscle strains and soft tissue injuries, for example, usually heal within a few weeks. Internal and head injuries, on the other hand, tend to be more complicated due to the possibility of serious or long-term issues, which means recovery usually takes longer. This is also true if surgery was performed to correct internal damage.
Recovery for spine and lower extremity injuries usually involves a customized physical therapy or rehab plan based on patient-specific goals and abilities. Recovery could also include counseling or therapy if the injuries sustained contributed to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health issues.
When you’re injured on the job, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation. And if the accident was the fault of another driver, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.