Commonly associated with automobile accidents and injuries, whiplash occurs when the neck experiences a sudden impact that causes it to move in an abnormal manner. Whiplash is the most commonly covered claim by car insurance companies, as millions of Americans report whiplash or whiplash-related injuries annually.

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A laceration is an injury that results in an irregular break in the skin, more commonly referred to as a cut, but defined as a torn and ragged wound. There are five general types of lacerations:

Split laceration: This type of wound is caused when part of the body is crushed between two objects. While not as serious and a crush injury, a split laceration is caused in the same manner, with the striking object making a blunt impact and causing the skin and tissues to tear from compression. Split lacerations most commonly show up on the face, head, hands and legs.

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Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature drops below that which is necessary to maintain primary bodily functions. By definition, hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature drops to below 35 degrees C or 95 degrees F. There are four grades of hypothermia:

Mild – The body is at 32 to 35 degrees C.

Moderate – The body is at 28 to 32 degrees C.

Severe – The body is at 20 to 28 degrees C.

Profound – The body is at any temperature less than 20 degrees C.

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A fracture is the medical term for a broken bone, hence the common misnomer of “broken bone.” A fracture occurs when there is a break in a bone and is often caused by a strong force, impact, pressure or stress. On average, a person is expected to experience two fractures in his or her lifetime. There are four main types of fractures:

Complete: A complete fracture is exactly what the name implies, in that the bone breaks into two or more pieces.

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When one of two bones that meet at a joint is knocked out of place, a dislocation has occurred. Usually caused by a blunt force or impact to a joint area, a dislocation can commonly be confused with a bone break due to the pain and relative symptoms. A bone that has been knocked out of its joint or socket can lead to ligament and nerve damage if not treated immediately. While any bone that is connected to a joint can become dislocated, common dislocations include shoulders, hips and fingers.

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A concussion is the most common type of head or brain injury, and can involve anything from a simple headache to severe brain damage. The actual definition of a concussion varies between medical experts and research, however it is generally accepted that concussions are head injuries that lead to the loss of brain function. The effects of a concussion depend on the severity of the head injury, which puts concussions into one of three grades:

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There are three types of burns: first, second and third degrees. This categorization of burns is in relation to the layers of skin affected by the heating element. A first degree burn is a mild burn on the first layer of skin, or epidermis. A second degree burn has occurred once the first and second layers of the skin are damaged, and a third degree burn occurs beyond that.

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Any time that your skin comes into contact with an object in a direct manner, you will likely be left with bruising. A bruise occurs when there is blunt contact between an object and any part of your body, and the result is damaged tissue and capillaries allowing blood to spread underneath the skin. Bruises are most notable for the discoloration they cause to the skin, a characteristic attributed to the loose blood, and the common relation to the phrase “black and blue.”

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If you’ve ever skinned your knee, stubbed your toe, scraped your elbow, slid on the carpet or taken a small tumble, then you’ve experienced what is known as an abrasion. Most often simply a minor injury, an abrasion is caused when your skin comes into contact with any rough or rigged surface, almost always with some sort of movement. Whether you’re running and you fall or a moving object collides with you, if there is damage to outer layers of your skin, then you have suffered an abrasion.

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