Types of Car Accident Injuries That Lead to Lawsuits
The aftermath of a car accident can be difficult to handle. Paying for repairs to your vehicle, managing insurance claims, and emotionally recovering from the accident all take time and energy.
One of the worst things to deal with after an accident is an injury. Whether you walked away with a few bruises or needed to go to the hospital, paying for medical bills and therapy is a huge burden. To make matters worse, emergency responders can misclassify injuries as minor when they are serious and have a lasting impact on your daily life.
Keep reading to learn more about the most common types of car accident injuries and what you should do if your minor pain turns out to be a bigger issue.
The Accident Report Is Not a Medical Report
The lawyers at Buckman & Buckman, P.A. regularly encounter clients who wait to file a claim because they assume their injuries are not severe enough at first. Their reservations often start with the police report. More often than not, the police document “minor injuries” at the scene of an accident. This characterization leads accident victims to believe that there must not be anything wrong with them, which is often an incorrect assumption. We have had clients with “minor injuries” that included a broken back, broken bones, and even head trauma.
When police reports document “minor” injuries, they usually mean that an ambulance didn’t bring the accident victims to the hospital or they were released from the hospital soon after. Police do have the training to deal with emergency first aid, but they are not doctors.
Many of these reports are based simply on their best judgment of how hurt you looked to them. If you are up and walking around the accident scene, they may not call for an ambulance, but that does not mean you are not hurt. It is better to let your doctor decide how significant your injuries are before determining your activity level and recovery time after an accident.
Why the Emergency Room Is Not Enough
Following an accident, the hospital emergency room is not the only stop you should make. You should also see your family doctor immediately, even if the doctor at the ER says you are fine.
Especially after serious trauma, some injuries will not show up right away. It takes a few days for your body to process what has happened, so you need to listen to your body and be mindful of any changes. Report any discomfort or pain to your doctor, and be sure to act quickly. Individuals must receive medical treatment within 72 hours of an accident. After three days, the insurance company may legally refuse to pay for your treatment, under personal injury protection (PIP) even if you pay for your policy every time, on time.
Receiving treatment immediately following an accident is always important, but it is also necessary to monitor any changes in your body over the next days and weeks. Many injuries do not appear immediately, but you can still receive compensation if you deal with them.
Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Some of the most common types of injuries from car accidents include the following.
Soft tissue refers to tissue that connects and supports organs, including muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. Sprains, strains, and tears are among the most common types of soft-tissue injuries. Because these injuries occur as a result of a sudden movement that stretches or breaks the connective tissue, soft-tissue injuries often occur during car accidents. Whiplash, or the sudden forward and backward movement of the neck, is especially likely. Signs of a soft-tissue injury include a popping sound at the time of the accident and the inability to place weight on the injured area.
The sudden stop of a vehicle during a collision may cause drivers or passengers to hit their head on the steering wheel, window, headrest, or another solid part of the car. Blunt trauma to the head can have very serious consequences, especially if it is not diagnosed by a professional. In less serious cases, lacerations and bruising of the head and neck could occur. Worse accidents can lead to a closed-head injury, such as a concussion or other form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is possible for head injuries to heal without medical attention, but more serious injuries can result in brain damage if not treated properly. Confusion, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headaches, and blurred vision are some of the most common head injury symptoms.
If left undiagnosed, internal bleeding can have fatal consequences. Internal bleeding occurs when an organ or artery is injured, usually because of blunt trauma to the area. The bleeding then occurs inside the body and collects, which can cause serious damage. Some of the most common sites for internal bleeding include the head, lungs, liver, heart, and spleen. If you observe any abdominal pain, purple skin that swells, dizziness, fainting, or headaches after your accident, seek medical attention. The consequences of internal bleeding are not always visible, but they can be deadly.
Some injuries to the back are immediately obvious, but other types of back injuries take time to become apparent. One common consequence of a car accident is a herniated disk, which can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms or legs. An injury to the spinal cord is even more severe and can cause serious nerve damage or paralysis. If you experience the reduced sensation or the inability to move any part of your body, it is necessary that you go to see a doctor. Paralysis is one of the most extreme injuries following a car accident.
The impact of a car accident is capable of breaking bones, including wrists, arms, and legs. Serious pain and the inability to place weight on the affected area are the most common signs of a break or fracture. While broken bones are treatable by a doctor, the healing process can become expensive. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for fractures and other injuries.
An often forgotten issue following serious accidents is the potential for psychological injuries. Car accidents are stressful and can be overwhelming both in the moment and during your recovery. Not only could you need to deal with insurance companies, doctors, lawyers, and the other driver, you have to continue your daily activities as well. This pressure can be a lot to handle, yet we often ignore the impact of accidents on our mental health. Whether your accident leads to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression, a licensed professional can help. In addition, many people are able to obtain compensation from personal injury claims for their pain and suffering, which can help during recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Accident Injuries
How do I know when to seek compensation for my injury?
Many accident victims are not sure when their injuries are severe enough to seek compensation. Our attorneys believe that when you were the victim of an accident, you should not be left to pay for any expensive medical bills because of someone else’s negligence. You have enough to focus on without needing to worry about the financial strain of recovery. Personal injury claims have a higher chance of success with the help of a personal injury lawyer, and an attorney can help you determine whether you have grounds to seek compensation.
What can I types of compensation could I recover?
The reasons accident victims choose to pursue compensation vary. Some were not offered a reasonable settlement by their insurance company. Others want to hold the negligent party who hurt them accountable. While the reasons vary, many of our clients receive payment for the following:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
When you were not in the wrong for an accident, you should not have to suffer. Insurance companies will often tell you that their first settlement offer is the maximum amount they can offer. However, most insurance companies are looking out for their own profit, not your best interests. A Sarasota attorney can help you file a personal injury claim to seek everything you need for recovery.
Contact a Sarasota Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The types of injuries that result from a car accident can touch every part of your life. When your family, ability to work, and financial stability are threatened, an attorney can help you take action.
At Buckman & Buckman, P.A., we understand that reaching out to a law firm can be a challenging first step. That is why we want to make the process as easy as possible for you. We offer a free initial consultation and do not take any money unless we win your case. Do not spend another day worrying about the effects of your accident when you could be fighting for what you need to recover. Contact our office by phone or fill out our online case evaluation form now.