Common Car Crash Injuries and How to Handle Them
Car crashes are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, taking tens of thousands of lives per year.
When car accidents do not lead to fatalities, they often leave victims with serious and long-term injuries. These injuries can result in high medical expenses, disability, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, they could lead to a diminished quality of life, stress and anxiety, and more.
At the office of Sabbeth Law, we have represented clients who suffered from many injuries sustained in serious car accidents. If you’ve been hurt, we can help.
Consider the following common car crash injuries and how they are generally treated. You will also learn how to deal with seeking treatment and paying for damages.
Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries
The soft tissues in your body refer to your ligaments, muscles, and tendons. They attach bones to bones, provide strength flexibility, and are critical for functional movement. When a car accident occurs, the body may be thrust into an awkward position. It may also experience trauma in the form of a sudden back-and-forth motion. This can lead to a variety of soft tissue injuries, including whiplash. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury involving the strain of the muscles and ligaments of the neck. Other common areas of soft tissue injuries include the back, the knees, and the shoulders; however, this list is not inclusive.
Soft tissue injuries can be extremely painful, and when they are serious, they may limit mobility, or even prevent movement overall. Treatment for soft tissue injuries depends upon the area of the injury and the extent of the injury, but may include stabilizing the area, using hot and cold treatment, the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy. Surgery may be required in the most severe of cases.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A more serious injury that may result from a car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI occurs when the head is shaken back and forth rapidly, is hit with an objected, or when the skull and brain are punctured by an object.
No two TBIs are alike, and the symptoms experienced as a result of a TBI can vary greatly on a case-by-case basis. A traumatic brain injury has the potential to affect cognition, memory, sensation, thinking, and emotion – the extent of this will depend on the patient and the severity of the TBI.
Some traumatic brain injuries, such as mild concussion injuries, will heal with time and rest. Others, however, may require surgery and numerous therapies. In some cases, a TBI will impact a patient and their family for life.
Bone Fracture Injuries
When a bone is impacted with enough force, either as the result of compression or the result of being hit by an object, it can crack or fracture. Bone fractures can happen in any part of the body where bones exist, ranging from the skull and face to the back to the extremities to the ribs.
Like most injuries, the extent and severity of a bone fracture injury will depend on the degree of force involved. Further, how limiting a bone fracture injury is will depend on the area of the body of the bone fracture. For example, an injury to a person’s non-dominant hand may be annoying and painful, but probably won’t change the course of their life. A severe bone fracture of a person’s tibia, the larger of the two bones between the knee and the ankle, may result in a person from being able to be able to walk, work, or perform basic self care.
Bone fractures treatment depends on the severity and location of bone fracture. Some common remedies include using a cast or splint to stabilize the bone, pain medication, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Perhaps the most traumatic injury that a person can suffer in a car accident is a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs the course of the spine and carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When this system of communication is disturbed, messages cannot send – meaning a person will experience complete or partial paralysis from the site of the injury downwards.
While a person may regain some mobility after suffering a spinal cord injury with the help of medical professionals and occupational therapists, spinal cord injuries are permanent. These injuries are also extremely dangerous, and when they occur, the person may be at risk of death if immediate medical care is not received.
When a car accident occurs, a victim head will likely be thrust forward and backward before coming to a rest. When this happens, the face of the victim is at risk of hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, or airbag with a large amount of force. Sometimes, other objects impact the victims face too, such as the vehicle’s windshield, especially when the victim is not wearing their seatbelt.
The victim may suffer a variety of facial injuries and injuries to the scalp as a result. This includes lacerations, bruising, and broken bones of the face. In severe cases, facial reconstruction surgery may be necessary; in most cases, minor procedures (such as stitches) can be used, and with time, the face will heal.
In very serious car accidents, vehicles may actually catch on fire as a result of the collision. When this happens, victims who are still within the vehicle are at risk of severe burn injuries, including third-degree burns (which burn past the layers of skin and fat down to the bone).
A victim may also suffer a road burn injury, which occurs as a combined result of friction and heat when a victim skids across a roadway, if they are thrown from the car.
Experts in specialized burn units treat severe burn injuries. While some burn injuries will heal completely, others will result in damage to tissue and soft tissues that impair mobility for life, as well as permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Not all of the injuries that a person may suffer in a car accident are physical; injuries may be psychological in nature, too. Examples of psychological injuries that a person may suffer as a direct result of the car accident or as a result of traumatic injuries include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoia and fear, and depression. One of the best remedies for psychological injuries is to work with a mental health professional.
After Receiving Treatment for Injuries
If you have been involved in a serious car accident in Vermont or New Hampshire, the most important thing that you need to focus on is getting medical treatment and healing from your injuries. Once you are physically and mentally able to, however, you need to start thinking about what comes next.
If you have suffered serious injuries, you’ve probably incurred a number of expenses along the way, including:
- Hospital stay expenses;
- Drug and surgery expenses;
- Rehabilitation and therapy expenses;
- Medical equipment expenses;
- Doctors’ visits expenses;
- Lost wages (and future lost wages);
- Traveling to-and-from hospital/doctor expenses; and
What’s more, you may be being asked to pay for your medical bills now; you may also be facing a late mortgage payment, credit card bills, and other debts that you cannot pay because you are not working and earning an income.
This can be stressful, and downright scary. When you find yourself in this situation, you need legal counsel immediately.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Our car accident lawyers can help you if you have been seriously injured in a car accident. Some of our services include:
- Investigating your accident;
- Determining fault for your injuries;
- Bringing a claim against the liable party;
- Negotiating a settlement amount;
- Ensuring that you get the medical treatment you need (we maintain relationships with doctors who can offer treatment without upfront payment);
- Discussing your debts with creditors and negotiating payments; and
We will also fight for your right to recover 100 percent of your damages amount, including compensation for the full extent of your economic and noneconomic losses. This includes the expenses listed above and the value of your pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Call Our Law Firm Today
Car crash injuries can change your immediate future, if not your life. When you are involved in a car accident and seriously harmed as a result, you deserve to be compensated, especially when the car accident occurred through no fault of your own. When you call our law firm, we will go above and beyond to ensure that you are taken care of, and that your right to file a claim for your full damages amount is preserved.
To schedule a free consultation with our law firm, please reach out to us today by phone or online. We work on a contingency fee basis, and never charge you our fee if we are not successful in recovering a settlement for you.