Common Motor Vehicle Crash InjuriesSome motor vehicle crashes require emergency care specifically if someone has a spinal cord injury, head or limb injuries such as open fracture or internal injuries which require immediate surgery. Many other vehicle crash injuries may be treated at emergency care clinics or primary care physicians. If an ambulance is called or if you're unconscious, odds are you will be taken to the nearest emergency room. However, if you are awake and able to get to a doctor by yourself, you can choose to have someone drive you to a nearby clinic. If an ambulance is called, more often than not individuals tell me they made a mistake by refusing the ambulance. No matter how serious your injury, you should seek immediate medical treatment after a motor vehicle crash. Sometimes injuries are not obvious or could worsen over time if not properly addressed.
Five Most Common Injuries Due to Car Collisions
Neck InjuriesNeck injuries can vary in severity and can initially be classified as cervical strain or whiplash. Whiplash is a general term for when a collision causes the head to suddenly shake forward or to the side putting incredible pressure on the ligaments and other essential components of the neck. Often times in the ER, there will only be an x-ray to rule out a broken bone and further instructions will include following up with your primiary care provider. Following these instructions including follow-up with your primary care provider is crucial. A neck injury could be muscle strain only or could be as complicated as a damaged disc. Failing to seek medical treatment can be detrimental to your health and overall recovery. Damaged discs are common in neck trauma and may involve extensive medical treatment including physical therapy, injections and sometimes surgery. A soft tissue injury can include bruises, strains, sprains and damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments. Often, even soft-tissue Injuries can be difficult to resolve and can lead to months of rehabilitation and inquiry as to the cause.
Leg and Knee InjuriesWhile most people think of upper body injuries as being related to car crashes, leg and knee injuries are common. In a car crash, injuries can be everything from bruises and cuts to broken bones. The knees are especially prone to tearing and dislocation but ankle injuries can occur easily depending on the type of crash and your position in the vehicle.
Broken BonesBroken bones almost always require emergency care. Sometimes broken bones will require a cast while others may require surgery and hospitalization. Some bones can be set back into place while others require surgery and the use of metal plates and screws. These are major surgeries and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation
Back InjuriesThe back and spine can be very delicate and injuries to the spine and discs can be extremely painful. Injuries to the back and spine can require extensive medical care and can lead to chronic pain and loss of mobility. Addressing these injuries as soon as possible often impacts recovery. All areas of the back can be compromised in a car crash given the impact and your position in the vehicle.
ConcussionsConcussions occur when the brain is shaken severely inside the skull. Often, someone will hit their head on the window or steering wheel after a serious collision, but it can happen if your head hits any kind of hard surface. It is critical that you seek immediate medial treatment if you have head trauma as the result may be anything from a mild concussion requiring rest and sleep to more serious contusions requiring hospitalization. Look for symptoms such as severe nausea, vomiting, disorientation and dizziness. Serious brain injuries may require surgery to alleviate pressure and failing to seek medical treatment following a head injury can result in serious brain injury or death. Head injuries should be addressed right away and victims families must remember that someone with a head injury may not act as they normally would thus causing them to seek the medical help they need.
Listen to Your Body and Use Common SensePain is the number one way you know that something is wrong with your body. After a motor vehicle crash, victims usually have a rush of adrenaline that may mask symptoms. After a crash, you may be so surprised to see that you are in one piece that you fail to address the soreness and pain because you didn't think "it was a serious crash". A common misunderstanding is equating physical damage to property damage. Meaning, it is wrong to think that your injury is only serious if your car was totaled out! A physical injury can occur despite the actual property damage and really depends more on the force and position of one's body in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Modern car manufacturers have made great progress in crash absorption for vehicles, however, the impact of the crash on your body cannot be equated to the amount of property damage only. How many times have we seen the pieces of a car and wonder, "how did anyone live through that crash?" only to find out that someone walked away. On the other hand, we have frequently seen fatal crashes where damage may have appeared less serious.
If You Have Pain, Seek Medical TreatmentIf you have pain, see a medical professional. In fact, if you have trauma to your body, we always advise seeking medical treatment. Do not talk about your injuries to any insurance company in the first few days of your crash other than to possibly notify them of the crash. As stated above, some injuries are not diagnosed in the ER because they require more medical treatment and time. The majority of the time, you do not walk out of an ER with a "thorough" diagnostic evaluation. More often than not, if you go in to the ER with whiplash, you will need to follow up with your primary care provider and possibly a specialist and that does not happen in the first week of your discussions with insurance companies.
You Cannot Predict the Future, So WaitSince you do not have a magical crystal ball, you have NO idea how fast your body will recover from the car crash injuries. Often, in the first few weeks, you may not know the full extent of your injures thus we encourage you not to discuss it an insurance company. Generally speaking, you nor your insurance adjuster are doctors. If you are injured, you will need medical treatment and an experienced car crash attorney. Insurance companies usually assesses and handle your property damage claims but lack the expertise to properly evaluate your injury claim. Your injuries are best evaluated by a medical professional.
Our Goal in Representing in Injured Auto Accidents IndividualsOur goals are simple. First, our goal is that you get better and recover from your car crash injuries. Typically, the best way to do that is through the supervision of a doctor. That may seem obviously logical, but actually many car crash victims that I initially speak with haven't really thought through how long it really will take to recover. Why? Because, it is overwhelming for an individual to think it may takes "months" to recover from an injury that took mere seconds to occur. If you are injured, it is not in your best interest to settle your injury claim with the insurance company right away for the simple fact that you don't know the full extent or recovery time required of your injury. Second, our goal is to help you recover the full compensation that you deserve and need to cover your medical treatment, lost wages and yes, pain and suffering. In the first few weeks, that "figure" is not very clear because, again, you don't know the full extent of treatment and time it is going to require. If you've been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney even if your injuries are "life-threatening". Our attorneys understand that an injury can be life-changing but not life-threatening simply because of the amount of medical treatment and life adjustments.
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