Many people involved in car accidents will experience some injury, ranging from a minor bruise or laceration to a broken bone or head injury. It is also not uncommon to experience aches, pains, and general discomfort following a car collision. However, the extent of an accident victim’s injuries will depend on the circumstances and type of accident, including the force of the collision and how the accident victim’s body moves in the car from the impact.
If you are experiencing pain, soreness, or some other discomfort following a car accident, always seek emergency medical treatment. Either go in an ambulance from the accident scene to a hospital or have someone drive you to a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. Or see your doctor as soon as possible.
Speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible after your collision. While you are still undergoing treatment for your injuries, your lawyer can begin to handle the legal aspects of your claim while you focus all of your attention on fully recovering from your accident-related injuries.
Common Car Accidents Injuries
In addition to general pain, soreness, and discomfort, certain types of injuries are especially common following motor vehicle crashes. Some of the most common types of injuries include the following:
Traumatic head injuries—Traumatic head injuries range in severity from minor headaches, to concussions, to a full-blown coma. These injuries also come with a wide range of symptoms, including drowsiness, frequent migraines, short and long-term memory losses, and even falling into a permanent vegetative state after a serious accident.
In a car crash, traumatic brain injuries often occur from blunt force to the accident victim’s head or from shaking of the brain in the accident. This can happen if the driver or passenger’s head strikes the steering wheel, headrest, or window at the time of impact.
Cuts, lacerations, and bruises—Cuts, lacerations, and bruises can also happen in a car accident. The accident victim’s arm, head, or leg might strike something in a vehicle, creating an open wound. Bruising is also possible, especially in the shoulder, due to the seatbelt.
If the collision impact is forceful, the accident victim might suffer a cut or bruises due to airbag deployment on the driver or passenger side. In most instances, cuts, lacerations, and bruises will only last for a week or two and will then disappear. However, in the case of a serious cut or laceration, the accident victim might develop a scar that might cause them to experience embarrassment, shame, or humiliation in the future.
Soft tissue injuries—Developing soft tissue injuries is also relatively common following a motor vehicle collision. A soft tissue injury is a muscular sprain, strain, or sprain that does not involve a broken bone. A soft tissue injury can lead to significant pain and suffering.
In addition, the accident victim may need medical treatment and physical therapy to recover from their soft tissue injury. These injuries are especially common in rear-end accidents where the driver or passenger suffers whiplash. This occurs when the accident victim’s neck and upper back move forward and backward abruptly at the point of impact.
Fractures and broken bones—A bone can fracture when a part of the accident victim’s body strikes something in the vehicle. Ankle fractures can also happen in a motor vehicle accident when a driver’s foot or ankle twists from the time of impact. A broken bone can also occur if the force of the impact ejects the accident victim from the vehicle—or where the accident victim suffers a crush injury in an accident.
Many bone fractures require a medical procedure, such as emergency surgery, to correct. Bone pain, in particular, can result in a significant amount of pain. Following their surgery and healing time, the accident victim may need physical therapy and rehabilitation to try to return to their pre-accident state.
Spinal cord injuries—Serious motor vehicle accidents can also lead to spinal cord injuries. If a nerve becomes severed in the accident, the accident victim might experience full or partial paralysis in some or all of their limbs. A spinal cord injury can occur when an accident victim’s body twists the wrong way in an accident or if the force of the impact ejects the accident victim from the vehicle. In many instances, spinal cord injuries can be difficult to repair, and the accident victim may suffer from a lifelong disability.
If you or a person you care about has suffered one or more of these injuries and symptoms in a recent car accident, seek all of the medical treatment needed to recover. Then speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer at MNH Injury Lawyers who can begin handling the legal aspects of your claim and advise you on all the necessary steps you should take to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries.
Seeking Same-Day Medical Treatment After a Collision
Following a car accident, seek follow-up care and medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or another facility. You should do this even if you do not know how severe your injuries might be or if you are unsure whether you suffered any injuries at all.
It is best left to a knowledgeable healthcare provider to make that determination, especially if you feel sore or anything unusual. This is because a minor injury can develop into a much more serious one if you delay seeking medical treatment and follow-up care.
While at the hospital ER or urgent care center, the doctor or nurse on duty can examine your medical condition; take the necessary X-rays, MRIs, and brain scans; and render a diagnosis.
If you require emergency medical treatment or emergency surgery, the doctor on duty can make the necessary arrangements with the hospital to get you the treatment you need. In addition, the doctor or nurse on duty can make recommendations for future medical care. Expect the provider to recommend that you follow up with your primary care doctor or a specialist if your symptoms worsen.
Following a motor vehicle crash, you should seek treatment that same day and have someone take you to the hospital. Going to the hospital in an ambulance is often a good idea.
If you later file a car accident claim or lawsuit but delayed your emergency medical treatment, the insurance company will often become skeptical. They will either believe you did not take your medical treatment seriously or more likely, that your injuries in the car accident were not all that serious. Therefore, seeking same-day emergency medical treatment if it is needed can have a positive impact on your car accident case.
After you get medical care, your lawyer can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf and begin negotiating a settlement for you. If, after several rounds of negotiations, the case does not resolve, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system and litigate it to a conclusion there.
Filing a Claim for Personal Injuries
Filing a car accident claim that seeks monetary compensation and damages can be a difficult task. Therefore, you want to have a knowledgeable lawyer representing you throughout every stage of the claims-filing and litigation processes.
A car accident claim begins when your lawyer drafts a settlement demand letter, usually to the insurance company for the at-fault motor vehicle operator. Through the demand letter, a lawyer makes a monetary demand for settlement within the limits of applicable coverage. In addition to the demand letter that your lawyer prepares, they will also submit a package of documents for the insurance company adjuster to review and consider.
Documents that a lawyer will typically include in their settlement demand package include copies of the accident victim’s medical records, their lost wage documentation, photographs of their injuries, photographs of property damage, and a victim impact statement. In addition, documents from the investigation, such as a police report or eyewitness statement, will also typically be part of the package.
Once the insurance company adjuster reviews all of this documentation, the negotiation process will start. In most instances, several rounds of negotiations between the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the accident victim’s lawyer can occur.
In any car accident claim, the insurance company will try to get away with offering as little money as possible to settle. However, a strong negotiator on your side can work to pursue a higher settlement on your behalf. If the case does not resolve through settlement, you have the option of filing a lawsuit in the court system and litigating your case there.
The litigation process begins when a lawyer files a complaint against the at-fault driver, and the insurance company retains a defence lawyer to represent that driver. The parties will then engage in discovery to learn more about each other’s version of the case. During this time, settlement negotiations may continue, and the parties can still resolve their case through settlement. In fact, after filing a lawsuit, the settlement offer from the insurance company is more likely to increase than before a lawsuit.
If the parties cannot resolve their case through settlement, they can take their case to trial. At a trial in a car accident case, the judge will decide all disputed issues, including any monetary compensation and damages.
Several alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are available as alternatives to trial, such as arbitration or mediation, which the parties may want to consider. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can go through all of these options with you and help you decide upon the best course of action for your case. In some instances, you might be better off accepting a settlement offer, while at other times, it might make sense to take the case to an alternative dispute mechanism or to trial.
Seeking Damages After a Car Crash
Victims of car accidents may recover various damages, depending upon the nature and extent of their injuries and medical treatment, and whether or not their injury is permanent, as determined by a knowledgeable healthcare provider. Car accident damages vary from one case to another. Therefore, one car accident victim might not be entitled to recover the same compensation as a car accident victim in another case.
First of all, your lawyer can pursue compensation for any of your out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages if you cannot go to work after your accident. Other out-of-pocket expenses are sometimes reimbursable as well.
In addition to these economic damages, your lawyer can pursue compensation for mental distress, emotional anguish, pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of the ability to use a body part, such as paralysis or amputation, and loss of life enjoyment.
Your lawyer can review the circumstances of your accident and injuries with you and can determine the likely types of monetary damages you may be eligible to recover. Your lawyer can then work to recover compensation for you through the settlement or litigation process.
The sooner you call a car accident lawyer, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights. Reach out for a free case evaluation today.