Whether it’s a minor fender-bender or a major 10 car pile-up, the pain of an auto accident can make you feel like you just got hit by an offensive lineman in an NFL game.
During and after a car accident, your body reacts to danger by producing adrenaline. This same reaction that helps us escape danger can also mask the severity of our injuries. Symptoms from car accident injuries may not be immediately evident. You should always seek medical attention after an accident, even if you feel fine at the moment.
While the injury you have after an accident can vary, the types of injuries caused by a car crash are fairly consistent. Here is an overview of the most common car accident injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported an estimated 2.4 million people were injured in automobile accidents in 2015, with 35,092 fatalities. The NHTSA found the national economic costs from car crashes is over $200 billion. Speeding, driving under the influence and distracted driving continue to be critical factors in car accident fatalities.
Distracted driving alone was responsible for over 297,000 car accident injuries in 2014. Not wearing your seatbelt is also a leading contributor in car crash injuries. It cannot be stressed enough that buckling up saves lives. It can also save you a $92 fine.
The automotive industry has responded to these statistics by developing technologies that increase driver and passenger safety. As consumers, practicing safer driving habits – like putting our phones away when driving – can help decrease our chances of being in a collision.
The kind and number of injuries you may sustain during a car accident depends on many factors, including where the car was struck, the weather and road condition, or if you were a driver or passenger.
Car accident injuries can be broken into two categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries.
Treatment of these injuries will require a doctor’s diagnosis and care.
The forces from a vehicle suddenly stopping can cause significant injury to the neck muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Also known as “soft tissue injuries”, they typically involve sprains, strains, or tears and create pain, swelling, and loss of mobility. Vocal cord paralysis is another form of neck injury seen in car accident victims.
This is probably the best-known neck injury from an auto accident and you should always let a doctor diagnose this condition. Sometimes soft tissue damage can extend well beyond the neck, into the upper back and shoulders. This injury is not likely to immediately show itself, and insurance adjusters are extremely skeptical of whiplash cases. Having a doctor’s official opinion is your strongest proof when filing a car accident injury claim.
Damage to the spinal cord and muscles of the back can result in short- or long-term nerve damage. Tingling in hands, arms, legs, feet or torso are prime indicators of spinal cord injury. Herniated disks and paralysis are among the most severe injuries, often altering a person’s quality of life.
Any sudden blunt force to the skull can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Symptoms can range from light-headedness and headache, to complete loss of consciousness and personality changes. Any time the head is struck during a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. According to the Centers for Disease Control, car accidents are the third leading cause of TBI.
The most common form of TBI, concussions can range from mild to severe depending on whether there was a loss of consciousness, memory loss, vomiting or trouble balancing. A good rule of thumb is the longer the symptoms last, the more severe the concussion. Always let a doctor decide how severe a TBI is and what treatment should involve.
Contusions, bruises, internal bleeding, and broken ribs are some of the chest injuries you can experience in a car accident. Your body colliding with the steering wheel or the restrictive pull of the seat belt can also cause chest injuries.
If you suffer from asthma, the stress of the impact can trigger an attack. It is advised to keep an inhaler in a secure position in the car.
According to the NHTSA, the fatality rate nation-wide rose by 8.1 percent in the first half of 2015. People are traveling more miles, and the Institute of Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports the average car on the road is around 11.4 years. Combined, these two factors are key suspects in what is increasing the rates of fatal crashes.
When you’ve been injured in an accident, how much compensation you may be entitled to depends on various factors, including who was at fault.
Before you begin this process, it is recommended that you speak with an auto accident lawyer who can help you navigate the process, and help protect your rights.
An accident claim will need to be filed with your insurance, as well as the other party’s. Filing with your insurer as soon as possible while the details of the incident are fresh in your mind can help maximize your claim.
The state of Connecticut requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, which will cover property damage and medical expenses when you caused the accident. Collision and comprehensive coverage are better bets that the cost of damages to both parties will be covered. Reviewing your auto insurance policy can help you better understand how you are protected.
Keep in mind that no matter the insurer, paying the lowest possible settlement is their industry practice. In some instances, the damage is so severe any offer from an insurer is likely to be a fraction of the financial and physical impact of the accident. Insurance agencies have teams of lawyers to help them negotiate.
Speak to an attorney who can help to protect you from the questionable tactics of some insurance companies who may look to take advantage of your situation.
The date your accident occurred is considered the start of the time-clock. If you hesitate to file a claim, you could lose all rights to it in the future. There are variances and exceptions, so it is recommended to contact an auto accident attorney who can advise you on Connecticut’s Statute of Limitations.
We understand what you may be going through and we would like to help you. The Flood Law Firm is a group of trial lawyers who have dedicated their careers to seeking justice for the injured.
We are committed to holding individuals and insurance companies accountable when their recklessness causes undue pain and suffering. Our lawyers have decades of combined experience representing the residents of Connecticut and in New England.
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a car accident, please contact our office today for a free case evaluation.