In the wake of suffering an injurious car crash, nothing matters more than attending to your health. It’s vital to receive all the medical care you need so that you can regain your health as soon as possible. Another reason to follow all physician recommendations – the failure to do so could compromise any lawsuits you might file against others involved in your wreck.
Here’s a look at some of the typical car crash injuries and how they might impact a car accident lawsuit.
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When To Seek Medical Treatment After Sustaining Car Crash Injuries
If your accident just happened and you haven’t experienced any obvious harm, it’s still important to seek medical attention. Not all injuries from a minor car accident make themselves known immediately. You may have internal injuries or car accident injuries that require surgery and you’re simply not aware of them yet. Failure to get treated properly could compromise your health and your legal options.
If you have obvious injuries, you’ll want to get checked out immediately and follow up with your care team as needed. If you’re holding off on going to the doctor because you’re worried about how you’re going to pay for your medical bills, know that you may be entitled to compensation from insurance companies, at-fault parties, and/or the workers’ compensation system that will cover your medical expenses. Bottom line: if you need medical attention, go get it.
The Most Common Car Crash Injuries
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 5 million auto accidents occurred on U.S. roads in a single year. As a result of those wrecks, more than 2 million people suffered non-fatal injuries and nearly 40,000 people died. So you’re certainly not alone in suffering as a result of a car crash. Some of the most common reasons why Americans need to see a doctor after a car accident include:
- Whiplash: When the force of impact from a crash forces the neck to rock back and forth, a soft-tissue injury known as whiplash can occur. This condition may not manifest symptoms until days after the crash and is caused most often by rear-end accidents.
- Internal Bleeding: In the wake of an accident, your body may be bleeding even if you haven’t been cut. Undiagnosed internal bleeding can be fatal, which is one reason why it’s important to get checked out by a doctor after a crash, even if you don’t see any observable injuries.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: From mild concussions to massive head trauma, TBIs generally occur after car crashes when the brain knocks into the skull on impact, an object pierces the skull, or blunt force causes the brain to move inside the skull.
- PTSD: Injuries sustained from trauma aren’t always physical. They can be psychological too, as accident victims struggle to process the trauma of a crash. Post-traumatic stress disorder often develops in auto accident victims through no fault of their own.
- Spinal Injury: Spinal injuries can range in severity from pain to paralysis. If you’re struggling with back pain after a car accident, alert your physician.
- Broken Bones: Great force placed on the bones can cause them to crack. Unless broken bones are properly set, they can cause lifelong challenges for an accident victim.
- Miscarriage: The trauma and impact of a car accident can result in loss of pregnancy.
- Burns: Car accident burns can be caused by fire or by exposure to certain chemicals.
Recovering Compensation For Your Losses
If your car crash injuries were work-related, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation damages. If so, you’ll want to act quickly because the workers’ compensation claims process is among the most time-sensitive processes in the U.S. legal system. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, so you may be entitled to compensation even if your crash was your fault.
If your accident was either not your fault or partially your fault, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your lawsuit is successful, you may receive a damages award for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic (or “special”) damages are relatively easy to quantify and include medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity in the event of disability caused by the crash. Non-economic (or “general”) damages may include awards for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.
Don’t make assumptions about the strength or weakness of your case until you’ve had your circumstances professionally evaluated. You may be entitled to more compensation than you’d think.
How Your Injuries Can Influence Your Case
Injury victims must generally prove three primary things about their harm before they can be awarded damages:
- They are injured.
- They were injured as a direct result of the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct.
- Their injuries caused financial consequences, such as medical bills or lost wages.
Legal counsel hired by a personal injury defendant may try to challenge your injuries on any one of these grounds. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to gather and preserve evidence related to an accident as quickly as possible. Strong evidence supporting these legal elements can make all the difference in a case.
Here are some tips for maintaining the strength of the evidence for your case:
- Communicate clearly about your injuries when speaking with medical providers – neither exaggerate nor downplay your harm.
- Request copies of all medical records related to your injuries and check them for accuracy; if you find inaccurate information, ensure that your provider fixes your chart.
- Take great care when posting on social media and speaking with others about your injuries until your case is resolved; the misinterpretation of a single stray comment or photo could compromise your case.
Do You Need Compensation For Your Car Crash Injuries?
If you’ve been injured in an accident and need medical attention, seek care immediately. Once you’re stable, you can schedule a free case evaluation with a local lawyer to determine whether you’re entitled to compensation.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.