What Your Family Needs to Know if You’ve Been in a Car Accident
Once you have been in an accident and have been injured, no matter how minor or serious your injuries are, you will likely need to receive medical care. It could be a simple inpatient procedure (an examination, stitches, etc.) to long-term medical care requiring surgery and hospitalization. In the most severe cases, surviving accident victims require long-term care for the rest of their lives due to catastrophic injuries. If this happens to you, you may require your family to assist with the details of your care. When families are thrust into these situations, there are important things they need to understand.
The Causes and Effects of Car Crashes
It is common to refer to vehicle collisions as “accidents”; however, this is not accurate in most cases. Many collisions are caused by a driver’s negligence or reckless behavior behind the wheel. There are millions of accidents in the US every year caused by various factors:
- An average of 6 million car collisions occur in the US every year.
- Over 90 people are killed in collisions every day, and over 9 of these daily deaths are caused by distracted driving.
- Out of all the collisions, 6% result in fatality, 27% result in non-fatal injury, and 72% result in property damage.
- Three million people are injured every year in car collisions.
- Approximately 2 million people are injured permanently every year.
- About 40% of collisions are caused by alcohol, 30% by speeding, and 33% by reckless driving.
Common Car Wreck Injuries
Many types of injuries can be sustained from a vehicle collision. Depending on what type of injuries you have incurred, your family will need to work with medical personnel to understand the appropriate care you will require. Common types of injuries sustained in a car wreck include:
Head and Back Injuries
Drivers and passengers alike are at risk for these injuries during a collision. Occupants striking their heads against steering wheels, windshields, dashboards, seats in front of them, and other occupants can incur head and brain injuries. Head and brain injuries can range from skull fractures, hearing loss, or vision impairment to concussions, comas, and lasting cognitive damage. Long-term care may be required after these types of injuries.
Along with head trauma, back injuries are also common. These injuries can range from loss of sensation in the arms and legs to herniated disks and, in severe cases, spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis.
Neck and Chest Injuries
Most have heard of the term whiplash. This is caused by sudden movement of the head and neck and can cause neck muscle and ligament injury. The degree of whiplash tends to differ based on accident severity and the general health of the occupants before the collision occurred. General swelling of the neck is common, and collision victims have reported temporary vocal cord paralysis as well.
Below the neck, blunt force trauma can cause injury to the chest resulting in collapsed lungs, broken ribs, and other organ and bone damage. Organ damage can cause internal bleeding; this requires immediate on-site medical attention and will most likely require surgery and hospitalization. Occupants with prior heart problems may also go into cardiac arrest caused by the trauma of a vehicle collision.
Other common injuries after a car accident include broken bones, ligament damage, and injuries to the arms, legs, hands, and feet. In severe cases, loss of limbs may occur.
But it’s not just physical injuries that can have lasting effects on a victim’s well-being. Collision trauma can cause emotional distress requiring therapy long after the collision has occurred, especially if the death of another occupant has occurred.
Medical Expenses, Insurance, and the Importance of Legal Assistance
The type and extent of medical care you will require will vary greatly based on what types of injuries you incur during a vehicle collision. If any type of medical attention is required, your family will have some level of medical expenses to handle. Medical expenses can begin with the arrival of paramedics at the scene to hospital care and long-term care well after the collision. Medical expenses can quickly add up; depending on your family’s financial situation at the time of the collision, these expenses can cause serious financial burden. You and your family will want to get all of the medical care you require; however, it is also important for you to understand the importance of having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side when someone else has caused your injuries — like in a car crash.
It is also important for your family to understand the coverage offered by your vehicle policy, homeowner’s policy, and health insurance plan. The sad truth is that insurance companies will try and save money along the way while processing your claim. These are not circumstances your family will be able to face alone. It is of the utmost importance for your family to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a vehicle collision to ensure that you and your family’s interests are protected.
Hossley & Embry: Representing Car Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle collision, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hossley & Embry. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your claim, go head to head with the insurance companies, and strive to hold those responsible to the fullest extent of the law and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call our offices at (866) 522-9265, or fill out a convenient contact form. We have the resources available (including charter aircraft) to travel throughout Texas and the United States on short notice to investigate your potential claim.
5 most common types of motor vehicle accident injuries. (2016). Physicians Now Urgent Care. Retrieved from https://myphysiciansnow.com/5-common-types-motor-vehicle-accident-injuries/
Infographic: Car accident statistics in the U.S. (2015). Certified Paralegals Community. Retrieved from http://www.certifiedparalegals.org/infographic-car-accident-statistics/
Findlaw (2016). Types of Car Accident Injuries. Retrieved from http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/types-of-car-accident-injuries.html