- Over 7,000 people a day went to the ER for car accident injuries in 2012
- Costs of medical bills for car crashes in 2012 totaled $18 billion
- 3 out of 5 individuals who seek counseling after a crash get diagnosed with PTSD
Car accidents are incredibly common in our society, and they have become a leading cause of unintentional injury and accidental death in the U.S. If you have been in a car accident, knowing about the most typical injuries you might sustain can help you identify health problems early on and hopefully seek better treatment as a result.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 2.5 million people visited the emergency department (ED) for car accident injuries from in 2012, equaling an average of over 7,000 per day.
These visits can reveal injuries that have substantial medical costs. Estimates for the cost of medical care for car accident injuries in 2012 totaled $18 billion, according to the CDC’s report.
Motor vehicle crash victims can be left with astronomical bills that they may be unable to pay — even with health insurance. In these situations, it is best to turn to a car accident attorney in Atlanta who can represent their injury claim and seek damages against all at-fault parties.
To help you know what types of injuries and symptoms to look out for when you seek treatment after your crash, take a look at the eight most common injuries from car accidents below.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur any time the skull is struck or the body experiences tremendous forces, such as those that can happen in a car accident. Commonly called a “concussion,” a TBI can cause damage to brain and nervous system tissues, potentially resulting in both permanent and temporary symptoms.
According to the CDC, more than 392,000 TBI cases occurred as a result of car crash injuries.
Common symptoms of TBI include difficulty speaking, constant fatigue, dizziness, unexplained headaches, confusion, loss of consciousness, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light and sound, and other issues. TBIs can lead to permanent brain damage, especially if left untreated.
Car accident victims who sustain a TBI may have lifelong symptoms or disabilities.
The Mayo Clinic defines a whiplash injury as, “a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip,” that, “most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident.”
Sufferers of a whiplash injury may notice extreme neck pain during movement, stiffness, headaches, upper back or shoulder pain, disturbed sleep, blurred vision, and fatigue. Sometimes cognitive problems also develop, including irritability, depression, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, and more.
Many whiplash injuries go undetected after car accidents, leading to worsening symptoms and related conditions that compound over time. Accident victims should be sure to investigate the possibility of whiplash and have their condition evaluated carefully by a physician.
Cuts and Impaling
In bad crashes, someone might be injured by broken glass or by objects, sometimes causing deep cuts requiring stitches. Head wounds are particularly concerning because of the possibility of a TBI or whiplash. Even minor cuts can pose complications, as they can become infected while sapping energy during recovery.
Ribs are protected by many things in our body, but they are ultimately fragile compared to most bones. As a result, a serious impact can lead to broken or bruised ribs. These types of injuries often cause sharp chest or abdominal pain and make normal physical activities difficult.
Since treating a broken rib can be difficult to impossible, patients are often given medication for their pain and instructed to get lots of rest to recover.
A major car crash can lead to many bone breaks, sometimes requiring surgery followed by an extensive recovery period. What’s more, car accidents can cause bones to break in unusual places on the body. Examples of common fractures after a crash include a broken femur, pelvis, shoulder, or wrist.
Front passengers in vehicles often face the risk of their knees slamming into the panels in front of them or to their side in a crash. Major knee injuries are thus common in car crashes, causing bruising and breaks. Sometimes major surgery is needed to repair joints, which necessitates a lengthy rehabilitation. Some knee injuries may result in permanent loss of mobility or cause victims to have an unusual gait.
Spinal injuries can happen during major car accidents, especially forceful rear-end crashes capable of causing major whiplash. One of the most common spinal injuries occurs when the disc between two vertebrae gets squeezed too hard and pushes out or ruptures. This injury is called a “herniated disc” in medical terms, and it can lead to nervous system damage along with quite a bit of pain.
Individuals who suspect they may have a neck or back injury should investigate whether they have a herniated disc through imaging tests and physical examination.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and “Emotional Scarring”
Car crashes are terrifying and extremely traumatic to go through. One second you may be driving to get lunch or go see a friend, and then the next you are laying up against an airbag on the side of the road surrounded by broken glass.
Psychological research shows that about 9% of people who have a car accident get diagnosed with PTSD. Those who deliberately seek mental health treatment after an accident have a much higher rate of trauma — 60% get diagnosed with PTSD.
Pain and suffering are so common that they have become a standard part of insurance settlements after car accidents. Individuals who have significant mental scarring or who have a history of trauma may be inclined to seek larger than typical damages in order to help them cope with the mental effects of their crash.
Fighting for Compensation for Your Crash Injury Costs with a Car Accident Attorney in Atlanta
Without even looking at the property damage they cause, car accidents can cause individuals to rack up significant debt as a result of medical bills and related expenses.
However, if the cause of the crash was the fault of another driver — or multiple drivers — then injury victims have the right to seek an injury liability claim with the help of a car accident attorney in Atlanta.
Your attorney can help you assemble your claim, including evidence of fault, evidence of your injury costs, and defenses against common tactics at-fault parties and their insurers may use to reduce or deny your claim. In addition to recovering the costs of your medical bills, your claim can also seek compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability or disfigurement you may have.
If you have been in a car accident and think you might be facing significant injury costs, you can schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer today. Contact the Rafi Law firm online or by phone at 404-948-3311 to take the first steps of making your injury claim now.