Each year, more than three million people are treated for car crash injuries in the U.S. Injuries are a major source of economic hardship in Georgia, both for families and the state at large.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that medical treatment and work absences related to car accidents cost Georgia $1.63 billion in total economic losses in 2013. In 2018, the state saw 1,504 traffic deaths. In 2016, Georgia experienced 151,606 traffic injuries.
The following are some of the most common injuries that can occur during a car accident. Anyone who has sustained these or another form of collision-related losses should take advantage of a free case review with an Atlanta car accident lawyer. Call 404-800-1156 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review today.
Types of Damages Available After a Car Accident in Atlanta
According to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-2, there are two main types of damages recoverable after a car accident: general and special.
Special damages are generally easy to calculate, as they relate to real money you lost. As such, they are often called “economic” damages. Special damages often include:
- Lost wages
- Past and estimated future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitation costs
- Estimated future lost wages
- Lost employment opportunities
General damages are designed to compensate you for losses that can’t easily be assigned a monetary value. As such, they are often called “noneconomic” damages. Because these damages aren’t related to a monetary loss, they are usually assessed as a multiplier for the real money you did lose.
Factors that can be considered in the general damages multiplier include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- General suffering
- Physical disfigurement
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
Georgia law says that general damages are those that can apply to generally all personal injury cases to some extent. However, special damages are “unique to your case. For example, two similar car wrecks can result in vastly different injuries and, therefore, medical bills.
To determine how much you may be owed, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will first take all of your special damages into account and calculate how much you have spent out of pocket. Then, they will consider your general damages and determine which multiplier should be applied (between 1.5 and 5) based on the likely future costs of your condition. The worse your injuries and their impact on your life, the higher the multiplier.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injuries can have a major effect on brain health, mobility, and quality of life. The most severe form of head injury is called a “traumatic brain injury” or TBI.
According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations in the U.S. In fact, TBI caused by a car accident is the leading cause of death for U.S. adults 25 – 34 as well as adults 75 years and older.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are another devastating possible outcome of a car accident. Individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury risk paralysis, tingling in the extremities, motor skill dysfunction, chronic pain, and even premature death.
Like TBIs, spinal cord injuries are commonly caused by major car accidents. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injury, causing 39.3% of them from 2015 – 2018.
Fractures (Broken Bones)
A bone fracture is a major injury that severely limits mobility and can take several months to heal. Major fractures, such as a compound fracture, hip fracture, or femur fracture, can require surgery. Patients recovering from a major fracture risk infection, internal organ damage, hemorrhaging, and a permanent limitation of their mobility.
Some common fractures that occur during car accidents include hip fractures, wrist fractures, forearm fractures, and spinal fractures. Broken ribs and broken collar bones are also common, and unfortunately cannot be set in a cast. Sufferers of broken ribs simply have to bear the pain and limit activities while they heal.
Some common injuries that result from car accidents are difficult to detect. For instance, damage to internal organs can lead to general symptoms that could go untreated if the car accident victim neglects to get a thorough diagnosis.
Hernias, for example, are common during accidents where the seat belt digs into the victim’s abdomen. Other common internal injuries related to car accident trauma include perforated bowels, punctured lungs, and internal bleeding.
Soft Tissue Injuries to the Neck and Shoulders
Injuries that affect the muscles, ligaments, and tendons are collectively referred to as “soft tissue injuries.”
A whiplash injury is a type of soft tissue injury that affects the neck and shoulders, causing severe pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and a host of other symptoms. Car accidents are a leading cause of whiplash, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Injuries to the shoulders, rotator cuff, and back tissues are also common. These can be difficult to treat, leading to a lengthy recovery period hampered by chronic pain and a lack of mobility.
Lacerations, Abrasions, Impalements, and Burns
Even small injuries can take their toll after a car accident. Victims may have deep cuts or friction burns, also known as road rash. Impalements can also occur as a result of vehicle debris and flying objects within the vehicle cabin. Actual burns can occur during car accidents, too, usually caused by ignited fuel. Chemical burns can also happen as a result of airbag deployment, especially in older vehicle models.
Seek Compensation With an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney
If your car accident was caused by a negligent driver or someone else, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your losses with the help of a car accident lawyer in Atlanta.
Rafi Law Firm has represented thousands of victims like you, and we have a history of winning big cases on behalf of our clients.
Call us today at 404-800-1156 or contact us online to find out about your options and available legal strategies for filing a car accident injury claim. Your appointment is always free, and there’s no obligation to work with us afterward, so call us today.
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