Common Injuries From Car Accidents and When to Seek Legal Help
Over three million people are injured in vehicle accidents each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While some minor injuries heal within a matter of days without any medical treatment, serious injuries can become permanent and result in lifelong physical disability.
Medical bills and lost wages can place an enormous financial burden on victims who are already suffering, which is why it’s crucial to seek legal advice if you’ve been injured in a car accident. The potential for compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries as well as the circumstances of the collision. If you’ve suffered any of the following injuries, contact an attorney to discuss the prospects of your case.
What are the most common injuries from car accidents?
Soft tissue injuries
The most common auto accident injury involves the body’s connective tissue: muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash, caused by sudden stretching of the neck muscles from a rear-end collision, falls into this category. Mid-back and lower-back muscle sprains are also common.
Scrapes and cuts
Any loose objects inside your car become fast-moving projectiles in a car accident—phones, travel mugs, purses, books and anything that isn’t secured down—turning you into a target for scrapes and cuts that might need stitches. And while most cars are outfitted with safety glass that shatters into blocks instead of shards, the pieces are still sharp enough to cause cuts.
While seatbelts protect your body’s core during an accident, arms and legs are vulnerable to injury. Bruises, scrapes, sprains, and breaks can all happen in a car accident, and one of the most common limb injuries involves knees smashing against the dashboard.
Impact with a side window or steering wheel can result in minor or major injuries depending on the severity of the collision. A common misperception is that “closed head” injuries are less severe than open wounds, but damaged tissue and fluid inside the skull can result in anything from a minor concussion to serious brain damage.
Even the slightest damage to the spinal cord can cause significant nerve damage, and severe damage can leave you permanently paralyzed. Herniated disks are also common back injuries from auto accidents. They are less severe than spinal damage but can still cause long-term problems like muscle weakness, arm or leg pain, and persistent tingling sensations.
Seatbelts save lives, but they can also cause bruising due to the high level of force exerted against the chest during an accident. And in major collisions, steering wheels can crush into your chest and cause broken ribs and internal injuries, which require immediate medical attention.
Physical injuries are immediately noticeable, but other injuries might not be so obvious. Emotional distress, even in the absence of physical injury, can have long-term effects that might require counseling and treatment. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most common.
Should I seek legal help?
An experienced attorney specializing in auto accidents and/or personal injury cases can assist you when you’re going up against major auto insurance companies and their team of lawyers. If you’re wondering whether you should call a lawyer, the following list of circumstances that justify legal representation might help you decide:
Severity is determined not only by the type of injury, but also by how long it will take you to recover, the cost of medical bills you’ve already incurred, plus medical costs you anticipate in the future. Long-term injuries (those that take a year or longer to recover from) and permanent injuries (those that disable you for life) will seriously affect your ability to work and the overall quality of life. A personal injury attorney is best positioned to prove your hardship in court and to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Another reason to call a lawyer is if the other driver’s insurance disputes liability for the accident (stating their policyholder is either not at fault or you don’t have enough proof of fault), and refuses to pay for your damages. Proving fault in court is difficult, which is why you’ll want the support of a highly experienced accident attorney.
- Other factors can impact your ability to collect the compensation you deserve, so it’s important to seek legal help if:
- Other parties were involved in the accident such as pedestrians or other cars
- The accident occurred in a construction area
- The police report does not accurately describe the accident and puts you at fault
- Your insurer involves its own attorney or you suspect your insurer might not be working in your best interest.
Hurt in a car accident? Call Salmu Law San Diego today.
You wouldn’t see a dermatologist to treat your head injury, so you shouldn’t choose just any lawyer to help collect compensation after an auto accident. You need someone with specialized personal injury experience and a track record of success. At almu Law in San Diego, that’s exactly what you get. Our attorneys are ethical, experienced, and highly effective. We are serious about the work we do, and we get results. So call us for a consultation today.