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Types of Car Accident Injuries

The injuries you suffered are a major focus of any case or insurance claim. A great majority of our clients find themselves rushed by ambulance to the hospital shortly after the accident. It is important that you and your family make every effort to get the best treatment available and follow all your treatment recommendations. Later on, our medical records and the testimony from your own doctors and medical providers will be important evidence to substantiate your injuries and the cause of those injuries.

If you are rear-ended, you likely suffered a minimum some form of whiplash when you were thrown back and forth at the time of impact. Sometimes you may not feel the full extent of the injuries for several days. Most commonly, car accident victims suffer what we call soft tissue injuries which are injuries to the connective tissues in your spine and neck and in the muscles. While x-rays will show that you do not have any broken bones, these soft tissue injuries can be very painful.

We also represent car accident victims who suffer catastrophic and severe injuries. Broken bones are common in car accidents, as are internal injuries that may require surgery. Shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff injuries, often require surgery to repair the shoulder. We also see many injuries that are the result of exacerbation of some condition that you had already. The law allows you to recover for the full extent of your injury in most cases, even if you had a pre-existing condition that made you more susceptible, a situation that is discussed more in our pre-existing condition section.

No matter the severity of injury, you and your family should schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney at our firm who can help you determine the proper course of action. Do not let the insurance companies downplay or minimize your injuries. To you, every change in your life and every bit of pain takes a dramatic toll on your life and warrants compensation.

Soft Tissue Injuries

If you are feeling pain in your neck and back but x-rays are showing no breaks or fractures, you likely have soft tissue injuries. In an accident, the soft tissues – or connective tissues – in your spine and in your muscles are often stretched and become inflamed. This is a very painful event and the recovery often requires treatment from a doctor, chiropractor or other medical practitioner and a combination of massage treatment and physical therapy.

In severe cases, you may need ongoing pain treatment that requires injections or other more advanced medical treatment. Soft tissue injuries are typically seen in instances where your doctor diagnoses you with a strain or sprain, usually of your cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions. A good visualization of these types of injuries and the internal mechanics of the injury can be found here.

Insurance companies hate soft tissue cases and fight these types of injuries above and beyond almost any other type of injury, as CNN reported. Because x-rays and other diagnostic tools typically cannot show sprains and strains or other soft tissue injuries, insurance adjusters will accuse you of having no “objective” findings to support your injuries. They want to argue that your injury is all in your head and made up.

Don’t be taken advantage of by the insurance companies. We know that even low speed collisions can produce significant pain and suffering that requires medical treatment. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your soft tissue injuries.

Whiplash Injuries

Neck injuries are all too common, particularly in rear-end accidents when your head snaps back and forth at impact.   A similar phenomenon occurs in other types of accidents as well when you are thrown back and forth and your head moves back and forth violently.

Symptoms of whiplash may not occur for 24 hours or more following an accident. It is important to realize that following an accident your adrenaline is rushing – you may be in shock and be concentrating on securing your family and passenger’s safety ahead of your own physical well being. If you experience neck pain, it is likely caused by the muscles and ligaments in your neck being damaged in the accident.

The National Institute of Health has a general guideline for treatment of whiplash. This treatment includes medications, range of motion exercises and physical therapy and cervical traction. If your injuries are more severe, your doctor will be there to instruct you on the best means of recovery.

Neck pain is very serious and can have an enormous impact on your life. Sleep, work, driving and sitting are often difficult, as is computer work or typing. If you continue to have neck pain after an accident, get in to see your family doctor as soon as possible. Also contact our firm to schedule an appointment with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you with your whiplash case.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Head injuries happen regularly in car accidents, particularly when you strike your head on the interior of the vehicle or windshield. The Center for Disease Control indicates that fourteen percent of all brain injuries are caused by car accidents.

Brain injuries and concussions range from mild head trauma and concussions to severe brain injuries that can result in death, paralysis or long term impairment. Brain injury cases can be very difficult cases for all involved, including the victim, his or her family, treating doctors and your lawyer. People with severe brain injuries often experience cognitive problems that can impair memory, concentration and learning disabilities. In severe cases, important memories regarding family and friends may be lost and basic motor skills may be lost.

If your or a loved one suffer a brain injury in a car accident, contact our attorneys today to schedule a meeting amongst your family and our lawyers. Often your family members are important witnesses who will play an important role in the success of your case. Your treating neurologists and care givers will also be important witnesses.

Contact your doctor If you notice that you or a family member is in a car accident, contact your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding from the ears or nose
  • Memory problems
  • Balance issues
  • Confusion

The Alzheimer’s Association provides excellent information regarding traumatic brain injury symptoms that may be a helpful guide to you and your loved ones.

Concussions and Post-Concussion Syndrome

Football players and athletes are not the only ones that suffer concussions. Car accidents also cause many concussions when accident victims suffer blows to the head during the accident. Whether by hitting the steering wheel, window, windshield or air bag, car accidents certainly can produce significant head injuries.

The Center for Disease Control provides an excellent guideline regarding symptoms of concussions. These symptoms are wide-ranging and include short-term confusion, headaches and memory problems to longer term symptoms that do not resolve. Concussions can resolve quickly but cannot also linger for weeks or months.

If you suspect that you suffered a blow to your head during a car accident, be sure to tell your doctor about the head injury and any symptoms that you have or had. People who suffer a concussion are more susceptible to further concussions in the future and increase their risk of head injury. If someone is still recovering from the symptoms of a head injury and suffers a repeat injury, the result can be a significant brain injury.

Post concussive syndrome also usually accompanies a concussion and includes the ongoing symptoms that a person has as he or she recovers from the concussion. Headaches and dizziness may continue for weeks or months as the brain recovers from trauma. The Mayo Clinic provides an excellent resource guide for victims of concussions who continue to suffer from post concussion syndrome.

Catastrophic and Severe Injuries

Life altering injuries following a car accident are the worst case scenario for you and your family. Severe injuries that occur in car accidents may include broken bones, dislocated joints, torn ligaments, brain and severe spinal injuries, and other injuries that require extensive medical treatment and often leave a victim with injuries that affect his or her life forever. While there is no exact definition for catastrophic injuries, we usually refer to the most severe of injuries as catastrophic because the accident truly is catastrophe for all involved.

We are often contacted by family members or friends of victims who cannot speak for themselves due to their injuries or hospitalizations. If a loved one is paralyzed due to a car accident, he or she will be reliant on family and support. During this time, you and your family do not have time to waste dealing with insurance companies and adjusters who will harass your family without any regard for your situation.

When your family is at its most vulnerable, you need help and the support of compassionate attorneys who can help shield you from insurance companies and determine what recourse your family has. Severe and catastrophic injuries almost always involved tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, along with long-term care plans, in-home caretakers and concerns regarding your family’s welfare and economic security. We will need to explore every avenue of recovery and exhaust every possible source of resources for your family.

Contact our attorneys to schedule a meeting with our attorneys. If you and your family cannot come to our office, we can come to you, day or night, to immediately begin helping your family make the best of a bad situation.

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