When a car accident causes serious injuries, it can be a life-changing event. Even once the immediate trauma is over, it can take months or even years of recovery to regain lost functionality through intensive physical or occupational therapy and rehabilitation. The emotional strain for the entire family can be enormous as everyone struggles to adapt to a new reality, and the financial strain can be overwhelming.
Many people simply don’t realize the types or extent of injuries that can occur in an accident or what it can mean for future recovery. Here’s what you should be aware of, and why you need to get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Car Accident Injuries
Though many car accidents result in only bumps and bruises, the human body is not designed to withstand the forces involved in a crash. The result is that sometimes even a seemingly minor accident can result in critical or debilitating injuries with long-term consequences. Some examples of severe injuries after a car accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Even a relatively minor bump to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. A TBI can happen without an open wound and without a direct hit to the head at all. When the body is jerked back and forth in a collision, the brain can be crushed against the inside of the skull.
- Eye, mouth, and facial injuries. The flying debris knocked free in a collision can send broken glass, plastic, and metal fragments at the face, causing damage to the eyes and face. And although airbags save lives, the impact of an airbag can shatter the nose, knock teeth loose, damage other facial bones, and leave extensive bruising on the face.
- Neck and spine injuries. The force of impact can cause the head and neck to violently snap back and forth, causing whiplash, shearing injuries, and other trauma. Anywhere along the length of the spine is also vulnerable to injury, which can cause severe pain, loss of feeling, and mobility issues.
- Burn injuries. Combustion engines have extremely hot surfaces and are also full of hot fluids that can spray on impact, causing thermal (heat) burns on anything they touch. Many of the fluids that keep vehicles running can also be caustic or acidic, causing chemical burns on contact.
- Organ damage and internal bleeding. A car injury can cause bruising, tearing, and bleeding to internal organs, leading to an immediate need for surgery.
- Broken bones and joint injuries. It is very common in a car accident for victims to suffer from cracked ribs, broken hands or wrists, knee injuries, and worse.
In some of the worst accidents, limb damage may be so severe that fingers, toes, or entire arms or legs are amputated by the crash, or there may be a medical need to amputate the limb later. Infection during healing is always a major concern, as well, which can greatly lengthen the healing process by requiring many more surgeries or other medical procedures to stabilize the wound.
What to Do After a Severe Car Accident Injury
The truth of our current health care system is that severe accidents can cost an enormous amount of money to recover from—often far more than most families have available in savings or investment. Victims who have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness have a legal right to pursue compensation for the expenses caused by the crash. A personal injury lawsuit is frequently the only way injured victims can seek full financial recovery from the person responsible for the crash, including compensation for:
- Ground or air ambulance service and emergency medical costs
- Surgeries, medication, and follow-up wound care
- Physical or occupational therapy or rehabilitation
- Lost time spent away from work due to the accident and recovery process
- Loss of future wages from a reduced ability to work
Victims may also seek damage awards for pain, suffering, or mental anguish caused by their injuries. The specific damages that may be available to you depend on the facts of your case, so be sure to speak to an attorney to find out what you may be eligible to recover.
How to Get Legal Help
The personal injury attorneys at Lattof & Lattof understand the challenges that victims of severe car accident injuries are going through, and we are here to help you and your family start the recovery process. To get started with your claim, contact us by phone or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation with an experienced legal professional today.