An injury sustained in an auto accident can have devastating effects. Your health along with your ability to work and support your family are all at risk. In addition, a serious injury will result in costly medical bills.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you could end up dealing with short-term, long-term, or permanent disability. It’s important you take steps to protect yourself so you get proper medical treatment and plan for the financial future of you and your family.
A car accident is traumatic. If you’ve sustained injuries, you’re probably stressed and confused about what steps you need to take next.
The most important thing is to stay informed. To help you out, we’re going over some of the most common accident injuries. We’ll also discuss what you should do directly after an accident.
Let’s get started.
Common Types of Accident Injuries
The type of injury you sustain during an accident directly affects the type of compensation you’re entitled to. The type of insurance a driver has is also a factor.
However, you may have suffered an injury that requires ongoing care. In this case, further legal action is needed if the other driver was negligent.
Let’s look at some of the more serious accident injuries that have more long-term side-effects.
Back and Neck Injuries
The most common auto accident injury is whiplash. The sudden impact of a car wreck causes the neck to stretch and then quickly whip back. When this occurs, damage to vertebrae, disks, ligaments and even the spinal cord may occur.
Depending on the severity, this injury can affect functionality in different limbs or even cause paralysis. Furthermore, even a minor case of whiplash can cause serious pain now and in the future.
During an accident, serious blows to the head are quite common. Depending on the velocity of the cars upon impact, a traumatic brain injury could occur.
There are different degrees of brain injuries. Minor concussions heal on their own after a few weeks, but more severe brain trauma could impair vision, speech, and memory.
The design and use of airbags have cut down the severity of chest injuries during an auto accident. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.
If a person isn’t wearing a seatbelt when a collision occurs, broken ribs or sternum may result. In a high-impact accident, a person may suffer a chest injury even while wearing a seatbelt.
Abdominal or Pelvis Injuries
Many side-impact collisions result in a hip or pelvic fractures. Abdominal organs could also be affected. Common injuries to the abdomen involve the kidneys, spleen or liver.
Broken legs and knee injuries occur when a person gets crushed during a high-impact collision. If a knee gets twisted sharply, it could lead to torn cartilage.
Broken arms may also occur during side-impact collisions where a person’s body takes a direct hit from a car.
What to Do After a Car Wreck
Regardless of who’s at fault, there are certain things you need to do right away. The most important thing to consider at the time of an accident is the physical health of everyone involved.
The first thing you’ll want to do is call the police. Even if the accident is minor, a police report needs to be made. If it’s a major accident, the police need to make a report and help with traffic issues and ensure the safety of all parties involved.
If critical accident injuries were sustained by any party, you need to call an ambulance. The police will do this if they feel it’s needed, but if a person is facing life-threatening injuries, don’t wait.
If you’ve sustained injuries but don’t need an ambulance, it’s essential you get to the hospital right away. Putting off medical assistance could result in further injury.
If you’re able, you need to make contact with the other driver and exchange personal information. This includes contact information, their driver’s license, and insurance. Take a photo of these items with your phone to make sure you have accurate information.
If there are any witnesses, ask if they’ll speak to the police about the accident. It’s also a good idea to get their contact information.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
After you’ve seen a doctor and determined the extent of your accident injuries, you may feel it’s necessary to contact an attorney. It’s better to do this sooner than later.
It’s likely you’ll need to have follow-up appointments with your doctor. Or, you may have a serious injury that you know will result in long-term or permanent disability. In any case, your medical bills will start piling up fast.
When you contact an attorney, make sure and provide every piece of information from the accident. They’ll need to evaluate the wreck to form a good plan of action if you need to go to court.
Statute of Limitations
You’ve probably heard the term “statute of limitations.” This refers to the amount of time a claimant has to take legal action after an incident. For auto accidents in the state Louisiana, this is one year from when the injury occurred.
This means that if you decide to file a claim against the other driver for compensation, the clock is ticking. This includes a claim for either an injury sustained or vehicle damage.
That’s why it’s best to contact an attorney right away. They will be able to advise you of your rights and the best course of action for your case.
Protect Yourself After a Car Accident
Addressing your accident injuries is the most important step after an auto accident. Even minor injuries can be deceiving and end up causing health issues down the road. Getting the proper care immediately helps avoid future medical issues.
Whether your injuries are minor or serious, you need to protect yourself by working with an experienced auto accident attorney in your area.
If you’ve been injured, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.
Your case, your recovery — and your future will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.™
If you have any questions about this article or want to visit with a lawyer for free, call Stephen at (225) 500-5000, toll-free at (800) 939-0911 or contact us here.
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