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Car accidents can cause serious harm. The average passenger vehicle stands 5 to 6 feet tall and weighs more than 3,500 pounds. When these vehicles collide at high speeds, or a vehicle slams into with a stationary object, those in the vehicle may be seriously injured. A car crashing into a pedestrian or bicyclist can do even more damage to those who are not protected by the vehicle itself.
Some car accident injuries are immediately obvious. Others take hours or even days to fully appear. Some, such as brain injuries or post-traumatic stress, are not visible on the outside of the body — but they can be just as severe and debilitating as any visible injury.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, medical attention is a necessity — and for reasons beyond your health itself. As a former attorney for insurance companies, Jim Parrish understands the type of medical documentation that is needed to prove a claim for compensation. Contact our Virginia car accident lawyers today to discuss your injuries and find out how we can help. Call or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation about your car accident law suit.
Common Injuries in Car Crashes
Although nearly any part of the body can be injured in a car accident, some types of car accident injuries are more common than others. These include:
- Head Injuries. Injuries to the head and brain can easily occur when the force of an accident causes the head to strike any part of the vehicle, or the force jerks the head and neck forward and backward suddenly. Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions may result. Even a mild concussion can cause lingering problems with pain, nausea, dizziness, motor control, attention, mood, or memory. Skull fractures, facial scarring or disfigurement, and other severe injuries may also result.
- Neck and Spine Injuries. One of the most common types of car accident injuries is “whiplash,” or damage to the soft tissues of the neck when the head is jerked sharply forward and backward. Because the damage can be very deep in the soft tissues, it can take a day or two for whiplash symptoms to become fully apparent. Injuries to the bones of the spine or to the spinal cord can also occur, causing severe pain and, in some cases, paralysis.
- Broken Bones and Crush Injuries. The adult human body contains 206 bones. Children’s bodies contain more. A fracture in any of these bones can cause severe pain and require surgery to correct, followed by a lengthy period of rehabilitation. “Crush” injuries occur when a part of the body is squeezed or crushed, which can damage not only the bones but also the soft tissues. The risk of infection after a crush injury is quite high, and in some cases, a crush injury site must be amputated in order to save the patient’s life.
- Psychological Injuries. Trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event. The brain attempts to protect you from further harm by clearly labeling the accident as dangerous and scary. In the weeks and months following the accident, however, it is not uncommon for the brain to have trouble putting that danger in perspective. This can lead to anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These symptoms are every bit as real and disabling as any physical injuries. Like physical injuries, psychological injuries should be treated promptly to maximize your chances at a full recovery.
What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Car Accident?
Whether your injuries were immediately obvious or have become clear to you over time, there are steps you can take to protect your health, improve your chances of recovery, and preserve the medical evidence you’ll need to build a strong claim for car accident compensation. These include:
- See a doctor as soon as possible. If you have not seen a doctor yet, or if you have developed new symptoms since the accident, see a doctor immediately. This appointment will help ensure that the full extent of your injuries is properly diagnosed and treated. It will also create a “track record” of the harm you have suffered.
- Follow all your doctor’s instructions carefully. If your doctor schedules you for tests such as X-rays, surgery consultations, or appointments with specialists, make sure you go. If you are prescribed medical devices or medications, read the instructions carefully, follow them, and call your doctor if you have any questions. Always attend each of your physical therapy or other rehabilitation appointments. Doing so helps you increase your chances of recovery and demonstrates that you are acting in good faith to get well.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company about your injuries. It is best to say as little as possible to any insurance company representative — no matter which company they represent or how concerned they seem about your condition. If you talk about your health, you risk saying something that might be used against you as you fight for compensation.
What Types of Compensation Are Available for Car Accident Injuries?
Although the specific types and amounts always depend on the particular facts of each accident, the compensation pursued in most of these cases includes:
- Medical bills and related expenses. These include emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and other services and items you need in order to treat your car accident injuries.
- Lost wages. If you cannot work because of your injuries, you may seek compensation for the wages you lost because you weren’t on the job.
- Lost household services. If you had to hire someone to do household tasks that you normally do — such as childcare, cleaning, or yard work — you may seek compensation for these costs.
- Property damage. Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle or other property lost or damaged in the accident is often included in car accident compensation claims.
- Pain and suffering. Your attorney may pursue compensation for the agony you have endured as a result of the accident.
- Compensation for future losses. Some car accident injuries cause permanent impairments that limit your ability to do the things you once did. If your situation falls in this category, you may also be able to seek damages for the medical bills and other losses you will face in the future.
When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer Who Cares
Manassas car accident lawyer Jim Parrish knows how hard insurance companies will fight to avoid paying injured people the compensation they need — because he once represented insurance companies in that fight. Today, Jim Parrish and the team at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC devote their experience, knowledge, and resources to fighting on behalf of injured people.
We get to know our clients personally, and we take your needs seriously. To learn more, contact our office today.