Many common injuries from car accidents in Virginia (and the country) include whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. In 2020, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported 52,668 injuries and 847 fatalities involving car accidents across the state.
Some of these injuries required emergency medical care and led to permanent impairment. Victims who suffer car accident injuries have a right to seek compensation through insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits.
Car Accidents Are a Leading Cause of Severe Injuries
Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians face risks whenever they travel on the road, even while driving just a few miles away from home. Accident-related injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to life-threatening injuries. Regardless of whether motorists buckle up, the impact of a crash can cause extensive damage.
The following injuries are common after car accidents:
Whiplash occurs when the neck violently whips back and forth. Motorists and passengers often experience this during rear-end car accidents.
Whiplash symptoms include pain, stiffness, and headaches, which may take days or weeks to manifest after a car accident. The pain typically worsens with movement and can cause tenderness, soreness, and tingling in the shoulders, upper back, and arms.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. They can range from mild to severe, and some lead to life-long complications. Motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of all traumatic brain injuries, and they often require emergency medical care.
A concussion is another injury that can result from a blow to the head. Mayo Clinic states that they can lead to:
- Memory loss
- Event-specific amnesia
- Brain damage
- Prolonged drowsiness
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries involve damage to any part of your spinal cord or the nerves at the end of your spinal canal. This type of injury often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other bodily functions below the injury site. It can limit your ability to move or control your limbs.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of spinal cord injuries.
Broken bones, or fractures, can lead to:
- An inability to use the affected limb
There are different types of fractures, such as a hairline fracture, and some require surgery and casting.
Car Accident Injuries Are Costly, But Victims Could Recover Compensation
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018 car accident injuries cost $11 million in medical expenses. Virginia victims likely suffered a chunk of those financial losses. Medical bills can cripple a family’s finances, but victims have the option to pursue compensation for their losses.
A settlement or court-awarded offer may account for both current and future medical bills for car accident injuries. You may also qualify for other damages, such as lost wages and “pain and suffering,” and inconvenience.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment for Car Accident Injuries
Consider the following reasons for seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident:
Treatment Can Prevent Further Injury
Some car accident injuries are minor and heal on their own, but others require treatment. You will not know how bad your injury is until you see a doctor. If you forgo medical treatment, your injury could worsen into a chronic complication or permanent impairment.
A Doctor Can Link Your Injuries to the Accident
When pursuing compensation for car accident injuries, you have to prove the other driver’s negligence led to your losses.
Medical documentation can provide the link between the accident and your injuries, preventing an insurer from claiming you had a pre-existing condition. This evidence can prevent them from undervaluing or denying your claim.
Medical Documentation Can Support Your Claim for Future Losses
When calculating your damages, you will want to consider any ongoing medical care your injuries may require. To seek fair compensation, you will need medical documentation of your prognosis to account for future medical expenses.
The Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, driver error accounted for most car accidents in 2020. The department analyzed various forms of negligence on the road and found the following infractions most hazardous:
- Alcohol intoxication
- Running traffic lights
- Following too closely
- Improper lane changes
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Improper backing, passing, or turning
Virginia takes driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety very seriously. The state imposes seat belt and car seat laws. It also sets heavy penalties for driving while under the influence of alcohol or while texting on a cell phone.
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Virginia Requires Drivers to Report Car Accidents That Cause Injuries
VA § 46.2-894 requires anyone involved in a car accident causing injury, death, or property damages to report their accident to the police. All drivers involved in a crash must provide the following information:
- Driver’s License Number
- Vehicle Registration Number
Severe injuries could prevent an accident victim from promptly reporting this information. However, they must do so as soon as possible following necessary medical treatments. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge.
You Could Work with a Car Accident Attorney in Virginia to Secure Compensation
If you suffer from one or more of the common injuries from a car accident in Virginia, you could recover compensation for your losses. A car accident lawyer from our firm can handle your claim. They can also represent you in a trial. This way, you won’t have to stumble through your case alone.
Your attorney can help you understand the full scope of your recoverable expenses for the injuries you suffered. Jim Parrish has experience representing insurance companies. He now uses this experience to serve accident victims. Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at (571) 229-1800 for a free consultation.