Injuries in Vehicle Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 percent of all emergency room visits are for vehicle accident injuries. Among the most common vehicle accident injuries are strains and sprains of the back, spinal disorders, and bruising.
While many injured people are treated and released, some end up being admitted to the hospital, or undergoing emergency surgery. For severe injuries, the associated medical costs can be significant.
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash and believe the other driver was at fault, you might be entitled to compensation that could help cover your medical costs and lost wages. Call the Columbia personal injury attorneys at Bley & Evans to request a free case consultation: 1-844-443-8385.
Fractures in Crashes
Some fractures that occur in vehicle accidents can be complex and lead to other health complications. One such injury is pilon fracture, which is a fracture at the base of the shinbone (tibia) and, usually, the other lower leg bone (fibula). This fracture occurs only under an extremely high-energy impact.
According to St. Luke’s Health System, in recent years, hospitals have seen more car crash injury victims with pilon fractures, because more people are surviving high-speed crashes since airbags became standard in vehicles. Severe breaks usually require surgery, and complications from this injury include infection, blood clots, and nerve damage. Sometimes, bones don’t heal properly, and subsequent surgeries may be necessary.
Fractures to the small bones of the hands and feet may require the insertion of screws to keep bones in place, and fractures of the pelvis or rib cage can be serious enough to sever arteries or puncture organs. Often, a serious fracture will involve physical therapy as part of the recovery process.
The spine consists of small bones called vertebrae that protect the long bundle of nerves known as the spinal cord. In a vehicle accident, both the vertebrae and spinal cord may be damaged, but each can be injured independently of the other.
Car accidents are the top cause of spinal cord injuries (SCI), the severity of which depends on where in the spine they occur. At lower levels of the spine, an injury may cause numbness in the feet or legs, or partial or total paralysis of lower extremities. Injuries that occur at the top of the spinal cord are usually fatal, and in the lower neck, a spinal cord injury is likely to interfere with vital organ function and cause partial or total paralysis in all four limbs.
People suffering from SCI may require long stays in the hospital, surgery, and rehabilitative care. The damage to the spinal cord cannot be undone, but rehabilitation does help many people recover at least somewhat. Some people, however, do not recover, and they may be completely dependent on others for care for the rest of their lives.
Although airbags have reduced the number of crash-related brain injuries, they still occur, especially in high-speed and side-impact crashes.
A brain injury can occur even when there’s no direct blow to the head. For example, in a side-impact crash, a driver’s head may accelerate violently toward the center of the car, where there’s no airbag to stop that movement. This type of movement can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull, which could result in a mild brain injury, called concussion, or a more severe brain injury.
Diffuse axonal injury is a term that describes widespread brain damage, resulting from the shearing of brain tissue within the skull. This type of injury, depending on which areas of the brain are damaged, can interfere with motor skills, speech, memory, bodily function, facial recognition – in fact, doctors may be unable to predict all the ways that this injury will affect a person.
The brain does have some ability to heal itself, as researchers determined in 2013.
With time, people who have suffered injuries to specific regions of the brain may begin to recover, but it can take weeks, months or several years. Some effects of brain injury may remain, however, and leaving some people to suffer lifelong disability as a result of their injury.
Help for Vehicle Accident Injury Victims
Many of the injuries that occur in vehicle crashes cause lingering effects or health complications that can be costly to treat. After an accident, an insurance company may attempt to offer a settlement to injury victims that fails to account for their future medical care and lost wages. So, if you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash, you need a personal injury attorney on your side to ensure you are adequately compensated.
To request a free consultation with the Columbia personal injury attorneys at Bley & Evans, fill out our online contact form, or call us at 1-844-443-8385.