Damaged cars can be fixed or replaced quickly. However, the injuries sustained during a car accident may cause the victim pain for months, years, or even a lifetime. Sadly, doctors are well versed in the treatment of these injuries since millions of people are hurt in car accidents every year.
More commonly known as “whiplash”, cervical strains happen when the head is suddenly and unexpectedly forced forward and backward. This type of injury commonly occurs in rear-end collisions.
Symptoms of this sprain include stiffness, sharp pain in the neck, back and shoulders, swelling, headaches, and dizziness. These symptoms may last anywhere from 1 to 12 weeks. Occasionally, victims continue to have pain for years after the accident.
Treatments may include a neck brace, pain medication, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.
Broken glass, sheared metal pieces, or even objects within the car flying through the air can cause a laceration on any part of the body.
Lacerations are typically jagged, irregular and may be contaminated with debris and bacteria from the object that caused it. If the laceration is deep enough, dangerous amounts of blood can be lost. Treatment usually includes debriding the wound, surgical correction, stitches, bandaging, and, in extreme cases, surgical reconstruction.
With 206 bones in the body, there is a great chance that at least one of these will be broken during an accident. Depending on the type of break and the location, the victim may need surgical stabilization of the bone, casting, and time off of work.
A disc is a cushion that sits between vertebrae in the spine. When hit with a tremendous impact, the softer part of the disc can push through the tougher outer casing. This can result in pain, numbness, or weakness. Expensive testing such as x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, and myelograms are used to diagnose a herniated disc.
Treatment may include physical therapy, cortisone injections, muscle relaxants, or surgery. The symptoms of the herniated disc may continue for the rest of the patient’s life.
Vertebral fractures are usually associated with trauma, and because the vertebrae protect the spinal cord, fractures can result in neural deficits in the trunk, genitals, and lower limbs. Fractures can either be stable and treated without surgery, or unstable and require surgical correction. Either way, the treatments for this injury are expensive, and the road to recovery is a long one.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that runs through the spinal column, sends signals from the body to the brain and back again. If this cord is damaged, the nerve impulses relaying the information will not be able to complete their circuit.
Damage to the spinal cord usually occurs in conjunction with dislocated or fractured vertebrae. The cord injury is either considered “complete” or “incomplete”. When the injury is complete, the body is unable to send signals below the injury resulting in paralysis. Incomplete injuries allow the victim to retain some movement and sensation.
The medical treatments necessary may include surgery, back braces, a wide variety of medications, rehabilitative therapy, and, in many cases, a device such as a wheelchair. Frequently, those who suffer spinal cord injuries are never able to return to the lifestyle they enjoyed prior to the accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. The brain is the control center of the body, and if it is injured, there is a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities that a victim can be afflicted with. When a car accident occurs, the force of the impact can cause the brain to hit the hard inside of the skull. This can result in bruising, bleeding, or death of the brain tissue. Victims may have temporary or permanent changes to their speech, memory, ability to control movement, cognitive abilities, vision, hearing, and sensory capabilities. In many cases, they may end up requiring life-long care from medical professionals and family members.
Limitations Of Insurance
Every driver who has a car registered in the state of New York is required to have it insured. In order to meet New York’s liability coverage minimums, the policy must offer $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for the death of a person involved in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death if two or more people are involved in an accident, and $10,000 minimum for property damage.
This is rarely enough to cover the cost of the medical treatments required by the victim. For example, if a spinal cord injury occurs the victim can expect to spend the following:
|Type Of Injury||First Year||Each Following Year|
|Incomplete motor function of any kind||$334,170||$40,589|
When the insurance policy limits run out, feelings of panic, stress, and uncertainty follow. Victims often wonder how on earth they will pay for the treatment they need, for injuries that occurred in an accident that wasn’t their fault.
Pursuing Legal Action
Hiring a car accident attorney is often the best option available to those whose medical expenses exceed the amount available to them through an insurance policy. By pursuing legal action, you and your loved ones may recover full compensation not only for the cost of medical treatment, but also lost wages, emotional distress, and physical pain and suffering.
Our firm has represented hundreds of car accident victims. We have successfully brought cases against both the driver at-fault and insurance companies in order to obtain the compensation our clients need. We want you and your family to focus on healing instead of wondering how the bills will get paid.
You will find our team experienced, knowledgeable, and highly dedicated to protecting your legal rights. We are ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your accident – contact us to learn more.