Long-Term Effects of Injuries Caused by Georgia Car Accidents
Any emergency room doctor can tell you that there are common injuries in a car accident, the kind produced when tons of metal collide at high speeds. ER staff in Georgia have a lot of experience in this area: There were 116,458 crash injuries in the state in 2013. All of those injuries had immediate effects on lives, and far too many of them are having long-term effects that make life difficult and sometimes prove fatal later.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Georgia, you’ll need to work closely with your medical team to deal with the long-term effects of your injury. You should also consider working with a skilled legal team to cope with the long-term financial effects of your crash. Contact the experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys at Millar & Mixon to schedule a free case consultation today.
What to Expect After a Back Injury
Car accident victims often suffer injuries to their backs or spinal cords. The Mayo Clinic maps a path to recovery that begins after initial treatment, sometimes with a transfer to a spine injury center. The Mayo Clinic notes that medications, immobilization, surgery or surgeries, and even experimental treatments often come first. The next phases are:
Ongoing care: The focus is on “preventing secondary problems that may arise, such as deconditioning, muscle contractures, pressure ulcers, bowel and bladder issues, respiratory infections and blood clots.”
Rehabilitation: Early efforts often include physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses and psychologists, social workers, dietitians, recreation therapists, and doctors specializing in physical medicine (physiatrists) or spinal cord injuries.
Recovery is unique to each patient. Sometimes, a patient never fully recovers, such as in cases involving full or partial paralysis.
Even patients with no spinal cord damage often must endure a lengthy and arduous recovery process for back injuries that include tears, sprains, and strains of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
What to Expect After a Brain Injury
Brain injuries can affect the way crash victims interact with people – in some cases making that interaction impossible. This is physical damage that can leave you struggling to do the job you once did, unable to return to that job, or completely unable to make a living.
The Brain Injury Association of America gives this template for treatment of traumatic brain injury victims:
Acute rehabilitation: Early care in a hospital rehabilitation center helps victim resume as many typical daily activities as possible.
Post-acute rehabilitation: Intensive therapy focuses on natural healing abilities. The patient learns how to compensate for abilities permanently affected by the injury.
Subacute rehabilitation: Those not suited for post-acute rehab begin a less intense and longer program, often in a nursing home.
Day treatment: This is day care in a structured group setting, with the patient spending nights at home.
Outpatient therapy: The focus here shifts to maintaining and enhancing recovery. People who did not need in-patient care might use outpatient therapies to address impaired functions.
Home health services: Some hospitals and rehabilitation services offer in-home therapies.
Community re-entry: Care regimens at this stage generally are for people living at home. Programs key on motor, social, and cognitive skills needed for independent living and the workplace. Vocational evaluation and training often are part of this.
Independent-living programs: These can provide housing, with a goal of independent living. Participants here often need more extensive therapies and assistance.
What to Expect After a Traumatic Amputation
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of traumatic amputation. In general, traumatic amputations are “lower limb” (involving legs, feet, or toes) or “upper limb” (involving arms, hands, or feet).
Patients experience ongoing trauma and difficulty in recovering from the loss of a limb or limbs. After initial treatment, patients can expect:
- Occupational or physical therapy
- Desensitization/sensory re-education
- Fitting for a prosthesis and shaping of stump Visits with psychologists and social workers
- Vocational counseling
Post-traumatic stress disorder and phantom pain in the missing limb or limbs are among the many psychological and physical woes a traumatic amputation victim can face, including multiple follow-up surgeries.
These Are Injuries That Alter Lives
With severe back and head injuries or traumatic amputations, there typically is no return to life as the victim once knew it. Recuperation often means relearning simple tasks such as dressing, and sometimes simple tasks become impossible. In worst-case scenarios, physical deterioration leads to early death.
Cognitive skills can be lost or damaged. Psychological damage also is a common result. Personalities can be altered.
This physical and psychological damage affects relationships, and even housing and transportation become challenges. In fact, the ability to drive or live alone can be casualties of automobile accidents.
Traumatic amputations and back and brain injuries aren’t the only crash injuries that can have dramatic long-term effects.
Burns: In addition to the physical effects, the psychological effects of burns ─ ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to emotional difficulties caused by severe scarring ─ can result in extensive treatment for emotional problems that might even be irreversible.
Ruptured spleen: Car crashes are a primary cause of these ruptures, which can kill through internal bleeding. Hospitalization likely will be needed, with treatment ranging from rest and blood transfusions to removal of the organ. Losing the spleen increases the subsequent risk of serious infections such as sepsis in children and young adults. Long-term use of pneumonia and flu vaccines may be prescribed to minimize their risks.
Crushed or broken bones: Victims may require a series of surgeries, potentially with insertion of a metal rod, pins, or plates to help hold bones in place. There also is a risk of death from infection and blood clots. The effects can be crippling, with lesser risks including eventual onset of arthritis in affected areas.
The long-term effects of injuries also can mean financial difficulties and even bankruptcy caused by a mountain of medical bills. Victims often are unable to return to jobs they once had or are unable to pursue career dreams.
Do You Need Help for Injuries Caused by a Car Accident?
If you are suffering from injuries caused by someone else’s negligent driving, the experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys at Millar & Mixon are here to help. Contact us today to learn how we will fight for the financial compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
Atlanta, Georgia Car Accident Resources
Millar & Mixon Can Help if You’ve Injured Your Spleen in a Car Accident
If you have had to deal with the results of a ruptured spleen after a car accident in Georgia, the Atlanta-based law firm of Millar & Mixon can help. Since 1993, the firm’s skilled car accident attorneys have been fighting for the rights of people who were severely injured in automobile accidents.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation, and learn how our experienced car crash attorneys can help you demand the financial compensation you deserve to get your life back on track.
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