Like to gamble? Even if you don’t, every time you climb into a car, you gamble with your health. Consider that in 2013 the number of people injured in Georgia traffic accidents was 116,458, more than the combined populations of Fayetteville, Decatur, Alpharetta, and Loganville – and that’s not counting the year’s 1,179 fatalities.
Those are chilling numbers, but they aren’t surprising in a metro area that generates headlines such as “America’s Worst Truck Bottleneck Is in Georgia’s biggest city, Study Says.” The bottleneck is where interstates 85 and 285 meet, a spot not so lovingly known as Spaghetti Junction.
Physical Damage and Medical Care
If you consider the types and effects of crash injuries, it is easy to understand why a fight for financial compensation in the courts is more about justice than money. Statistically speaking, there really are car accident types of injuries. Ruptured spleens are an excellent example. Blunt trauma and punctures from automobile accidents are the most common source of ruptured spleens.
Here are some of the common car accident injuries our lawyers see in serious crash cases:
The mortality rate for ruptured spleens is low, with people older than 55 most vulnerable to death and complications. The ultimate treatment for a ruptured spleen – which can cause internal bleeding, blurred vision, confusion, light-headedness, fainting, and shock – is removal. Since the spleen is one of the body’s important tools for fighting infection, removing it means a lifelong risk of serious and even life-threatening infection.
If the chosen treatment option is allowing the body to heal the spleen, monitoring in the hospital is probable, and blood transfusions might be necessary.
There are 206 bones in the adult body, and there are thousands of ways to break them. A car crash is among the worst because bones can be shattered or crushed. Car accident victims with broken bones may require surgery, potentially with insertion of metal rods, plates, or screws to help hold the bone in place.
Recovery is a matter of months, not days, and victims often suffer lingering pain, nerve or blood vessel damage, and arthritis. In the worst-case scenarios, broken bones can lead to death through blood loss, blood clots, or infection.
Back and spinal cord injuries:
Car Accidents often cause spinal injuries, including full or partial paralysis. Experienced doctors and your legal team working together can help prove how the injury occurred and what current and future medical care is needed.
Car accidents can also cause tears, sprains, and strains of muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back, which can result in lengthy and expensive treatment.
Head and traumatic brain injuries:
Head wounds and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may be visually gruesome or the victim may show no signs of physical injury and must be diagnosed by specialists.
Treatment is extremely costly and can last a lifetime.
Symptoms of whiplash don’t always materialize right after the accident. That is why it’s smart for car accident victims to seek medical treatment even if they don’t think they have been hurt.
Whiplash symptoms can range from neck pain and stiffness to headaches, dizziness, tingling or numbness in the arms, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and depression.
Most people need several months of treatment that can include pain medication and exercise.
Burns are very painful, can result in scars and disfigurement, and treatment can involve months of hospitalization, complicated infection prevention measures, multiple skin grafts and other surgeries, psychological or psychiatric care, physical and occupational therapy, and vocational rehabilitation. Burn patients also face a significant risk of death during the battle to recover.
Sprains and strains:
Soft-tissue injuries can mean bruises, whiplash and lower-back pain. Other labels for these injuries are “muscle strain” and “lumbar sprain.” A sprain is the stressing or tearing of tendons that connect muscle to bone and ligaments, which in turn connect bone to bone. A muscle strain is when muscle is stretched too far or torn.
As with whiplash, symptoms can appear later after the collision, and the pain can be chronic. Treatment often includes ice packs and elevation of the injured area, painkillers, physical therapy, and surgery.
Cuts, contusions, bruises and lacerations:
Flesh wounds, from bruises to scrapes to lacerations, are extremely common in auto accidents. Medical attention is a good idea, even if you think you should tough it out because “it’s just a scratch.”
What to Expect Financially After a Car Crash
If you drive in the Georgia, you know about the traffic and have seen the crashes, and if you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, you know that the expenses start adding up as soon as the rescue squad rolls out. Bills accumulate as you cope with hospitalizations, rehabilitation, long-term care, medical equipment, and even housing changes that can be part of living with crushing injuries.
Along with health care costs, there is an emotional price to pay, one that can evolve into a mental health problem costing thousands of dollars and leaving invisible scars. There also is the time you miss from work, making it even more difficult to make ends meet.
It seems crude to look at things with a focus on money, but it is a tangible way to measure loss. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that car accident injuries in 2012 would cost the victims $33 billion in wages over their lifetimes.
The physical pain is something only good medical care can ease. However, a skilled attorney from our team can help you pursue financial relief from the party that caused your crash.