Auto accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 40,000 fatal accidents yearly. About 2.5 million residents suffer severe car accident injuries or become permanently disabled every year. With 220+ million drivers on the road, you are at risk of suffering injury every time you enter an automobile.
You may not immediately realize you have an injury following an accident. It is important to learn about serious injuries, how to determine if you have them, and what you can do to treat them.
1. Head Injuries
In a high-speed collision, you may hit your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or window. These impacts may cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). You may not realize you have an injury, but they can cause skull fractures, hearing loss, vision problems, and cognitive processing problems.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Concussion
A traumatic brain injury is caused by an external force to the head. It may be a closed injury, or open (with a skull fracture). When you have a TBI you may also experience a concussion, contusions, and axonal injuries.
A concussion is the most common TBI and is the result of a direct impact on the head. This can be the result of shaking, whiplash, or a direct hit.
Many suffer a loss of consciousness, but that does not always happen. Symptoms of a mild concussion include dizziness, confusion, or your mind is foggy.
Seek medical treatment immediately if you show any symptoms of a brain injury. Lack of treatment may result in permanent damage or death.
Once you obtain medical treatment contact a Nashville car accident attorney immediately. They will analyze your case and determine if you have legal standing to receive compensation for your injuries.
A contusion is the result of a direct impact on the head and causes localized bleeding in the brain. It may be necessary for the contusion to be removed surgically because a blood clot formation in the contusion area can be deadly.
It is also possible for a coup-contrecoup contusion to develop on the opposite side of the skull. This happens when the impact is severe enough to cause the brain to slam into the opposite side of the skull.
Diffuse Axonal Injuries
This is an injury that results from severe shaking or rotational force that causes tears in the brain. The tearing results in neurochemical disruptions in the brain and may cause coma, permanent brain damage, or death.
Symptoms from this type of injury include memory problems, motor function problems, motor sensation problems, olfactory problems, and more.
2. Back Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries
High-speed impact may cause damage to your spinal cord. Symptoms following an accident include but are not limited to:
- Extreme back pain, pressure in your head, neck, or back
- Lack of coordination
- Weakness or paralysis in any part of the body
- Tingling or numbness in fingers, hands, toes, feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Trouble maintaining balance and walking
- Problems breathing or coughing
- Inability to feel heat, cold, or touch
The amount of control you have will depend on the area of your spinal cord that is damaged and the severity of the injury. Your medical team will conduct a series of tests to determine your neurological classification level:
- Complete—all feeling and ability to control movement is lost below the spinal cord injury
- Incomplete—you have some function and motor ability below the damaged area of the spinal cord
It isn’t always obvious that you have a head, back, or spinal cord injury, and lack of treatment may cause it to worsen. The earlier medical treatment is sought, the easier it is to alleviate complications and increase the ability to fully recover.
Whiplash is the result of rapid movement of the head from front to back following an impact, usually from a rear-end collision. The result is damage to the neck muscle and ligaments.
Whiplash symptoms include neck stiffness, neck pain, back pain, dizziness, headaches, problems with balance, memory problems, and trouble concentrating.
These symptoms are not always noticeable at the accident location. If you experience symptoms seek medical treatment immediately. Symptoms usually become more severe when left untreated.
4. Broken Bones or Fractures
Depending on the severity of the impact you may suffer broken bones or severe fractures requiring surgery. Broken bones from a car accident may require more than a standard cast. Doctors often need to perform surgery to use screws, rods, pins, and plates to keep severely damaged bones in pace while they heal.
Broken ribs are also a possibility. The impact may cause a crack or break in one of the bones in your rib cage. This is likely to occur if you suffer a direct blow to the chest.
You may find coughing painful following damage to your ribs. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, pain when breathing, headache, feeling sleepy, dizzy, tired, or feeling restless or scared.
It is important to seek medical treatment if you suspect a rib injury. The damaged rib may cause damage to your spleen, blood vessels, lungs, or other parts of your body.
5. Internal Bleeding
If you suffer internal bleeding following a Nashville car accident you may not realize it initially. As part of their examination following an accident, the emergency room medical team will look for indications of this injury.
Symptoms are extensive and vary depending on whether the internal bleeding is in your head, chest, abdomen, or muscles and joints.
Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, numbness, severe or sudden headache, loss of balance, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, sleepiness, loss of consciousness, chest or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Treatment requires the doctor to locate the source of the bleeding and stop it. In some cases, the bleeding may be mild and stop on its own. More severe cases may require surgery. If left untreated the bleeding may lead to coma, organ failure, and death.
Do I Need an Attorney for Car Accident Injuries?
When you are in an accident there are clear indicators that you may be in need of an accident attorney. Contact an attorney if you suffer serious injuries, require ongoing treatment, or are unable to work because of injuries due to the negligence of another driver.
You also need to consult with a Nashville car accident attorney if the insurance company is not paying for your medical treatment or the liability is under dispute.
Not all attorneys are the same. Make sure you are hiring an attorney who specializes in car accidents and personal injury cases.
To select the best attorney for your car accident browse their website. Look for their areas of expertise and if they list testimonials or success stories. Finally, schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Don’t Delay—Call Today
If you are suffering from car accident injuries don’t delay in contacting Reasonover Law Firm. We will review your case and provide you with a legal analysis of your ability to receive compensation for your injuries.
Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations on lawsuits for personal injury and car accidents, so time is of the essence. Fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. You may also call us at 615-241-0405.