After A Car Accident You Need Both Medical Care And Legal Advice
If you’ve been injured in a car accident recently, you need both medical treatment and legal advice. An experienced personal injury attorney in Texas can help you get the best medical care available and fair compensation to cover your medical bills, down time, and quality of life issues.
Not only does Texas lead the nation in the number of traffic accident fatalities with nearly 3,000 roadway deaths last year, but the numbers are getting worse. This marked a 5% increase in Texas from 2015, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that this nationwide trend is the largest increase since 1965.
In 2016 alone, there were 265,076 people injured on Texas roadways (one every 2 minutes), of which 17,582 victims sustained serious, incapacitating injuries. The most common injuries suffered after a car accident in Texas are:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Chest and rib injuries
- Pelvic and abdominal injuries
- Leg and knee injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Emotional and psychological problems
Car Accident Injury Statistics in Texas 2016 By Vehicle
|Type of Vehicle||Involved in Fatal Accidents||Involved in Injury Accidents|
Courtesy of the Texas Department of Transportation
Symptoms of Head and Brain Injuries After a Car Accident
While it is natural to feel head pain after you’ve been in a car accident, you should seek the best medical care available, whether it’s a temporary headache, a mild concussion or a debilitating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). There are two types of head injuries that victims suffer after being involved in a car accident, open head injuries and closed head injuries. In an open head injury, the skull has been penetrated and the brain’s protective layers are exposed. During a collision, a person’s head hits the steering wheel or dashboard, causing the brain to impact its bony skull. In a closed head wound, the most common car accident injury, the skull has not been compromised and the brain remains intact. A TBI refers to brain damage caused by an external source rather than damage suffered by a stroke, and it is identified by loss of consciousness, amnesia, skull fracture and seizures.
If you’ve been injured in a car collision and you suspect brain damage, get either a Cranial Tomography (CT) Scan or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan to examine the brain and assess the damage. Here are a few excellent local sources which offer CT and MRI scanning for car accident victims:
MRI Centers of Texas
1000 Lipscomb, Suite 100
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Phone: (817) 674-6389
Envision Imaging of North Fort Worth
10840 Texas Health Trail #140
Fort Worth, TX 76244
Phone: (817) 741-0008
Gateway Diagnostic Imaging
1106 Alston Avenue, Suite 175
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Phone: (817) 289-2002
Texas Health Harris Hospital Fort Worth
1301 Pennsylvania Ave,
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Whiplash is a sudden jerking movement of the head and neck upon impact in a car accident, most commonly a rear-end collision, and it can cause serious injury to the neck muscles and ligaments. Whiplash injuries are characterized by generalized neck pain and swelling, while other neck and back injuries incurred in a crash may give you slight numbness in the arms, legs, hands and feet. Severe spinal damage can lead to permanent paralysis. Any neck or back injury following a roadway accident can be excruciatingly painful and keep you bedridden for many months. A herniated disc, for example, is a very common crash-related injury which is less severe than a spinal or neck injury, but which brings on acute arm or leg pain and numbness.
Symptoms of Chest and Rib Injuries After a Car Accident
Sometimes, when you feel chest pain after a car collision, you may have a serious injury even if the pain is mild or dull. Always have a medical professional check for fractured or bruised ribs, chest muscle strain, a fractured sternum, or a ruptured diaphragm. Also, look for underlying issues like torn cartilage or internal bleeding.
Although seat belts undoubtedly have saved thousands of lives, they can also cause injuries during the impact of a car accident, including abrasions, bruising, fractures to the sternum, and internal injuries. In a minor crash, seat belts may cause bruising and tenderness. In a violent accident, seat belt marks across the chest and abdomen may indicate serious or fatal internal injuries.
Symptoms of Pelvic and Abdominal Injuries After a Car Accident
Your pelvis and abdominal area are at great risk during a car crash because a vehicle’s bumpers, seatbelts, steering wheel, and airbags are aligned with your midsection by design. The abdominal area houses many vital organs like the liver, spleen, intestines, and stomach, and a blow to the abdomen can be devastating. In the event of a head-on collision, the force of the front bumper will be absorbed by the victims’ pelvic and abdominal regions.
Here are the two types of abdominal and pelvic injuries you can suffer during a car crash: blunt force and penetrating.
- Blunt force injuries affect the abdomen and pelvic area but do not break the skin. This type of injury typically occurs if an object such as the airbag, steering wheel, or seatbelt hits the body forcefully during a high-speed car crash.
- Penetrating injuries are more serious, because they cause severe blood loss and internal damage.
Symptoms of Leg and Knee Injuries After a Car Accident
Knee injuries caused by a car crash can be permanent, and your knees are just as likely to be injured in a rear-end collision and side-impact crash as in a head-on collision. Your knees can be slammed by the steering wheel, dashboard or door panel, and neither airbags nor seatbelts can protect your knees. Following a roadway collision, a damaged Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and an injured Posterior Collateral Ligament are the most common knee injuries, indicated by swelling and a popping sound in the knee area. A torn ligament in the knee is a very painful and often permanently disabling injury, and a shattered shinbone (tibia) is a common result of a frontal collision. The only way to properly evaluate your leg or knee injury is to see a doctor and get X-rayed. Untreated leg and hip injuries can result in a lifelong disability or lack of mobility and may require years of rehabilitation and the insertion of steel pins. Other serious injuries to the legs incurred in a car accident include:
- Dislocated knees
- Twisted ligaments
- Ruptured tendons
- Ligament hyperextension
- Knee fractures
Symptoms of Foot and Ankle Injuries After a Car Accident
A foot injury is a statistical probability of any auto accident, and although any car crash can injure the lower extremities, it is head-on collisions that cause the most devastating injuries to the foot and ankle. A recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology found that three-quarters of all foot and ankle car injuries are caused by front-end collisions, and the remaining 21% of foot injuries are incurred during roll-overs and side impacts.
When most people think of car accidents and large monetary settlements, they usually picture spinal cord injuries and permanent brain damage, but an injured foot or ankle can be even more debilitating because it robs you of your mobility. The foot and ankle areas are composed of many bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments, and the body naturally braces upon impact, causing extreme tension and compression injuries equivalent to falling off a 12-foot ladder and landing squarely on concrete. There are many available podiatrists in the Fort Worth area who can assist you in your recovery. Read more about foot and ankle injuries.
Symptoms of Emotional and Psychological Problems After a Car Accident
While most people consider the trauma of a car accident to be the physical broken bones and bruises, even a minor crash can have a deep and lasting psychological effect on the human mind. In fact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says that 9 percent of all accident victims will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a severe mental health condition usually associated with the atrocities of warfare. Here are some common symptoms of mental health deterioration following a car crash:
- High levels of stress
- Mood swings
- Inability to enjoy favorite activities
- Withdrawal from social events
- Development of new phobias
- Disrupted sleep due to nightmares or insomnia
It is imperative that you see a mental health counselor as soon as possible if you suspect you are suffering from mental trauma caused by a car accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with Texas law will make sure your mental problems stemming from a vehicle crash are tended to, as well as your physical ailments. If you do not take care of your psychological problems, they can lead to secondary complications like relationship and career hardships. Following a car accident, mental problems may take up to a month to manifest themselves, and they may last for many years. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to beat anxiety and depression, but relaxation techniques such as yoga or controlled breathing exercises can do wonders to calm emotional turmoil.
How much Compensation am I Entitled to After a Car Accident in Texas?
The amount of money you can win in a settlement based on injuries you suffered in a car accident depends on several factors:
- Severity and Duration of the Accident Injury: A roadway crash can leave you with injuries ranging from minor sprains and bruises to incapacitating neck and spinal injuries. In a Texas personal injury insurance settlement or jury verdict, greater compensation is awarded for injuries that are more serious and permanent.
- Past, Present and Future Medical Bills: In the cases of debilitating injuries and paralysis, medical costs can amount to millions of dollars, but all victims of car accidents deserve compensation for medical treatment. You can expect to pay up to $10,000 for herniated disc treatment in Texas right now; x-rays for minor strains and sprains can cost you thousands of dollars; and physical therapy for accident-related injuries starts at $100 per session
- Compensation for Lost Income: After a car accident that causes you physical or emotional hardship, you are entitled to be compensated for both the wages you lose as a result of your injury or hospitalization, and the income you will lose in the future. If you are a dance instructor or choreographer, for example, and you injure your legs or feet, you may also be compensated for loss of future earning capacity.
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering and Emotional Distress: Compensation for non-monetary damages is harder to prove in a Texas court, so it is recommended to seek legal representation by a reputable law firm experienced in personal injury compensation. When an injury sustained in a car accident becomes so crippling that the victim cannot enjoy basic pleasures like lifting a child or hugging a significant other, courts and juries are known to award large settlements.
Patterson Law Group Will Help You Get Your Fair Share
When a car stops suddenly in a violent crash, the force exerted on its occupants can be life changing, whether the injury is to your head, back, legs, or state of mind. Patterson Law Group, one of the leading Forth Worth personal injury attorney firms, has been helping victims of car accidents get fair compensation for decades. We specialize in Texas law and in obtaining settlements for personal injuries arising from car accidents – no matter who was at fault.
Patterson Law Group has many years of experience helping car crash victims, and we can help with everything from finding the right doctor to making sure you get your fair share of the accident settlement. If you live in the Fort Worth area and are experiencing pain or psychological problems after a car accident, call today for a free consultation.