Traffic-related injuries and deaths are an unfortunate reality of modern life, more common than anyone would like to believe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people suffer injuries caused by motor vehicle incidents each year. Florida registers over 200,000 car accidents annually, with the highest fatality rate occurring in Miami.
For this reason, Miami injury lawyer Boris Lavent discusses the most common injuries from Miami car accidents, how best to prevent them, and what to do when they occur.
Brain and Other Head Injuries
Head injuries and brain trauma are among the most serious common injuries from car accidents a person can sustain as a result of a car accident. Brain injuries are usually caused by high-speed collisions, resulting in a violent impact of the head against the steering wheel, dashboard, or a window.
Brain injuries range from mild concussions to comas and often require extensive medical treatment. They can have lasting impacts on neurological functions such as vision, speech, memory and emotional control. Other head injuries resulting from car accidents may affect the eyes, ears, jaw, and teeth.
According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries contribute to 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, and children are the most likely to suffer a TBI in a car wreck. A doctor should examine everyone who was in your wreck to ensure that there are no undiagnosed brain injuries, since symptoms like blurred vision and memory loss often go unrecognized, especially in children.
Neck and Back Injuries
One of the most common injuries from Miami car accidents is whiplash, an injury that occurs when the neck is forced to stretch and snap back into place in a fraction of a second. This injury may affect the spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments or discs in the back as well as the neck.
Any injury to the spinal cord may result in impaired functioning of limbs, including numbness, weakness or, in the most severe cases, paralysis. Everyday impacts of whiplash include severe headaches and difficulty swallowing. Although most neck and back injuries are considered minor and treatable, they may still result in chronic pain that will affect your quality of life.
Insurance companies will often try to diminish the impact of major back injuries or whiplash has on quality of life. They may even attempt to restrict the medical care you receive or try to block necessary procedures. If this happens to you, an attorney can work to ensure that you receive the medical care you need to recover or at least to regain your quality of life.
The impact of a car accident can easily lead to broken bones as legs and arms become trapped or are forced into unnatural positions. The stronger the impact of the crash, the more likely it is that the vehicle will roll over or be severely damaged, resulting in significant trauma and broken bones. With common injuries from Miami car accidents like these, you need to receive immediate medical care, but financially, you will need compensation to pay for your current medical care and the physical therapy you will need in the future, in addition to the money you have lost by being unable to work during your recovery.
Delayed Car Accident Injury
One of the most overlooked common injuries from Miami car accidents, a delayed car accident injury can present itself after the shock has worn off. Additionally, things like a brain injury may go undiagnosed and only be identified when the symptoms get progressively worse. In this scenario, you still have the right to file a lawsuit and pursue financial damages, as long as you do so within four years of the accident. The main difference between a delayed car accident injury and an immediate one is that more effort will need to go toward investigating what happened and gathering clear evidence that can demonstrate that the accident was the cause of the injury.
It is entirely possible to not recover from an accident-related injury. If you are disabled, that disability is anticipated to last for more than a year, and if you are unable to work, you could qualify for social security disability in addition to increased financial compensation from the insurance company. The majority of SSDI applications are denied when first submitted, so your best opportunity for success is to have an attorney represent you.
One of the most undiagnosed common injuries from Miami car accidents, the trauma of car accidents can lead to PTSD, a condition so severe that some accident victims are unable to drive or engage in normal activities. If you are in this situation, you are entitled to financial compensation to pay for your medical bills, therapy, and the expenses you are accruing by being unable to drive, needing to purchase a safer vehicle, etc. While some insurance companies fail to recognize PTSD as an injury, it is — and with legal help, you can receive the financial compensation you deserve.
These injuries often happen for a very specific reason: the passenger was not wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred. Chest injuries resulting from blunt force trauma include rib and sternum fractures, collapsed lungs, and internal bleeding. The latter two can be fatal if not treated promptly. It is therefore critically important to seek immediate medical attention if a chest injury occurs during a crash.
Arm and Leg Injuries
Arm and leg injuries are caused by blunt impact with some part of the car, most often during side-impact collisions. These injuries include bruises, sprains and fractures. In all except the most extreme cases, treatment is straightforward, but substantial recovery time and rehabilitation may nevertheless be required.
If someone you love has died in a Florida car accident or due to the injuries they sustained in an accident, the personal representative of the estate can bring a wrongful death suit with the help of an attorney. This person can be designated a representative by the court, will, or estate plan. Once the lawsuit is filed, the spouse, children, financial dependents, or parents can benefit from the compensation awarded at trial.
Act Immediately, Call a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
It is important to remember that many car accident injuries don’t manifest themselves immediately after a crash. Symptoms may arise days, weeks, months, or even years later. If you believe there is any chance at all you’ve been injured in an accident, it is important to schedule an appointment for a complete medical evaluation.
You may also wish to consult an attorney for advice on how to seek compensation for any and all expenses you will incur. Bear in mind that in most cases a personal injury claim in Florida must be filed within four years of the date of the accident. If you experience any of the common injuries from Miami car accidents or any other traffic-related injury, call Lavent Law at (305) 440-0450. We are here to help.