Common Injuries in Car Accidents and Their Legal Implications

Common Injuries in Car Accidents and Their Legal Implications
Calendar icon July 6, 2024

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality that can lead to a variety of injuries, ranging from minor scrapes to life-altering impairments. Understanding the common injuries in car accidents and their legal implications is important for anyone who finds themselves in the aftermath of a car accident. This guide offers an in-depth look at what victims should expect, both physically and legally. 

Whiplash and Neck Injuries

Whiplash is one of the most frequently reported injuries following a car accident, particularly in rear-end collisions. This neck injury occurs due to the sudden back-and-forth motion of the head, which over-stretches and damages the neck muscles and tendons.

Symptoms may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • In severe cases, chronic pain. 

Victims of whiplash may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, physical therapy, and lost wages if the injury forces them to take time off work. The severity of whiplash can vary, which can lead to long term disabilities if not treated properly. It’s essential to seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible after your accident, as they can provide you with a treatment plan and evidence to support your injury claim.

Legal Implications: 

Neck injuries like whiplash may not always manifest immediately after an accident. It’s important to seek medical attention promptly to document your injuries. Compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but a timely and documented diagnosis can significantly support your legal claim.

Back Injuries

The force of an accident can damage the spine, leading to herniated discs, fractures, or even spinal cord injuries. These injuries often result from the force of impact or the compression of the spine during a collision. Consequences may involve:

  • Severe pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Paralysis

If you suffer a back injury due to another driver’s negligence, you may seek damages for medical expenses, ongoing care costs, and loss of quality of life. It’s wise to seek the assistance of a trusted personal injury attorney when pursuing a claim for a severe back injury, as the long-term nature of back injuries can complicate the calculation of appropriate compensation.

Legal Implications: 

Back injuries can result in a high level of disability, which can necessitate a large settlement to cover lifelong care. A legal team experienced in car accident injuries is important to ensure that all aspects of these complex injuries and their repercussions are comprehensively represented in a claim.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

TBIs, including concussions, are serious consequences of head trauma or violent shaking within the vehicle. These injuries can have life-altering effects, demanding immediate and long-term medical attention. Symptoms of TBIs can be immediate or take days to manifest, and can include:

  • Long-term cognitive issues
  • Sensory problems
  • Emotional instability

Proving the extent of a TBI and its repercussions on your life and livelihood is a complex legal challenge. Compensation for a TBI may cover immediate medical costs, rehabilitation, and potential future economic losses due to reduced earning capacity. 

Legal Implications: 

From a legal perspective, proving a head injury in a car accident case may require extensive medical documentation, including neuroimaging studies, neuropsychological evaluations, and expert testimony. Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. In cases of severe TBIs, the damages awarded may also include compensation for future medical care and ongoing disability. 

Broken Bones

Seat belts and airbags do save lives, but the force from an auto collision can still lead to fractures, especially in the ribs, arms, and legs. The severity of these injuries can range from simple breaks, requiring casts, to compound fractures needing surgical intervention.

Broken bones come with substantial medical costs and the potential lost wages due to an inability to work. An experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure you get compensation reflective of the full impact the injury has on your life.

Legal Implications: 

Broken bones are typically easier to document than soft tissue injuries. Settlements may need to cover multiple areas, including surgeries, rehabilitation, and the need for assistive devices.

Internal Injuries

High-impact crashes can cause internal injuries, which include damage to organs like the spleen, liver, and kidneys in the form of internal bleeding or punctures. These injuries can be life-threatening and require the intervention of a medical professional to properly diagnose.

The significant medical treatment and potential for permanent damage associated with internal injuries means high medical bills and extensive recovery periods. Adequate legal representation can help you fight for settlements that encompass long-term healthcare and financial support.

Soft Tissue Damage

Accidents often cause soft tissue injuries like sprains, strains, and tears. These injuries can cause considerable pain and disability, even though they might not be as immediately apparent as fractures or open wounds. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion

Documenting soft tissue injuries for legal claims can be tricky since they don’t show up on X-rays like broken bones do. Ensuring proper compensation involves thorough medical assessments and sometimes opinions from various medical professionals.

Legal Implications: 

Despite their prevalence, soft tissue injuries are sometimes diminished in legal claims, since they can be harder to prove. They may not always be visible on imaging studies like X-Rays or MRIs. However, medical documentation such as clinical examinations, diagnostic tests, and treatment records can help support the claim. 

Psychological Injuries

Car accidents don’t just leave physical scars; they can also result in psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Access to mental health professionals is important for recovery.

Emotional distress can be part of your personal injury claim. Proving psychological injuries can be a complex process, requiring expert testimony and a nuanced understanding of the law. Effective legal counsel is necessary to guide victims through the process of securing compensation for mental health treatment and emotional suffering.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident Injury

If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident, take these steps to ensure your rights are protected, especially if you choose to file a claim for damages.

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Even though you may not feel as though you have an injury in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it’s still important to seek the advice of a medical professional. Your doctor will be able to assess you for any hidden injuries that may worsen over time if not treated. 
  2. Report the Accident: File a police report, and ensure all details are correctly noted. A police report acts as an unbiased opinion on what occurred and is valuable piece of evidence when filing a claim with insurance 
  3. Gather Evidence: If possible, gather contact details from witnesses, take photos and videos of the accident scene, and keep all medical records and receipts related to your injury.
  4. Don’t Settle Right Away: Insurance companies may try to settle quickly. Before accepting any offers, it’s essential to understand the full extent of your injuries and their long-term implications.
  5. Consult an Attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney can provide crucial guidance and representation, ensuring your rights are protected and you are adequately compensated for your injuries.

When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, understanding the legal implications of your injuries is imperative. With experienced legal guidance, you can navigate the complex process of seeking compensation and focus on your recovery. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, you don’t have to face the legal battle alone. 

How Cellino Law Help Car Accident Injury Victims

After sustaining a car accident injury, your health and recovery should take precedence. Unfortunately, medical bills, lost wages, and pressure from the insurance company to settle can cause added stress to your situation.

At Cellino Law, our team of injury attorneys have decades of experience representing car accident victims. We work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve while you focus on treatment. 

Contact Cellino Law at 888-888-8888 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you take the next steps toward securing compensation for your injuries.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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