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Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe, including physical, psychological, and emotional trauma. Injuries sustained in a car accident may include broken bones, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious injuries.
In 2019, there were 6,283,000 reported car accidents in the United States, resulting in 37,000 fatalities and 2.7 million injuries.
The amount of compensation a person can receive for a car accident depends on the severity of the injury, the type of injury, and the state in which the accident occurred.
In some states, victims of car accidents can receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.
Let's look at the common car accident injuries and compensation available to victims.
Categories For Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents often lead to a wide range of injuries and can be classified into two major categories: impact injury and penetrating injury.
- An impact car accident injury occurs when you hit something, either the steering wheel, car interior, car seat, or window. These are generally known as blunt force trauma due to their nature.
- A penetrating car accident injury, conversely, happens when an object pierces your skin. This could be a sharp object like glass or a shrapnel wound caused by metal parts of the car that had been bent during the crash.
In both cases, car accident victims should seek medical attention immediately in order to ensure proper treatment and healing.
Common Car Accident Injuries
These are the most common car accident injuries:
- Death happens either right within impact or several hours later as the victim receives treatment. It can be the result of catastrophic trauma or asphyxiation.
- Head and Neck Injuries range from minor to severe depending on the head's movement during the accident. It can be a bruise or cut or a closed head injury that leads to lasting brain damage.
- Back Injuries range from fractures to significant muscle strain or even paralysis.
- Soft Tissue Injuries, such as contusions and lacerations, are brought by blunt force.
- Burns can appear in the case of an explosion or exposure to severe heat, or they can also be the result of friction from the sudden force caused by accident.
- Internal Injuries are damage to internal organs that may happen due to an accident's sudden impact, which may not be apparent at the moment of the accident.
- Loss of Limb — violent accidents can cause the loss of a leg or arm and result in temporary or permanent disability and disfigurement.
- Mental and Emotional Injuries are trauma from an accident, a serious case affecting one's ability to return to normal living.
- Hidden Injuries, aside from readily visible injuries, some injuries develop over several days or weeks after the accident.
After an accident, even if there's no apparent injury, it's important to consult with a medical doctor for a full test. Some injuries may develop and can lead to life-threatening conditions if not addressed.
Different Types Of Compensation
When you're the victim of a car accident, you are entitled to compensation from the other person who caused it and your insurance provider. The following are the expenses usually compensated.
- Medical expenses – This includes all the medical bills for treatment, such as consultations, laboratory tests, hospitalization bills, and physical therapy. These are all the expenses until a doctor pronounces you as medically cured.
- Lost income – Lost earning potential is equivalent to the daily income you can't earn because you're undergoing treatment instead of working.
- Pain and suffering – Your mental anguish and emotional distress are also compensated after an accident.
- Punitive damages – If the accident results in a lawsuit, this is the amount ruled by the court as punishment for the offender and is on top of other compensatory damages.
Understanding The Compensation Process
If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, the injured party might be able to receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage, the injured party may be able to receive compensation from their own insurance company.
Insurance companies conduct strict investigations before making any settlement to prevent fraud and ensure the correct settlement offer.
If you're part of an accident, make sure to secure enough evidence, such as photos of vehicle damage and medical records. Gather accounts from witnesses and a police report as needed.
If necessary, consult with a personal injury attorney to know the full extent of your rights and have legal representation in the event of a car accident lawsuit.
Making a claim is a straightforward process, but sometimes the losses can be too great, and you'd simply want a lawyer to handle your car accident injuries and compensation. Learn what a personal injury lawyer can do for you in this blog post.