Common Auto Accident Injuries
Serving Birmingham and the Metro area
During an accident, the head and neck can be moved suddenly and violently. Trauma to the neck can include a sprain, which involves the stretching or tearing of ligaments in the neck. Similarly, the neck muscles can be stretched or torn, causing a pulled muscle.
Some neck injury victims may have a cervical disc affected. Also called a herniated or ruptured disc, a slipped disc is when the jelly-like center of a disc leaks out, causing pain and reduced mobility. This injury can also lead to a pinched nerve, whereby a nerve is impeded or irritated by the fragment of a ruptured disc, or by a bone spur.
Whiplash is probably the most well-known of vehicle accident injuries. This is when the neck moves back and forth quickly, much like when a whip is racked. This can happen in any kind of auto accident, but most commonly occurs during rear-end collisions. Symptoms include stiffness of the neck, neck pain, and headache. Neck sprains and neck strains are sometimes called whiplash, although these terms include other types of neck injuries as well.
Back injuries can involve the spinal cord, spinal discs, or the muscles and soft tissues that support the vertebrate. Back injuries and soft tissue injuries, like a sprain or tear, are notorious for being painful. A pulled ligament or a muscle tear – much less a broken vertebrate – can seriously affect quality of life, making it difficult to get around and perform everyday tasks.
Spinal Cord Injury
The most serious types of accident injuries affecting the back are those that impact the spinal cord. This can include bruising or excessive pressure on the bundle of nerves in the spine. At its worst, a spinal cord injury can equate to lifelong paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is when an external force or trauma causes brain dysfunction. This can occur during a car accident when the head strikes a part of the car, like the windshield or steering wheel.
TBI can be the result of an open or closed head injury. An open head injury is when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. A closed head injury is when the brain is damaged as a result of a blow to the head, but the skull is not penetrated. TBI is also classified according to its severity. A mild TBI may involve temporary brain dysfunction. A serious TBI can cause permanent disabilities, coma, or even death.
A concussion is a mild TBI that affects brain function. The effects are typically short-term and can include difficulty with memory, concentration, coordination and balance. Concussions although not as traumatic as some of the other common types of car accident injuries is no less serious and a concussion should not be disregarded.
Chest injuries are common among auto accident injuries, and usually involve bruising or contusions (an area of tissue or skin where blood capillaries have ruptured). Chest injuries are frequently sustained in a car accident when the driver hits the steering wheel upon impact. Serious bruising along the chest can also occur as the force of a passenger’s body collides with a safety belt.
A deadly car accident caused by another party’s negligence is one of the most traumatic experiences the victim’s survivors will ever bear. Whether the negligent behavior involved driving under the influence, speeding, texting or reckless driving, an experienced attorney can hold the at-fault driver accountable. A wrongful death case cannot reverse the loss of a loved one, but it can help ease the grieving process.
Statistics on Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of two and 34. In 2014, there were 32,675 fatal vehicle accidents and accident injuries across our country. In that same year in Alabama, 820 lives were taken in fatal car crashes. Fortunately, this number is down from the ten-year average in our state. Between 2005-2014, there were 859 traffic fatalities on average per year.
Motor vehicle accidents that cause injury to victims are all too common nationwide. In 2013, there were 2.31 million injuries in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. This means there was about one injury accident every 14 seconds. Of those accidents, 10% were in SUVs, 7% in pickup trucks, 4% in vans, and 3% in cars.
The deadly consequences of drinking and driving are well known. Public service campaigns and media coverage on the issue are ever present. Nonetheless, lives are lost at the hands of inebriated drivers all too often. Of the state’s 820 traffic fatalities in 2014, 32% involved an alcohol-impaired driver (264 accidents). Similarly, 31% of the nation’s traffic fatalities involved a driver under the influence of alcohol (9,967 accidents). Alcohol-related car accidents impact our economy too, costing Americans about $199 billion every year in direct and cost-of-living expenses.
When drivers are in a hurry, they often speed to their destination. Sadly, this can have fatal repercussions. In 2013, a total of 9,613 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes in our country. Speeding-related accidents also take a financial toll, at an estimated $40.4 billion every year from our national economy.
NHTSA collects data on the distractions that are most likely to cause motor vehicle crashes. This includes texting, dialing a cellphone, or being distracted by a passenger. In 2013, about 424,000 people were injured in distraction-affected crashes across our country, and 3,154 people were killed. Nationwide, distraction-affected accidents in 2013 accounted for: 10% of all deadly crashes, 18% of all injury accidents, and 16% of all motor vehicle accidents.
Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
To begin, your attorney will investigate your case and gather information that supports your claim. The purpose of filing a car crash claim is to assert the other party’s blame for your injuries, the nature of your injuries, and what you are due for the harm inflicted on you (damages).
Attorneys on both sides will usually try to settle the claim before it goes to court. If a settlement cannot be reached, your claim will go to trial and be heard by a judge or jury. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will decide if you are awarded damages, and if so, for how much.
Alabama Car Accident Injury Time Limit
There is a time limit on how long you can wait to file a personal injury claim in the state of Alabama. This is called a statute of limitations and is specifically two years from the date of the accident. Victims forfeit their right to a claim if they do not file within the time period.
This means victims will not receive restitution for the property damage, medical expenses, or other forms of suffering they endured. To ensure that your rights to a car accident injury claim do not run out, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to investigate your potential case so that proper evidence can be gathered and preserved, such as vehicles, videos, witnesses statements or photos.
Time is not on your side, but we are. Don’t wait. Get your free, no-obligation case review with an experienced car accident lawyer today. Call us today at (205) 322-8880 or fill out the contact form on this page.
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