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Category Archives for "Car Accident"

Winter Car Accident Alert: Is the Other Driver at Fault?

10 Safety Tips to Avoid Bad Car Accidents in Winter

Are you ready to drive this winter? Winter brings numerous ice and snow covered roads. This can make traveling a hazardous task for even the most experienced drivers.

In fact, there are more than 116,000 injuries and over 1,300 deaths on snowy, icy, or slushy pavement every winter. Don’t become another statistic. You should always check road conditions before driving in the winter.

It’s best to stay off the roads if you see a snowstorm in the forecast. But sometimes you have to hit the open road. With some simple preparation, however, you can protect yourself from an auto accident this winter.

During winter, snow and ice create risky conditions and the number of bad car accidents increase. Here are safety tips to keep you and your passengers safe.

Avoid a Car Accident

The best way to avoid a car accident is not to venture out on icy roads altogether. Put off errands that can wait for another day. Work from home if you have the option available.

Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is one of the best was to prevent bad car accidents. Winter accidents are often the result of car problems. Cars can be especially vulnerable to winter conditions if they are behind on maintenance.

You should take your car to a mechanic before any significant winter travel. You want to make sure that your windshield wipers are working correctly in case you get caught in an unexpected snowstorm. Being able to see well is imperative in snowy driving conditions.

There are even specific winter wiper blades available. Consider purchasing and installing a pair to ensure that you can see well. Check your wiper fluid as well. You need to be able to clean dirty slush off your windshield as needed.

Also, be sure to clean off your car every time before you begin to drive. We’ve all seen those folks that only clear a little hole on the windshield right in front of the driver. This is dangerous and foolhardy.

Take that extra few minutes to clean off your entire windshield and all your windows. You also want to check your defroster and heater to make sure they are functioning properly. You might have to pay upfront costs but it’s a small price to pay for safety.

Check Your Tires

All maintenance is important. However, some maintenance is more important than others in the winter. You need to have the right tires for winter conditions. Your tires should have proper air pressure and also be rated for mud and snow.

You can also replace your tires with snow tires to keep yourself safe. You should have tire tread for winter driving. Manufacturers build these heavier treads for a stronger grip.

Also, make sure that your brakes are working well. If you don’t have antilock brakes, know that you will have to pump your brakes to avoid a skid. Most newer cars have anti-lock brakes, but know what yours have.

Be Prepared to Skid

Many bad car accidents stem from skids. Skids occur when your car slides without rotating. You can avoid a skid by slowing down on icy roads. Some skids are unavoidable though. Make sure to keep both hands on the wheel and focus on where you want your car to go.

You should then steer into the skid, or steer in the same direction that the car is heading. If the skid is a front-wheel skid, you should straighten out the steering wheel instead.

You should also be careful to avoid slamming on your brakes. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator until you regain control of the car. If you don’t oversteer one way or the other or slam on your brakes you may come out of the skid unscathed.

Maximize Visibility

One of the hardest parts about driving through the snow is the lack of visibility. While you can’t control the snowfall, you can control some of your visibility. You should take extra time to clear off snow from your windshield before driving.

You should also scrape off ice and snow from any windows. You should give yourself time to defrost your windows before driving. Driving with an obstructed view is dangerous and in many cases illegal. Only drive when you know you can see the road.

Proceed with Caution

Driving too fast is a surefire way to get in bad car accidents. You should be careful not to exceed 45 mph during a snowstorm. This applies to roads that have higher speed limits. Practice defensive driving and keep your speed down to maintain control of your vehicle.

It’s important that you drive slowly because tires lose their grip in ice and snow. This can affect everything from your braking to your turning. Hazardous weather conditions contribute to about 22% of all car accidents.

Do your part to avoid these accidents by driving to better match conditions.

Research Your Car

Winter is a popular time to travel. Many drivers end up using rental cars or drive in unfamiliar terrain. You should always research your car before setting out for a winter trip. Many cars have snow-friendly features that will help on the road.

Check your car’s manual to see what sort of capabilities your car has. You can look for things like a “snow” button that will put your car into a snow-friendly gear.

Prepare for the Worst

Winter conditions don’t just affect drivers in the Northeast or Midwest. Many winter car accidents occur in southern states where drivers are less prepared for icy conditions. You should prepare for winter conditions even in areas with infrequent snow.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution. Make sure you take proper precautions before setting out on a road trip. You never know when an unexpected snow storm could hit.

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control is a beloved feature for many roadtrippers. It can make driving easier during tedious multi-day drives. However, using cruise control in the winter can lead to bad car accidents. You should avoid using cruise control when in winter conditions.

Cruise control can be dangerous because it limits your control of your car. It can be especially dangerous if your car falls into a skid. Your car will try to maintain its speed which can lead to a high-impact collision.

Leave the cruise control feature for the summer if you want to avoid a crash.

Don’t Tailgate

It’s easy to collide with other cars during a snowstorm. One way to avoid collisions is to leave adequate room for you and other vehicles. Give yourself plenty of room between your vehicle and others.car accident chicago

That will give you more reaction time in a scary situation. Plus, cars don’t stop on a dime in the snow. You’ll need that extra stopping distance. The general rule of thumb is to abide by the six-second rule.

You should give yourself six seconds before passing the same spot on the road as another vehicle. Winter brings limited visibility and slower reaction times. Tailgating is an added hazard that you can easily avoid.

You can also change lanes if you feel you are being followed too closely. You should also follow post-crash procedure if you happen to get in a collision.

Stay Focused

There are countless distractions for the modern driver. Passengers, music and smartphones are a few examples of driving distractions.

You should stay extra focused on the road if you want to avoid a winter crash. Only drive when you are fully alert and ready for the hazards of the road. Resist the urge to get distracted. It might just save you from a bad accident.

Driver Negligence

Now that you’ve done all you can to avoid a car accident, you should be safe, right? Wrong. You can follow every rule in the book, but that doesn’t mean other drivers will. In winter, victims and perpetrators alike often blame accidents on conditions.

They think the accident was unavoidable and so no one is liable. This isn’t altogether true. Even if both drivers were in compliance with the law at the time the accident occurred one can still be liable.

For example, remember that posted speed limits are for ideal conditions. Snow and ice are not ideal conditions. Drivers should slow down to match whatever the current conditions are. If a driver does not slow down and causes an accident, they can be liable.

Even if they were driving within the posted speed limit. This can get tricky fast because it is so subjective. How can you prove that a driver was negligent by driving too fast for conditions? That’s the magic of a great lawyer.

If a negligent driver has injured you, you need an experienced lawyer to prove your case.

What to Do At the Scene

To prove your case easier in court there is one major thing you can do at the scene. Try to keep calm and remember to do this. It can make a world of difference in making sure you receive compensation for your injuries.

Make a record. The best and simplest way is to pull out your cell phone and start recording. Take photos of the damage to the vehicles and any tracks. If it’s snowing the tracks could disappear long before the police arrive.

Photos are great impartial evidence and you won’t end up with a “he said/she said” situation. If you don’t have your phone, at least write everything down. It isn’t as foolproof, but it’s better than nothing. At the very least, it will help you to remember the details better later on.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Some winter car accidents are unavoidable. If you sustained injuries in a car accident in winter, don’t attribute it to bad weather right off the bat. If the other driver was at fault, you deserve some compensation.

You could be eligible for not only medical bills but also time off work and pain and suffering. We have extensive experience with car accident claims. Let us represent you in court to ensure you receive full compensation.

Don’t delay if you have a bad winter accident.

Contact my law firm for a free case evaluation today. The Law Office of Scott DeSalvo has unique experience with personal injury related to car accidents. Give us a call at 1-877-365-0040 for a free initial consultation!

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

The Auto Accident Claim Process Explained

The Auto Accident Claim Process Explained

If you’ve just been in a wreck, figuring out the intricacies of filing an auto accident claim is likely the last thing on your mind — and for good reason.

That’s why taking a proactive approach and learning how the process works now can save you valuable time and energy should you need to do it in the future.

Today, we’re breaking down just what happens after you file that initial claim. Where does it go? Who handles it? How long until you can expect to hear back?

We’ll answer all of those questions and more. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

The Basics of an Accident Claim

As with almost any legal process, the exact steps that your claim will take will differ according to a few factors. These include:

  • The exact nature of the accident
  • How severe the accident was
  • The degree of property or bodily damage (or both) that occurred, if any

That said, there are a few actions that will occur regardless of your individual circumstance. Let’s look at those in closer detail:

Step 1: The Claims Adjustor

As soon as you file your accident claim, your insurance company will dedicate a claims adjustor to your case. He or she will be responsible for reviewing your auto policy to determine exactly how you’re covered — and how you should proceed.

Depending on your case, your claims adjustor might do the following to help create a clearer picture of what occurred during the accident:

  • Ask for a copy of the detailed police report
  • Communicate with other parties involved, including the driver and any witnesses
  • Go to the scene of the accident
  • Examine your car and photograph any physical damage
  • Review your medical record (with authorization) to discern sustained injuries

This step is critical for determining fault as it helps your insurance company understand precisely what happened and who should be held responsible.

Step 2: Finding Fault

Next, your adjuster will work to gather the evidence, listen to recounts, and pore over details to determine who was at fault.

You may be aware that not all automobile accidents are cut-and-dry. Sometimes, one driver is mainly at fault, but not completely.

What then?

While you’ll likely have a hard time proving total (100%%) or no (0%) fault, figuring out a percentage of blame is a helpful way for insurance companies to determine who pays what amount.

For instance, if you were found to be 70% at fault and the other driver was found to be at 30%, the settlement payments would be divided against those ratios as well.

Checking You Out

Increasingly, insurance adjusters are adopting a more digital mindset, turning to the Internet to help fill in any holes they might need while determining fault.

One place they’re likely to look? Your social media accounts. Now, you can find out more about a person in just a few clicks than you ever could in an over-the-phone interview.

Often, you can also trace that person’s steps according to what they post that day — a feature that helps adjusters grasp the timeline of the day of the accident.

For instance, you might claim you were in an automobile accident on Thursday, then upload a Facebook Live video showing your pristine car in the background on Friday.

Sounds fishy, right? Your adjuster will think so too.

Adjust the settings on your accounts so that only your added friends and family members can see your posts.

Also, it should go without saying, but try to avoid posting about the accident in the social sphere, as doing so could come back to hurt you in the end.

Step 3: Payment for Damages and Losses

After your claims adjustor reviews your case, he or she may determine that the other driver was at fault.

When this is the case, he or she will work with the other party’s insurance company to seek payment for any medical attention you might have received or any property damage done to your vehicle.

In insurance speak, this payment process is known as indemnification. Alternately, if your adjuster determines that the other party is at fault, it can sue that party for the amount of its payment in a process known as subrogation.

Vehicular Damage

If your vehicle is damaged during the accident, you’ll have a few ways to go about getting it fixed with your insurance money.

You can either go to a body shop that approved by your insurance company, or you can opt for a local one that you prefer. Regardless, it pays to do your homework and get plenty of estimates.

If you end up going with your preferred shop over the approved one, keep in mind that you could be required to pay the difference if their price is higher than what your insurance company budgeted.

Medical Care

To give your claims adjuster as much information as possible, it’s important that you allow him or her access to your medical records, including any other pertinent yet personal data such as your amount of lost wages.

Doing so will allow the adjuster get a more in-depth understanding of your case, as that information is often highly detailed.

Typically, all it takes to allow this permission is to sign a patient release waiver.

Not entirely comfortable with the idea of a veritable stranger rummaging through your medical history? Hire a personal injury lawyer to facilitate this process, so you can rest assured that the documents are sound and allowing access to them is the best next move.

Not Satisfied? Your Rights and Options

If the outcome of your accident claim wasn’t quite what you thought it would be, take heart that there are measures you can take to ensure another chance.

You could start by requesting your adjuster’s boss review the claim from a fresh point-of-view.

If that doesn’t work, you can choose legal mediation or head to small claims court. If you want to avoid a full-blown trial, you can seek arbitration instead. Follow the advice of your attorney to discern what the appropriate steps are.

Your Next Move: Hire an Experienced Attorney

Regardless of whether you’re totally satisfied with the outcome of your accident claim or wish it could be different, an experienced car accident lawyer is a key asset throughout this journey.

That’s where we come in.

Our injury lawyers are skilled in helping clients win big and we’d love to represent you. Contact us today to learn more!

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Can Concussion Symptoms Be Delayed After an Accident?

Can Concussion Symptoms Be Delayed After an Accident?

In the U.S., road crashes injure and disable 2.35 million people every year. Worse, these accidents claim the lives of more than 37,000 individuals.

In Illinois alone, traffic fatality rate went up 17% in 2017, compared to that of the first half of 2015.

There are, after all, more than 8.05 million licensed drivers who call the state a home. Many of whom drive with distractions, go beyond speed limits, or even drunk. One of whom got you involved in a recent accident.

Which is why you're now wondering, can concussion symptoms be delayed? You may not have felt anything serious right after the accident. That doesn't mean you walked away unscathed though.

So... How do you determine you have concussion? Read on to learn more!

What is Concussion?

A concussion often results from any physical blow to the head. That's why it's common amongst those involved in car accidents. Sports accidents and falls are also common causes of this injury.

Concussions fall under traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBI is one of the two types of brain injuries, with acquired brain injuries (ABIs) being the other.

Now, there may only be two types. But TBI alone contributes to the 4,590 lives lost every month due to injuries.

People with concussions suffer from a short loss of their brain's normal functioning. This injury, much like how whiplash occurs, results from the head moving back and forth in such a short amount of time. Unlike whiplash though, wherein the injury affects only the neck, a concussion also injures the brain.

This rapid and sudden back-and-forth motion can bounce the brain around or twist it within the skull. In any case, both results in brain chemical alterations. In fact, the movement can also stretch the brain cells to the point they suffer from serious damage.

Concussions are often not life-threatening. But they can still lead to serious health problems, especially when accompanied by spinal injuries. Keep in mind that some refer to them as "mild brain injuries," which should be enough to make you concerned.

Can Concussion Symptoms be Delayed?

The simple answer is yes. This type of brain injury has symptoms that can show up days, even weeks or months after it occurred. Once they do appear, they can persist for many days or weeks.

What Are These "Delayed" Symptoms?

Headache, confusion, being in a "daze", and loss of memory (amnesia) are common symptoms of a concussion. These may appear right after the injury, but can also only show up long after the accident.

In any case, make sure you monitor yourself for any of these symptoms. These are often the ones with delayed onset following a car crash.

  • Pressure building up in the head
  • Fainting spells or loss of consciousness
  • A feeling that you're inside a fog
  • "Seeing stars"
  • A buzzing, ringing sound in the ears
  • Nausea, often accompanied by vomiting
  • Fatigue

It's also important to note that slurred speech, as if intoxicated, can happen right after or many days or weeks following a concussion. Another sign you have this brain injury is loss of concentration or problems remembering things.

If you notice changes in your sleep, such as difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, then take that as a sign of a concussion too. You may also become irritable, which can happen due to your sleeping problems.

It's important to seek immediate medical help if you were in a car accident, whether or not the one at fault is a drunk driver. You should contact your primary physician after you experience these signs of a concussion. From there, consider contacting a car accident lawyer who can help you file a claim.

Concussion Symptoms to Watch Out for in A Loved One

What if it wasn't you but a family member or friend who got into a car accident? You can still help them determine if they have a concussion.

Some of the signs to look out for in a person with possible concussive traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Changes in behavior, such as irritability
  • Coordination and balance problems
  • Difficulties in walking straight
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal pupil size or eye movement
  • Bleeding from the ears or nose
  • Long-term confusion and slurred speech

Again, these indications may appear a few minutes after or months from the injury. The important thing is to not delay diagnosis and treatment. As such, contact a medical professional as soon as you notice your loved one exhibiting any of these signs.

Seeking Immediate Diagnosis for a Concussion

Although concussions can be mild, they can still cause long-term damage, especially in people who suffered multiple blows to the head.

To many, these symptoms are more of annoyances. It's more than that though. Headaches alone cost employers $18 billion in lost productivity every year.

Headaches are painful enough, and they can already result in loss of income. What more if you combine these with the other symptoms of concussion?

That's why it's best to visit a doctor for a concussion diagnosis.

Tell your physician about the events that occurred before, during, and after the accident. Share as many details of the symptoms you've experienced. This'll help him/her determine which test you should undergo.

You may have to undergo a concussion eye test, a special type of test designed to discover potential brain injuries. It involves checking for visual changes that a concussion may have resulted in. Your doctor will check the size of your pupils, abnormal eye movements, and sensitivity to light.

If you exhibit severe symptoms, a CT scan or MRI scan may be in order. This will let your doctor determine the presence of serious injuries. If you've had seizures, you may also have to undergo an electroencephalogram, which will monitor your brain waves for unusual activities.

Is Concussion Treatable?

Although most concussions don't require hospitalizations for major treatment, some people may need surgery. It depends on the symptoms and how severe they are.

For instance, if the exams show bleeding in or swelling of the brain, then this may warrant a surgery. Doctors also recommend patients who have serious brain injuries to undergo complex medical procedures.

If the concussion leads to persistent headaches, ask your doctor about the best over-the-counter pain relievers. Keep in mind however, that long term use of these medications can increase risk of tolerance and dependence. In fact, taking them for more than 30 days can already make you dependent on them.

Why You Should Never Underestimate Concussions

First-time concussions may not be fatal, but multiple ones are.

For instance, it's possible to develop a condition called the second impact syndrome. It's one of the known concussion implications that can lead to severe swelling of the brain.

Another of the common concussion risks is chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It's a type of dementia associated with multiple traumatic brain injuries.

You may also develop post-concussion syndrome, a long-term complication of concussions. People who have this suffer from symptoms for an extended period of time (think many weeks, even months!). Concussions can also cause post-traumatic headaches and vertigo, which can affect you for many months.

All these should tell you to take concussions seriously and not treat it as a mere injury. In fact, if you've had one, you need as much rest as possible. It's not recommended to go back to doing strenuous activities or sports right away.

You need to let your brain heal and recuperate. Even after receiving permission to return to work or sports, you should do so in a gradual manner.

Life After a Concussion

For most concussion sufferers, recovery takes several days to a few weeks. But for many others, symptoms can persist for months.

There are even some cases wherein sufferers develop long-lasting physical, mental, and emotional problems. Also, once you've had a concussion, you're already at higher risk for permanent brain damage than those who don't.

The Legal Side of Things

If your concussion occurred due to a car accident, you may receive a call from the insurance company of the other party. They may ask you to sign a claims release. They may even entice you with a cash offer to sign the release forms.

Don't sign anything yet. Wait for the results of your comprehensive medical evaluation before agreeing to anything. Again, you may not experience the symptoms of a concussion now, but you may in a few weeks.

Signing a release means waiving all your legal rights to push through with a compensation claim. So, if you sign that release now before all the symptoms of your injury appear, you may end up paying for your treatment with your own money.

That's a considerable out-of-pocket expense that you shouldn't even pay for in the first place.

Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Now that you know the answer to the question, can concussion symptoms be delayed, you shouldn't think twice about contacting a personal injury lawyer. This is especially true if you believe you knocked your head multiple times or with so much force during the road accident.

The bottom line is, don't let another person's doing affect you, whether in the short term or the long run. If you've been in a car accident and you think you have a concussion, I can help with your injury case.

You can request for a free copy of my Injury DVD and Book that covers everything you need to know about concussions and the laws surrounding them. You only need to give me a call anytime of the day through the toll-free number 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318). You can also contact me at the same number once you're ready for help to push through with your claim.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down   See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

12 Post Car Accident Symptoms to Watch Out For

12 Post Car Accident Symptoms to Watch Out For

In the shock and confusion immediately after a car accident, you may not realize that you're injured.

Some post car accident symptoms can take days or even weeks to recognize.

Even if you feel okay in the minutes and hours after an accident it's important to know what symptoms to look for.

Keep reading for 10 post car accident symptoms to watch out for.

1. Headaches are Common Post Car Accident Symptoms

Headaches are one of the most common post car accident symptoms. You may not experience pain or discomfort right away but wake up the next morning, days or weeks later.

You may experience headaches because of vision issues or any number of other causes after an accident. It could be as benign as a tension headache or from something as serious as a traumatic brain injury.

There are many reasons for headaches after a car accident:

Tension

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be frustrating. You have insurance claims to file, car repairs to arrange, extra expenses to cover, medical symptoms to deal with. There's a lot going on and for that reason, it's not unusual for people to get tension headaches after a car accident.

Concussion

A concussion can be very serious and needs a healthcare professional's attention. There will most likely be other symptoms that stem from a concussion such as:

  • blurred or double vision
  • nausea
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • mood, sleep, and appetite changes

Concussions can cause chronic symptoms and long-term effects.

Whiplash

Whiplash can exhibit many of the same symptoms as a concussion. The sudden jarring force of the impact can stretch the muscles and tendons in and around your neck.

Ligaments, joints, nerves, and discs are often injured during accidents. All can cause intense pain afterward. You may feel fine until you use your arms or move around in everyday life.

Some other whiplash symptoms to watch out for include:

  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • pain in shoulder, neck, or head
  • stiff and sore muscles
  • blurred or double vision
  • restricted range of motion

Whiplash often takes a while to diagnose and it's important to be aware of any post car accident symptoms that could be from whiplash.

Post-Traumatic Stress

Post-traumatic stress disorder is not just suffered by soldiers. Any traumatic event can lead to long-term symptoms.

You don't have to be physically injured or even a participant in the accident to experience post-traumatic stress as a result of it.

Witnesses, first responders, family members, and others are also affected.

Some signs of post-traumatic stress disorder are:

  • Flashbacks, nightmares, or distressing memories of the event
  • Anxiety surrounding anything that reminds you of the accident. This could be a smell, sound or sight.
  • Mood changes, appetite, and sleep changes,
  • inability to concentrate, general anxiety and depression

A persistent headache needs a medical professional to diagnose the cause. They will also be able to provide pain management options.

2. Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain after car accidents can be for several reasons:

  • Tension and stress
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle, tendon, and joint injury
  • Tissue damage

Shoulder and neck pain are common post car accident symptoms related to whiplash, concussion, and other serious things you shouldn't ignore.

3. Mood and Behavior Changes

Loved ones may notice these symptoms before you realize them yourself. Mood and behavior changes can indicate a concussion, post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety disorders and more.

Irritability, emotional mood swings, and becoming withdrawn may be signs of unresolved issues around the accident.

Seeking help and support from loved ones or a counselor can be beneficial as you recover from the accident and its physical, emotional and financial aftermath.

4. Eating and Sleeping Changes

Lack of appetite isn't unusual when dealing with post car accident symptoms. This may be due to stress, an upset stomach, concussion, depression, or other reasons.

If you're concerned about your decreased appetite it may be wise to consult with a health or nutrition professional. They can give you tips and suggestions on how to get your eating back on track.

Emotional or stress eating may also be a response to the stress of a car accident. Seek support from friends, family, or a counselor to help cope with the emotions you are struggling with.

Difficulty sleeping may be a result of other symptoms interfering with your ability to get to sleep or stay in a sound slumber. Pain, nightmares, and stress can all affect your ability to fall or stay asleep.

5. Tingling or Numbness

Experiencing tingling or numbness in your neck, shoulder, extremities or back may be a symptom of nerve or tissue damage.

A pinched nerve can be very painful and will require medical intervention to properly treat. Physiotherapy, TENS machines, nerve blocks, and other treatments have been effective for many but can lead to long-term difficulties in some cases.

6. Abdominal Pain and Nausea

Abdominal pain may be the result of internal bruising or more serious internal bleeding or injury.

Seatbelts pull tight across the abdomen when a car accident occurs. This can lead to tenderness and pain that may not be fully felt until days later.

Nausea is a symptom that may be from stress or a sign of injury.

7. Bruising and Discoloration

Bruises don't always show immediately. It can take a few days before the blood from a broken vessel seeps to your skin surface.

You can bruise or injure internal organs, tissue, and bones that may lead to delayed visible bruising on the skin surface.

Most contusions are not a major concern but if the bruising, discoloration and tenderness continue you should seek medical consultation to find out the cause.

8. Swelling or Stiffness

Swelling and stiffness are common symptoms after a motor vehicle accident. It may take a few hours or even days before you feel the full effect of an injury.

As sprains, pulled muscles and damaged tissue tried to heal it will often swell. This swelling can add to stiffness and reduce your range of motion for the affected area.

If you experience swelling around joints some steps to treat it include:

  • rest and elevate
  • ice
  • immobilize or wrap

After trying all of these, if you still experience swelling and stiffness you may require medical attention or physical therapy to get your range of motion back.

9. Dizziness and Changes in Vision

Double vision, blurred vision, and dizziness experienced in the hours, weeks or days after an accident are noteworthy post car accident symptoms. This could be because of a concussion, post-traumatic stress, whiplash or another underlying issue.

These issues may resolve themselves with time or require medical testing to determine the cause and treat the illness or condition responsible.

10. Changes in Hearing or Tinitis

Ringing in the ears or tinnitus can be an annoying issue that many have to deal with as a post-car accident symptom.

It may be from the loud noise of the impact, shock, concussion, or stress. This may be a symptom that you have to wait out as there are limits to effective treatments for tinnitus.

It's always wise to get a healthcare professional's opinion and advice if you are experiencing changes in hearing or tinnitus post car accident.

11. Back Pain

Back pain can be debilitating and unfortunately can come out of nowhere as a post-car accident symptom. It may be muscle tightness or bruising if the pain is aching and generalized discomfort.

If shooting pain travels down the spine or extremities it could be from damaged or pinched nerves.

Sciatica pain begins in the lower back usually and will travel down the leg. It may be a constant ache or shooting pain.

Pain management, physio, and other interventions may be necessary to treat acute or chronic back pain after a car accident.

12. Lack of Concentration and Memory Loss

Lack of concentration and memory loss can be from head injuries, concussions, stress and more.

You may find it hard to carry on a conversation or finish simple tasks. Your memory may also be due to stress, pain, or other mental and physical health complications.

Traumatic head injuries and stress can lead to difficulty forming thoughts or expressing yourself. While it may be just that you have a million things on your mind and can't think about all of them at once you should seek medical help if your symptoms are interfering with activities of daily living.

Post-concussion syndrome can last for months or even years leaving the individual with difficulty speaking, critical thinking or recalling information.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

After a car accident make sure you pay attention to and document any symptoms you experience. Even if the symptoms don't manifest until days or weeks later it's important not to discount them.

Protecting and taking care of yourself and your family is the most important thing after an accident. This means not only getting medical advice but legal advice on your post car accident symptoms.

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Coup Contrecoup Injury: What to Expect and How to Get Legal Help

Coup Contrecoup Injury: What to Expect and How to Get Legal Help

Statistics about traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States, including coup countercoup injuries, prove sobering. Annually, there are about 1.5 million Americans diagnosed with TBIs, and 50,000 of those die as a result of their injuries. Of the 230,000 people that get hospitalized and survive, between 80,000 and 90,000 of them struggle for the rest of their lives with TBI-related impairments.

When you look at cumulative figures, TBI casualty rates point to an even more shocking trend. Around 5.3 million Americans live with permanent disabilities and symptoms associated with TBIs. Many of these come from a coup contrecoup injury. Read on to learn more about head injuries associated with car and motorcycle accidents and what legal means you have as a victim of such an injury.

Types of TBIs

The majority of TBIs result from an outside force colliding with your head. These TBIs get diagnosed into three categories based on the type of damage inflicted, where, and how. These three types of TBIs are:

  • Coup injury
  • Contrecoup injury
  • Coup contrecoup injury

The term coup (pronounced coo) hearkens back to 18th-century French and means “a stroke or blow.” The word contre (pronounced contra) also comes from French and means “against.” You may sometimes see countrecoup spelled “contra coup” but this spelling is incorrect. So, contrecoup literally means “against blow” and coup contrecoup means “blow against blow.”

As we learn more about how car and motorcycles accidents contribute to these types of injuries, you’ll gain an instant appreciation for the literal meanings of these terms. It will help you to identify their differences, too.

Whether a coup, countrecoup, or coup contrecoup trauma, all three conditions are categorized as non-penetrating injuries. They have many different causes, including:

  • sports-related injuries
  • trauma from falls
  • blunt force trauma
  • motorcycle and car accident-related injuries

For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on TBIs related to car and motorcycle accidents.

Take These TBI Symptoms Seriously

Before we delve into what each of these brain traumas looks like, remember that you need to take any type of traumatic brain seriously. They can prove difficult to diagnose and treat because of the hundreds of different symptoms that may manifest with each type of injury. Time is of the essence with TBIs, so get to the ER as soon as possible if you or someone you love has recently taken a blow to the head.

Attempting to shake off a concussion or grin through the pain could lead to permanent brain damage. What’s more, if left untreated, you could die. If you feel any of the following symptoms, you need to seek medical assistance right away:

  • Blurred vision
  • Affected speech
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dazed
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sluggishness
  • Ringing in ears
  • Behavioral changes
  • Personality changes
  • Other abnormal feelings

Like strokes, every minute counts. TBIs can lead to problems with cerebrospinal fluid flow. They can result in life-threatening brain bleeding (hematomas) or brain swelling. Fragmented bone from skull fractures could also get embedded in brain tissue causing further damage. Don’t take any chances when it comes to head injuries.

Diagnosing TBIs

Before we delve into coup contrecoup injuries caused by vehicle accidents, let’s explore how TBIs get diagnosed. Then, we’ll compare each condition to the other. Going into this discussion, you should know that any brain trauma can prove serious. They all require timely treatment, whether a coup, contrecoup, or coup contrecoup.

Coup

First, coup injuries refer to damage at the point where the force trauma occurs. These prove among the easiest to pinpoint because the area of impact likely contains telltale cuts, contusions, bruises, or other identifying marks with the bruised brain just below. Coup injuries range in severity from mild to severe. They can lead to bruising, swelling, and even hemorrhaging when left untreated.

Contrecoup

Second, contrecoup injuries happen on the opposite side of the brain from the point of impact. When it comes to coup vs contrecoup trauma, contrecoup conditions don’t come with visual markers such as abrasions or cuts. As a result, they often get ignored by patients and overlooked misdiagnosed by healthcare providers.

Contrecoup injuries often occur in a motorcycle crash or a vehicle rollover where the head undergoes the effects of significant force. The reason the trauma appears on the opposite side of the area of impact is that the force and speed causes the brain to strike the skull opposite the blow.

Contrecoup injuries often involve cerebral contusions or brain bruising. Left untreated, contrecoup injuries can cause severe long-term problems for victims as well as microvascular disruption, subdural hematoma, or brain hemorrhage. You may be more familiar with contrecoup injury in the context of “shaken baby syndrome.”

Coup Contrecoup

Finally, coup contrecoup injuries, as the name suggests, represent a combination of coup and countrecoup injuries. Coup contrecoup injuries affect both hemispheres of the brain, proving the most severe to treat. As you can imagine, the double impact sites in the brain can lead to a cataclysmic chain of complications and impairment.

Although the coup portion gets treated, many doctors neglect to diagnose the contrecoup element. Coup contrecoup injuries, when left untreated, can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. Timely treatment remains crucial to avoid complications such as hematomas and swelling of the brain.

How a Car or Motorcycle Crash Damages Your Brain

Brain tissue is soft and delicate. It’s not made to withstand blows and blunt force. The skull’s hard bone shielding envelopes and shields it from damage. And spinal fluid surrounds it providing extra cushioning. In this sense, then, the brain remains somewhat free floating.

During a motorcycle or car accident, the brain jostles around in the head, often at a very high rate of speed with significant force. As we previously discussed, when enough force occurs, the brain slams into the front of the skull. And if the force is powerful enough, it may even cause the brain to then bounce backward smashing into the opposite side of the skull.

These impacts can cause bruising, swelling, damage to blood cells, and damage to nerve cells. We call this a concussion. The term “concussion” doesn’t conjure up the horrific injuries that may impair a victim.

What’s more, people tend to minimize concussions because, oftentimes, few if any visible signs of the damage beneath the skull exist. Victims of TBI may also feel too embarrassed or too confused to report their mental impairments. No one likes to admit to experiencing problems with word recall, memory, uncharacteristic thoughts, depression, and more.

These confessions could lead to problems in the workplace or at home. Some sufferers of TBI do so in silence denying themselves much needed medical attention. Unfortunately, they’re only making matters worse.

The Most Common Areas of Damage

When it comes to the most common areas of the brain damaged by coup contrecoup injuries, physicians often see trauma in the frontal lobe behind the forehead and in the temporal lobe beneath the temples.

These areas of the brain control language comprehension, speaking, and decision making. Depending on the severity of the condition, patients may also experience problems with:

  • Sensory changes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Swallowing
  • Memory
  • Concentration

These remain a short list of the hundreds of symptoms that could afflict those with coup contrecoup injuries. Time and prevention remain crucial to the treatment of TBIs, no matter the type.

Once the brain sustains injuries, they often prove irreversible. It’s crucial that doctors and surgeons act fast to prevent further complications. In mild cases, extra rest may help.

Doctors may also prescribe medication to alleviate some of the symptoms. In severe cases, where brain swelling or bleeding occur, emergency brain surgery may be required to stem the onslaught of these life-threatening complications.

What Does a Coup Contrecoup Injury Cost?

Whether a coup, contrecoup, or coup contrecoup injury, the impact can be devastating. TBIs lead to heartbreaking physical and mental impairments. But they take a financial and emotional toll, too. People suffering from TBIs have faced everything from lost wages to lost jobs to divorces as a result of their inability to recover from an accident.

According to the New York Times, “A single concussion… may have lasting repercussions on mental health and intellectual and physical functioning… and multiple head injuries increase the risks of later problems.”

TBI sufferers may face a lifetime of struggle attempting to rehabilitate, relearn, and move on with their lives. And the most severe may remain dependent on others for the rest of their lives. When these injuries result from negligence or malice on the part of another, the trauma can prove more difficult for victims to overcome.

There Is Hope

If you or someone you love is suffering from a coup contrecoup injury or another type of TBI, you may feel overwhelmed or even hopeless. You may not know what recourse you have from a legal standpoint. You may feel like you’ve run out of options, and no one is on your side.

But we can help. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. We have worked with many other clients suffering from the ill effects of TBI, and we’re here to provide you with the support and legal representation that you need during this difficult time.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Motorcycle Attorney After an Accident

10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Motorcycle Attorney After an Accident

Every year, there are about 90,000 people injured in accidents involving motorcycles all across the United States.

In some cases, the motorcycle driver is the one to blame for the crash. But in many others, the motorcycle driver is an innocent victim who is forced to deal with injuries and medical bills stemming from a crash they didn't cause.

If you were recently involved in a motorcycle accident, it's a good idea to consider hiring a motorcycle attorney to handle your case. Whether you sustained injuries in the accident or not, you might be entitled to a settlement payment that could take care of any damage done to you, your bike, and other vehicles that were involved in the crash.

Here are 10 reasons why you should hire a motorcycle attorney if you're ever involved in a motorcycle accident.

1. A Motorcycle Attorney Can Determine If You Deserve Compensation

There are times when you, unfortunately, will not be eligible to claim compensation in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. If you were the one who 100 percent caused the crash, for example, compensation might not be in the cards for you.

But even if you were ultimately to blame for the crash, you could still be entitled to collect a small settlement that you can use towards repairing your motorcycle and taking care of any injuries you sustained.

If you attempt to figure out how much compensation you're owed on your own or, worse, if you attempt to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company without a motorcycle attorney, you could end up accepting way less than you deserve.

A good attorney can let you know if you qualify for compensation and help you get the most money possible from an insurance company.

2. They Can Explain the Process of Filing a Legal Claim

If a motorcycle attorney determines that you are, in fact, eligible to some kind of compensation following a motorcycle crash, they'll explain how you need to go about filing a legal claim.

In some instances, it's as simple as negotiating a fair settlement with an insurance company. In others, it could require you to go to court to get a settlement you're happy with.

Regardless, an attorney can break down the process you'll need to go through to collect compensation. This will prove to be very important once the process actually begins.

3. They Can Answer Any Questions You Have at Any Time

The average person doesn't know the first thing about filing a legal claim and attempting to collect compensation after a motorcycle crash.

Therefore, people usually have tons of questions that they want to ask about how it all works. When you bring a reputable motorcycle attorney on board and ask for their help, they'll be able to answer all those questions quickly.

It'll be nice to have an attorney in your corner you can trust. It'll put your mind at ease whenever you're confused about something that's happening.

4. They Can Find Out the Facts About Your Specific Case

After you've agreed to work with a motorcycle attorney, they'll take the time to gather all the facts surrounding your specific case.

They'll pull police reports and read through them to see what took place during your accident. They'll contact insurance companies to get a read on what they're thinking with regards to your crash. They'll even evaluate your medical situation and see what kind of bills you could be facing down the line due to the injuries you sustained.

Good attorneys know how to gather facts and use them to their benefit. Your lawyer will be able to make a strong case for you once all the facts are in place.

5. They Can Negotiate With Your Insurance Company

Before they take any official legal action on your behalf, your motorcycle attorney will reach out to your insurance company to see if they can negotiate a settlement related to your case.

At this point, if you're entitled to compensation, your insurance company has probably already reached out to you to try and work out a settlement deal. The insurance company's adjuster has likely tried to give you a lowball offer to keep you happy.

Assuming you haven't accepted that offer, your attorney can push for your insurance company to give you more money. They can use the facts they've gathered to show your insurance company why you deserve more money than they're offering.

Negotiating with an insurance company can be very challenging, even for the best attorneys. It's best for you to leave it to the professionals rather than trying to do it on your own.

6. They Can File a Lawsuit on Your Behalf, If Necessary

More often than not, a motorcycle attorney can negotiate with your insurance company and come to terms on a settlement. It'll help you avoid having to take your case to court.

But in the event that your attorney can't strike a deal, they'll be able to handle filing a personal injury lawsuit for you. They'll also be able to explain why filing a lawsuit is in your best interest based on the facts surrounding your case.

Filing a lawsuit and going to court could obviously complicate your life and cost you money in the process. But if it ends up getting you a significantly larger settlement in the end, it'll be worth it.

7. They Can Represent You in Court

Outside of helping you to file a lawsuit following your motorcycle accident, a motorcycle attorney can also stand by your side and represent you in court. They'll present a case for you, argue the facts about the case, and try to show a judge or jury that you deserve more than what your insurance company initially offered you.

You should never attempt to represent yourself in court if you don't have any experience doing it. The opposition will likely wipe the floor with you and make it difficult for you to collect money you might actually deserve.

By bringing an attorney in, you'll significantly increase your chances of winning your case. You'll also rest easier at night knowing that you don't have to figure out a way to launch a legal attack without any law experience.

8. They Can Paint You in a Favorable Light to a Jury

One of the biggest challenges you'll face in court is the misperception that many people have when it comes to motorcycle riders.

Most people are under the assumption that any accident involving a motorcycle rider is the motorcycle rider's fault. People wrongfully assume that motorcycle riders are all irresponsible and drive recklessly when they're out on the road.

You obviously know that this isn't true. But it's easy for lawyers to convince judges and juries otherwise. It's not uncommon for the perception of motorcycle riders to hurt them in court.

A good attorney can shoot down any misconceptions about motorcycle riders in court and show a jury that you're a responsible rider. They'll use things like your experience level and your expertise to show that you shouldn't be blamed for the crash that occurred.

9. They Can Get You the Money You Need to Fully Recover

At the end of the day, your goal is to collect enough money to pay for the damages done to your motorcycle and to pay the medical bills that you've racked up trying to heal from the injuries sustained during your crash.

Your motorcycle attorney will function with that goal in mind at all times. They'll make it their mission to find a way to get you the money you need to move forward with your life. That's what you're hiring them to do, and that will be their only goal while working with you.

10. They Can Allow You To Focus on the Recovery Process

You've been through a lot since your motorcycle accident.

A lot of the wounds you sustained have probably healed. But you might still have a long way to go until you're back to 100 percent as far as health is concerned.

Rather than spending all your time worrying about collecting compensation, you can worry about getting better when you hire a motorcycle attorney. Your attorney will take care of your legal problems while you concentrate on everything else you have going on in your life.

Taking this approach will be much better for you in the long run. It'll prevent you from having to deal with health issues well into the future.

Hire a Reputable Motorcycle Attorney Today

Trying to recover from a motorcycle accident can be a painful process. Don't make it any more painful than it has to be by refusing to hire a motorcycle attorney.

As long as you hire the right attorney, they'll be able to get you compensation for your accident so that you can get back on your feet in no time. It won't be long before you're on your bike again doing what you like to do best.

Contact us today to get a free consultation on your case. You can also check out our blog for more information on personal injury cases.

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Is It Possible to Get PTSD From a Car Accident?

Is It Possible to Get PTSD From a Car Accident?

Estimates state that globally, as many as 50 million people become injured or disabled in traffic accidents every year.

2.3 people in the United States become injured or disabled as a result of road incidents.

But traffic incidents don't only cause disability and injury but are also a leading cause of death. In fact, 37,000 people in the United States die every year due to car accidents.

Physical injury isn't the only result of road incidents. Developing PTSD from car accident is actually very common.

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, symptoms often present themselves after someone has felt a threat to their life. A bad car accident can do that to an individual.

As a result, many physicians suggest that any patient who has been in a serious accident receive a psychological evaluation after the incident.

Besides physical healing, many survivors of accidents will have to face years of psychological counseling and work to repair mental harm.

Who Is Most Likely to Develop PTSD After a Car Accident?

Some individuals may experience life-threatening injuries after a road incident and show no signs of PTSD. Others may walk away from a more minor incident exhibiting symptoms of severe trauma.

To find out if individuals have PTSD, many doctors look at the patient's history.

Those who have a history of anxiety or depression are the most likely to develop PTSD following a road incident. This is because their brain is already susceptible to anxiety, and PTSD often makes it worse.

Survivors of car accidents who have a history of other mental health issues are also more likely to develop it. This is because, for many, they are already predisposed to PTSD, but don't go on to develop it until there is an inciting factor. The car accident could be the trigger that sets them off.

People who have jobs that expose them to trauma are also more likely to have PTSD following an accident.

Such jobs that expose people to trauma include nurses, doctors, EMTs and people who deal with violence or illnesses daily. The car accident may exacerbate existing symptoms or compound on the trauma that they are already exposed to in the workplace.

Those who don't have a strong family support system or a network of friends may also develop PTSD following a car accident. This is because they may have to process the trauma all by themselves, which can, again, exacerbate symptoms.

What Type of Car Crashes Cause PTSD?

If the individual in question already had PTSD from another event or suffered from anxiety, almost any kind of car crash can make their issues worse.

While any type of accident can cause PTSD, there are some that are more likely to traumatize those involved than others. These include accidents in which the individual felt as though they were in real danger of losing his or her life or if someone perished in the accident.

PTSD is also more likely if the individual suffered severe physical injuries. This is also true if the injury placed the individual in the hospital or the injuries are life-changing.

If the individual saw a loved one die in the accident, this can cause immense psychological trauma. This is particularly true if the accident was very gory or if the individual saw loved ones in an altered or bloody state before death.

Even if a loved one did not die, but was badly injured, this can also cause trauma to others who were in the accident. Witnessing particularly violent scenes, even if they did not end in death can be mentally scarring.

This can also compound the fear that something might happen to the person who was injured in the accident with them.

If someone not related or known to the individual passed away from the accident, this can still cause symptoms of PTSD. Again, this is particularly true if the other party perished in a violent way as a result of the accident.

Thinking that you were at fault for an accident can cause psychological trauma. For example, if the individual was driving a car, lost control and killed a pedestrian or someone on a motorbike this can cause severe psychological scarring.

What Are the Main Symptoms of PTSD From Car Accident?

Symptoms will vary from individual to individual, but most have one common theme: debilitating anxiety.

Individuals may begin to suffer panic attacks. The trigger may be memories of the car accident or riding in a car. For some, the panic attacks occur, and then start to cycle.

This happens if the person has a panic attack relating to the car accident, but then becomes so afraid of having another panic attack that they then have a panic attack.

Other symptoms include the refusal to get into a car, or extreme fear surrounding riding in a vehicle. The individual may also feel anxious around the site of the car accident, and if it was local, may work to avoid where it occurred.

The individual may also develop a sense of foreboding, as though something terrible is about to happen. They may also worry that something terrible is going to happen to someone else or feel unsafe in areas they once regarded as such.

If another person was injured or killed in the car accident, they may begin to worry that they might never see that person again or that the person will once again become injured.

Less Obvious Symptoms of PTSD

It may seem like PTSD is a straightforward diagnosis. If the symptoms occur following a car accident, many people may assume this means that the person's fears will focus on cars and car accidents.

This isn't always the case, and signs and symptoms can be less obvious.

Some people with PTSD can experience outbursts of anger or mood swings.

They may also become withdrawn or have difficulty interacting with people after the accident. They may also choose to stop speaking to others who were also in the accident, even if they are family members or good friends.

The individual may also have trouble remembering parts of the accident, such as what lead up to it or what happened directly after. This can be a way the brain protects itself from trauma and unwanted thoughts.

There also may be trouble re-integrating into life after the accident. This can mean they are not showing up at work or school, or don't want to talk to people in social situations.

The individual may also have trouble breathing, sweat a lot, feel irritable or angry and may have a faster heart rate than normal. While some of the described symptoms seem scary, they are common for people with PTSD.

Are There Other Factors After an Accident That Can Make PTSD Worse?

We already discussed factors that can make someone susceptible to PTSD even before an accident occurs. But what about those that can make someone prone to post-traumatic stress disorder after the accident has occurred?

Some people may experience trauma and psychological issues for a very short time after the accident and then return to life as normal.

Other people will have a very hard time doing so, which can relate to several things.

Those who take a long time to recover from physical injuries are more likely to have PTSD symptoms than those who do not. This also means that those who have more severe injuries are more often prone to post-traumatic stress disorder.

For example, if someone loses their leg in an automobile accident, this can cause a fair amount of post-traumatic stress.

Compared to someone who sprained their wrist in an accident, the injury can leave a fair amount of psychological scarring.

As mentioned above, if the individual doesn't have a strong support system, this can also affect how fast he or she not only gets back to normal life but if they also suffer from PTSD.

What Can I Do If I Develop PTSD After an Accident?

See a counselor if you think you might have PTSD from a car accident. They can help provide you with some of the tools you need in order for you to begin healing from the event. If you don't know of a counselor to get in touch with, speak to your physician.

You can also contact a lawyer to see if you are entitled to any compensation from the accident, and the psychological damage you have suffered.

So, Can You Get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder From a Car Accident?

The resounding answer to this question is yes, you can develop PTSD from a car accident. This can affect all aspects of your daily life and make it difficult to resume normal activities.

If you or a loved one have experienced PTSD from a car crash, check out our website for more information on your rights and the possible compensation available for your injuries.

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What’s the True Cost of Your Bike Wreck Injuries?

What’s the True Cost of Your Bike Wreck Injuries?

According to recent surveys, 100 million Americans have used bicycles at some point as a form of transportation. However, most of them don’t continue to bike to school or work regularly for fear of an accident.

53% of Americans stated that they are interested in riding their bike more often but are nervous about riding in traffic.

Their fears are, unfortunately, well-founded. Accidents, injury and even death occur fairly often. It is important to understand what happens when you’ve been in an accident and what you’re entitled to.

If you’ve been in a bike accident, you may wonder how much you are entitled to when it comes to a payout. The amount you’ll get will depend on the type of injury, whether it has permanently affected your life and how long you spent recovering.

Things like emotional damages and suffering will also be calculated into your compensation package.

If the worst has occurred and you lost a loved one in a bike accident, as the remaining members of the family or spouse, you may be entitled to a lump sum for your suffering.

Read on to learn about what you’re entitled to after a bike wreck and how the courts calculate it.

Determining Who Is At Fault

Before you receive any time of monetary package, a legal team will need to determine who is at fault for the accident. If, for example, you were not in the properly marked bike lane when you were hit, you may not receive anything. This is because you were not following the rules of the road when the accident occurred.

If you ran a red light or were going the wrong way on the road, this would also mean that you were at fault.

You will be responsible for damages if you are found to be the one who caused the accident. However, if the driver, or another cyclist, is the one who caused the accident, you may receive a settlement.

What is a Settlement?

A settlement is the amount of money you receive, most likely from the driver’s insurance, after the accident. This negotiation only takes place once the police and insurance company have determined that you are not at fault.

Most lawyers negotiate settlements for their clients out of court, though a lawyer must be highly adept at personal injury law. Settlements are final once both parties have reached an agreement, and you cannot go back and ask for more money.

How Do I Make Sure I Get a Fair Amount?

In order to calculate your damages, you will need to save the entire paper trail of your expenses. This means you will need to keep all documentation pertaining to medical bills or your work pay stubs, particularly if you were out of work for a long period of time. Without these crucial documents, your lawyer may not have the correct figures and may not ask for what you are fairly due.

Your lawyer cannot pull the amount out of the air, so it is important that you have proof of everything necessary. This way, your settlement will be calculated fairly.

Damages for a Bike Wreck: Lost Wages

If you’ve watched any courtroom dramas or read about any high profile cases, you’ll already know that in order for compensation to occur, he or she must assess the damages. But what exactly does that mean?

Your lawyer will likely separate damages into two categories, your economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are how much you spent or lost as a result of your bike accident.

If, for example, you were in the hospital for three weeks and could not return to work for four months after the fact, your lawyer may calculate five months of lost wages as part of your package. This is particularly true if you work a non-salaried position where you were not paid at all during the time you were recovering from your injuries.

In order to arrive at this figure, your lawyer will examine your pay stubs and your wage. If you normally work for $9 an hour, for example, and work 35 hours a week, this will be the figure your lawyer will use. If you had to take five months off, using this figure, you could be entitled to $6300 in lost wages.

If you are still unable to return to work, or can only return to work in a reduced capacity, this will also be a consideration. If, for example, you typically work for 35 hours a week at $9 an hour and can now only work 15 hours a week, you could receive money for the 20 hours you can’t work.

Economic Damages: Medical Bills

When you spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital either recovering or consulting with doctors, your bills will mount. Even if you have insurance, a bike wreck can clear out your bank account pretty quickly.

Your medical bills will, therefore, be part of the package you might receive when negotiating your payout. Your lawyer will not only calculate all of the medical bills you’ve accrued but will also take future medical bills into consideration.

If, for example, you know you will continue in physical therapy three times a week for at least five months after the settlement, you will receive money to cover the cost.

When calculating a settlement package, your lawyer will also estimate how much money you will need going forward. This will cover future doctor expenses and medical bills as well as any medications you might now take as a result of your injury.

Other Factors for Economic Loss

If you need to attend rehab or have to have special concessions made for your home due to your injury, this will also be calculated into your settlement package.

For example, if you had to use a wheelchair for several months and had to build a wheelchair ramp to allow you to get into your home, your settlement will reflect the cost.

Your settlement can also include nursing care in your home, loss of income for relatives who had to care for you and any other issues you may have pertaining directly to the injury.

Non-Economic Damages

You may have read about or heard of people receiving awards for pain and suffering, as well as other non-material categories. Although this may sound vague, a personal injury lawyer will understand exactly how to calculate it.

There are four major categories that you can receive compensation for when it comes to your bike injury settlement. These are pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is distinct from emotional distress or loss of enjoyment of life. In order to receive compensation for pain and suffering, you will need to prove that the injuries persist. This means that if you broke your ankle in the accident, you can prove that your ankle still bothers you.

If your ankle still bothers you and it prevents you from doing household chores and playing soccer with your kids, this can also fall under the “pain and suffering” category.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is separate from pain and suffering, though some people conflate the two. Emotional distress comes from the inability to ride your bike again after the accident due to fear. Other emotional distress could take the form of anxiety or panic attacks.

Often, people who have been in serious accidents will suffer anxiety after the fact. You may have episodes of intense anxiety, particularly around the crash site. Or, you might find it difficult to drive near a cyclist.

All of the aforementioned account for emotional distress. If you have to receive therapy or medication to assuage your panic and anxiety, payment for the sessions could also end up being part of your settlement package.

Loss of Consortium

Your spouse or partner can claim a loss of consortium settlement. Although it may seem vague, it essentially means they receive compensation for the things you cannot do with them as a partner. For example, if you normally financially provide for them and you cannot, due to your injury, this is included.

Other things that your partner can claim for are a loss of sex or sex drive as a result of the accident or inability to have children. If you can no longer provide the assistance you used to due to your accident, your partner can also receive a settlement of this loss.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

While this may sound similar to pain and suffering, they are, in fact, different. If you used to dance for fun and can no longer do so due to your injuries, you can include this in your settlement package. Your inability do dance will go under loss of enjoyment of life.

What Kind of Settlement Will I Receive?

If you’ve been involved in a bike wreck, you will need to work closely with your lawyer to determine the exact settlement you feel entitled to receive.

For those who have lost a loved one to a bike wreck, a personal injury lawyer can also assist you in a settlement package.

For more information on personal injury and the law, visit our site.

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Car vs Truck Accidents: 7 Differences You Need to Know

Car vs Truck Accidents: 7 Differences You Need to Know

If you’ve ever been in a vehicular accident, you know how terrifying it is. You don’t know who to call or what to do. All those commercial jingles with the catchy numbers you can’t get out of your head are gone in an instant.

You know to contact the police and your insurance company, but do you call a lawyer too?

If you’re involved in an accident with a semi, the situation is even more intense and confusing. In this guide, we point out the seven differences between car vs. truck accidents that you need to know.

Car vs. Truck Accidents: By the Numbers

More than 7.2 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year. The statistics are alarming, considering the data shows the number of crashes is on the rise. The number of fatalities is also increasing.

These figures only tell a part of the story. The number of accidents involving large trucks (semis, tractor trailers, etc.) increased by 5% from 2015-2016.

These numbers start to intersect. Large trucks are involved in fewer accidents but cause more damage due to their size. In fact, commercial trucks account for 287,000 insurance property damage claims, more than 77,000 injuries, and more than 4,300 deaths.

It’s obvious that large commercial vehicles cause more damage in a truck and car accident. They weigh 20-30 times more than the average car. They’re also longer and taller.

But there are more differences than the vehicle size when it comes to semi accidents.

1. Trucks Carry More Insurance

You insure your personal car according to your state’s coverage requirements. Your driving record and personal info play a factor in your cost, as does the type of vehicle you drive.

But when you’re talking about an 18-wheeler, it’s a little more complicated.

Semi truck insurance has different liability coverage than cars. This coverage depends on whether they’re an owner-operator or an owner-operator that leases with a carrier.

For the former, policies can run between $3,000-$5,000 per year. For the latter, the average insurance policy costs $9,000-$12,000 every year. Where a trucker falls in these figures also depends on the following:

  • What they haul
  • How much their truck is worth
  • How far they drive
  • Their age
  • Their CDL experience
  • Their credit history

The way they structure their payment plan also influences the cost, as does their payment history.

These policies are worth millions, which is why the insurance companies spend big bucks fighting claims. They hire the most experienced adjusters to work these cases.

No insurance wants to pay in court, but carriers who hold semi policies use complicated tactics to avoid liability. They also try to blame the injured for the accident.

If a judge or jury finds the truck driver isn’t 100% liable, you could get awarded less money or your claim could get denied outright. In some cases, the trucker’s insurance company will reach out to you with a settlement offer. Before you accept any amount of money, speak to a lawyer who specializes in these cases.

2. Semis Follow Federal Laws and Guidelines

All passenger vehicles follow state and local traffic ordinances, whereas semis have federal regulations to follow as well. If a tractor-trailer driver is in violation of these laws, 18-wheeler accident settlements look a lot different.

Large and commercial trucks travel the interstate which forces the federal government to set these regulations. All semi drivers and trucking companies must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

These guidelines regulate how much they can haul and drive in a certain timespan. Truckers and companies must meet special qualification and inspections.

They must keep accurate logbooks that detail what they haul, where they haul it to, and how long it takes them to get there. If it’s proven they’ve cooked the books, you may be open to higher compensation.

This is another area of expertise your attorney should be confident in.

3. Different Evidence Gets Presented in Court

Personal injury attorneys collect evidence after an accident. They review witness statements, photos of the vehicles, security videos, and police reports.

When it comes to semi accidents, there’s a different set of evidence to collect. These get broken up into one of three categories:

  • Truck driver
  • Vehicle
  • Cargo

Your lawyer investigates each category so there’s enough information to present your case. When it comes to collecting evidence on the truck driver, your attorney should be looking at the driver’s qualifications and training. They should also review drug and alcohol screenings and the driver’s hours of service documents.

An experienced attorney will also go over evidence related to the semi itself. This includes maintenance and inspection histories. The onboard system and GPS will also get reviewed.

Because cargo plays a crucial role in the weight of the semi, your lawyer should review all weigh station paperwork, bills of lading, and dispatch instructions.

Your attorney will collect evidence faster in a semi accident. Because the FMCSA only requires truckers keep records for a set amount of time. For instance, they’re only required to keep logbooks for six months.

You should never rush into hiring an attorney, but in the case of an accident with a semi, bear in mind you’re working with a shorter timeline.

4. There’s Different Science Involved

As heavy and large as commercial trucks are, they’re operated in a different manner than passenger cars, making the science of them

In general, truck drivers need more time to come to a complete stop. It also takes semis longer to speed up than a car. They need more space and special handling to maneuver.

Drivers have to use different angles when backing up and have different blind spots. In an accident, the collision itself is different, beyond damages and injuries. Equipment failure is more significant in an accident involving a semi.

While equipment failure won’t get the driver off the hook, it could lessen their liability, which decreases your compensation. They’re still responsible for making sure their truck is well-maintained and without equipment issues.

That said, if the equipment failure is the result of a driver failing to maintain or inspect the truck, the onus falls back on them.

If the driver is successful, you and your legal team may have to turn your attention to the trucking company or the truck manufacturer.

5. Liability is Different

That brings us to liability. Proving it in court may be your biggest obstacle. If you are not represented by an attorney, this is where you’ll start losing your case.

Due to all the guidelines truckers and trucking companies follow, they’ll have specialized training in these areas. They will also get trained on the cargo they’re hauling.

Commercial truck drivers should carry a CDL license. There are different classifications for a CDL based on the truck’s size. There are special endorsements on a CDL depending on what type of vehicle it is.

These endorsements mean the CDL holder has training in this field (ex. hazardous material or charter bus driving). In an accident, one of the first things a lawyer does is verify the driver holds correct licenses and certifications.

For example, if the driver doesn’t have a T endorsement but was operating a double-trailer that hit you, they weren’t qualified for that load and the trucking company may be liable.

Even in extreme situations, like terrible car accidents that result in death, you’re only dealing with the other driver and their insurance company. In a crash involving a tractor-trailer, you have many parties involved.

Depending on who the driver is and where he/she works, the owner of the trucking company could also be liable. Under FMCSR guidelines, the truck (tractor) and trailer are separate entities. As such, the truck and trailer aren’t always owned by the same company.

Sometimes, the owner of the haul or trailer could be at fault. Most often, drivers don’t load the trailers. Shippers or loaders handle the cargo including loading and offloading it from the trailer.

If the cargo is at fault, freight forwarders, warehouse workers, brokers, and shippers are open to liability. Maintenance and repair shops can also be liable if their faulty or improper work it to blame.

6. Medical Bills are Higher

A large part of the compensation involves the injuries you suffered and how much they cost you. Because a semi causes more damage than a passenger car, it stands to reason that the medical bills are higher.

7. Compensation is Greater

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but because the medical bills are higher, the compensation amount you’re seeking will be higher. Depending on your case, you may get awarded property damages.

If you miss work for an extended period of time or lose your job as a result of the accident, you may receive compensation for the loss of income. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to calculate all your damages and financial losses to get you the most compensation possible.

Lawyers, Like Accidents, Are Not Equal

The same way car vs. truck accidents cause different results than a car vs. car accident, different states have different laws regarding these accidents.

Here in Illinois, the Rules of the Road can be tricky. Chicago has its own ordinances regarding trucks, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles, so you need a lawyer who understands these differences inside and out.

If you’re ever involved in a car accident involving a large truck, contact the Law Offices of Scott D. DeSalvo. Our testimonials prove you can like and trust your lawyer.

Visit our FAQ section to learn more about Mr. DeSalvo’s ethical philosophy when it comes to practicing law. Contact Mr. DeSalvo to schedule your free consultation today.

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Whiplash Recovery: What You Can Expect After Your Injury

Whiplash Recovery: What You Can Expect After Your Injury

Based on rigorous testing, researchers have found that nearly 40% of all car crashes result in some kind of head trauma.

Including all of the neck, back, limb, and other physical injuries that occur, whiplash is the most common result of the head being thrown back in a crash. Whiplash recovery takes months, or else becomes a permanent part of your life if you’re in an unlucky position when an accident occurs.

Here is everything you need to know about whiplash, its symptoms, and what it takes to recover.

Causes of Whiplash

If you’re feeling whiplash, the first thing you’re probably trying to figure out is what caused it. Those strains in your neck muscles are occurring as a reaction to some event or incident.

Rapid back and forth movement or an extreme impact are what cause whiplash. The sudden movement puts pressure on your tendons and causes ligaments to stretch unnaturally. This can even cause them to tear, which is the result that leads to whiplash.

If you’ve been in a serious car accident or a bike accident, you will suffer whiplash. It also occurs from sports like football, horseback riding, or boxing.

Any kind of physical abuse or contact sports like karate which lead to being punched or shaken cause whiplash. Any kind of blow to the head or a severe fall results in symptoms related to or leading to whiplash.

To find out the severity of these incidents, it’s necessary to go to see a medical professional. Chiropractors and rheumatologists have the necessary training to tell you whether or not you’ve suffered whiplash. While surgery isn’t the solution, there are other clinical solutions that alleviate pain and suffering.

Getting To Know The Symptoms

The symptoms of whiplash can vary from dull to sharp pains, located all along the spine and in the muscular tissues from the head all the way down your back. Whiplash sometimes encompasses injuries that affect intervertebral joints along your spine. The discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerves along your back are part of the system sometimes impacted by whiplash.

Suffering a rear impact crash pushes your body forward and throws your head and neck backward. This leads to neck pain and stiffness most directly. The indirect impacts appear as headaches, dizziness, and, in the most extreme cases, memory loss.

Some people suffer insomnia from the pain, persistent fatigue, or even depression as a result.

Most whiplash incidents aren’t reported, leading to a vague concept of what the impacts are. However, because the muscular system of the neck and back are both complex and fragile, we know that headaches, neck aches, and backaches are often related. We also know now that serious injuries impact other parts of our brains, which is how we know that depression and insomnia are related to whiplash.

Delayed treatment leads to longer-term problems. Permanent injuries often occur as a result of these injuries because they’re so poorly documented.

Treating the Short-Term Impacts

Whiplash doesn’t often last for very long. Many of the body’s injuries like these are ones that are self-healing. If the pain lasts for more than six months, it’s considered chronic whiplash.

Otherwise, these problems will go away with most over the counter medication.

If whiplash persists for a few weeks, make sure to seek help from a medical professional. Your doctor is the only one with the power to prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxers. If you want your health insurance to cover it, ask for a prescription for physical therapy.

There are other types of treatment available as well. Some people try acupuncture and electronic nerve treatments. The best treatment will come from your chiropractor or rheumatologist.

They often recommend massages to help bring the muscles back to good health.

Understanding the Long-Term Impacts

If the impacts occur for longer than 6 months, this has become a serious and chronic issue that requires medical intervention. There are a few serious symptoms to look out for with long-term chronic whiplash.

While the pain and stiffness that impacts your neck and shoulders persist, look out for other symptoms. The pain may also spread to your upper or even lower back. When you start to suffer headaches, it’s time to seek out some help.

Watch out for pain in your jaw. This means that your skull has been upset and you might need your jaw re-set. You could even suffer tooth damage.

If you find yourself with moments of blurred vision, this is a sign that you have some interior damage from this impact. Dizziness and ringing in the ears that accompany these feelings indicate that the problem is serious.

There are even cognitive and psychological results to look out for. Memory or concentration issues mean that brain damage has occurred as a result of whiplash. If you have trouble sleeping or feel constantly irritable or anxious, you’re suffering serious consequences and need to seek out medical treatment as soon as possible.

What You Can Do Now

If you recently suffered an accident or haven’t decided whether or not you’re suffering whiplash, try some simple over the counter treatments. Since most doctor’s appointments will end with a prescription for aspirin or Acetominophin, save yourself a trip to the doctor. Start off by taking two and seeing how you feel.

If your pain persists, you may require prescription treatment or muscle relaxers if your muscles are spasming. However, prescription painkillers make you unable to do many everyday tasks and can be addictive. Prescription painkillers should be your last course of treatment.

For anyone who is already seeking physical therapy, don’t miss an appointment. Your continued attendance is crucial to the success of your recovery.

Try alternating ice and heat packs while at home. If you’re kicking your feet up and feeling pain after a long day at work, try applying ice for 15 minutes and heat for 15 minutes in alternating sequences.

Practice a few simple necks, back, and shoulder exercises every day. This helps to rebuild the flexibility in your neck.

Whenever you sit or stand, try to practice your best possible posture. When you’re at least, be sure that your neck muscles are also at rest and not straining. You may even try wearing a foam collar while you sit around at the end of a day.

If you’ve just suffered your injury, that’s the time to wear a collar. Only do so for a few hours at a time, as it can harm as much as it helps.

Start Putting Together a Case

As you call each medical facility and start receiving treatment, you need to keep documentation of every point of contact. If you’ve just gotten into an accident, had a fall, or were assaulted, seek out care as soon as possible. Waiting too long means that you’re risking your medical care and treatment falling outside of the window of coverage you could be claiming.

Start by visiting your general practitioner or primary care physician. Describe your symptoms and be sure that they’ve recorded everything. Since its hard to document every symptom with a scan or an x-ray, your written record of symptoms is an important piece of evidence.

Getting fair compensation, unfortunately, requires you to jump through some hoops. However, if you talk to a lawyer and present all of the relevant documentation, you should be able to get what you’re entitled to.

Don’t fret about cost when you’re first putting together your case. Most personal injury lawyers won’t charge you until they’ve talked things over with you and decided whether or not you have a case. If they do decide you have a case, they take most personal injury cases on a contingency, meaning that they only receive a payment if you do.

After your injury, expect to have to jump through a number of hoops just to put your case together. However, once you’ve spoken with a lawyer and provided all of the necessary paperwork for them to put together a case, you should be able to walk away. With the right tools on hand, a competent lawyer gets your medical bills covered and ensures that you don’t have to do any more work.

Whiplash Recovery Can Be An Endless Road

Unless you’re young, extremely healthy, and quite lucky, whiplash recovery is a long and tiring road following an accident or an event.

If whiplash follows you like a shadow for months or years after an incident, it could cost you hundreds of thousands.

With the right preparation and representation, you’ll spare yourself a continuous headache on your road to recovery.

If you’re suffering emotional distress as a result of the incident causing your whiplash, check out our guide for what to do.

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Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

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