Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Scott DeSalvo Reveals What Every Victim of Injury Needs to Know About Car Accident Cases.
The first thing you should know about car accident cases if you have recently been involved in a crash is this: you can suffer almost any kind of injury imaginable.
This might seem counter-intuitive at first. After all, in a car crash, you are inside a steel machine which weighs thousands of pounds. How is it so easy to be injured?
Well, according to the CDC, Americans spend more than a million days in the hospital each year as a result of crashes. And, in 2012 alone, the lifetime medical cost for people injured in car crashes is over $18 billion.
Older occupants and children can actually be more likely to be injured in a crash due to their physical condition and the fact that the safety equipment and restraints in cars may not be perfectly designed with their size, weight and physical condition in mind. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Obese individuals might be more likely to be hurt for the same reasons.
According to a study released by AT&T in 2015, about 70% of people who respnded to the survey admitted to using their smartphones while driving. This use include not jus t texting, but using such popular apps as email Twitter, Snapchar and Facebook.
Using your smartphone while driving increases your risk of a car crash up to 8 times, acording to the National Safety Council, and that cell phone use is a cause in 27% of all crashes.
What are the Most Common Kinds of Injuries In A Car Accident?
While injuires can even include death or damage to internal organs due to a seat belt, or a broken nose and eye injuries due to an airbag deploying, here are the five most common injuries that a Chicago Car accident lawyer is likely to see in the course of a year.
Whiplash injuries are very common in a car crash. There are many fancy names for such injuries, like acceleration-deceleration injury, or coup-counter-coup, but I prefer the term whiplash,because everyone has heard it.
What many people do not know is that the cervical spine (neck) was never designed for the rapid forward and backward movement ina whiplash-type crash. This can cause temporary muscle strain, but most commonly, can stretch out the ligaments which hold the neck bones in place, and cause a chronic pain condition. This explains why millions of Americans live with neck and back pain after a crash. Unfortunately, there is nothing to operate on, and these people might have to live with permanent pain.
It surprises some people to realize that knee injuries are very common after a crash. This usually happens when a person’s foot is planted, for example, on a brake pedal. Then, a strong force from the side, front or back transfers that force to the delicate knee joint.
When the foot slips off the pedal or if it is a side impact, it can cause the knee to twist, causing torn tendons and torn meniscus. These injuries often require surgery, and the outcome can result in permanent chronic problems with the knee, but thankfully, most people recover nicely.
Believe it or not, it is easy to break a leg, arm, shoulder or wrist in a car crash. Often, people grasping the steering wheel in a high force impact can have their hand slip off the steering wheel and result in a broken hand or wrist. A side impact or serious head on rear end collision easily generate enough force to break bones, and which bones break depends on the body position, age, and health of the car occupant.
Broken bones require immediate care and X-rays to see if the bone has shattered or is seriously out of alignment, and that requires surgery and possibly, the placement of screws and other hardware to hold the bone together so it heals properly. Bones which heal out of alignment mean serious and permanent consequences for the car crash injury victim.
Some people understand whiplash when it pertains to a neck injury, but they are skeptical about lower back injuries. But according to the Mayo Clinic, automobile accidents are responsible for more than 40 percent of spinal injuries every year.
And while the back is a strong structure, it is also delicate. The lumbar spine is not all solid bone. It is comprised of ligaments, disks, and tendons, and all of these can easily be injured in a car crash. Common low back injuries can be herniated or ruptured disks, compression fractures, and spondylolisthesis. The most serious back injuries can leave the injured person with chronic back pain and may require surgery.
Also called “traumatic brain injury”, concussions have gained notoriety over the years because of the scrutiny the NFL has been under for the brain injuries of players. The headache you have after a crash is the sign of a brain injury or concussion.
Concussions happen when your brain moves inside your skull quickly in one direction, and then the other. The structures which hold your brain in place inside your skull are weakened by such movements, making you more likely to suffer another concussion in the future.
Concussions can be as simple as post crash headaches which resolve relatively quickly, all the way through serious brain injuries, subdural hematomas (bleeding in the brain) and even death. Chicago car accidents are no laughing matter.
Car Accident Injuries Are Hard To Evaluate
I am sympathetic to people who say that, unless they KNOW for certain that they have a serious injury which could threaten their livelihood, then they do not want to go to the doctor. I get it. No one likes to go to the doctor and incur medical expenses and bills unless they really have to.
Heres the problem, though. I have handled t housands of car accident cases at this point. And it is hard to tell right after a crash whether you have a neck or back injury that will resovle quickly and on its own, or whether it is going to become a permanent, chronic problem.
The danger is not taking the injury seriously. If you wait until 4 weeks have gone by after the crash, and have sought no medical care, then the insurance Defense lawyer has a great ‘built in’ Defense to your case.
How is a Jury supposed to believe that you were really hurt if you waited a full month to see a doctor? Most lawyers will not even consider taking such a case to trial.
However, I think such cases can be won, but they are not ideal. That is why I tell everyone who thinks they might have been hurt to get checked out. You get one body in this life, and one chance to do the right thing, if, God forbid, the negligence of another driver changes your life forever. Even a simple visit to document injuries is okay. But we have to have some evidence and documentation of an injury as close to the date and time of your car accident as possible.
Do You Need to Speak With A Chicago Car Accident Lawyer?
Car crash cases have a lot of complexity to them, and the best advice I can give is to take advantage of the free consultation a Chicago car crash lawyer offers. The secret to winning is by developing a great relationship with a Chicago car accident lawyer you can trust.
If any of the above makes sense to you and you have questions, I have two options for you.
First, if you are ready to speak with me, you can call me at at my 24/7/365 toll free number 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318) For a free, no obligation consultation, where I will answer all of your questions and help put your mind at ease.
Or if you aren’t quite ready to speak with a Chicago car accident attorney, I offer injured people a copy of my FREE Injury DVD and Book. Just call me at my 24/7/365 toll free number 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318) and ask for the free injury book, and give us your name and mailing address and I will mail it to you free of charge and no obligation.