If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you likely know the basic procedure – get to safety, take photos, exchange insurance information, and get a police report. (You can see a more detailed procedure here.) However, what if you’ve been injured? Car accident injuries, while some may seem inconsequential at first, can be a very serious concern. Let’s look at some common car accident injuries and what you should do if you have been injured.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Perhaps one of the most common types of car injuries that comes to mind is whiplash. It’s often seen in rear-end collisions and happens because the neck moves back and forth quickly and forcefully. While the symptoms of whiplash and other neck injuries may only last a few weeks, they should still be assessed by a healthcare physician.
Another frequent and potentially serious type of car accident injury is a head injury. Especially common in high-speed collisions, head injuries occur when your head strikes against windows, dashboards, or the steering wheel. You should always seek medical attention if you have experienced a head injury. Even if you just experience a headache after a car accident, it could be a sign of a concussion or a traumatic brain injury.
Car collisions can also cause back injuries. Back injuries include anything from mild muscle tension to herniated disks to extensive nerve damage. If you experience back pain or numbness in your body, you may have a severe back injury and should get it checked out by a doctor right away. Back injuries can not only affect your mobility and prevent you from working, but they take time to recover from and can be very costly to treat.
When to See a Doctor
Most people won’t hesitate to call 911 if they have obvious external injuries after a car accident. However, some injuries may be internal or their symptoms may be delayed. It’s possible to sustain an injury and not even realize it at the time of the accident. Later though, you may experience things like headaches, stomach pain, back pain, or even emotional distress. These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious.
If you wait a long time to address medical symptoms after a car accident, the underlying injury could get worse. In addition, if a lot of time passes between the crash and when you go to the doctor, it will be harder to prove that the injury was due to the accident. Insurance companies may challenge the claim and say that something else caused the injury. Therefore, it’s imperative that you seek immediate medical attention after an accident.
If you did get injured in a car accident, make sure to keep track of anything related to the accident and your medical treatment. To ensure that you have a strong insurance claim, hold onto the following items:
- Medical bills. Gather all of your medical statements, prescriptions, receipts for medical equipment (such as, crutches and canes) and anything else you’ve had to buy for your injury.
- Correspondence regarding the accident. File any emails, notes from phone calls, and written letters you’ve received from medical professionals while undergoing treatment for your injury.
- Travel expenses. You may have to travel long distances for your doctor’s appointments. Make sure to keep track of the mileage, parking fees, and hotel costs.
- Photos of the accident. Save all the photos you’ve taken of the accident in a safe place that can be easily accessed and shared with lawyers or insurance representatives.
- Proof of financial loss. If you haven’t been able to work while injured, document the wages lost.
In addition to these documents, keeping a detailed daily journal that describes the accident, your injuries, and how it impacts your daily life can help bolster your case.
Should I Get a Lawyer?
It’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Trying to get compensation for damages and medical bills can be challenging and stressful if you try to go it alone. That’s why the personal injury attorneys at Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A. are dedicated to understanding the unique circumstances of your case. We’ll guide you through every step of the legal process to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit you are entitled to. Contact us today by filling out the form below or calling 855-541-3016.