Car Accident Injuries
Nearly three million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here, we’ll examine the most common types of injuries drivers and passengers sustain, the most common types of accidents, and what to do if you’ve been hurt in a crash. The Texas car accident lawyers at Tate Law Offices, P.C. are available to discuss your legal rights and options further during a free case review. Contact us today to learn more.
What Are the Five Most Common Injuries that could Be Sustained in a Road Crash?
Five of the most common and serious injuries that car accident victims suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which can range from concussions to extended loss of consciousness, to memory/cognitive/behavioral problems, and even to coma.
- Fractured bones, including broken arms, legs, ribs, or collarbones.
- Soft tissue injuries, including sprains, strains, and tears of joint tissues such as tendons and ligaments. While some soft tissue injuries can heal over time with rehabilitation, many other injuries require surgical intervention.
- Spinal cord injuries, which can result in paraplegia (paralysis of the lower half of the body) or quadriplegia/tetraplegia (total body paralysis).
- Back and neck injuries, including whiplash injuries and spinal disc herniations or ruptures, which can lead to permanent, debilitating neck pain.
Types of Auto Accident Cases
The specific type of car accident can have a major impact on the injuries that victims may sustain. Some of the most common types of auto accidents include:
- Rear-end accidents – These motor vehicle accidents most frequently cause whiplash injuries, or soft-tissue injuries to the head, neck, and back resulting from the body violently jerking back and forth in the collision.
- Sideswipe accidents – These crashes occur when the side of one vehicle hits the side of another. These accidents most frequently happen when drivers are distracted or forget to check their blind spots. These collisions sometimes cause serious harm to the occupants inside when the force of the collision is severe.
- T-bone accidents – These collisions frequently cause whiplash injury due to the sudden jerking involved. They can also result in serious injuries like concussions when the occupant’s head hits the side pillar, steering wheel, or a window. These accidents can also cause broken bones and spinal cord injuries.
- Head-on accidents – Because head-on collisions tend to involve higher speeds and greater force than other types of accidents, these crashes tend to result in catastrophic physical trauma, including broken bones, head trauma and traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, and internal organ injury and bleeding.
- Rollover accidents – Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents. If a vehicle turns over on its side or roof, the occupants inside could be at risk of suffering severe head, neck, and spinal injuries, or they could be crushed by the weight of the vehicle. Rollover crashes have a higher fatality rate than other accident types, accounting for 35% of all deaths from passenger vehicle accidents, according to SaferCar.gov.
Although most people may assume that a low-speed collision will only result in a minor fender bender, these accidents often result in serious injuries. Even a low-speed rear-end collision can result in whiplash injuries, leading to chronic neck pain that often proves incredibly difficult to treat and can significantly impact quality of life.
Who Determines Fault in an Auto Accident?
Many parties may be involved in determining fault in an auto accident. The responding law enforcement officer may complete an accident report that states who they believe are at fault. However, the police’s determination of fault is only binding for traffic citations or criminal arrests for legal violations involved in the accident. For a civil claim arising from a car accident, a police officer’s determination of fault is usually only persuasive.
Additionally, representatives from each driver’s insurance company may investigate the accident and make an assessment regarding fault. An injured party who files a claim with an insurance company may choose to accept the insurer’s determination of fault for the accident. If the injured accident victim disagrees with the insurer’s determination of fault, he or she may file a lawsuit to try to seek compensation for their accident injuries and other damages.
In some cases, parties may choose to resolve their dispute over fault for a car accident in arbitration, a trial-like process in which a neutral party known as an arbitrator hears evidence and renders a decision in the case.
Steps to Recovery After an Auto Accident
The days and weeks after the accident are important to protect your legal rights and the potential value of your claim. Our Texas car accident lawyers recommend that you take the following steps:
- Report the crash to the Texas Department of Transportation for any accident that resulted in personal injury or property damage of more than $1,000. If law enforcement responded to the scene of the accident, they will take care of this. Request a copy of the accident report when it is compiled.
- Notify your auto insurance company of the accident, even if you don’t think you were at fault. Your policy likely requires you to report all accidents you have been involved in within a certain period (usually 15 to 30 days) following the accident to be eligible to file a claim for coverage under your own policy.
- Seek medical attention. Some injuries can take days or even weeks to begin causing you pain or other symptoms. A doctor might be able to diagnose your injuries via a physical exam, lab tests, or imaging tests. Promptly diagnosing your injuries helps establish the connection between the accident and your injuries. If you do not have a treating physician, we can make a doctor referral for you, if needed.
- Follow all treatment instructions and recommendations that you receive. Ignoring or delaying treatment might allow the at-fault driver and their insurance company to argue that you weren’t as seriously injured in the accident as you claim or that you should be legally responsible for the worsening of your injuries and medical condition.
- Keep copies of all receipts, bills, and invoices you receive for any medical or out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to your injuries. Also, keep copies of your paystubs or income statements to help verify your lost wages or earnings. This will help you to track the costs associated with the accident so that we can fight for fair compensation.
- Maintain a diary or journal during your recovery about your injuries. Keep notes about the physical and emotional difficulties about your injuries. Also, describe how your injuries affect your ability to take care of tasks of daily living or to participate in various activities that you enjoy. Provide details about how your injuries affect your family and friends and your relationships with them.
- Speak with a car accident attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation for injuries and losses you have sustained from the accident. You may only have a short time after the accident to begin a claim. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that important evidence to support your claim may be lost.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Dallas area or elsewhere throughout Texas, contact Tate Law Offices, P.C. today for a free consultation to speak with one of our car accident lawyers about your rights and to discuss how our firm can help you. We have over a 99% success rate and have won over 3,000 cases. We know the type of evidence that we need to support your claim and will work diligently to secure the compensation you need and deserve.
Let our firm fight to help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact us today for your free case review.