Mark Roman | November 13, 2020 | Car Accidents
During 2019, there were 401,624 motor vehicle accidents reported in Florida. At least 166,915 people were injured and 2,969 people were killed in automobile accidents that year. Those figures include accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians.
Car accident lawyers handle a variety of claims regarding crash-related injuries. They know first-hand that all car accidents are capable of causing injuries. Some types of traffic accidents might have a higher risk of serious injuries, but all crashes have the potential to cause injuries.
Regardless of whether you are in a rear-end car accident, single vehicle crash, motorcycle accident, truck accident, rollover crash, intersection accident, or other type of collision, you could walk away, or you could wake up in the hospital. Your injuries could range from mild to catastrophic.
In addition to dealing with your injuries, you must also deal with the legal aspects of a car accident. If another person is responsible for causing your crash, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries caused by a car accident.
Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
When you are involved in a car accident, your seat belt and the airbags can help reduce the risk of serious injury. However, that does not mean that you will not be injured in the accident, even though your airbag and seat belt work correctly. You could still sustain multiple injuries. Common car accident injuries include:
Whiplash is a common car accident injury associated with rear-end crashes. However, you can sustain whiplash in other types of car accidents. Even though it is considered a mild injury, some individuals suffer long-term pain and limited range of motion because of the injury.
Other neck injuries that you could sustain in a car accident include cervical fractures, herniated disc, or pinched nerves. Neck injuries can cause a variety of symptoms. Severe neck injuries can create debilitating conditions that could require surgery and therapy.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Our bodies twist violently during a car accident. We can be thrown forward, backward, and sideways. Our back is not equipped to handle the force of the impact combined with the motion.
Common back injuries include broken vertebrae, herniated discs, disc extrusion, and other damage to the back. Back injuries can result in chronic pain and reduced range of motion. Doctors can prescribe medications and therapy to help with the symptoms, but surgery might be required in some cases.
A spinal cord injury from a car accident can result in total or partial paralysis. It can cause complete or incomplete paralysis. Victims who are paralyzed might need long-term medical and personal care.
Head and Brain Injuries
Seat belts and airbags can help prevent some injuries, but they cannot prevent all injuries. Head and brain injuries continue to be common car accident injuries.
Injury to the brain can result in permanent brain injuries. Brain injuries can cause cognitive, emotional, physical, mental, and sensory problems. Victims who sustain a traumatic brain injury could require long-term care because of permanent impairments.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Fractures and broken bones are also common in car accidents. Common areas for broken bones include arms, ribs, legs, hands, face, ankles, and back. Even though some people recover completely from broken bones, it is not true in all cases.
Depending on the severity of the break and the necessary repairs to the bone, you could have a limp or other permanent impairment. You can also be at a higher risk for other diseases because of a broken bone in a car accident, such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
Other Injuries Common in Car Accidents
There are many other injuries that a victim could sustain in a car crash. Some of the other common car accident injuries include:
- Cuts, lacerations, and abrasions
- Damage to internal organs
- Airbag and seat belt injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Chest injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
In addition to physical injuries, a car accident victim can sustain one or more psychological injuries. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression are examples of psychological injuries after a car accident that can be debilitating. These conditions require treatment, just like physical car accident injuries.
How can I Recover Compensation for Car Accident Injuries?
There are several ways that you might recover compensation for your injuries. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. You must begin by filing a claim with your insurance company under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP insurance compensates you for your medical bills and loss of income regardless of who is at fault for the cause of the car accident. You must seek medical treatment for your injuries within 14 days from the crash date to receive benefits under your PIP policy.
However, PIP only pays 80 percent of the medical bills incurred because of the accident. It pays just 60 percent of your lost wages because of the accident.
If your injuries meet the serious injury threshold in Florida, you could sue the other driver for compensation for all damages. Damages included in a lawsuit against the other driver would include all medical expenses and all lost income. They also include pain and suffering damage, which are not available under a PIP claim.
There are four categories of injuries that qualify to meet the serious injury threshold for car accident lawsuits in Florida:
- Wrongful death
- Permanent disabilities
- Significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent and significant loss of a bodily function
If your injury falls into one of the above categories, you could receive compensation for all your financial losses and other damages. Because some of the terms used to define serious injuries are vague, it is best to talk with a personal injury lawyer about your case.
A lawyer understands the insurance laws as they related to negligent claims and car accident claims. Regardless of whether your car accident involved another car, commercial truck, or motorcycle, you can benefit from talking to a car accident lawyer near you.
You must also prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the car accident. Common causes of car crashes include, but are not limited to:
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Tailgating and following too close for conditions
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to obey traffic laws
Your lawyer investigates the cause of your accident to gather evidence proving fault. Once the attorney has evidence proving the seriousness of your injuries and fault for the cause of the accident, your attorney proceeds to file claims and works to get you the compensation you deserve.