Car Accident Injuries
Bakersfield is ranked as the top city for the worst drivers in the US. To make matters worse, the city also has a few highly hazardous intersections, like Gosford Road and Ming Avenue, as well as the intersection of Real Road and Wilson Road.
Car accident injuries can have long-term consequences on your physical and mental health. Learn about the common types of injuries and if they qualify for compensation here.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Approximately one-third of the 12,500 spinal cord injuries reported during a year’s span was due to car accidents. This doesn’t make up a big portion of the 2.3 million car crashes that occur each year, but it is one of the most common car accident injuries that require compensation.
Spinal cord injuries can be severe, often resulting in varying degrees of paralysis. If you are fortunate enough to only suffer a mild spinal cord injury, this can still cause symptoms like:
- Loss of sensation or altered sensation (such as the inability to feel cold, heat, and touch)
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
- Pain or stinging sensations
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Changes to fertility and sexual function
- Troubling breathing and coughing
All of these effects can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life. They can impact your ability to work and earn an income. The long-term effects of spinal cord injuries can also require costly, ongoing medical treatment.
Severe spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis may also require home and vehicle modifications to accommodate wheelchairs and/or other equipment need to assist with mobility.
These types of injuries can also trigger non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. If your injuries affect personal relationships and intimacy, your attorney can also include a claim for loss of consortium.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Head Injuries
Head injuries are categorized into two main types: closed and open head injuries. Open head injuries are obvious, as there will be an indication of injury from bleeding or skull fractures.
Closed head injuries are often less apparent but can be just as serious. Closed head injuries include concussions, TBI (traumatic brain injury), and hemorrhaging on the brain.
Sometimes, the symptoms of a head injury can manifest days or weeks after an accident. However, even minor head injuries can trigger long-term issues, such as:
- Vision changes
- Loss of coordination
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Slowed movements
- Walking impairments
- Decreased mobility
- Decreased libido
Like spinal cord injuries, the lasting effects of a TBI can have dire consequences on your ability to earn an income and take care of yourself.
Depending on your individual case, you might be able to claim for economic damages such as loss of earning potential, disability, costs of physical care/assistance, future medical costs, and physical therapy.
You may also be able to claim emotional damages, like pain and suffering. Anyone whose quality of life feels diminished or is experiencing a loss of enjoyment of life can qualify for these types of non-economical damages.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
Whiplash is another common car crash injury, often occurring in low-velocity rear-end collisions. Research shows that 90% of injuries in rear-end crashes result in neck injuries.
Even a mild case of whiplash can be extremely painful and troubling. Moderate and severe cases can cause long-term complications, including:
- Ongoing pain
- Permanent damage to the neck and spine
- Weakness in the hands, fingers, arms, and legs
- Varying degrees of paralysis
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe headaches
- Reduced cervical range of motion
- Jaw pain
- Memory problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Permanent personality changes
- Difficulty focusing
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you should seek compensation for economic damages.
For instance, if you’re experiencing severe headaches as a result of a whiplash injury, this could affect your ability to work, reducing your earning capacity. Under these circumstances, lost income could be reimbursed.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The severity and long-term effects of soft tissue injuries can vary widely. Minor soft tissue injuries include scratches, grazing, light cuts, and bruising. These types of injuries generally heal at an accelerated rate. However, if medical care is needed, the costs of doctor visits can be compensated. Common soft tissue injuries from car accidents can include:
- Shoulder impingement
- Torn ACL
- MCL tears
Some soft tissue injuries such as a torn ACL can take weeks or months to heal. In certain cases, a torn ACL might never heal entirely and impact your work.
For instance, if your job involves a lot of standing, walking, or physical activity, permanent damage to your ACL could make working difficult—in which case you should claim for loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and future medical costs.
If a soft tissue injury is going to prevent you from taking part in sports and exercise, this can impact your mental/emotional well-being and your future health. All of these long-term impacts should be addressed in your claim.
The impact of a car crash can also result in facial injuries, such as a broken nose, and injury to your eyes, lips, or cheekbones. If you suffer from scarring or disfigurement as a result of your injury, this should increase your settlement amount substantially.
Facial injuries can affect your self-esteem, your intimate relationships, and even your ability to work and result in result in high levels of emotional suffering. Scarring or disfigurement might prevent you from being hired for certain customer-facing jobs.
If your appearance plays a large role in your professional life, a good accident lawyer will be able to maximize compensation for economic damages. For instance, if you are a model, news reporter, or sales representative, facial disfigurement interferes with future work in the same industry.
Loss of a limb is a life-altering injury that can have a huge impact on your earning potential, mobility, and physical/emotional health. This is another type of injury for which victims should claim compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Losing a limb might not always leave you entirely unable to work, but it may make it far more difficult to gain employment or carry out your job in the same way. Limb amputation can also leave you unable to carry out regular daily activities, such as driving or getting dressed. Amputees may also require assistance.
As a result, car accident victims who have suffered amputation should claim for loss of future earnings, future medical and care costs, and costs associated with adaptations and lifestyle changes.
In addition, the loss of a limb can also trigger extreme emotional suffering and a deterioration in mental health. Victims often suffer from despair, anxiety, depression, loss of self-esteem, nervousness, and feelings of isolation and stigma.
Therefore, claims should also address compensation for high levels of pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Do You Need Help Getting Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries?
These are some of the most common car accident injuries that can qualify for compensation, but this is by no means a complete list. With some of the most dangerous intersections in CA, if you have been in a car crash, you deserve compensation for your injuries.
The right legal representation is critical for ensuring that you receive adequate injury compensation. Are you in need of an experienced attorney to represent your interests? Contact us for a free consultation today.