It’s everyone’s worst nightmare to be involved in an automobile accident, and there’s a real possibility you could fall victim to one each time you leave the house. Drivers can back up, hit, or impact a pedestrian in many ways, causing serious injury or even death.
Automobile accidents account for 2.2% of all deaths globally, meaning that every day approximately 3200 people will die because of a vehicular collision. Even if death doesn’t happen, serious injury can still occur. Sometimes these injuries can cause permanent issues to the survivor. When these injuries occur, you need to make sure that you are compensated fairly for the pain you have suffered, as well as lost income. A serious car accident can put you up in the hospital for months, which can be of serious detriment to your dependents.
There are many ways you can be hurt, and each injury will affect you differently down the road. After any accident, it is always wise to get a medical examination. At the very least, you can get compensation for whiplash. Having a doctor sign-off on your injuries is the beginning of legal action to ensure you are compensated fairly. If you are still having difficulties, or have had difficulties in the past, it is wise to hire a personal injury lawyer from StephenBabcock.com
. They will fight for you on your behalf, and aim to get the compensation you deserve after a car accident.
Insurance companies will only compensate you for damages to your person if the car was in motion when the accident occurred. This means that the most common accidents involving a vehicle, like slamming a car door on your fingers, are not included. Typically, the injuries that typically occur when the vehicle is parked and stationary are not life-threatening, and more importantly, they can be prevented by using a little caution and common sense. For collision accidents, however, there are many dangers.
, or head-on collisions, are one of the most dangerous types of accidents you can get into. A frontal collision is when two cars hit each other head-on. If these cars are going at the same time, the effect is like hitting a solid wall. These types of collisions are typically fatal.
Side collisions are also called a “T-bone” collision, “broadsided” or “sideswipe” depending on how the collision occurred. T-Bone or broadside collisions are when another vehicle hits the side of your car directly. This kind of accident causes the most damage to passengers on the side of the car hit, and can result in very serious, life-threatening injuries or even death.
Sideswipe collisions are when cars drive parallel to each other too close and skim each other. If neither driver loses control during this type of collision, the damage is typically cosmetic.
Read-end collisions occur when a vehicle hits the rear of another vehicle. While this type of accident on its own is the least fatal, unless the rear-end collision forces the impacted car into oncoming traffic or off the road, resulting in another accident. Rear-end collisions do, however, cause whiplash, which can be extremely debilitating. Typically, the driver who rear-ended the other car is at fault. The only exception is if the impacted car is in reverse.
Rollovers are when your car flips and rolls onto either its side or the roof. This occurs when you turn too quickly at high speeds. SUVs are at the greatest risk of this. Seatbelts mitigate a lot of potential damage. The biggest risk for passengers in rollovers is to not be securely fastened to their seat.
When numerous vehicles get into an accident, the results can be catastrophic. Not only are you inflicted with the typical injuries of any of the above accidents, you are also at risk post-accident. The number of cars involved in the accident can mean that you won’t receive help in time. Fires can also spread quickly, as the number of damaged vehicles increases fuel spillage. Multi-vehicle pile-ups or multi-vehicle collisions can be lethal and are always devastating.
Sometimes accidents don’t involve another person. There are many factors that could result in a car accident without another driver being involved. You could swerve to miss a crossing animal and collide with a tree head-on, you could lose control and go into a ditch – there are many ways you could get into an accident by yourself. These accidents usually result in personal injury and property damages that you’ll be responsible for if you aren’t insured.
Typical Injuries Sustained in Vehicle Collisions
Every type of car accident has the potential to cause you serious injury that can potentially disable you or cause you strain in your everyday life. Whiplash, for instance, can last for months and inhibit a person’s ability to concentrate and work. Here is a quick rundown on the injuries you should look out for if you’ve been in an auto-accident:
1. Whiplash – This injury typically occurs if you were in the impacted car of rear-end collision. Your head and neck strain because they were snapped back, straining the ligaments and muscles. This injury results in pain, headaches, dizziness, stiffness, and numbness for months. While not life-threatening, it can impact mental health and productivity. In many cases chiropractors are needed to fix the strain.
2. Neck Injuries – the most frequent injury that can disable a person. When you are wearing a seatbelt, your neck is still free, meaning that not only can you get whiplash, you are also at risk of damaging your spine.
3. Abdominal Injuries
– These kinds of injuries typically occur in side collisions
. Potential internal damage should always be seen to by a doctor. Internal bleeding or ruptured organs are serious concerns and can be life threatening.
4. Spine Damage – Auto accidents can cause a herniated disc, nerve damage, or a cracked vertebra. Permanent paralysis is a possibility.
5. Head Trauma – Auto accidents can cause concussions or fractured skulls if your head hits the steering wheel. Air bags reduce the risk of hitting your head on the steering wheel, as well as seatbelts, but your head is still at risk elsewhere. You could hit the window, for instance. This kind of injury is most common with frontal collisions.
6. Chest Injury – These injuries typically come from the seatbelt, the steering wheel or the airbag. The force could fracture or even shatter your ribs, causing damage to your heart and lungs.
7. Legs – Legs are the first to be impacted during a frontal collision, and can be completely crushed in the most severe accidents.
– Post traumatic stress disorder
can be very debilitating, even long after your injuries heal. Not only can it make resuming your daily routine difficult, it can completely isolate you. Therapy is required for when you cannot overcome PTSD on your own.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Knowing the appropriate steps after you’ve been in a car accident can save you from liability and from the loss of compensation down the line. If the accident is serious and help is needed call the emergency services. If the accident does not need emergency services, it is a good idea to contact the police and have a police report filled out.
For non-serious accidents that don’t require emergency services, follow these steps:
1. Relocate your vehicles to a safe area (if possible). If it is not possible you will need professional help and it is advised to get out of the car if you are on a busy road.
2. Contact your insurance company. Some companies have specific timeframes where you must contact them. They will also advise you on the next steps to take.
3. Collect Information. You will need the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, as well as their vehicle information and license plate number. The more information, the better. Here is a brief rundown of information you should gather:
a. Names and contact information of everyone involved (including witnesses and police officers)
b. License plate numbers
c. Car make and model
d. Location of accident
4. Gather Evidence. This is where your smartphone comes in handy – take pictures of the damage to your car, and any passengers in the other car. The more evidence you have, the better. Write down all the details you remember of the crash while it is still fresh.
5. Bonus: Even if you believe the accident is your fault, never admit to being guilty. This is from a legal standpoint.
If the accident has caused over $700 in damages, you will have to file an SR1, which is an accident report, with the authorities. It is also wise to have “uninsured motorist” coverage in the event that the person at fault does not have insurance so that you can sue the driver to recover your losses.
Know how a car accident can affect you or a loved one and be prepared for the aftermath. Automobile accidents can be devastating – make sure that you have the compensation to not only fix your car, but to put your life back on track.