If you have been involved in a car accident, particularly one at low-speed or a minor fender-bender, you may not necessarily experience pain immediately following the collision. Even major collisions can leave an accident victim feeling relieved or unharmed due to the body’s natural physiological reaction to trauma. Immediately following a collision your body is flooded with endorphins as well as adrenaline, which often masks pain. The initial shock you experience following an accident may leave you feeling fine but as soon as your body stops producing the increased levels of endorphins and adrenaline you may experience extreme pain and discomfort. There is no way to know when the pain from an accident will appear because many accident-related injuries are not initially noticeable. It is crucial to seek medical attention following any accident and to have a qualified professional assess your condition.
In Georgia, there are approximately 5 million registered cars on the road and approximately 196,000 registered motorcycles, which averages out to about 25+ cars for every motorcycle on the road. And, in Alabama, there are approximately 4.5 million cars and approximately 123,000 motorcycles, which averages out to about 32+ cars for every motorcycle on the road. These numbers aren’t for licensed drivers, just registered vehicles. Motorcycles are at a huge disadvantage on the roads of Georgia and Alabama.
Let’s face it, no matter how safe or the number of precautions you take when riding your motorcycle or riding in your car, you have to be prepared for just about anything. That anything could be another car or cars, dips and bumps in the roads, and any other number of unforeseen obstacles. So, when you or someone you love is involved in a motorcycle or motor vehicle collision and are injured, Ted Morgan Law is there to help. Licensed in Georgia and Alabama, Ted Morgan Law has years of experience handling personal injury cases related to motor vehicle accidents (cars and motorcycles).
Commonly Experienced Injuries
Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the severity of the impact you may suffer injuries to virtually any part of your body. It is important to remember that there is not always a direct relationship between the severity of the accident and the seriousness of your injury. Major accidents typically cause severe injuries and minor collisions often result in little to no injury, but there are cases where a car is totaled and the driver walks away unharmed and in others minor accidents that result in a lifetime of problems for the parties involved.
There are many types of injuries that can be sustained during a car or motor vehicle accident. Common injuries include bruises, cuts, broken bones, and injuries to the head, neck, and back. It is important to understand and recognize these injuries.
Brain and Head Injuries: One of the most common and debilitating injuries suffered by drivers and passengers is a traumatic brain injury caused by the head being hit or hitting an object violently. Depending on the extent of damage to the brain and the area affected your symptoms can range from mild to moderate or severe. Due to the force of the impact, you may have bruising, bleeding, and swelling of the brain even when there is no visible sign of trauma.
Concussions: Any blow to the head or sudden jolt can cause a concussion. You may experience signs or symptoms of a concussion right away but that is not always that case. It is crucial to recognize the signs of a concussion to minimize potentially serious, long-term damage. Since the signs aren’t always apparent, it’s best to seek medical evaluation.
Symptoms of a concussion include:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Inability to concentrate
- Blurry or double vision
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Drowsiness or an overall lack of energy
- Clouded thinking or memory problems
- Abnormal sleep pattern
Neck injuries: Neck injuries are one of the most common forms of injury experienced following an accident. An accident can cause neck strain and whiplash, as well as more serious injuries including cervical dislocation and disc injury. Sometimes, the pain of a neck strain is immediate and in other cases, it can take several hours or days before your neck begins to hurt.
Whiplash: Whiplash is most commonly caused by a motor vehicle accident in which the person is in a car that is not moving, and is struck by another vehicle from behind. It is commonly thought the rear impact causes the head and neck to be forced backward as the seat pushes the person’s torso forward and after a short delay the head and neck are thrown into a forward position which can cause strain to the neck and back. Symptoms of Whiplash may include: ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, and pain and tightness or stiffness in the neck, back, shoulders, and arms.
Spinal Cord Damage: Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself. A traumatic spinal cord injury may stem from a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more of your vertebrae. Anyone who experiences significant trauma to his or her head or neck needs an immediate medical evaluation to assess the possibility of a spinal injury. In fact, it’s safest to assume that trauma victims have a spinal injury until proven otherwise because a serious spinal injury isn’t always immediately obvious. Numbness or paralysis may develop immediately or come on gradually as bleeding or swelling occurs in or around the spinal cord. The time between injury and treatment can be critical in determining the extent of complications and the amount of recovery because if left untreated more severe injury may occur.
Soft Tissue Injuries: A collision of any type can easily cause your body to be thrown around or against a hard object causing rips, tears, and other damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your body. The signs of soft tissue damage include pain, swelling, and limited mobility. It is critical to seek medical attention following an accident since the signs of serious injury are not always immediately apparent.
Back Injuries: The lower back is the most common site of back injuries experienced as a result of accidents involving motor vehicles. These injuries can include the following: herniated disks, fractured vertebrae, sprains, and strains. Accidents are often the result of recklessness, intoxication, driver distraction, fatigue. Depending on the force of impact experienced an individual may suffer injury to one or more parts of their back, these injuries can cause long-term pain and discomfort that can only be treated with costly therapy. The resulting pain can range anywhere from mild to excruciating and debilitating. If you were involved in an accident, it’s important to be aware of any symptoms of a back injury because if they are not treated promptly they may worsen. Common symptoms of back injury include general intermittent back pain, pain radiating up or down your legs, weakening of your muscles, and numbness in your extremities.
Common Back Injuries
Disk bulging: damage pushes or squeezes a disk out of its natural position between the vertebrae
Soft tissue bruising and tearing: During a collision, any number of soft tissue ligaments, tendons, and muscles surrounding the vertebra can violently stretch or tear. Thousands of nerve endings are affected during a collision and the resulting pain ranges from mild to excruciating
Compression fractures: An impact may cause the front part of the vertebra and spine to compress downward fracturing vertebra as it compresses.
Flexion-distraction fractures: Flexion-distraction fractures occur most often in head-on crashes when occupants are wearing seat belts. At the point of impact, the upper vertebra and spinal cord bend violently forward. Because the seatbelt firmly holds the lower back and pelvis, it acts as an anchor. The violent movement of the upper body’s violent movement exerts so much pressure on the upper back that the vertebral fractures.
Transverse process fractures: In a collision, an occupant’s vertebra and spine can pitch forward, backward, and side to side. The vertebra and spine can twist well past their natural radius, resulting in a transverse (crosswise) fracture.
Dislocation fractures: When one or more vertebrae fracture, the soft tissue moves into the damaged area causing pain and discomfort.
Internal Injuries: The impact of a motor vehicle accident can cause internal injuries to your kidneys, bowels, liver, spleen, lungs, heart or aorta. Internal injuries can be life-threatening and should be treated by a medical professional immediately.
Facial Injuries: Injuries to the face are common and can be caused by the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, windshield, side window, car seats or shattered glass. These injuries range in severity from scrapes and bruises to laceration and fractures, even serious disorders affecting the jaw and serious dental injuries.
Psychological Injuries: Motor vehicle accidents can result in drivers and passengers suffering short or long-term psychological injuries such as emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety and depression. These psychological injuries can affect every facet of a person’s life and have long-lasting effects.
Seeking Medical Attention Following an Accident
In the event you are involved in an accident, get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel hurt. You should go to a doctor and explain that you were involved in a car/motorcycle accident, and get a full medical assessment. A doctor’s assessment of an injury is valuable evidence to support an insurance claim.
Never sign an agreement or settle with an insurance company until you have been fully evaluated by a qualified medical professional and in some cases consulted with an attorney. You could find out later that you have suffered injuries that come with long term effects and accepting a settlement too soon could mean that you miss out on much-needed compensation.
If you were injured in an accident having an attorney represent you can dramatically improve your chances of recovering fair compensation. Call TED MORGAN LAW at (706) 622-6255 for your free consultation and to find out what our firm can do for you.