If you have been in a car accident, there’s a greater than a one in four chance that you will have an accident-related injury that will require medical treatment. Car accident injuries can range from minor to extremely severe, even causing short- or long-term disability. These injuries may not only be financially burdensome due to the high cost of treatment but also detrimentally impact a person’s ability to work for a living and even perform daily tasks.
If you are injured in a car accident, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention, document your injuries, and contact an Alabama car accident attorney to advise you of your rights.
At the scene of the accident, some injuries, such as cuts and broken bones, will be obvious and immediately apparent. If you have injuries that require medical attention, or if the paramedics who respond to the accident recommend that you go to the hospital for your injuries, see a doctor. You may also want to consider going to the hospital even if it seems that you have no obvious injuries. There’s no harm in seeing a doctor to ensure that you don’t have any hidden or internal injuries. Certain injuries may not be obvious at the scene of the car accident. Bruising and swelling, for example, often take hours or days to appear. The symptoms of whiplash, back injuries, soft tissue injuries, and concussions and other head injuries may also take time to appear. Untreated head injuries can be particularly dangerous, so tell the paramedics if you hit your head during the accident, and seek treatment.
Some of the more common car accident-related injuries that we see include the following. Please click on one of the links below to learn more about each type of injury.
- Whiplash & Cervical Injury: One of the most common injuries from car accidents, cervical injuries can range from the moderate neck pain caused by whiplash to paralysis caused by damage to the spinal cord.
- Head Injury & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): As symptoms may not appear for days or weeks, head injuries are particularly serious—even resulting in brain damage or death.
- Back Injury: Back injuries often result in prolonged recovery time and even paralysis due to damage to the spine.
- Herniated Disc Injury: Though less serious than other back injuries, a herniated disc can cause pain and increase the risk of future back injuries.
- Burn Injury: Although advances in medicine make most burns non-fatal, burn injuries often come with serious complications that lengthen recovery time and that can be expensive to treat.
- Paralysis & Spinal Cord Injury: Along with head injuries, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis are the most serious of car accident injuries, often needing life-long, expensive treatment and care.
- Internal Injuries: Caused by any number of accidents, including car, workplace, or industrial accidents, internal injuries can be especially serious if left unchecked.
- Amputation Injuries: Like internal injuries, a variety of accidents can result in an amputation. Amputation injuries are grave, often deadly, and can cause life-long complications.
When you talk to your doctor, tell him or her about any pre-existing conditions, medications you are currently taking, and all symptoms you are having—even if they seem minor. The doctor will note in the medical records that the injuries are the result of a car accident. It is essential that your injuries be recorded as the result of the accident: in the event that you must pursue legal action, these records will be admitted as evidence of your accident injury.
Your health should be your first priority. Follow the doctor’s recommended treatment plan. If you have any questions about the injury, ask the doctor to explain further. You may also wish to ask what you can expect in terms of healing. Ask what is considered normal with regard to healing time. In addition, ask at what point you should call or return for follow-up care if you are not healing as expected.
You should also keep copies of all medical paperwork for your records. If you must miss work due to the accident injury, ask the doctor for a note for your employer. Make sure that you document the hours and wages lost due to the injury. These records will be used as evidence if you decide to go forward with legal action. Your medical records may be used when determining your compensation for your medical bills, and your work records may be used when determining your compensation for lost wages.
Most, but not all, accident injuries will heal without long-term impact to your health and overall well-being. Nonetheless, if you were injured in an Alabama car accident that was not your fault, you may wish to talk to an attorney to learn your rights before you sign a release with the insurance company. Most insurance companies will want you to settle your claim for as little money as possible. When you sign a release, you could forfeit your right to sue the negligent driver and you could receive far less for your injuries than you need and deserve. If you sign a release and find that your medical bills are more than you received from the insurance company, you may be responsible for the remainder, out of pocket. Consulting with an attorney before you sign anything will ensure that you are aware of your rights as well as the best option for you.
Our Alabama car accident lawyers handle all automobile accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you a fee until and unless we make a recovery for you. Click here to learn the five questions you should ask before hiring a potential personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, contact our experienced and dedicated Huntsville Alabama car accident attorneys. We have years of experience helping people like you get the compensation they need to pay for the treatment for their injuries and support themselves during their recovery. The evaluation is free and confidential.
Email us or call us at (256) 533-1667.
You can find helpful downloads about what to do if you are in a car accident here:
What to Do If You Are In a Car Accident: Step-By-Step Guide
Accident Information Sheet for your Glove Box