Victims of car accidents in Georgia will know that even non-fatal crashes can be traumatic for victims and their loved ones.
Never decline a trip to the hospital for a medical evaluation after a collision, even if you have no broken bones or bleeding wounds. Many injuries have hidden symptoms that become apparent days, weeks or even months later.
The severity of head injuries depend on various factors. They include: where you sat in the vehicle; whether you wore your seat belt; the speed of both vehicles; and the force and location of the impact. Take note of the following:
- Head injuries can range from minor cuts, lacerations or bruises to penetration wounds or skull fractures.
- The hidden injuries often involve concussions and other traumatic brain injuries resulting from the whiplash motion of your head on impact -- even without striking your head against the dashboard or windshield.
- The striking of the brain against the inside of the skull can cause bleeding on the brain.
- Severe physical damage that might include nerve damage, permanent disability, hearing loss and cognitive problems can result -- depending on where damage occurred in the brain.
Keep in mind that there might be no visible evidence of a head injury.
Joints and extremities
The impact of a collision can cause crush or impact wounds like the following:
- Ligaments, tendons and muscles can suffer sprains, strains or tears.
- Joint injuries can include a meniscus tear in your knee and damage to the Achilles tendon between the back of your calf and your ankle or dislocated hip and shoulder joints.
- Fractures of the bones in your arms, legs, shoulders, hips, hands and feet could form part of your injuries.
Musculoskeletal injuries are often difficult to recognize and only diagnosed during medical evaluations.
Neck, chest and back injuries
Whiplash can cause injuries to your upper body and, if left untreated, could cause long-term pain that might even become chronic. The following injuries are common:
- Muscular sprain or strain in the neck, upper and lower back can cause discomfort.
- The impact of a crash can cause contact injuries such as bruises or contusions on the chest area.
- More severe injuries include damage to spinal discs or cervical bones, a fractured spine, collarbone or ribs, or a dislocated shoulder.
- Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis.
Some of these injuries can restrict mobility if not treated promptly.
These injuries often go unnoticed, and they could be life-threatening:
- Although torn spleens are most common, your liver, lungs, aorta or heart, kidneys and bowels are equally vulnerable in the event of a car accident.
- Fractured ribs can puncture your lungs or other organs in your chest.
You should look out for large areas of purple bruising, which might indicate internal bleeding.
Equally damaging is the psychological harm caused by emotional distress that you might experience during and after the accident. If you do not get this treated, it could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, for which long-term therapy might be a requirement.
Your legal rights to damage recovery
If another party's negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries and subsequent medical expenses, you could pursue financial relief. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate for you in a Georgia civil court. Proper documentation of claims and proof of negligence might lead to the judge entering a monetary judgment to cover financial and emotional damages.