With the traffic volume continuing to rise, the chances of being involved in an automobile accident also increase. With well over 160,000 accidents involving fatalities or injuries in 2012 alone, California residents need to be aware their chances of being involved in a serious injury accident are quite high. Because those accidents impact not only the victims, California personal injury attorneys want everyone to be aware of the risks and what can be done to mitigate the circumstances if you or a family member suffers any car accident injuries.
What types of injuries commonly result from traffic accidents?
There are several types of injuries routinely suffered as a result of an auto wreck. Because each person is different and the degree of their injuries vary, there is no set timetable for recovering from a traffic accident. Avrek’s car accident lawyers understand injuries and healing times will not be consistent, but there are a few basic guidelines victims can consider if injured.
- Whiplash and Neck Injuries. One of the most frequently seen injuries involves the head being violently thrown backward and forward. Neck sprains and strains are common and often disrupt a victim’s ability to live normally. Medical industry statistics report that approximately eight percent of accident victims will suffer some symptoms of whiplash injuries. There are many treatments available, but no single treatment is proven totally effective. While mild whiplash injuries may improve within a few weeks, more serious injuries take weeks to several months to improve, but many whiplash injuries never fully heal.
- Burn Injuries. While not as common as whiplash injuries, they are often life-altering for victims. Government statistics state that approximately seven percent of all burn injuries are a direct result of automobile accidents. Burn injuries are classified as first, second, or third-degree burns. First-degree burns are relatively mild injuries, and generally heal with a few days. Second-degree and third-degree burns are common when hot liquids, like anti-freeze and oil, are encountered during and after an accident. Accidents resulting in fires will frequently cause severe burns. Second and third-degree burns take months, and maybe years, to treat. In addition, permanent scars will always be present, even after skin grafts and other treatments are completed.
- Broken Bones. While falls are the most commonly reported cause of broken bones, motor vehicle accidents are the second most frequently cited cause of broken bones. Different types of fractures require discrete treatments. Displaced and open fractures often require surgery and may take several months to heal. During that time, the car accident injuries will often prevent victims from working or being involved in normal physical activities. Based on the degree of injury, personal injury attorneys will review the details to determine what type of settlement a victim should anticipate.
- Airbag Injuries. Although airbags do save lives, their deployment at over 100 mph can also cause injuries, or even death, to a vehicle’s occupants. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 238 people were killed as a result of airbag deployments between 1990 and 2003. That may not sound like many, but during the same period thousands of occupants suffered chest injuries and burns from deploying airbags. The recent Takata airbag debacle highlights the potential for airbag injuries. According to automotive industry analysts, there are approximately 17,000,000 vehicles equipped with Takata’s problematic airbags on the road. Many drivers are unaware their vehicles are included in that number. Many of the vehicles with Takita airbags are driven daily in California, increasing the risk to drivers. Injured drivers have required multiple surgeries and long recovery times after faulty airbag deployments.
- Back Injuries and Internal Injuries. These injuries are commonly seen, especially in high-speed accidents. Depending on the degree of injury, victims may require multiple operations and exceptionally long recovery times. Many back injury victims never recover from their injuries.
No matter what type of injury a vehicle accident victim suffers, the first priority is to get the best care possible. Early treatment of auto accident injuries not only improves the odds of recovery, but also provides an evidentiary trail personal injury attorneys can follow later.
What actions do victims need to take to be compensated after an accident?
California’s laws give victims two years to file a claim against a negligent driver. However, it is rarely advisable to wait that long, as memories are short, and both victims and witnesses tend to forget important details when actions are delayed too long. While it is generally advisable to delay filing a personal injury claim until the extent of injuries and the likelihood of recovery is determined, there are times when victims of car accident injuries should take action sooner.
The vehicle accident experts at Avrek Law Firm will work with clients to determine when it is appropriate to file a negligence claim. As a rule, auto accident victims are advised to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to allow the law office to take the necessary steps to get witness statements, police reports, and medical statements while everyone still remembers all the details. Once the circumstances of the accident are analyzed, the attorney can recommend a course of action. A personal injury lawsuit will result if initial settlement efforts are rebuffed by the negligent driver and the insurance carrier involved. The first step to getting the compensation you deserve is contacting one of our personal injury attorneys today.