California is one of the nation's leaders in traffic accidents. Some lucky people will emerge from an accident unscathed, but almost a quarter-million Californians a year are injured in accidents. A car accident can have many effects on a human body – some obvious, some less so.
If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident, you will most likely have many questions. Many victims in Los Angeles County wonder how common their injury is and whether it's even worth pursuing a personal injury claim. While your injury seems minor or your symptoms started shortly after the crash, you may believe the pain will just end on its own.
There are many types of injuries our Los Angeles car accident lawyers have seen in people involved in a car crash that are not immediately apparent right after the collision. For example, it might take a few days for your back or neck to start to hurt from the damages caused by the auto crash. If not treated properly, some injuries will just continue to get worse and cause other problems. You might find that something that started as a simple twinge in your back turns into more severe pain all down your arm or leg impacting your range of motion and ability to perform daily routine tasks.
In order to make sure your health and safety are protected, it's critical to understand what can happen to you. It's very important to see a doctor as soon as you experience symptoms after an accident. It's also important that you consult with a car accident injury attorney at our law firm who can make sure that you're compensated for your injuries. At Injury Justice Law Firm LLP, we have helped numerous clients injured in a car accident receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of a normal life. Don't allow the insurance company to convince you into a quick settlement offer as their goal is to pay the smallest amount possible. Our car accident injury lawyers can assist you documenting your injuries and connect them to the auto collision so you can receive the compensation you are entitled.
Classification of Injuries
Broadly, car accident injuries can be broken down into “impact injuries” – an injury which occurs when, during a crash, you hit something or something hits you – and “penetrating injuries,” which occur when something pierces the skin. Impact injuries are often caused by the steering column, window, or other hard part of the car. Penetrating injuries are often the result of broken vehicle glass or forceful contact with sharp objects inside a vehicle.
Areas of the Body that are Frequently Injured in Car Accidents
Injuries can additionally be classified as “soft tissue” injuries – injuries to the soft parts of the body, including skin, muscle, and tendons – and “hard tissue” injuries, which damage bones. For example, whiplash, a common injury from car accidents, occurs when the head is jerked forward and back during a crash. It can involve the soft tissue, including the ligaments in your neck (neck strain,) bruising if your neck hits your chest, and damage to your spinal discs. Other areas which are commonly injured during car accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries – A concussion can result if your head hits something during an accident, potentially resulting in traumatic brain injury. These injuries are common in head-on car collisions.
- Legs and knees – The lower parts of your body can be slammed into things during a crash or even crushed if the accident compresses the car, leading to tearing, dislocation, and even broken bones.
- Neck and back injuries – In addition to whiplash, the “flinging around” effect of a crash can cause sprains or dislocation of the back, and impact injuries can cause more serious breakages. These injuries are common in rear-end car accidents.
- Chest, abdominal and pelvic injuries – These types of injuries are common in a side impact accident, especially if you are on the side where the impact happened.
- Spinal injuries – After suffering a spinal cord injury, there could be a loss of movement or sensation in the lower part of the body.
- Face – Injuries to the face are also common, both penetrating injuries from flying glass and impact injuries which can lead to broken bones and dental injuries.
Recovering Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries
Car accident injuries often result in significant losses for victims, including medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. When victims can show that the accident that caused their injuries was the result of someone else's negligence, they are generally able to recover compensation for these losses under California law. See our blog: Damages Overview in Personal Injury Cases in California.
There are a wide variety of ways that a driver's negligence can result in a serious injury-causing accident in Los Angeles County. Some of the more common include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
- Drunk driving
- Running stop signs or stop lights
- Driving the wrong direction
- Improper turns
If it is clear that your accident was caused by someone else's negligence, you will typically file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company that will then make a settlement offer. It is important to understand that accepting a settlement offer means that you cannot bring a claim at a later date, so it is critical that you ensure that any settlement you take adequately compensates you for your all of your losses – even those you have not yet sustained and those that are noneconomic and difficult to calculate. For this reason, you should always retain a Los Angeles car accident injury lawyer after a car crash – even if the other party is willing to settle.
If liability in your case is contested, it may be necessary to collect evidence that supports your contention that your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver and present that evidence to a judge or a jury. The kinds of evidence that can be relevant to a car accident case include the following:
- Eyewitness accounts of accident
- Surveillance footage
- On-board computer data
- Cell phone records
- Vehicle maintenance records
Establishing negligence in a car accident case can be a complicated matter, so anyone who is in the midst of a contested case should retain a Los Angeles car accident attorney immediately.
If You Are Injured in a Car Accident, Call Injury Justice Law Firm
If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to know that your legal rights are completely protected. At Injury Justice Law Firm, LLP, we are committed to representing the rights of car accident victims and work hard to ensure that each client we take obtains the full and fair value of his or her claim. To schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, call our law firm at 310-734-7974.