Ever suffer injuries in a car accident and aren’t sure whether they are serious or not? Your injuries don’t seem life threatening, luckily, but you are still feeling stiff and disoriented. Do you still seek medical attention?
It is a wise idea to seek medical help after a car accident if you’re feeling a little stiff or disoriented, as it may be a sign of something more medically serious. Car accidents can result in soft tissue injuries as well as far more serious injuries that you may not know you have. If you are not sure whether or not you have been injured, it is always best to err on the safe side and seek initial medical treatment. At the emergency room, a health care provider can administer the necessary imaging tests, including x-rays, MRIs, or brain scans to make sure everything is really okay, or not.
Stiffness and Soft Tissue Injuries
Did you know that muscular stiffness following a car accident is often a sign of a soft tissue injury? Soft tissue injuries are those types of injuries that do not involve fractures or broken bones and that do not require invasive medical treatment, such as a surgery, to correct. Soft tissue injuries may consist of muscular sprains and strains, whiplash injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, chest injuries (often burn injuries from the seatbelt), and knee sprains or contusions.
Soft tissue injuries are especially common in motor vehicle accidents such as rear-end collisions. These collisions cause the vehicle driver’s body to abruptly move forward and backward inside the vehicle. Knee contusions are also common if a driver or passenger hits a knee on the car dashboard during a collision.
Treatment of soft tissue injuries usually involves rest, and in some cases, physical therapy. Some soft tissue injuries are permanent and may require ongoing medical care and treatment.
Proving Soft Tissue Injuries in a Car Accident Case
Personal injury plaintiffs sometimes have difficulty proving the existence of soft tissue injuries. This is because soft tissue injuries are not always observable from imaging studies, such as x-rays and MRIs. As a result, insurance companies sometimes try and deny that these injuries even exist. In other cases, they may point to degenerative findings on x-rays or MRIs to explain away the injury’s significance—or to “disconnect” the injury from the accident.
In serious soft tissue injury cases, you may need to have a medical specialist or another expert testify that your injury is permanent and that your life will be affected by the injury for many years to come.
Head Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
If you are feeling dazed or disoriented after a car accident, this may be a sign of a more serious injury. In some cases, car accident victims sustain minor head injuries or concussions when their head strikes the headrest. In other cases, the accident victim’s head and body may lurch forward at the point of impact, causing the head to strike the steering wheel. In serious car accidents, the accident victim may even lose consciousness for a period of time. Even if the accident victim remains conscious the entire time, he or she may still experience a period of dizziness or disorientation.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek follow-up medical care. Health care providers at an emergency room or urgent care facility may be able to do a CAT-scan or other imaging study to see if you sustained a brain bruise or other head injury. By seeking medical treatment early-on, health care providers are more likely to discover a serious head injury, increasing your chances of a speedy recovery and decreasing your chances of developing an even more serious head injury.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
If you sustained a permanent injury or medical bills and lost wages, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver directly and seek monetary damages. Accident victims who sustain injuries in car accidents may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and related pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and inconvenience.
In order to maximize the value of your personal injury case, it is best to seek consistent follow-up medical treatment and physical therapy. You should also consult with your primary care physician if you have one.
The Avery Law Firm knows the pain and inconvenience associated with a car accident. Our attorneys are ready and willing to represent you in your case today. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fairfax personal injury attorney, please call us at 703-462-5050 or contact us online today.