If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is essential that you seek out medical attention if you are feeling any pain or discomfort. The full extent of your injuries may not be immediately evident to you, and waiting to seek medical attention until the pain worsens could have long lasting consequences.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Automobile Accidents?
In 2015, an estimated 2.44 million people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes — that’s 6,693 people per day. Injuries from auto accidents can range from minor to severe and can leave you with long-term effects on your physical and mental health. No matter the severity, our attorneys work tenaciously to get injured clients the compensation they deserve. Here are the most common types of auto accident injuries:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Strained ligaments
- Back muscle sprains
- Scrapes and Cuts
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chest injuries
- Broken ribs
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Jaw injuries
- Loss of teeth
- Neck injuries
- Crushed larynx
- Crushed trachea
- Broken neck
- Pelvic injuries
- Penetration injuries
Can Not Seeing a Doctor Hurt My Case?
If you choose not to see a doctor or if you delay your decision, you could negatively affect your claim to compensation for your injuries.
When filing a claim, whether it is through an insurer or a lawsuit, being able to prove your injuries occurred and having records of medical treatment can be used to demonstrate your damages. Additionally, the amount of time you take before seeing a doctor may be used by insurance adjusters to argue against the severity of your injuries or whether your injuries were truly caused by your accident and not something else.
Leave no room for doubt. It is in your best interest and in the best interest of your claim to see a doctor as soon as possible after an automobile accident to determine if you are injured, how severe your injuries are, and to have documentation of any injuries that you may have sustained.
What are the Most Common Causes of Automobile Accidents?
Among the most common causes of automobile accidents are:
- Speeding – Speeding is estimated to be a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes with 9,957 speeding-related fatal crashes occurring in 2015 alone.
- Distracted Driving – In 2014, distracted driving resulted in the deaths of 3,179 people and an estimated 431,000 injuries.
- Drunk Driving – On average, drunk driving claims 28 lives every day. Current estimates say that roughly one-third traffic related deaths are the result of drunk driving.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs – More than 20 percent of all fatal traffic accidents that were recorded in Texas in 2016 occurred at or in relation to an intersection.
- Reckless Driving – Reckless driving covers a number of actions and deals with a general disregard for traffic regulations and safety, whether it be intentional or accidental. This can include failing to adhere to stop signs or other posted traffic signs, unsafe changes of direction or lane changes, or failing to keep proper look out.
What Should I Do After an Auto Accident?
- Stop immediately after the crash
- Even if a collision is minor, it is important to remain at the scene. Never flee from the scene of an accident as it is illegal and will only make matters worse.
- Assess the situation
- Car crashes can be disorientating. It is important that you take a moment to assess the situation. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Determine if it is safe to exit your vehicle and see what routes are available for a safe exit. Refrain from moving anyone who has suffered a back, neck, or spinal injury if at all possible.
- Make the accident visible
- Accidents are an unexpected disruption to traffic flow, and numerous accidents occur by drivers crashing into the site of a previous collision. You can prevent further accidents and hazards by turning on your vehicle’s warning lights, setting out reflectors, or activating road flares. It is also smart to keep a flashlight in your car – should an accident occur at night, you can carry the flashlight after exiting your vehicle to make yourself more visible.
- Notify the police If there is an emergency, contact 911.
- Otherwise, contact your local police department – even if there are no serious injuries. A detailed police report will go a long way when you file a claim with your insurance company. If there is an injury, be sure that paramedics are called to the scene as well. If there is any confusion whether or not an injury has occurred, err on the side of caution and have an ambulance respond to the scene.
- Record the facts
- Speak with the responding officers and be as accurate and forth coming as possible. Do not feel like you have to have all the answers. Do not speculate at the facts of the accident or whether you sustained an injury. If you are unsure how the accident occurred or unsure if you have sustained an injury, it is okay to respond with “I don’t know.”
- Take pictures
- A major benefit that has come with the popularity of cell phones is that the vast majority of people have a camera with them at all times. Take photos of your vehicle, any visible damage, the scene of the accident, and any injuries that you or a passenger may have suffered.
- Gather and exchange information
- More often than not, the responding officer will obtain insurance information from all drivers involved. If this does not occur, gather the name, phone number, and addresses of all persons involved in the accident, including passengers and witnesses. You should also obtain the insurance information of all driver involved by requesting to see each vehicle’s insurance card.
- Seek medical attention
- Pain and injuries may not be immediately evident following an accident. In fact, much of the pain will occur a day or two following the crash. Again, if there is any uncertainty whether you have sustained an injury, err on the side of caution. There is no harm in getting a check-up at your local emergency room or in making an appointment with your primary physician. Let them have the final say, even if only for peace of mind.
- Report the accident to your insurance
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can following a crash – most policies actually require immediate reporting of an accident. This will also let you discuss your medical benefits as well as get your claim under way. As your claim is process, keep a detailed log of any medical bills, updates, changes in health, and crash related expenses such as rentals.
- Contact an experienced car crash attorney
- The role of your attorney is not simply to file a lawsuit. An attorney is responsible for protecting your rights and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. A good attorney will help you obtain and protect valuable evidence, provide legal advice before you provide a statement to the insurers, ensure you receive the medical attention you need, and press insurers to process your claim in a timely and fair manner. Should your rights be infringed upon, the best attorneys are those who are willing and ready to go to trial.