When you’ve been injured in a car accident, one of the first things you want to know is how your life is going to be impacted. The impact on your life will depend, in part, on the nature of your injuries and how severely they have damaged you.
While the impact of some injuries may be almost immediately apparent, other injuries cause their damage over time and the full impact may not be known for months or years into the future.
Of course, it’s possible for any type of injury to occur in an auto accident but certain injuries are frequently diagnosed in persons who have been in motor vehicle accidents. Some less serious injuries can trigger quite serious physical consequences.
The Law Offices of Joseph Rome represents persons who have been injured in car accidents caused by others. Our Kirkland car accident attorney knows how to make sure the severity of a client’s injuries is accurately understood and fully compensated.
Your Likelihood of Being Injured in a Car Accident
Though total car crashes in Washington were down significantly in 2021 (73,906) from 2020 (86,275), traffic fatalities remained almost the same. And serious injuries actually increased by more than 11%.
Washington has over 5.7M licensed drivers. So as a driver on Washington’s roads you have a 1 in 77 chance of being in an auto accident. When involved in a car crash you have about a 30% chance of being injured.
Common Car Accident Injuries People Get Compensation For
Any time someone is in a car crash some part of their body has forcibly come into contact with something and often at least some type of minor injury occurs. Bruises and minor lacerations are common and generally heal without medical attention.
But more serious injuries can require significant medical treatment and may have physical and mental consequences that keep people from working or participating in other usual activities. Injuries that often occur in motor vehicle accidents and are compensated include:
- Whiplash – Whiplash is a common injury in fender bender type accidents where the head and neck are thrown forward and then snapped back. The resulting injury is usually to soft tissue in the neck area due to a muscle or ligament strain or tear. Soft tissue injuries can cause some temporary disability but don’t often result in permanent limitation. However, the whiplash motion can also cause the brain to impact the skull and a much more significant injury can occur.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI occurs when some force outside the body causes injury to the brain. In car accidents, a TBI can occur even when a person’s head does not come into contact with anything. The force from the impact can cause the brain to literally slam into the skull causing damage to brain tissue. Damaged brain tissue can result in cognitive impairment as well as serious secondary physical damage that can be life-threatening.
- Injury to Spinal Column or Spinal Cord –The spinal column is the bones and other tissues from the base of the skull to the tip of the tail bone. The spinal column encases the spinal cord. Damage to the spinal cord can result in permanent paralysis.
- Other Internal Injuries – Blunt force can cause bones to break and internal bleeding.
- Mental and Emotional Injuries – The experience of the accident itself and the pain and limitation from dealing with the injuries can negatively affect mental well-being.
Injury Severity and Compensation Awards
Generally speaking, the more severe the injury a person suffers, the more compensation they are entitled to. The severity is determined partly by medical diagnosis and treatment but also from the injured person’s own account of how the injuries have impacted their life.
Severity factors that affect compensation awards have to do with the physical and mental suffering experienced by the injured person. Did the injury cause a lot of pain? How long did the pain last? Is the pain expected to continue? Have there been negative behavioral changes since the accident? Has the injury caused a loss of desire or ability to engage in activities or pursuits that were enjoyed prior to the accident?
There are no standard amounts when it comes to compensating a person for their suffering. Experienced personal injury attorneys will have some idea where to start based on previous client settlements but each person may have unique experiences that influence how severely they are impacted.
Working with a lawyer that has experience with the type of injury you have had gives you the best chance of obtaining full compensation for all of the damage caused to you. Kirkland personal injury attorney Joseph Rome has more than 15 years of experience representing clients seriously injured in car accidents and knows how to evaluate each client’s injuries and secure the maximum compensation.