Every year, thousands of South Carolina drivers and passengers are hurt in car accidents. The South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book, put out by the state Department of Public Safety, states that 58,053 people suffered some type of injury in a car accident in one recent year. There were also 1,036 deaths as a result of car accidents that year.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Florence
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, even if it was a “minor” crash, you know how painful and stressful the aftermath can be. The Florence car accident lawyers at the Jebaily Law Firm want to help you pursue the money you need to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost income, and other losses if you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by someone else.
Our firm has more than 100 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury cases. Since establishing our firm in 1969, we’ve helped our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. Our strong track record of success and our devotion to client service are major reasons why we’re so highly respected by the local community, having earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Our compassionate, dedicated, and experienced legal team is here to help you however we can after a car crash. You can get a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers by calling our office in Florence or by visiting our contact page.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
One of the most devastating kinds of injuries that can happen in car accidents is damage to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries are especially common in T-bone collisions or side-impact collisions because of the angle of impact. Our spines are somewhat flexible, but they’re not designed to withstand the force that comes with serious car accidents.
The impact force can put intense pressure on the spine, causing it to bend or twist in ways that can result in lasting damage. In especially forceful impacts, the spinal cord may fracture, causing severe injuries.
Because the spinal cord carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body, any damage to the spinal cord includes the possibility of nerve damage. In some cases, this can result in feelings of numbness in the extremities. A major spinal cord injury can cause partial or full paralysis. If you’re paralyzed in a car accident, the damage is most likely permanent, which can dramatically impact your ability to work and take part in many activities.
Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are violently jerked forward and then snap back. The term “whiplash” comes from the fact that the motion of the head and neck resembles what happens when someone cracks a whip. Whiplash injuries are most common in rear-end collisions, though they can happen in other kinds of accidents as well.
When your body experiences whiplash, the strain on your neck, shoulders, and upper back can be intense. This can cause severe pain in these areas. In some cases, this pain starts shortly after the crash, while in others, the pain takes a few days to show up and gets gradually worse.
Common signs of whiplash include pain in the shoulders, upper back, or neck, pain when moving your head or neck, numbness in your arms, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, trouble sleeping, anxiety, depression, memory problems, and feeling upset or irritable for no apparent reason.
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in car accidents even if you do not sustain a direct blow to the head. Because our brains can move around slightly within our skulls, the force of a car accident can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull. This can cause concussions, brain bleeds, and other serious injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries can also occur if a driver or passenger sustains a direct blow to the head. This can happen if someone hits their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, a window, or another hard surface in the vehicle. Flying objects, such as shards of glass or other pieces of debris, can also penetrate the skull in a crash, leading to a traumatic brain injury.
Any traumatic brain injury is cause for serious concern. Damage to the brain can impact memory, cognition, personality, and movement. What’s more, many traumatic brain injuries cannot be healed, leaving victims with lifelong damage. If you suspect you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury, see a doctor as soon as possible to minimize the potential harm.
The strain on your body from a car accident can cause damage to the muscles or other soft tissues in your back. Like whiplash injuries, many back injuries aren’t immediately obvious in the immediate aftermath of a car accident and become much more painful over time. The pain from a back injury can be so severe that it prevents you from working, which will greatly impact your financial future.
Herniated discs are among the most common back injuries that occur in car accidents. There are small bits of rubbery tissue between each vertebra to help cushion and protect the spinal cord. In a car accident, these discs can rupture or shift out of place. In either case, the pain from these injuries can be intense, to the point that you’re unable to work or take part in other activities.
The sudden impact from a car accident can cause joints to twist at unnatural angles, resulting in the joints tearing or sustaining other damage. Additionally, the impact can cause joints to collide with parts of the car. Knees are particularly vulnerable in a car accident because they can collide with the dashboard or steering column. In especially violent crashes, part of one vehicle may break through into the cabin of another vehicle and directly strike an occupant, and cause severe joint damage.
Burns can occur in a car accident if something causes one or more vehicles to ignite with a driver or passengers trapped inside. A driver or passenger can also suffer a burn injury if they come into contact with hot metal, steam from the engine, the surface of the road, or scalding liquids (for example, engine oil or transmission fluid). Severe burn injuries can leave victims disfigured and may require skin grafts or surgery to repair.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Broken bones are some of the most common injuries that occur in car accidents. Among other types of fractures, broken arms, legs, ribs, wrists, and ankles are frequent injuries in car crashes. Some of these fractures will heal with the use of a cast, but severe breaks will require surgery to repair. In especially serious crashes, a victim may suffer a broken pelvis, which is both extremely painful and difficult to fix.
Between flying glass, broken bones, burns, and other kinds of injuries, many car accident victims can suffer severe disfigurement to their face or other areas of their bodies. These injuries can leave scars that will never disappear on their own, in which case accident victims may need cosmetic surgery. Even with surgery, though, some car accident victims may never fully look like themselves after a crash, which can cause intense psychological harm.
Can I Get Compensation for My Injuries?
South Carolina law gives car accident victims the right to pursue compensation from the party or parties responsible for their injuries. Most car accident cases are settled out of court, but if the responsible party and their insurance company refuse to make a reasonable settlement offer, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary.
Here are some of the things you could be compensated for through a personal injury claim:
- Your pain and suffering
- Your mental anguish
- Your medical bills
- Your lost wages
- Your decreased ability to work and earn a living
- Your damaged property
- The loss of financial or emotional support from a family member, if anyone in your family sustained an injury in the crash
Contact a Florence Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today
Given the serious harm that can result from a car accident, getting the right lawyer is crucial if you’re going to recover compensation for your injuries. A Florence car accident attorney can help identify all the responsible parties in a car crash, as well as all the compensation you could potentially recover.
From there, your lawyer will begin negotiations with the insurance companies to get you a fair settlement. If a reasonable agreement can’t be reached, then your attorney can bring your case to court to defend your rights.