The legal implications of a car accident injury
When a car crash happens, there are several collisions that occur in quick succession. First, the vehicle itself comes to a sudden stop as it hits something, then the bodies of the people inside keep moving forward until they hit something (whether that’s the dashboard, steering wheel, windshield, a seat, or another person’s body), and finally, the internal organs keep moving until they hit bone. Car accidents may also result in broken glass flying through the air or flammable chemicals being spilled, which can cause additional injuries. Depending on the force of impact and the way the crash happens, victims may have any of these injuries:
Nearly any bone in the body can theoretically be broken in a car crash. Broken legs are quite common, even though the leg bones are very strong, because a wreck often causes part of the car to crumple around the legs. Broken arms and hands may result from using the arms to brace the body on impact, or from the force of the steering wheel. Regardless of which bones are broken, recovery can be a long process, often requiring surgery to put the bone back together, then many weeks or months in a cast, followed by physical therapy.
Between the cost of treatment, follow-up care, and potentially a lot of time away from work, the full cost of a broken bone can be substantial. You may have lingering discomfort or loss of strength. In addition, when a bone is fractured, the surrounding muscles, joints, ligaments, and nerves are often damaged, as well, leading to further lingering symptoms. All those costs need to be accounted for when you pursue damages for your injury.
The hip, a ball-and-socket joint, is the largest weight-bearing joint in the body, and it plays a critical role in comfortable movement. The blunt force trauma of a car accident can cause the socket or surrounding bones to become fractured, stopping the hip from moving properly. Car accidents can also cause bursitis, a condition where the fluid-filled sacs in the joint become inflamed and cause severe pain. Severe cases of bursitis may require physical therapy, injections, or even surgery.
Recovery from a hip injury is often a long and painful process, and depending on the extent of the injury, you may need major surgery. In addition to causing serious pain and discomfort, hip injuries can dramatically limit your mobility and thus your independence. Moreover, even if you don’t need a hip replacement right now, a significant hip injury dramatically increases the chances that you will need one down the road. Financial compensation for a hip injury may include medical bills, lost wages, and a significant amount of pain and suffering, among other damages, depending on how the injury has affected your life.
Car accidents happen while the people inside the car are in a sitting position, so knee injuries are unfortunately common. The knee is often forced into the dashboard or strikes the center console due to the force of the crash, potentially causing injury to the patella (kneecap), the two pieces of cartilage that provide padding to the leg bones, the four main ligaments (MCL, LCL, ACL, or PCL), or the muscles around the knee and the tendons that connect them to the knee itself.
Some knee injuries can heal with rest, but many require surgery to repair. Any knee injury can limit your mobility and independence for quite some time, which has ripple effects on your career and your family. For instance, you may be out of work, or need to hire someone to complete services at home that you previously provided. Moreover, a knee injury now may significantly increase the probability you’ll need a knee replacement in the future, and it may increase your risk of developing chronic conditions, like arthritis. A full recovery for your knee injury should include all those costs.
The shoulder has the largest range of motion of any joint in the body, and that range of motion requires a complex set of interconnected parts that can be damaged in a car crash. The most common shoulder injury in a car crash is a torn rotator cuff; for instance, if the force of impact travels through the steering wheel and pushes your upper arm into your shoulder, the fibers in the rotator cuff may tear because of the stress of the sudden movement. Depending on the force of impact, the tendons, ligaments, and even bones that make up the shoulder can be significantly damaged.
Some shoulder injuries heal with rest, but others may require surgery to repair. Properly diagnosing a shoulder injury may require X-rays or MRIs. Again, the shoulder is quite a complicated joint, so repairing it surgically is a complex and difficult process, and even successful treatment may still leave you with some permanent loss of use. Regaining your range of motion may require physical therapy. Losing strength and range of motion in your shoulder can permanently affect your ability to work or do the things you love. A full recovery for your accident means taking all these losses into account.
We will fight hard for full and fair compensation for your injuries
The road to recovery is long, and the insurance company will do everything in their power to make it harder. You may be in pain, reeling from one of the worst days of your life, but to the insurance company, it’s just another day at the office. They think nothing of using pressure tactics and manipulation to try to get you to take a lowball settlement, or nothing at all. We don’t put up with their tactics. We know how to fight back.
That starts with a free consultation in which we’ll discuss your injury and the effects it has had on your life. If you choose to hire us, we’ll deal with the insurance company while you focus on getting better. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your car accident to determine why it happened and gather evidence to prove the full extent of the effects the injuries have had on your life. Indiana juries want to see hard evidence, so we’ll give it to them. In negotiations and, if necessary, at trial, we take a hard line and won’t accept a penny less than full compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Fort Wayne, South Bend, or anywhere in Indiana, you need to get a fighter on your side. The sooner you take action, the sooner we can investigate and start building a strong case on your behalf. Contact us today for your free consultation with an Indiana car accident injury lawyer.