By Adam W. Pittman on October 11, 2023
Over 6 million traffic accidents were reported in the United States last year, resulting in 2.5 million injuries and 43,000 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 19,000 of those accidents occurred in Birmingham, Alabama, resulting in nearly 4,300 injuries. The most common car accident injuries in Birmingham reflect those from across the country: head, neck, abdominal, back, and chest injuries.
Car accidents can cause serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Even if your injuries don’t seem severe. In the aftermath of an accident, you may still be in shock, and symptoms may not appear until hours or days later.
If your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Seeking prompt medical treatment ensures that your accident injuries are documented, which helps support your car accident claim.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Birmingham and the United States
Some injuries are more common in certain types of car accidents. For instance, rear-end and T-bone accidents often involve particular patterns of injuries due to the forces of impact. Usually, the body propels forward in a crash when the car strikes an object or another vehicle. Afterward, the body may collide with objects inside the vehicle, such as the steering wheel or windshield. Finally, the organs inside the body can strike body cavities, such as when the ribs puncture the lungs.
Due to these forces of impact, StatPearls found some of the most common injuries that result from car accidents include:
- Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Arm and leg injuries
- Rib fractures, especially in side-impact crashes
- Pelvic and lower abdominal injuries, often related to improper seat belt use
- Flexion and hyperextension injuries, especially after rear-end accidents
Beyond those listed above, many other injuries could result from a crash. These include:
- Lacerations from sharp objects flying through a vehicle
- Burn injuries during vehicle fires
- Broken bones and fractures in the arms and legs
- Soft tissue injuries, including sprains, strains, and contusions
Some Injuries May Be Invisible or Difficult to Detect Initially
Some types of injuries caused by car accidents become immediately apparent after a crash, such as cuts or broken bones. However, other injuries can be more challenging to detect. For instance, internal injuries or whiplash might not appear until hours or days after the crash.
Whiplash is a common type of neck injury seen in automobile accidents. It’s typically associated with rear-end collisions, but it can also happen in other types of accidents where there is a sudden and forceful impact. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are abruptly jerked back and forth, straining the neck’s soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
If left untreated, you could face dangerous complications from these kinds of invisible injuries. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention promptly after a car accident. A medical professional can examine you and identify if you suffered one of the more common car accident injuries. They can also run diagnostic tests to rule out more severe issues.
Additionally, documenting your injuries after a car crash can be crucial for any car accident injury case you pursue in the future.
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Emotional Injuries From Car Accidents
Car accidents can have a significant impact on drivers’ and passengers’ emotional well-being as well, and emotional injuries are a real and often underestimated consequence of such traumatic events. These emotional injuries can manifest in various ways and may include:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, and some individuals may develop PTSD. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and avoidance of situations or places that remind them of the accident.
Anxiety and Panic Disorders: Generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias related to driving or being in a car can develop after an accident. Anxiety can manifest as persistent worry, restlessness, and physical symptoms like heart palpitations.
Depression: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities can be common after a car accident. Some people may experience major depressive episodes that require treatment.
Guilt and Shame: Survivors of car accidents may feel guilt or shame if they believe they were at fault or if someone else was injured or killed in the accident. This emotional burden can be quite distressing.
Anger and Irritability: The stress of a car accident can lead to increased anger and irritability. This can affect personal relationships and daily functioning.
Mood Swings: Emotional instability and mood swings are common in the aftermath of a traumatic event like a car accident.
Loss of Confidence: Some individuals may lose confidence in their driving abilities and become nervous or avoidant when behind the wheel.
Sleep Disturbances: Trouble sleeping, including insomnia or nightmares related to the accident, can exacerbate emotional distress.
Phobias: Specific phobias related to car travel or driving may develop, making it challenging to resume normal activities.
Emotional Stressors: Financial stress, dealing with insurance claims, and legal issues can add to emotional distress.
Survivor’s Guilt: If others were injured or killed in the accident, survivors may struggle with feelings of guilt for having survived.
It’s important to address these emotional injuries with appropriate care and support. Seeking help from mental health professionals, such as therapists or counselors, can be beneficial in dealing with these emotional challenges. Support from friends and family is also crucial in the recovery process, as is understanding that emotional healing can take time. Additionally, support groups for car accident survivors can provide a sense of community and understanding for those going through similar experiences.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Birmingham?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Birmingham, it’s essential to take several immediate steps to ensure your safety, and the safety of others, and to protect your legal and insurance interests. Here’s what you should do after a car accident:
Check for Injuries
First and foremost, check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately to request medical assistance.
Move to a Safe Location
If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further accidents or injuries.
Call the Police
It’s important to report the accident to the police. They can document the scene, gather statements from witnesses, and create an accident report. This report can be essential for insurance claims and legal purposes.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. This should include names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance policy numbers, and license plate numbers.
If it’s safe to do so, take photos and notes about the accident. Document damage to vehicles, road conditions, traffic signals or signs, and any other relevant details. This evidence can be crucial in insurance claims or legal proceedings.
Do Not Admit Fault
Avoid admitting fault for the accident, even if you believe you may have been partially responsible. Let the insurance companies and the authorities determine fault based on the available evidence.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you are not at fault. You should keep your report brief and to the point. You should not admit fault or reflect on how your actions may have contributed to the accident—such statements could harm your potential financial recovery.
Seek Medical Attention
As mentioned above, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident, even if you don’t initially feel injured, as some internal injuries may not manifest symptoms right away but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Internal injuries are typically diagnosed through medical imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, and treated by medical professionals, often involving surgery or other interventions.
Additionally, receiving medical care to treat your injuries can provide crucial documentation for your car accident case. When you file an insurance claim or bring a lawsuit after an accident, you will need to show that your injuries directly resulted from the car crash—and not some other incident. You can link your injuries to the accident and prove their severity by seeking medical care.
Notify Your Employer
If the accident prevents you from going to work, notify your employer and provide any necessary documentation for sick leave or disability claims.
Maintain records of all medical treatment, expenses, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and any communication with insurance companies or other parties involved.
Continue to follow up with medical treatment and therapy, as necessary, to ensure your physical and emotional recovery.
Contact an Attorney
If you’ve been injured or if there’s a dispute over liability, it’s important to consult with a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident claims. You should also talk with a lawyer before accepting any offers from the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are notorious for making low-ball offers that don’t fully compensate injured victims for all their damages. Having legal representation can help you recover maximum compensation for your car accident injuries.
Contact our personal injury lawyers today
Get a Free Case Review From Cory Watson Attorneys
Learn more about the compensation you may be entitled to for your car accident injuries in Birmingham, Alabama. Our team of car accident lawyers is available 24/7 to offer you a free, no-obligation case review. During your call, you can ask us more about the legal process, your next steps, and how our attorneys can help.
Call us today at (205) 328-2200 to learn more.