Information to Help You Stay Safe on Colorado Roads
Being injured in an auto accident can be a frustrating, difficult and even life-changing experience. If your injuries are severe, securing financial compensation could be a crucial step on your long road to recovery. So, what should you keep in mind about your injuries? The attorneys at Levine Law have created the following guide to best assist victims of Denver and Colorado car accidents.
10 Common Symptoms of Traumatic Injuries from Vehicle Collisions
Following an auto accident, one of the most important things to do is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Auto accidents can result in various internal and external injuries, and obtaining a prompt diagnosis is one of the first steps on the road to physical and financial recovery.
Many car accident victims will experience a variety of different symptoms, and many of these symptoms can be associated with multiple types of traumatic injuries. To avoid unnecessary and potentially long-term consequences, accident victims must rely on their doctors’ advice and not simply assume that they will get better over time. Here are the top 10 warning signs you need to look out for:
1. Localized Pain
Localized pain in the limbs and extremities could be a sign of soft tissue damage (a sprain, strain or tear) or potentially a broken bone. An x-ray, MRI or other forms of imaging will generally be necessary in order to provide an accurate diagnosis.
2. Loss of Muscle Strength or Mobility
Loss of muscle strength or mobility could be symptomatic of a sprain, strain, tear, broken bone or nerve damage. The location and extent of physical limitation will help determine the nature of the injury, along with a physical examination and medical imaging.
3. Swelling or Bruising
Swelling or bruising could be a sign of a variety of different injuries, from minor contusions that will heal on their own to broken bones that may require surgery.
4. Back Pain
Back pain can be a sign of many of the injuries previously discussed as well as herniated discs, spinal fractures and other spinal cord injuries. Imaging is needed to provide an accurate diagnosis; and, depending on the severity and location of the injury, surgery may be required.
5. Chest or Abdominal Pain
Chest or abdominal pain could be a sign of a rib fracture or other chest wall injury, or damage to the lungs or other internal organs. Other injuries are possible as well. Due to the potential complications from internal organ injuries, it will be important to obtain a diagnosis as soon as possible.
6. Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, is caused by exposure to loud noise. The damage caused by this exposure can usually heal, although medical intervention may be necessary to relieve symptoms or repair damage to the inner ear.
7. Blurred Vision
Blurred vision is a potential sign of a concussion or another form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Blurred vision can either be a symptom of the brain injury itself or a of sequela known as post-trauma vision syndrome. Double vision is another common visual impairment caused by TBI.
Headaches following a traumatic accident are most often symptomatic of concussions, though they may also be indicative of other, more-serious forms of TBI. Dizziness, disequilibrium (loss of balance), trouble concentrating and other symptoms are common as well.
9. Memory Loss
Memory loss is a symptom that is typically associated with more-severe forms of TBI. Short-term memory loss can also be a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
10. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, can be a sign of a traumatic injury to the chest or back. If shortness of breath lasts beyond the initial shock of being involved in an accident, prompt medical treatment may be necessary.
7 Signs You May Need to See a Doctor After a Car Accident
When you are involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to figure out you need medical attention. Adrenaline and stress can mask the symptoms of many types of injuries, and some injuries will trigger gradually worsening symptoms. This is why our Denver accident lawyers always recommend seeking medical attention after a vehicle collision. But, if you are at home and wondering if you should see a doctor, here are seven signs that you may need treatment for a traumatic injury:
1. Your Pain Isn’t Going Away
If you were in pain but didn’t see any physical signs of an injury, you may have chosen to go home to rest instead of going to the hospital. But, if it has now been several days and your pain still isn’t going away, this is a sign that you should see a doctor for a diagnosis.
2. Your Pain is Getting Worse
Likewise, if your pain is getting worse, this is a sign that you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Worsening pain can potentially be a sign of a serious internal injury and receiving treatment promptly could be critical to avoid long-term effects.
3. You are Experiencing Headaches
Concussions are common injuries in all types of auto accidents; and, if you have a concussion, it will be important for you to rest – both physically and mentally – until your brain has recovered. Whiplash, spinal cord injuries and various other potentially-serious injuries can cause headaches as well.
4. You are Experiencing Stiffness or Limited Mobility
Stiffness and limited mobility can be symptomatic of a variety of different traumatic injuries. From your lower back to your wrists and ankles, any physical discomfort or limitations should be assessed for medical treatment needs promptly.
5. You are Experiencing Hearing or Visual Impairments
Hearing and visual impairments can be symptomatic of different types of injuries as well. While this includes direct damage to the eyes and ears, it also includes various types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and spinal cord injuries (SCI).
6. You are Having Difficulty Remembering, Concentrating or Sleeping
Difficulty remembering, difficulty concentrating, and other cognitive impairments are common symptoms of concussions and other forms of TBI. The same is true for sleeping. Even if you think it is simply your pain that is keeping you up at night, this may not necessarily be the case.
7. You are Having Difficulty Using the Restroom
Finally, difficulty using the restroom can be a potential symptom of SCI, particularly in the lower back. Similarly, if you are experiencing a loss of bowel or bladder control after an auto accident, you should see a doctor promptly
Other Questions Answered:
Will health insurance cover medical bills from a wreck?
Yes, if you have health insurance, you can (and should) use it. If you are entitled to compensation from one or more auto insurance companies, your health insurer will seek subrogation as part of the claims process.
When is it okay for me to go back to work?
It depends on what your doctor says. If your doctor says you need to rest, then you should rest. If your doctor says it is okay to resume light work, then you can resume light work. While we understand that you may not want to miss a paycheck, returning to work too soon could have even greater negative financial ramifications.
Should I hire an attorney to handle my insurance claim?
Yes. At most Colorado accident law firms, it costs you nothing out-of-pocket to hire an attorney, and the law firm will only take your case if we believe we can help you secure compensation that you would not be able to secure on your own. If you have been seriously injured and you want to make sure the insurance companies treat you fairly, the best way to protect yourself is to hire experienced legal representation.
The Next Steps After An Injury in a Car Wreck
You were injured in a car accident. You contacted your insurance company, and now . . . what? You know you need to make smart decisions, and you know you need to try to make sure your insurance company does not take advantage of you. But, how do you do this, exactly?
1. Make Sure You Have a Comprehensive Diagnosis
First and foremost, you need to make sure you have obtained a comprehensive diagnosis of your accident-related injuries. Ideally, you would have seen a doctor immediately following the accident. If you have not yet seen a doctor, you should do so as soon as possible, and you should be sure to make clear which of your symptoms are accident-related.
2. Make Sure You Understand the Long-Term Impacts of Your Injuries
As part of seeking a diagnosis, you should also seek to gain an understanding of the long-term impacts of your injuries. How many procedures will you need? How long will you need to undergo physical or occupational therapy? Are you likely to experience chronic pain or permanent limitations? These are all critical factors for calculating the amount of your financial recovery.
3. Avoid Talking to the Insurance Companies (and Other Common Mistakes)
Once you report the accident, you should avoid providing any statements to the insurance companies. You need to be very careful to protect yourself, and this includes making sure you do not unknowingly say something that the insurance companies can use against you. There are a number of other mistakes you need to avoid as well, and knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do after being injured in a collision.
4. Don’t Get “Claim Fatigue”
Securing just compensation after an autoaccident takes time. Dealing with the insurance companies is a challenge; and, from attending doctors’ appointments to meeting with your attorney, it is easy to get fatigued or feel overwhelmed. If you start to experience these feelings, you need to remember why you filed your claim in the first place: You were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, and you need to make sure you have the financial resources to cover your losses now and in the future.
5. Get Help from Experienced Professionals
From assessing the quality of your medical care to collecting evidence and negotiating with the insurance companies, every aspect of recovering from a car accident involves challenges that are best handled by an experienced professional. To ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses, you should contact a reputable law firm promptly and let your legal team handle these challenges on your behalf.