Auto accidents can be traumatic even if there are only minor or few noticeable injuries. It is pretty clear to auto accident victims who have serious injuries or whose loved ones are killed in accidents that they should consult an attorney. But even minor injuries entitle a victim to compensation.
An experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney can help victims through the personal injury claims process. The Law Office of Shane Smith will make sure that documentation from a victim's medical examinations is included in the claim.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian accidents account for 11 percent of all fatalities involving motor vehicles. The NHTSA reports that a pedestrian is killed approximately every 100 minutes. Metropolitan areas account for nearly 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities; this is due to the confluence of vehicles and pedestrians. Rural areas account for more serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries and internal organ damage. Over 150,000 people go to emergency rooms after injuring their hands in car doors. Yet these are minor injuries compared to those sustained in auto accidents.
The head, neck and back are most commonly injured in auto accidents. Other common injuries are sustained to internal organs, legs and arms.
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT scan (Computed Tomography) is needed to diagnose herniated discs in most cases; they do not show up on x-rays. Spinal discs are cushions and act like shock absorbers between the vertebrae and spinal column. If discs are damaged they may protrude into the spinal canal as a bulging disc. If the disc tears or breaks open it is called a herniated disc and is sometimes referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc. Both bulging and herniated discs can cause pain throughout an auto accident victim's body. A herniated disc in the lower back may cause leg pain while a herniated disc in the neck can cause arm pain.
Defense attorneys often attempt to blame herniated discs on pre-existing conditions such as osteoarthritis. Testimony from medical experts may be necessary and an experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney can show how the auto accident caused the disc injury.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord links the brain and the rest of the body and dictates motor control and sensory reaction. A spinal cord injury occurs in an auto accident when there is a blow to the spine that damages spinal nerves. This impairs the brain's communication with the body and results in paralysis and lack of sensation in part or all of the body. A complete spinal cord injury results in total numbness and paralysis in the affected part of the body. An incomplete spinal cord injury leaves limited sensation or movement in the affected area.
The degree of affect is directly related to the area of the spine that is injured; the higher an injury is on the spine, the more of the body will be affected. Injuries to the middle or lower spine will impact the legs as paraplegia. Injuries to the neck or upper back will likely impact the arms as well as the legs as quadriplegia.
Compression fractures are small bone and spinal cracks that can cause the vertebrae to collapse and deform over time. Such fractures can permanently alter the spine's shape and structure.
Symptoms of a compression fracture may include altered posture, difficulty breathing and back pain. Compression fractures are often misdiagnosed as arthritis or osteoporosis among older adults. According to Disabled World News, an estimated two-thirds of compression fractures are undiagnosed.
- Internal organs (spleen, ribs, appendix, kidney, lungs, heart, etc.)
- Arms, hands and fingers
- Legs, knees, hips, ankles and feet
An experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney will recommend a thorough medical examination to diagnose an auto accident victim's injuries. Call Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656 to schedule a free legal consultation.