Common Injuries In Michigan Car Accidents
Car accident injuries, like surgical procedures, tend to be regarded as minor only when they occur to someone else.
However, apart from rare, harmless fender benders, the vast majority of auto accidents monitored by both the National Transportation Safety Administration and the National Safety Council result in some form of physical (and occasionally psychological) consequences for both drivers and passengers.
If you find yourself in a non-life threatening accident that necessitates medical attention, it becomes far from a minor matter – particularly when you consider the looming doctor bills.
After an accident, you might contend with an array of post-accident injuries, ranging from persistent back issues that defy easy resolution to internal injuries that remain hidden from immediate detection in hospital X-rays.
In 2020, the National Safety Council estimated that nearly 4.8 million individuals suffered serious injuries in car accidents. Despite the increasing prevalence of safety features like blind spot detection, lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control in vehicles, accidents resulting in severe injuries and fatalities have not declined.
Likewise, the costs associated with car accidents have not diminished. In 2020, total motor-vehicle injury costs were estimated at a staggering $474.2 billion, encompassing medical expenses, wage and productivity losses, administrative costs, employer expenditures, and vehicle property damage.
The key takeaway: car accidents exact a substantial toll, both in terms of physical and financial consequences.
Common Michigan Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents often lead to impact injuries, occurring when drivers or passengers collide with any component inside the vehicle. These injuries commonly result in whiplash and other soft tissue injuries, but can also include broken bones, chest contusions, and internal damage. “Penetrating” injuries can involve scrapes and cuts caused by shattered glass or impacts with loose objects inside the car.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are diverse, encompassing muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin, blood vessels—almost everything except the hard tissue that constitutes bones. Whiplash, or neck strain, is a prevalent soft tissue injury, often associated with rear-end collisions. Other soft tissue injuries occur when individuals make contact with hard surfaces inside the car, such as the steering wheel, side doors, or dashboard. In cases of ejection from a vehicle, individuals may suffer scrapes and cuts or more severe injuries.
Airbag deployment can lead to facial fractures in some car accidents. Pelvic bone fractures, while more common in motorcycle accidents, also occur in car accidents. Broken leg bones, broken sternums, and rib fractures are frequent injuries since car accidents often involve body parts colliding with seat belt restraints and steering wheels.
Head and Brain Injuries
Serious accidents, especially those at high speeds, often result in head and brain injuries. However, nearly any significant contact with a component inside the car can cause such injuries. They can range from mild to severe, including concussions, brain bruises, skull fractures, and brain hemorrhaging. Car accidents have even triggered secondary brain injuries, where a person’s brain suffers consequences due to serious injuries elsewhere in the body, such as injuries causing a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Back injuries frequently occur in car accidents, similar to neck sprains. However, rear-end collisions aren’t always to blame. Any sudden jolt can stretch the ligaments and tendons of the lower back or, in worst-case scenarios, damage the spinal cord. Tendon strains, muscle tears, soft tissue bruising, fractures, dislocations, and herniated disks can lead to both short-term setbacks and lingering conditions that are slow to develop and difficult to resolve.
Other Car Accident Injuries In Michigan
The nature and severity of car accident injuries depend on various factors, including vehicle speed, collision direction, impact location, safety features, the number of passengers, and vehicle count.
These injuries may encompass neck injuries (often involving whiplash), chest injuries (resulting from seat belts and airbags), leg injuries (typically involving broken tibia, femur, and fibula bones), wrist and hand injuries (such as fractures and ligament tears), foot injuries (including muscle, tendon, ligament injuries, and fractures), facial injuries (caused by shattered glass or contact with steering wheels and airbags), shoulder injuries (from contact with hard interior surfaces), knee injuries (ranging from patella fractures to ligament tears), hip injuries (often involving hip fractures, dislocation, labral tears, and ligament sprains), internal injuries (including organ damage and internal bleeding), limb loss (in high-impact accidents), burns (resulting from various causes), scrapes, and cuts (often underestimated in the presence of more severe injuries), and psychological injuries (due to pain, suffering, financial stress, and medical bills).
How to Obtain Compensation for Car Accident Injuries In Michigan
Securing proper compensation for car accident injuries necessitates a grasp of your state’s car accident laws. Some states mandate that car accident victims seek medical attention within a specific timeframe to receive Personal Injury Protection benefits. For instance, in Florida, this window is two weeks. Additionally, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident varies by state, with many states imposing a two-year limit.
It is advisable to consult with an accident attorney in a free consultation to understand state laws, preserve evidence, and navigate potentially contentious interactions with insurance companies. Such consultations can provide peace of mind during a stressful time.
While you don’t need to immediately commit to hiring an attorney, multiple free consultations can help accident victims make informed decisions. It is good to speak with several attorneys, specifically the one who will be handling your case.
An experienced accident attorney can assist in managing medical expense reimbursement, a significant concern for accident victims who promptly seek medical attention. The best course of action for medical compensation depends on several factors, including the type of car accident.
If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay coverage, you might be able to file a claim with your own insurance company for medical expense reimbursement. Another option is to seek reimbursement through the insurance of the at-fault driver.
In some situations, filing a claim through your health insurance is possible, but certain medical providers may be reluctant to bill health insurance companies for treatment resulting from auto accidents.
For those facing daunting out-of-pocket medical expenses, particularly for injuries requiring ongoing care, an accident attorney may suggest a letter of protection. This document ensures that medical providers will be paid from compensation obtained through a pending claim or lawsuit.
Car accidents, even without severe injuries, can be emotionally taxing. When medical reimbursement is part of an accident claim, an accident attorney can guide you through the reimbursement process and set expectations for various injury types.
In the end, few injuries can be considered minor when they personally affect you.
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