Any type of auto accident is stressful and chaotic, no matter whether your car has flipped over or you’ve been hit by a person making an illegal left turn. There are few other occasions in your life where you must call the police to assist you. You may have been rear-ended, t-boned on the freeway, or hit by a red-light runner, and you feel grateful to be alive.
You’ve got a legal battle ahead of you, and you are likely confused, shaken, and scared. During this time, the main thing you should be worried about is focusing on your mental, emotional, and physical recovery, not dealing with insurance companies and settlements. If you need support during this time, someone who knows the Phoenix courts inside and out, call us. We want to hear what happened. We’ll listen to your story and help you come up with a plan of action to get the settlement you deserve.
Your injuries may seem minor compared to your car’s damage, but even a seemingly small injury may turn into a larger problem over time. Injuries that you should not ignore include wrist sprains, knee sprains, seatbelt and airbag bruising, airbag burns, chronic headaches, chest bruising, left foot injuries and broken thumbs.
Every auto injury, no matter how minor, should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. If you are considering filing a claim against the at fault driver, proving you were injured is important to your claim. As experienced auto injury lawyers in Phoenix, we can help you – the victim of an auto accident – receive medical care right away, get a rental car, connect you with a good auto body shop, and get your vehicle out of the tow yard.
Our offices are conveniently located in Chandler, Phoenix and Peoria. We can meet by phone, in-person, or by video conference. We’re often asked questions like, “Do I have a claim? Should I see a doctor? Will the other driver pay for this accident? How can I get my car? What about my time off work?” We’ll answer all of your questions and help put your life back together. You can contact us today for a free consultation, or you can read on to learn more about how smaller auto-accident injuries.
Wrist pain after an auto accident is very common. When your hand strikes something hard, like the steering wheel or the dashboard, the force of the impact can damage the ligaments in your wrist. When those ligaments are damaged, it is called a sprain. You didn’t break any bones, but you still injured your wrist.
Wrist sprains are painful and, if untreated, can lead to chronic instability of the wrist and chronic arthritis. The severity of a wrist sprain is determined by how damaged the ligaments are: whether they are stretched, torn, or completely separated. Though less severe sprains tend to heal themselves, serious sprains in which the ligaments are completely torn through may require surgery.
One of the most common injuries in a car accident is that you and any passengers in the car are pushed forward and hit the dashboard. Many times that is due to a rear-end or t-bone auto accident or someone traveling at a high speed on the freeway. Often, your knees are one of the first parts of your body to collide with the dash, and so they absorb the most amount of force. When that happens and your knee strikes the dash, there is direct trauma to that joint that can result in a range of injuries, including sprains and even shattered kneecaps.
Knee sprains are painful, and can lead to further issues like instability and arthritis if left untreated, and eventual immobility and perhaps secondary health concerns (like obesity). Much like wrist sprains, knee sprain severity is determined by how torn the ligaments are, with more severe separation indicating a more severe injury. However, knee sprains often require surgery or physical therapy treatment more often than wrist sprains do.
Seat belts save lives. They reduce the risk of severe injury by 50%, and reduce the risk of car-accident death by 45%. However, seat belts can still cause minor injuries. In a car accident where your body has been thrown against the seatbelt (like in a hit-and-run on the freeway, or in a trucking accident), you may have a bruise (contusion) or scrape (abrasion) across your chest, ribs, neck, or stomach. Generally, those bruises and/ or cuts should fully heal on their own in a few days or in a week. But bruising, particularly along the ribcage, may be an indicator of a worse injury, like a broken bone or muscle strain.
Having a constant headache after a car accident is more than a minor annoyance. It’s painful, debilitating, and can be a sign of a much more serious condition. Headaches after a car accident are called post-traumatic headaches because they are induced by the trauma of the car accident, usually from hitting your head on either the dashboard/ steering wheel or hitting it backwards against the headrest.
While this can occur in any car accident, it’s common in head-on collisions and rear-end accidents. Many victims report the headaches starting immediately after the crash, but they can also begin hours or even days later.
The most important thing to do if you suffer from headaches after an auto accident is to get checked by your doctor for a concussion or other forms of head and brain injuries, including whiplash. These types of brain injuries can be debilitating long-term, and their severity often depends on when they are recognized and treated. In other words, you can avoid more serious long-term injury by going to your doctor when you get the headache.
In a bad car accident, your airbags deploy in order to stop you from hitting the steering wheel with enough force to hurt yourself, and they may even prevent you from going through the windshield. However, when airbags deploy, many people report having burns on their arms, chest, and other exposed body parts. This is largely due to the chemicals used in the airbags.
When a crash happens, an electrical charge is triggered that changes the sodium azide or sodium hydroxide in the airbag to nitrogen gas. While this makes the airbag function correctly, it also burns at an extremely high temperature and can cause burns to drivers and passengers. Additionally, sodium azide is toxic, and if the bag ruptures, it can cause chemical burns. Lastly, airbags deploy at a very fast speed (sometimes as high as 220 miles per hour), which makes them effective. It also may cause friction burns on skin.
If you have been burned by an airbag, you should go to your doctor immediately to see whether the burns are friction, temperature, or chemical related. If your burns are bad enough, you may be taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Many people who have been in car accidents report chest pain and bruising. That can be from the seatbelt restraining you, hitting your chest against the steering wheel or dashboard, or even the air bag deployment.
Though chest bruising in and of itself does not sound very serious, it can be an indicator of a much more serious injury like a broken rib, hematoma, or internal organ injury. If the bruising is just bruising, it should heal on its own within a few days. However, if the bruising is a symptom of a larger, more serious issue, getting treatment as soon as possible can have a drastic effect on how well and how quickly you can recover from the injury. This type of injury can occur any time you are thrown forward in an accident, like in delivery vehicle accidents, or even as a passenger in a rideshare accident.
Ankle and foot injuries, particularly in your left foot, are common results of car accidents. They’re most common from head-on crashes, illegal left turn accidents, flipped car accidents, and T-bone accidents because as the front compartment of the car crumples, many people absorb the impact of that in their feet as they brace themselves against the floor.
The foot can be swollen for several reasons, including the impact of the dashboard, fluid buildup that occurs when your capillaries are damaged, or a sprained or broken ankle. If your foot is swollen after an accident, it is important to see a doctor right away. While some foot swelling is normal and even expected after an accident, it can signify a much more serious injury, like a blood clot or sprained ankle.
One of the more common relatively minor injuries after a car accident is a broken thumb. Think about the way you hold the steering wheel: most people hold it overhand with their thumbs in the center of the wheel and the rest of their fingers wrapped around the wheel. In any car accident like distracted driving accident or a wrong-way driver accident, you may be pushed forward towards the dashboard, which can catch your thumb around the wheel. Or, the airbag may deploy and push your thumbs back, breaking the bone.
For any broken bone injuries, even if you’re not sure you have a broken bone, it’s important to visit the doctor. Letting the injury heal on its own can cause the bone fuse together improperly, which can result in chronic pain and other more serious long-term effects. For most injuries involving a broken thumb, you can heal with non-surgical intervention. However, if the bone has shattered or the thumb breaks below a certain point, you may need surgery to fix it.
At Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including smaller injuries including those listed above. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler, North Phoenix, or Peoria office.
If you have suffered any injury from a car accident, no matter how small, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.
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