Lawyer Demystifies Serious Baltimore Car Accident Injuries
The best Baltimore car accident lawyers have, in the course of their careers, a multitude of personal injuries, from the relatively minor to the life-altering. The purpose of this article is to offer observations gleaned from the experience, from the perspective of a personal injury lawyer.
What Are Considered Serious Car Accident Injuries?
Serious car accident injuries can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the specific circumstances of the individuals involved. However, some common serious injuries that can result from car accidents include:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – These occur when there is a sudden blow or jolt to the head, which can result in a range of cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms.
- Spinal cord injuries – These can cause paralysis or other neurological damage, and may require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care.
- Internal injuries – These include injuries to organs such as the liver, kidneys, or spleen, and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
- Broken bones – These can range from minor fractures to severe breaks that require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
- Burns – These can occur from contact with hot surfaces, flames, or chemicals in a car accident, and can cause severe pain and scarring.
- Amputations – These can occur as a result of severe trauma to a limb, and can obviously have significant physical and emotional effects on the impacted individual.
It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you don’t think you’re injured, as some injuries may not show symptoms right away. Indeed, in the course of my career, I’ve heard from countless clients that they did not appreciate the full extent of injuries for 24 to 48 hours.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury/TBI?
TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. It is a type of injury that occurs when a sudden impact or blow to the head causes damage to the brain. TBIs can range from mild, such as a concussion, to severe, which can cause long-term or permanent damage to the brain. The National Institute of Health [NIH] reports that on one end of the spectrum “[s]ome types of TBI can cause temporary or short-term problems with normal brain function, including problems with how the person thinks, understands, moves, communicates, and acts” whereas on the other end “[m]ore serious TBI can lead to severe and permanent disability and even death.”
Symptoms of a TBI can include loss of consciousness, confusion, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, balance problems, and difficulty with speech or coordination. In some cases, symptoms may not appear until days or even weeks after the injury.
Treatment for a TBI depends on the severity of the injury. Mild cases may only require rest and monitoring, while more severe cases may require hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation. In some cases, individuals with severe TBIs may require long-term care and assistance with daily activities.
Prevention of TBIs is important and can include wearing seatbelts and helmets while driving or participating in sports, avoiding risky behaviors, and taking steps to prevent falls, particularly in older adults.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that runs from the brain through the spine and controls movement and sensation throughout the body. The NIH teaches that a “spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that sends and receives signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body. The spinal cord extends from the lower part of the brain down through the lower back.” Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, disease, or degeneration of the spinal cord.
The severity of a spinal cord injury can vary, and can be classified as complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury means that there is no function or feeling below the level of the injury, while an incomplete injury means that some function or feeling remains.
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury can include loss of sensation or movement, pain or pressure in the neck or back, difficulty breathing or coughing, and loss of bladder or bowel control. Cord injuries are on a spectrum as well, with symptoms ranging from none or nominal to complete paralysis. According to the NIH, a constellation of symptoms may indicate such injury.
- Numbness, tingling, or a loss of or changes in sensation in hands and feet
- Paralysis that may happen immediately or develop over time as swelling and bleeding affects the spinal cord
- Pain or pressure in your head, neck, or back
- Loss of movement
- Weakness or inability to move any part of the body
- Unnatural positions of the spine or head
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Problems with walking
- Difficulty breathing
- Changes in sexual function
Treatment for a spinal cord injury typically involves stabilizing the spine to prevent further damage and may include surgery to remove any fragments of bone or tissue that may be compressing the spinal cord. Rehabilitation may also be necessary to help the individual adapt to any physical limitations and improve their quality of life.
Prevention of spinal cord injuries can include wearing seatbelts and helmets, using caution when participating in sports or other physical activities, and avoiding risky behaviors such as diving into shallow water.
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that you or someone else has a serious injury, as serious injuries, whether discussed here or not, can be life-threatening if left untreated. It’s also important to note these observations are offered by a Baltimore personal injury lawyer, not an area physician, who may or may not treat the victims of Baltimore car accidents. Nothing contained herein is medical advice- which anyone injured is encouraged to seek. Many Baltimore residents injured in automobile accidents are frustrated in their quest for fair compensation from the insurance company. For these latter concerns, you should speak with an experienced Baltimore injury attorney.