Thousands of people in Phoenix and other parts of Arizona sustain injuries every day. The many causes of injury include automobile accidents, slips and falls, workplace accidents, and poisoning. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 2.7 million people suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents across the United States.
Phoenix has particular injury risks, including:
- Accidents on I-10, I-17, or U.S. Route 60
- Valley Metro accidents
- Swimming pool and splash pad injuries
- Boating accidents on Saguaro Lake or Canyon Lake
- Bikeway or bike lane accidents
Different types of injuries vary in their severity. Some cause life-long complications and life-changing impairments. If you or someone you love suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, consider speaking with a Phoenix personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options for compensation.
The Nature of Injuries
A victim of a motor vehicle accident or any other accident or traumatic event can suffer a wide range of injuries depending on the force of impact, the circumstances of the accident, and other factors. Broadly speaking, doctors might diagnose injuries by impact injuries and penetrating injuries.
While impact injuries occur when an object hits the body or the body hits the ground or another type of surface, penetrating injuries happen when an object penetrates the victim’s body and causes trauma.
Regardless of the type or classification of your injury, you can still suffer lifelong and costly effects, including persisting symptoms that affect your life in many ways. You might have the right to seek compensation for your costs and effects by pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Consider contacting a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to review your particular situation and discuss your legal options.
Different Types of Injuries
Many types of injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident, on-the-job driving accident, violent act, slip and fall accident, or another traumatic event may not have immediate symptoms. For this reason, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if it seems that you do not have serious injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries suffered by victims include:
- Scrapes, lacerations, and cuts. People may suffer scrapes, cuts, and lacerations, which are mostly minor injuries. However, these injuries can be severe and may cause permanent scarring or disfigurement. In car accidents, glass and metal can cause deep cuts and scrapes to vehicle occupants. There is also a risk of infection if the wound is not treated immediately.
- Soft-tissue injuries. These injuries involve trauma to the skin, muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Unlike fractures, soft-tissue injuries do not cause damage to the hard tissue (bones). Depending on the severity, these injuries can take a while to heal.
- Chest injuries. Chest injuries can be catastrophic and life-threatening. Trauma to the chest is commonly associated with fractured ribs and internal organ damage. In automobile accidents, a driver may suffer chest injuries from hitting the steering wheel or direct impact with the seatbelt or airbag.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are some of the most serious injuries that occur due to a hard blow to the head or the head moving violently. Depending on the nature and severity of the TBI, a victim may experience long-term or permanent complications, including cognitive impairment, memory problems, loss of balance, and many more. Often, a traumatic brain injury does not manifest any symptoms for days or even weeks after the traumatic event. Each year, over 220,000 Americans are hospitalized due to traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Shoulder or neck injuries. These injuries commonly occur when a person falls or is involved in an automobile accident. Common types of shoulder and neck injuries include shoulder dislocations, neck sprains and strains, broken or fractured collarbone, nerve damage, and others. Shoulder and neck injuries are usually painful and cause a great deal of discomfort.
- Whiplash. It is the most common type of neck injury, which is commonly associated with rear-end car accidents. Whiplash occurs when the head moves violently in a back-and-forth movement, causing the ligaments and muscles in the neck to stretch beyond their capacity.
- Concussion. When a person hits their head during a collision or fall, they are likely to suffer a concussion. As a result, a victim may have difficulty remembering things or experience dizziness, confusion, foggy brain, and other symptoms. It is vital to receive prompt medical care to eliminate the risk of long-term complications.
- Sprains or strains. Strains occur when the muscles or tendons stretch or tear, while sprains stretch or tear ligaments. These injuries can occur in many accidents, including automobile accidents and falls.
- Arm and leg injuries. Both upper and lower extremities are prone to injuries in motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and other types of accidents. A victim may suffer fractures, broken bones, bruising, lacerations, sprains, strains, and other types of damage.
- Loss of a limb. One of the most catastrophic injuries is the loss of a limb. This type of injury occurs when the limb is severed or damaged badly enough to require amputation. Amputations can be traumatic or surgical. The loss of any limb is a life-altering injury. The victim may not return to work, may need to purchase prosthetics, and suffer the devastating emotional and psychological effects. According to the Amputee Coalition, there are an estimated 185,000 amputations each year in the United States.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can result in temporary or permanent paralysis. External trauma is the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries may disrupt the brain’s ability to send signals to the rest of the body, resulting in paralysis below the injury site.
- Internal injuries. Damage to internal organs can be fatal. Often, internal injuries, including internal bleeding, go unnoticed following the traumatic event. The victim may not experience symptoms for hours or days after the accident, which is why receiving immediate medical attention following the traumatic event is critical.
- Burn injuries. Accident victims may suffer burn injuries due to exposure to heat, fire, toxic chemicals, or electricity. Severe burns may result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. These injuries cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.
- Broken bones. People in motor vehicle accidents and other traumatic events may break their legs, arms, ribs, collarbones, femurs, and other bones in the body. It can take several years for a broken bone to heal. Some victims may require surgery.
- Scarring. Scarring occurs more often than people realize, particularly in motor vehicle accidents. Lacerations, deep cuts, burns, and other types of scarring may require stitches and other forms of urgent medical care. However, there is the risk of permanent scarring. Facial scarring can entitle the victim to seek compensation for “disfigurement” because facial scars can affect the victim’s self-esteem and quality of life.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, more than 28,600 motor vehicle accidents result in injuries, and Phoenix accounts for the vast majority of all car accident injuries in the state.
What Are the Common Types of Emotional Injuries?
A victim of an accident may suffer physical injuries and emotional ones. Emotional trauma is invisible, unlike many physical injuries, but it can pose a significant threat to the victim’s well-being. That is why you must recognize any emotional and psychological problems you face. Ignoring these problems can make them worse.
Some of the most common types of emotional trauma associated with living through an accident and/or suffering physical injuries include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about half of American adults will experience at least one major traumatic event in their lifetime. However, the lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is nearly seven percent in the United States. Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of PTSD. A car accident victim who suffers from PTSD may experience persistent anxiety and feelings of uneasiness, irritability, excessive worry, sleep problems, vivid flashbacks, nightmares, and many other symptoms.
- Depression. Many accident victims develop depression after sustaining an injury. As a rule of thumb, the more severe the victim’s injuries are, the higher the risk of suffering from depression. A victim may experience depression due to their inability to be as active as they were before the accident or their inability to work and provide for their family.
- Anxiety. While everyone responds to accidents differently, many people develop an anxiety disorder. As a result, a victim with anxiety may respond to certain situations with fear, irritability, and stress. A victim may be anxious about their future or their ability to ever enjoy their life again.
- Behavioral changes. Emotional distress after the accident can result in behavioral changes. In most cases, changes in behavior may include serious underlying problems, such as a traumatic brain injury, which is why it is critical to seek immediate medical attention to diagnose your condition.
- Sleep problems. As with behavioral changes, sleep problems may be a sign of major deterioration of physical health or a condition that was not diagnosed properly. As a result, a victim may experience insomnia or may have difficulties with falling asleep.
- Phobias. It is not uncommon for accident victims to develop phobias. For example, victims of motor vehicle accidents may develop vehophobia, which is the fear of driving. The phobia alone can change the victim’s life dramatically.
According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, an estimated one-third of all motor vehicle accident victims develop some form of emotional trauma.
Other common types of emotional trauma include:
- Mood swings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and social events
- Difficulty concentrating
Every person deals with emotional trauma differently. While some can cope with it, others cannot prevent emotional injuries from ruining their life. If you experience emotional trauma after an accident, seek help from a trained counselor to cope with it in the most efficient manner possible.
If you ignore emotional injuries, they can lead to relationship or marriage problems, employment issues, and the inability to live your life normally. After seeking treatment for your physical and emotional injuries, speak with a Phoenix personal injury attorney to determine the compensation you should pursue.
Why Should You Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Different Types of Injuries?
Even if your injury seems minor or you do not experience any symptoms after the accident, it is still critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries may have delayed symptoms, which is why you might think that you did not sustain injuries. However, it is always a good idea to get checked up by a doctor to ensure that you can begin the treatment immediately. A doctor may order additional testing to diagnose the condition accurately.
The sooner you begin the treatment, the better the outcome in your recovery. In addition, failure to seek medical attention immediately after the accident may negatively affect your future personal injury claim. If you delay your medical treatment, the insurance company can dispute your claim by arguing that you had no injuries from the accident or your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Thus, seeking medical attention immediately after the accident can protect both your health and your right to full compensation.
After seeking medical attention, you might want to discuss your case with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will evaluate your losses and damages and advise you on your legal options to ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
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Chicago, IL 60602