Every year, close to 20,000 people incur serious injuries in Georgia car accidents. However, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety does not cover mild injuries in their reports. If they did, the number would certainly be much higher. Many of the accidents resulting in injuries occur in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.
Car accident injuries bring about expenses and pain and suffering. The injured often have to take time off work and undergo various medical tests and procedures. Sometimes, the injuries affect their earning capacity and marital life and cause psychological traumas. Above all, accident victims develop fears and anxieties that they can only treat through psychological therapy.
Under Georgia law, accident victims are entitled to compensation for all their losses. Paying that compensation is the responsibility of the party at fault or their insurer. The compensation claim process is not easy, especially for someone recovering from accident injuries. That is why most claimants choose to consult an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
The latter prepares and files the compensation claim, negotiates settlement terms, or even files a civil lawsuit. The amount of the compensation they obtain usually depends on injury severity. However, the experience and skills of the Atlanta auto accident attorney are important as well.
Some lawyers manage to include pain and suffering in compensation claims for mild injuries. Others fail to recover all medical costs or lost earnings for clients who incurred severe injuries. Usually, the sooner the car accident lawyer takes over the case, the more they can do for their client.
In order to understand how compensation claims work, let’s look at most common types of injuries. We will do so below.
Common Types of Injuries in Georgia Car Accidents & How an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
1. Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash injuries are often referred to as neck sprains. They are frequent in head-on and rear-end car accidents. On impact, the body attempts to continue its movement, but the stopped car and the seatbelt retain it. However, the head jerks backward or forward suddenly, stretching or even tearing muscles and tendons.
The adrenaline rush prevents accident victims from feeling pain immediately. As a result, whiplash injuries often go unnoticed for several hours, sometimes even days. The symptoms that give away their presence are:
- Neck tightness, pain, and moving difficulties
- Difficulties rocking or bending one’s head forward, backward, or sideways
- Muscle tenderness
- Headaches radiating from the base of the skull to the forehead
Diagnosing whiplash injuries usually only takes a medical examination. In some cases, doctors may recommend, CT scans, x-rays and other tests to rule out other conditions. Treatment ranges from ice patches and painkillers to neck braces and massage therapy. All tests and treatments are subject to compensation. So are lost income and, in severe cases, pain and suffering.
2. Back Injuries
The victims of Georgia car accidents often develop back pain. Sometimes, it results from whiplash. In other cases, it comes from back injuries. Depending on the region they affect, there are cervical injuries, thoracic injuries, and lumbar injuries.
Some injuries only affect back muscles, tendons, and ligaments. However, they are really painful and may affect the victim’s ability to walk, stand, or bend. They will, implicitly, lead to a lower quality of life.
For a clear diagnosis and to eliminate suspicions of spinal cord injuries, doctors may recommend:
- Physical exams
- CT scans
- Neurological tests
Depending on the diagnosis, treatment recommendations vary. They may include painkillers, anti-inflammatory medication, chiropractic care, and even surgery. The healing process can take weeks, even months.
All its costs, including the accident victim’s pain and suffering, should be subject to compensation. However, documenting them is not easy. For best results, it is advisable to work with an Atlanta auto accident attorney.
3. Airbag Injuries
Airbags are supposed to prevent injuries and save lives. Unfortunately, in many Georgia car accidents, they end up causing injuries themselves. In some cases, these injuries are a small price to pay compared to the injuries the airbags help avoid.
However, there are cases when the airbags deploy at the wrong time or with extreme force. Sometimes, they are covered with dangerous chemicals and dust. They cause burns and bruises which are prone to infections.
If the airbags function normally and cause injuries, the car accident claim covers those injuries. If the airbags do not function properly, the injuries could be the responsibility of a third party.
A technical inspection is the best way to assess airbag functionalities. If it finds anything wrong with them, the best strategy is to consult an Atlanta car accident lawyer. The latter will identify the party at fault and take action against them.
4. Spinal Cord Injuries
Sometimes, the huge impact involved in Georgia car accidents certainly lead to spinal cord injuries. They affect the tissues of the spinal cord, the nervous cells linking the brain to various body parts. Sometimes, the injuries heal fast, without major consequences. However, in some cases, recovery can take months, years, or is never complete.
For a clear diagnosis and severity assessment, doctors recommend imaging scans including:
- MRI exams
Also, neurological, physical, and blood tests may help. Depending on their results, the treatment protocol may cover:
- Post-surgery recovery procedures
- Physical and psychological therapy
With the help of an Atlanta auto accident attorney, victims may recover all treatment costs and more. The compensation claim can also cover any or all of the following:
- Medical devices (crutches, walking frame, wheelchair)
- Home adjustments (setting up wheelchair ramps or elevators, support bars, etc.)
- Lost income due to time off work
- Lost earning capacity due to disability
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of life enjoyment
Also, the compensation amount will depend on the performance of the Atlanta car accident lawyer.
5. Head and Brain Injuries
Many Georgia car accidents result in head and brain injuries. Drivers and passengers often hit their heads against the dashboard or the windshield. The side windows and the front seats are threats as well.
Injuries range from concussions to skull fractures, hematomas, and diffuse axonal injuries. Associated complications are hemorrhages and edemas. Depending on the affected areas and severity, these injuries may cause temporary or permanent disabilities.
Just like spinal cord injuries, head and brain injuries require detailed examination and testing. Tests, consultations, surgery, treatment, and rehabilitation are all subject to compensation. So are losses related to time away from work, disability, and pain and suffering. Since they all need supporting evidence, it is best to work with an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
6. Facial Disfigurement
Less common than whiplash and head injuries, facial disfigurement cases are difficult. Their value is often subjective and dependent on the victim’s character strength and self-confidence. Some people live normal lives with huge scars, while others are traumatized by a mere scratch.
Proving the impact of facial disfigurement is a challenge even for the best lawyers. They have to prove the injury was the direct result of the accident or attribute fault to a third party. They will usually consider third parties in the case of airbag injuries caused by malfunctions.
No matter who the defendant is, facial disfigurement cases are not easy. The claimant has to prove liability, treatment costs, and other past and future losses. Also, they have to put a price on their pain and suffering.
This is always easier said than done, especially when the disfigurement is permanent. It certainly helps to work with an Atlanta car accident lawyer who has handled similar cases. As a result, their experience can make a huge difference in the compensation amount.
7. Wrist and Arm Injuries
People have the instinct to shield the rest of their bodies with their hands. In Georgia car accidents, the added protection comes at a price. Accident victims often incur wrist and arm injuries. Sometimes, they get away with superficial cuts and scratches from the windshield glass.
Unfortunately, the injuries are often more severe. They range from shoulder or elbow dislocations to closed or open fractures. These are painful and difficult to treat. Victims need time off work and put up with long-lasting pain and discomfort.
Many of them certainly feel helpless and lose their self-confidence. They fall prey to anxiety and depression. Such losses qualify for compensation. However, it takes a knowledgeable Atlanta auto accident lawyer to prove them.
8. Belt Injuries
Almost half of the fatalities in Georgia car accidents were due to a lack of seat belts. Seat belt use certainly reduces the risk of fatal and moderate to critical injuries by almost half. Also, the same seatbelts sometimes become the cause of the injury.
In case of high-speed accidents or malfunctions, they may cause:
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Internal bleeding
Without adequate and timely treatment, such injuries often aggravate. To avoid complications, it is better to undergo a medical examination after the accident. Also,its cost along with any other expenses and losses are eligible for compensation. Again, the claim process is better left to a lawyer.
Contact an Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney Now!
At Cain Injury Law, we have seen all types of injuries. Our team has handled hundreds of Georgia car accident cases. We certainly know exactly how to secure the highest compensation available for our clients. We can certainly help you too. All you have to do is call (678) 377-2246 or contact us online. Schedule your free consultation now!