Emergency Room Visits After Car Accidents
A recent article in Health Day reported that about 7,000 people visit an emergency room in the United States each day for injuries sustained in a car accident. This estimation is derived from a 2012 accounting of actual emergency room visits. In 2012, a total of 2.5 million people suffered injuries from motor vehicle accidents, with a cost of over $18 billion in medical expenses. According to the CDC, these injuries also cost Americans $33 billion in lost wages. Although these numbers are down from car accident-sustained injuries in the year 2000, they paint a clear picture of how financially detrimental car accidents are to those involved.
When you have been in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, it is very important that you get the medical attention you need for your injuries. This is important for care of your injuries, just as it is in the event you decide to file a legal claim against the party who injured you. When you do decide to seek compensation for the damages of your auto accident, a personal injury lawyer phoenix is your best guide through the legal claim process.
Additional Car Accident Statistics and Insight from Reputable Sources
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that age is a big factor in motor vehicle accidents. According to their research, drivers under 30 years of age were accountable for 38 percent of emergency department visits from auto accidents in 2012. Their research also indicated that one third of drivers over the age of 80 required a hospital stay after the initial ER visit. The CDC attributes these numbers to the following:
- Young drivers tend to perform in a risky manner, engaging in activities such as speeding and distracted driving, leading to the majority of car accidents in their age group
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- Older drivers tend to be impaired by slower reflexes and poor vision, leading to the majority of their auto accidents
Officials of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control responded to the CDC report by stating that every state in the country can improve driver safety by enforcing local laws, including those relating to distracted driving and impaired driving. Education of the dangers associated with these behaviors is considered vital toward prevention, just as it is critical in regard to use of car seats and booster seats for children and the ongoing use of seatbelts for older children and adults. The importance of obeying driving laws and abstaining from texting while driving can be asserted through young driver safety programs.
The U.S. Library of Medicine warns that drivers should pay close attention to vehicle maintenance. This is because worn tires, weak brakes, broken turn signals and non-working tail lights can lead to dangerous accidents and serious injuries. They also assert the need to keep rear view mirrors and windows clear of obstructions, cracks and debris to prevent pedestrian accidents and those injuring bicyclists. Routine maintenance and general inspection of vehicles before use are essential to road safety.
Why Going to the Hospital Is Important after a Car Accident
Many people refrain from going to the hospital after an auto accident. They feel fine immediately following the crash. But when adrenaline wears off, injuries can start to cause pain. But few people realize that injuries that seem manageable can actually be quite severe. It sometimes takes hours or even days for the magnitude of injuries to be realized after an auto accident.
This is like the situation of actress Natasha Richardson, who sustained a head injury when skiing. This type of head trauma is very similar to what one experiences in an auto accident. Her injury seemed okay for the first few hours. But she later died from her injury and the resulting brain trauma. Her death could have been prevented if she had gone immediately to the hospital.
Two Reasons for Going to the Hospital after an Auto Accident
After a car accident, there are two good reasons for going to the hospital:
- Many serious, life-threatening injuries seem minor for the first hour or more.
Serious injuries may not seem dangerous at first because of adrenaline and absence of bleeding. But soft tissue injuries of the neck and back tend to feel minor at first, then becoming much worse. You should always go to the hospital after a car accident, especially if you experience the following:
- Head injury, as a concussion can feel like a simple headache and internal bleeding may not be noticed at first. Dizziness, nausea and other changes to balance or general feeling are especially important to note. These are signs a head injury may have occurred. In fact, you can have a brain injury without even hitting your head.
- Neck injury, with whiplash being one of the most common injuries experienced after a car accident. You could have zero pain at first, but lasting damage to ligaments, muscles and soft discs in your spine.
- Back injury, with this being an injury that can haunt you for the rest of your life.
- Getting medical treatment after your accident will provide written proof for your auto accident claim.
“Did you go to the hospital” is the first question you will be asked as part of an injury claim. Even if you went to the doctor and no injuries were initially found, you may realize later injuries through lingering pain or symptoms that do not go away after some time. A visit to the hospital indicates through clear documentation that you felt an injury may be present after the accident, also providing proof that the injury was related to the wreck and not an event after the car accident.
Filing a Claim Requires an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
For your auto accident and personal injury claim, you need an experienced personal injury attorney with a solid reputation among insurance adjustors in your region. An auto accident attorney will use his or her experience to ensure you receive the most compensation possible for your specific auto accident claim, helping you to gain settlement quickly whenever possible.