Car totaled after an accident


Law Office of Steven R. Smith May 12, 2022

New York City offers multiple ways to get from one place to another. People drive, walk, cycle, or take public transportation. On an average day, more than four million vehicles use New York City streets. That many vehicles increase the odds of being injured in a collision at least once if you drive in the city. In March of 2022 alone, there were 8,660 vehicle crashes that injured nearly 3,100 motorists and passengers.

Some of those people might not have thought they were injured at first or didn’t believe they were injured badly enough to seek medical treatment. If they found out they had suffered injuries later, and someone else caused the collision they were in, that delay might have compromised their ability to seek compensation for their injuries.

The fact is that there are many injuries common to auto accident victims. That is why we also know that some of them are not always readily apparent. That does not mean they aren’t serious or that recovery from them is a given.

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence in New York City or Long Island, New York, you should know what some common accident injuries are and why it is important that you seek treatment right away, even if you aren’t sure you are injured. At the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, I have seen what happens when clients don’t.

What Factors of a Car
Accident Cause Injury?

There are four common factors that cause the vast majority of injuries in car accidents:

  1. The impact of the crash itself causes a range of injuries. Even at slow speeds, the kinetic energy doubles upon the impact of two cars moving in opposite directions. Without delving into the physics, that means it takes little speed for two heavy pieces of metal, glass, and steel to create tremendous force on impact. Inside the vehicle, your body may impact the structure around you, including the pedals and floorboard, doors, dashboard, steering wheel, headrest, and center console, to name a few.

  2. It is smart to wear your seatbelt and shoulder harness to keep you from being ejected from a vehicle in a crash. However, they are factors that cause some injuries as well. Stretched to their limits during a collision, they will stop your body from being propelled further but the stop can cause a seatbelt injury.

  3. Although cars are equipped with safety glass designed to break into small pieces rather than shards, broken glass is nonetheless broken glass. Cuts and abrasions are common if windows and mirrors are compromised in a crash.

  4. As with seatbelts, airbags provide great protection. Designed to deploy from the front or sides upon impact to those areas, they can cushion the blow against a hard surface your head or chest may otherwise take. They take less than one-twentieth of a second to deploy and if you are too close to them when they do, you can suffer an airbag injury.

What Are Some Common
Car Accident Injuries?

There are numerous common injuries, beginning with whiplash from a car accident. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that occurs when your neck is thrown forward and back rapidly and violently upon even low impact. With a whiplash injury, you will typically experience pain in your neck and shoulders due to the trauma suffered by the muscles and bones in those areas. In addition to pain and stiffness, these injuries may cause severe headaches as well.

Head injury from a car accident is common. These can range from external abrasions and bruises on the scalp and face to concussions to skull fractures and brain bleeds. Upon impact, even at slow speeds, your brain hits the inside of your skull. Also referred to as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, bruising and swelling of the brain and formation of blood clots are difficult injuries to ever recover from. They also are among the injuries many victims don’t know they have until they begin to suffer serious or life-threatening consequences later.

Back injuries from car accidents and neck injuries other than whiplash are also common. These injuries occur to your cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), and lumbar (low back) spine. Your spine comprises a network of bone, tissue, nerves, tendons, and ligaments, and it is common for one or more components of your spine to be injured in a car collision. Injuries to your spinal cord can cause paralysis. Some injuries can put pressure on nerves that causes excruciating and radiating pain. Ruptured or damaged discs can cause pain and limit movement.

Should I See a Doctor?

You should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you aren’t sure you are injured. Emergency room physicians in particular know how to test for common and unapparent injuries. They also know that injuries are often masked by the adrenaline rush that occurs naturally in car accidents, as well as what traumatic injuries may not be symptomatic right away. A timely medical examination may mean the difference between a full recovery or never recovering.

You should also request copies of your post-crash medical records. You will need a physician’s diagnosis, relating your injuries to the crash if you later pursue a personal injury claim.

How an Experienced Personal
Injury Attorney Can Help

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is always a wise decision if you have been in a car accident caused by someone else. If you didn’t seek immediate medical attention and you are now suffering from crash-related injuries, that legal guidance is even more vital. A delayed diagnosis does not mean you cannot pursue a bodily injury claim against the at-fault driver, but it does mean you will need an aggressive personal injury attorney to guide you through the process.

My 30-plus years of legal experience have been devoted to personal injury law. I use every ounce of that experience to garner settlements for my clients, regardless of whether they suffer from common car accident injuries or uncommon ones.  There are also time limitations which can be as short as 30 days following an accident to file for "No-Fault" medical and lost earnings benefits and we as your attorneys make sure that all required forms and notices are timely filed so that you don't end up with medical bills or lost earnings that should be paid for you.  Time is of the essence, and the clock runs from the date of the accident.

If you have been injured in New York or Long Island, New York car accident caused by someone else, call me to schedule a free case consultation.

Don’t delay any longer. Call the Law Office of Steven R. Smith now.