In New York City, Yonkers specifically, we have seen people injured by different accidents where negligence occurred. There are a lot of ways in which you can sustain from mild to severe injuries.
Reckless or careless drivers are out there; you should always be alert. If you or a family member gets injured in a car accident in Yonkers, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the at-fault party.
The Ward Law Group is there to defend and represent your best interests; you are not alone.
Living with the consequences of other people's wrong acts is unfair. Today, we will review the common car accident injuries that can be sustained in a car wreck and how our legal team has overcome all the difficulties these cases bear to compensate our clients.
Minor, Moderate, and Severe Injuries
Differentiating between minor, moderate, and severe injuries involves assessing various factors, including the type and extent of the injury, the symptoms exhibited, and the potential impact on the individual's overall well-being.
These injuries typically involve superficial damage to the body. Examples include minor cuts, bruises, mild sprains, or shallow burns.
- Pain or discomfort is usually present but is generally manageable without solid pain medication.
- Limited swelling or bruising.
- Minimal or no loss of function in the affected area.
- Bleeding is often minor and can be controlled with basic first aid.
When we face minor injuries, first aid measures like cleaning wounds, applying antiseptic, and using bandages or dressings are usually sufficient. For pain management, we can use over-the-counter pain relievers.
Although medical attention may not be immediately necessary, monitoring for signs of infection or worsening symptoms is recommended. Besides that, having a medical record with your name and the time when you got assistance can support the fact that you were injured in a car accident.
These injuries are more significant than minor ones but do not immediately threaten life.
- Moderate to severe pain or discomfort that may require stronger pain relief.
- Noticeable swelling, bruising, or deformity.
- Some loss of function in the affected area.
- Bleeding may be more pronounced and require pressure or other measures to control.
Medical attention is usually needed when we have moderate injuries. Depending on the damage, we may need stitches, setting of bones or joints, and more advanced wound care. Of course, that’s something that you shouldn’t do yourself and must be done correctly by a medical professional.
To address the pain these moderate injuries leave, you may need to take more potent over-the-counter painkillers, or your doctor can prescribe pain medication.
These injuries are potentially life-threatening or can cause significant long-term impairment if not promptly treated.
- Severe pain or complete loss of sensation in the affected area.
- Profound swelling, deformity, or exposed bones.
- Loss of function or mobility in the affected area.
- Profuse bleeding or signs of shock (pale skin, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing).
The severity of these injuries requires immediate medical attention. This may involve calling emergency services or going to the nearest hospital. Once in the hospital, they will determine if the injured person will require surgical intervention, intensive care, or specialized procedures to stabilize their health.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jolted forward and backward in a whip-like motion. This typically happens when there is a sudden deceleration, such as in a car accident or certain sports activities. Whiplash is most commonly associated with rear-end car collisions.
We have seen that many people's distracted driving practices, texting or browsing on their cellphones while driving, are the leading causes of rear-end accidents.
Mechanism of Injury:
Whiplash occurs when the head is forcefully and suddenly jerked forward and then backward, causing the neck to hyperextend and hyperflex. This rapid motion can strain or damage the neck's soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons).
When this type of injury hurts people, they can feel the following symptoms:
- Neck pain and stiffness.
- Headaches often start at the base of the skull.
- Dizziness or vertigo.
- Fatigue or difficulty concentrating.
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulders, upper back, or arms.
- Sometimes, tingling or numbness in the arms.
Whiplash causes harm to the soft tissue in the neck. Any damage to the bones, joints, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the neck is called neck injuries.
Neck injuries can involve fractures in one or more of the cervical vertebrae, herniated Discs, nerve Compression, and strain and sprains.
Head and Brain Injuries
The head is one delicate part of our body; our brain controls all our body members and organs. A brutal hit to the head can cause severe and irreversible damage that can affect how we live our lives.
Injuries can vary depending on the type of accident and how hard the strike is. In car accidents, we can find:
If the transit accident was not severe, but your head was impacted by a hard surface like your steering wheel or window, you may get a head concussion, a mild form of traumatic brain injury that we’ll discuss later.
Headaches, confusion, memory problems, dizziness, and sometimes loss of consciousness can be symptoms of concussions.
In some cases, concussion symptoms can persist for weeks or even months. This is known as post-concussion syndrome. Someone would detect this syndrome due to persistent headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and sleep disturbances.
Many people confuse concussions with contusions, but they are different injuries. A contusion is a bruise in the brain, often caused by a direct blow to the head.
That means that a concussion can cause you a contusion. Depending on the severity, it can lead to symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including headache, dizziness, confusion, and, in more severe cases, loss of consciousness or changes in mental state.
This is bleeding within the skull, which can be caused by a head injury. Types include subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma, and intracerebral hemorrhage, each with varying degrees of severity.
Traumatic Brain Injury:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a complex condition resulting from a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. It can range from mild to severe and has short-term and long-lasting effects.
There are types of TBIs:
Closed head injury
This occurs when the brain is injured without skull penetration, such as in a fall or car accident. It's the most common type of TBI.
Penetrating head injury
This happens when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Gunshot wounds, stabbings, or other sharp objects can cause this type of injury.
There are severity levels, too. Previously, we discussed concussions, a mild form of TBIs. Then, we find the moderate TBI. This level of injury involves a more extended period of unconsciousness (from minutes to hours) and may result in more pronounced cognitive and physical impairments.
Severe TBI is characterized by prolonged unconsciousness (more than six hours) and can lead to severe cognitive, motor, and sensory deficits. It may also be associated with long-term disabilities.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI):
DAI occurs when there is widespread brain nerve fiber damage due to rapid acceleration or deceleration.
DAI is a severe form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when there is widespread damage to the brain's nerve fibers, known as axons. This type of injury is caused by rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, which can occur in car accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries.
Symptoms of DAI can range widely and may include:
- Coma or altered level of consciousness.
- Profound confusion or disorientation.
- Prolonged loss of consciousness.
- Impaired cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving.
- Motor impairments, ranging from weakness to paralysis.
- Sensory deficits.
- Changes in behavior or personality.
Cognitive and Emotional Effects:
Depending on the severity and location of the injury, a person may experience cognitive impairments, including difficulties with memory, attention, and problem-solving.
Emotional changes such as mood swings, irritability, depression, or anxiety can also occur.
These consequences can negatively affect people's lives, relationships, and future earning capacity.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Back Pain
A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord, resulting in a loss of function below the level of the injury. The severity and consequences of a spinal cord injury depend on the location and extent of the damage.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries:
Complete SCI: This occurs when there is a total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury. This means there is no sensation or voluntary movement.
Incomplete SCI: In this type of injury, some function remains below the level of the damage. The extent of impairment can vary widely, ranging from minimal loss of function to almost normal function.
Levels of Injury
The level of the injury refers to the specific vertebra or region of the spine where the injury occurred. It's typically classified as cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), lumbar (lower back), or sacral (pelvic).
The higher the level of injury on the spinal cord, the more significant the potential impact on a person's overall function. For example, a cervical injury is more likely to result in widespread loss of function, including possible respiratory complications.
People with spinal cord injuries can suffer different symptoms and consequences; among them, we can find:
- Loss of movement and sensations
- Respiratory complications
- Autonomic dysfunctions
- Loss of bladder and bowel
- Altered sexual function
- Neuropathic pain
- Broken Bones and Fractures
This injury we can easily name as common in car accidents.
Types of Fractures:
- Closed Fracture: The bone is broken, but the skin is intact. There is no external wound.
- Open Fracture: The bone breaks through the skin, creating an open wound. This type of fracture is at higher risk for infection.
- Displaced Fracture: The bone fragments are not aligned properly, which may require manual realignment (reduction).
- Non-Displaced Fracture: The bone fragments are still in alignment, but the bone is still broken.
- Hairline Fracture: A small crack in the bone that may not be easily visible on X-rays.
- Comminuted Fracture: The bone is shattered into multiple pieces.
- Greenstick Fracture: Common in children, where one side of the bone is broken, and the other side is bent.
When it comes to recovery time, it varies depending on the type and location of the fracture, as well as individual factors like age and overall health.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are crucial for regaining strength, mobility, and function. Follow-up care is vital to monitor healing progress and address any complications.
Internal Injuries and Organ Damage
Internal injuries and organ damage represent a significant risk, often with delayed symptoms that can be deceptive. These injuries occur when the force of impact causes trauma to organs or internal structures, even without visible external wounds.
Identifying internal injuries can be challenging, as they don't always present apparent symptoms immediately. Patients may experience abdominal pain, tenderness, or swelling.
Symptoms like nausea, dizziness, or fainting can also indicate internal bleeding. Breathing difficulties or chest pain can signal potential lung or heart damage. It's crucial to seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms manifest after an accident.
Internal injuries can lead to severe complications if left untreated. Uncontrolled bleeding can result in shock or even be life-threatening. Organ damage may lead to chronic conditions or necessitate surgical intervention.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment can exacerbate the severity of the injury, potentially leading to long-term disabilities.
Legal and Insurance Aspects of Injury Claims
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident involves more than just physical recovery; it requires understanding the legal and insurance aspects of injury claims. This critical step can significantly impact a victim's ability to receive the compensation they deserve for their medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Handling Medical Expenses
One of the immediate concerns after a car accident is covering the costs of medical treatment. New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that, regardless of who was at fault in the accident, each driver's insurance is responsible for their medical expenses.
This coverage extends to necessary medical care, rehabilitation, and even lost wages resulting from the accident. It's crucial to promptly report the accident to your insurance company and seek medical attention to establish a valid claim.
Beyond No-Fault Insurance
While no-fault insurance provides a safety net, it may not fully cover all expenses, especially severe injuries. Victims of car accidents in Yonkers can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
This legal action seeks compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages not covered by no-fault insurance. Consulting a personal injury attorney with expertise in New York law is essential to understand the viability of such a claim.
In a personal injury lawsuit, quantifying the intangible damages like pain and suffering can be challenging. This category includes physical pain, emotional distress, and the injuries' overall impact on the victim's quality of life.
Documentation, including medical records, photographs, and testimony from medical professionals and mental health experts, is crucial in establishing the extent of pain and suffering experienced.
New York follows a comparative negligence system, which means that even if a victim bears some responsibility for the accident, they can still pursue a claim for damages. However, the compensation awarded may be reduced in proportion to the degree of fault assigned. Understanding the nuances of comparative negligence is essential when pursuing a personal injury claim.
The Ward Law Group Helps You
If you or a family member suffer from injuries after a car accident in Yonkers, New York, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. If you were following the rules and the negligent actions of another person caused the accident, you will need professional help that we can provide.
We have been assisting injured people in their claims. We are advocates who work tirelessly to win fair compensation for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-DOLOR-55 for a free consultation of your case.