Category: Car Accidents

Persistent Pain After a Car Accident: What to Do Next

Persistent Pain After a Car Accident: What to Do Next

Pain can make your life miserable and prevent you from working, performing daily activities, or even sleeping. It can also affect your mood and alter how you interact with the people around you.

More importantly, pain is your nervous system’s way of telling you that something has gone wrong. Pain after a car accident can come from many sources, and most of these possible forms of pain should signal you to take action to find their source.

Learn what to do if you experience persistent pain after a car accident.

The Body’s Pain Response

Your nerves produce pain signals that travel to your brain, which interprets them in a surprisingly detailed way. Your brain can often tell you the nature of the pain’s sensation, its intensity, and its location.

Knowing these details will help you describe your pain to your doctor. For example, different conditions cause sharp pains and dull aches. Likewise, a pain that feels like a throbbing pulse has dissimilar causes from a pain that feels like an electric shock.

These pain sensations all share a common purpose: allowing the nervous system to alert your brain that something has gone wrong in your body. Sometimes, pain is the direct result of injuries, but other times, your pain will come from diseases. Pain can even warn you of environmental dangers, such as hot surfaces or sharp objects.

The effectiveness of the body’s pain response depends on what you do with the information it provides you. When you experience pain, your body is signaling that it needs help, and if you ignore your body, you risk worsening an injury or condition that has already set off your internal alarm system.

Types of Pain

Doctors classify pain in several ways to help them identify the source of your pain and its potential treatment options. Some important pain classes include:

Acute vs. Chronic

Acute pain comes on suddenly due to an injury, disease, or condition. It goes away once doctors address the cause of the pain.

Chronic pain has a longer-term, possibly constant, duration. It may arise from an untreatable condition like rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. It can also come from an injury that did not heal properly or is healing slowly. 

For example, a car accident can tear the cartilage in a joint. Cartilage heals very slowly, and replacement cartilage usually lacks the strength and flexibility of the original cartilage. As a result, you might have ongoing (chronic) pain in the joint.

Somatic vs. Visceral

You experience somatic pain in your musculoskeletal system. When you feel achy joints or tense muscles, you’re experiencing somatic pain.

Visceral pain comes from your organs. Examples of visceral pain include a stomach ache or chest pain.

Local vs. Referred

Local pain occurs at an injury site. If your seat belt bruises your chest in a car accident, your sternum and ribs will hurt.

Referred pain occurs somewhere different than the injury site and usually occurs due to nerve damage. You have referred pain if your neck injury causes pain in your hands and fingers. 

These characterizations make the distinction between local and referred pain one of the most important when diagnosing the cause of your pain.

Steps to Take if You Have Persistent Pain After an Accident

Pain can arise suddenly after an injury, but it often only occurs after an accident where swollen and damaged tissue sets off your body’s pain response.

A concussion happens when a jolt to your brain causes it to swell. Often, you might not experience a headache or other concussion symptoms until hours or even days after your accident.

Persistent pain after an accident can signify a severe injury. You should not assume that your pain is unrelated to your accident. You should also not believe your pain will disappear because it came on late.

If you experience persistent pain after an accident, you should do the following:

See a Doctor

A doctor can try to diagnose the source of your pain. Often, your doctor can prescribe a course of treatment or physical therapy to relieve your pain and repair your injury.

Doctors can also eliminate other causes of pain that might signify more severe injuries. Car accidents often cause seat belt injuries that usually involve a bruised chest, strained muscles, or fractured ribs. 

While painful, these conditions will not kill you; however, chest pain after a car accident could also signify internal bleeding or lung damage. These conditions can kill you without medical treatment. Seeing a doctor about your pain after a car accident could save your life.

Get Treatment

Acute pain after a car accident often means you have suffered an injury that doctors can treat. Doctors can treat fractured bones, torn ligaments, and other painful injuries relatively easily. Treatment and medication can relieve your pain and set you on the path to recovery.

Even if you choose not to treat your injury, your doctor can treat the pain it causes. For example, doctors can only fully treat a herniated disc with surgery to remove it, but they can relieve the pain without surgery by administering anti-inflammatory injections into the nerves irritated by the herniated disc.

Talk to a Lawyer

Many accident victims avoid seeing a doctor and getting treatment because they cannot afford it. At the same time, their painful conditions may prevent them from working, leaving them trapped: They cannot work until they get treatment but cannot get treatment unless they work.

If your car accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you could seek injury compensation. This compensation will cover your medical costs to pay for treatment and therapy. In many cases, injury compensation will help you avoid both financial and health problems.

Do Not Suffer from Persistent Pain

You can seek pain relief after a car accident. You may have a health insurance policy that will cover the treatment of your injuries and include medical payment coverage that will help you pay for said treatment. 

You can pursue injury compensation for accidents where someone else was at fault. And if you were working as a driver when your accident happened, you might even receive workers’ comp benefits.Everything becomes more difficult when you experience persistent pain, but you probably have options for getting medical treatment. You should check into all of them, as you do not need to suffer from persistent pain needlessly.

Four Things You Need to Know After a Drunk Driving Accident

Four Things You Need to Know After a Drunk Driving Accident

Each year, about 10,000 people die in drunk driving accidents in the U.S. More than 3,500 of those deaths occur on California roads. Of course, this isn’t a statistic most people want to consider. But if you spend any time behind the wheel, it’s important that you understand the dangers. 

The aftermath of any car accident is chaotic. Add alcohol to the situation and things can get out of control quickly. Sometimes, worst-case scenarios are unavoidable. 

If you do find yourself in a drunk driving accident, stay on top of the situation by answering these four questions:

1. Does the Other Driver Have Insurance?

To answer this question, you will need to make sure you file a police report at the scene of the accident. Any police officer who is called to the scene will compile this and other related information. 

Later, you can obtain the report, which can help you to determine whether your injuries and damages will be covered by insurance. 

It is uncommon, but sometimes, a driver will not have adequate insurance to pay for the damages they cause. In those cases, it may be necessary to take the driver to court to pursue compensation. 

Understanding where the driver stands on insurance will help you know where to turn for coverage.

2. Was Anyone Injured?

If anyone was injured in the accident, make sure to call for medical care. Even if you don’t feel a lot of pain, make sure that you visit a medical professional immediately after the accident. Sometimes, the shock of the accident itself can mask common symptoms of pain.

If you have adequate medical records showing that you pursued treatment right away, you can begin to build a case to pursue compensation for your injuries from the other driver.

3. Is the Bar or Restaurant that Served the Alcohol Liable?

It can be difficult to prove that a bar or restaurant is liable for your injuries or damages. In California, a third party is usually only held liable if they served alcohol to a minor. 

With that being said, you may be able to pursue criminal charges against an establishment if it appears they acted negligently. Did the third party serve alcohol to a known or habitual drunkard? If the answer is yes, the establishment may be charged with a misdemeanor, according to California Business and Professions Code Section 25602

4. Do You Have a Lawyer?

This last question is the most important. Without a lawyer, it can be difficult to navigate the specific nuances of your case. 

When you hire a legal professional, you can expect them to offer the following services:

  • Obtain and evaluate the police report
  • Pursue insurance claims
  • Collect your medical records
  • Help you to fight for adequate compensation for your injuries and/or damages

After you have been hit by a drunk driver, we recommend that you call an attorney immediately. That way, you can move forward with professional guidance. A lawyer will work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Drive Defensively and Avoid DUI Accidents Whenever Possible

The primary goal is always to avoid these accidents in the first place. To do that, we recommend that you drive safely and defensively. 

Defensive driving is easy and requires only a little more focus and awareness than you may typically implement. Safe driving habits will help to protect you from drunk, distracted, or negligent drivers that you may encounter on the road. 

Can You Still Use a Car Seat After an Accident?

Can You Still Use a Car Seat After an Accident?

Several sources recommend that you replace a car seat after an accident. The NHTSA recommends replacing a car seat after a moderate or severe accident.

However, a car seat might not need to be replaced after a minor car crash. The NHTSA defines a minor car crash as:

  • You could drive the vehicle away from the accident scene
  • The vehicle door closest to the car seat was not damaged in the collision
  • There is no visible damage to the car seat
  • None of the vehicle occupants sustained crash injuries
  • The airbags did not inflate during the collision

If any of the above factors apply, you need to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and consider replacing the car seat. Whenever in doubt, it may be best to replace the car seat. Your child’s safety could be at risk if you use a car seat involved in a car accident. 

The Insurance Company Should Pay for a New Car Seat

If you were involved in a car accident that damaged your car seat, the insurance company should replace the car seat as part of your property damage claim. Don’t allow the insurance adjuster to convince you to replace the car seat. 

You should obtain evidence of the cost of a new car seat that is the same or similar model to your previous seat. You deserve to be reimbursed for the cost of a new car seat if another driver caused the car crash.

Car Seats Decrease the Risk of Death or Injury in a Car Accident

According to the Centers for Disease Control, using a car seat reduces the risk of injury for children by 71 to 82 percent compared to seat belt use alone. Using booster seats reduces the risk of serious injury by 45 percent for children between the ages of four to eight years. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides detailed information about car seats online. Families can use the guidelines to choose a safety seat or booster seat that meets their child’s needs. Parents should also read the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure their child’s height or weight does not exceed the maximum limits for the car seat.

Generally, the AAP recommends using rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing safety seat, the parents can transition the child into a forward-facing safety seat. 

The child should use the forward-facing car seat until they outgrow it. Once they outgrow a car seat, the parent can use a booster seat with belt-positioning functions until the child is tall enough for a seat belt.

Parents should check their car seats for recalls and register the car seat to receive recall notices. Each state has laws regarding child passenger restraints. Most state laws follow the AAP and NHTSA guidelines for car seats, but it is up to parents to know the laws in their state.

What Should I Do If My Child Is Injured in a Car Accident?

Children injured in car crashes can sustain traumatic injuries. Even minor injuries could have long-lasting developmental, emotional, physical, and cognitive impairments.

After a crash, you should have your child examined by a physician — regardless of the severity of the crash. You should also watch for symptoms of injuries in the days and weeks after the car accident.

You can protect your child’s legal right to compensation by filing an injury claim. However, child injury claims can be complicated. Seeking legal advice to understand personal injury claims is generally in your child’s best interest.

If you are considering filing an injury claim, you should:

  • Document the details of your child’s recovery with pictures and notes 
  • Take pictures of physical injuries right after the crash and as the injuries heal
  • Keep a journal detailing your child’s recovery 
  • Make notes about your child’s daily struggle with pain, depression, withdrawal, nightmares, and other symptoms

This information can help your attorney prepare a case for maximum compensation for your child’s damages. 

It is always best to verify claim deadlines with an attorney. Missing a deadline for filing a lawsuit could result in the loss of compensation for damages.