Victims of car accidents in Oklahoma might have learned that even minor auto accidents can be traumatic. If you went through such an ordeal, you would know that physical trauma exacerbates the mental distress of all those who are involved. Another aspect that you might have to face at this difficult time is the financial impact and your ability to meet obligations such as mortgage payments and providing for your family while being incapacitated by your injuries.
The types of injuries and their severity will depend on matters such as the intensity and level of impact of the collision. The point of impact with relation to where you and other occupants of the car sat and the use of seat belts will also affect the car accident injuries.
Watch out for hidden symptoms
Flying glass fragments inside a crashed vehicle typically cause cuts and scrapes, and victims often regard this as their only injuries and decline to go to the hospital. This could be a significant mistake because not all symptoms are immediately evident, and costly medical treatment might be necessary if injuries such as the following are not diagnosed in a timely fashion:
- Head and brain injuries -- Upon impact of a crash, you can suffer from mild scars and bruises to a concussion, skull fractures or an internal brain injury. Even without external signs, a brain injury can cause permanent disabilities such as loss of hearing or vision, nerve damage and more -- depending on the area of the brain where the damage occurred.
- Neck, back and chest injuries -- The accident's impact can cause upper body and back injuries that could have a severe effect on your future quality of life. Milder damage can include whiplash and soft tissue injuries that can result in chronic pain and restricted movement. More severe injuries are shoulder, collar bone or rib fractures, or even spinal cord damage that can lead to paralysis.
- Joint and extremity injuries -- Impact on these areas can cause crush injuries that could result in a heavy amount of bruising. Also, severe tears, sprains or fractures can occur in your knees, ankles, hips, shoulders or arms.
- Internal organ damage -- It might take a while for accident injuries to internal organs to become evident, sometimes causing life-threatening situations. These could include damage to your spleen, lungs, heart, aorta, liver, kidneys and other organs, and fractures such as those to ribs can puncture your organs.
- Psychological harm -- If you were in a particularly severe crash in which you lost loved ones, you might not realize the severity of the emotional distress that could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. If not detected early, PTSD can often be devastating.
You might avoid long-term physical or psychological damage by making sure you go for a medical evaluation immediately after a crash -- even if you see no blood or broken bones. If any medical problems develop later and you want to pursue recovery of damages as a motor vehicle accident victim, having the medical reports may help your case.
Navigating a personal injury lawsuit in an Oklahoma civil court could be challenging, but with experienced legal counsel in your corner, you might get a monetary judgment that will cover current and future financial and other damages.