Each day, hospitals receive many patients in need of various forms of treatment. Whereas most are ill, a considerable proportion goes because of injuries. Regardless of how careful you are, you are always at risk of sustaining injuries.
Such injuries may result from sporting activities, car accidents, slip and falls, animal attacks, etc. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, it may have significant ramifications. For some, they can resume life normally after receiving some treatment. For others, it’s not that easy. You may end up with life-long impairments, disabilities, and become dependent on others.
Unfortunately, most of these injuries are preventable as they result from another party’s negligence. If so, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible person or organization with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Due to the health and cost implications such injuries may have, medical damages are a key feature of successful personal injury claims. Undoubtedly, no compensation can reverse the harm and pain you have gone through. As such, the purpose of medical damages is to ensure you are compensated for the medical costs you incur and continue receiving treatment if need be.
Are you worried about the treatment options available after sustaining an injury? Read on to find out possible treatment options for common injuries associated with personal injury claims.
One of the most common injuries after being involved in a rear-end car accident is whiplash. It’s a neck injury that occurs when the neck moves back and forth rapidly at a high force. Other than car accidents, other common causes of whiplash include:
- Sports accidents
- Other forms of trauma such as falls
- Physical abuse
After the accident or ordeal, it may take a few days for you to notice the symptoms of whiplash. These may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Reducing range of motion in the neck
- Increasing pain when moving the neck
- Pain or tenderness in the upper back, arms, or shoulder
- Headaches that mostly emanate from the base of your skull
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
Additional symptoms that you may experience include:
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Concentration problems
In most cases, you can expect a full recovery from whiplash in a few weeks if you follow the prescribed treatment regimen. Along with medication, treatment will involve some neck exercises.
However, the pain and complications of whiplash can last several months, possibly years, for some people. At the onset, it is difficult to determine whether you will make a quick and full recovery or if the symptoms will last for long.
As such, it is important to take whiplash seriously. If your injury results from another party’s negligence, ensure that you visit a doctor and consult your personal injury lawyer.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Each year, millions of people sustain fractures and broken bones. These occur when a force greater than what a bone can bear is exerted on it. Some of the common causes of broken bones and fractures are car accidents, sports injuries, and falls.
Fractures may run along the length of the bone or across it, splitting it into one or more pieces. Depending on the nature of your fracture, it can be classified into one of the following types:
- Partial fracture- The fracture does not go all the way through the bone.
- Complete fracture- The bone breaks completely, splitting into two pieces.
- Closed or open fracture- Closed fractures are where the bone breaks, but there is no skin tear. When the fracture tears the skin, it’s referred to as an open or compound fracture.
- Stress fracture- Impact or pressure results in a crack in the bone that’s usually hard to identify, even with imaging.
- Displaced fractures- injury results in a gap where breakage occurs.
If you suspect that you have a bone fracture, there are several tests that you can take to confirm it. These include bone and CT scans as well as x-rays and MRIs. Once the healthcare provider confirms the size and position of the fracture, you can begin treatment.
For small bones such as toes and fingers, they’ll wrap it the injury and use a splint to keep it immobile. For bigger bones, treatment will involve the use of a cast or splint. Casts offer hard protection for the bone while keeping it immobilized. This allows the bone to grow back in place and heal.
Depending on the extent and nature of the injury, the healthcare provider may put you in traction. This treatment method aims to stretch the tendons and muscles around the broken bone using pulleys and weights.
In some cases, you may have to undergo surgery, during which doctors may insert stainless-steel screws, fixators, and plates to hold the bone in place.
One of the most common causes of personal injury is animal attacks, especially dogs. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are roughly 4.5 million incidents involving dog bites in the US each year. Among these, 800,000 thousand require medical care.
If a dog bites you, it is important to take action immediately as it can result in a bacterial infection. Determine the severity of the wound by assessing it and then self-administer first aid if you can. This involves washing the wound with warm water and soap. After cleaning, press gently on the wound to encourage a little blood loss to flush out germs. Proceed to apply antibacterial lotion to disinfect it.
If the bite is severe and there is noticeable blood loss, cover the wound with a clean cloth and put some pressure to stop the bleed.
Seek medical attention if your dog bite meets any of the following criteria:
- You do not know the vaccination history of the dog
- It causes intense pain
- If bleeding does not stop
- If the bone, muscle, or tendons are exposed
- You notice redness or inflammation
- There is reduced function in affected areas
Your healthcare provider will begin by stopping the bleed and tending to your wound. If the dog’s vaccination record is unknown or you do not remember the last time you had a tetanus shot, the doctor will give you the necessary injections to prevent infection.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, causing it to hit another object violently, resulting in a disruption to the brain’s normal functioning. Alternatively, it also occurs when an object penetrates the skull and pierces brain tissue.
As you can imagine, TBIs can be very dangerous. Some of the effects include:
- Reduced or loss of consciousness
- Memory disruption for the events before or after the ordeal
- Speech impediments, loss of vision, and muscle weakness due to neurological deficits
- Disorientation, difficulty concentrating, slow thinking, and alteration in mental state
Depending on the extent of the damage to the brain, the symptoms of TBI may range from mild to severe.
For a mild traumatic brain injury, over-the-counter pain killers and rest may be sufficient treatment. However, it is still to monitor someone with mild TBI closely.
If it’s a case of moderate to severe TBI, it’s important to seek immediate emergency care. This is usually associated with other severe injuries and loss of consciousness. The purpose of seeking treatment promptly is to ensure the victim has sufficient blood supply and pressure, preventing further injury to the neck and head and ensuring they have enough oxygen supply.
Some of the medication that you may receive to limit secondary damage to the brain include:
- Coma-inducing drugs- To reduce the brain’s oxygen requirements, doctors may put you into a temporary coma to allow injured or compressed blood vessels to recover.
- Anti-seizure drugs- During the first week after a moderate to severe TBI, you’ll be at risk of having seizures. Doctors will give you anti-seizure drugs to keep them in control and prevent further brain damage.
- Diuretics- To reduce pressure inside the brain, your doctor may give you diuretics to reduce fluid content in your tissues and increase urine output.
In some cases, TBIs may require surgery to address particular issues and minimize the risk of further damage. Surgery may be necessary to:
- Repair skull fractures
- Remove hematomas (blood clots)
- Address bleeding in the brain
Severe TBIs may result in long-term loss of motor skills or even speech. As such, post-surgery treatment may involve rehabilitation to help you relearn basic skills such as talking and walking. Such therapy may begin in the hospital and extend to inpatient rehabilitation and may last for months, possibly years.
Due to the key role your brain plays in your ability to be self-sufficient and perform various functions you may rehabilitation may involve a wide range of professionals. These include:
- Physiatrist- Oversees the entire rehabilitation process and prescribes the necessary medication
- Physical therapist- Assists you to regain balance and relearn movement patterns and walking
- Neuropsychologist- Assesses your cognitive performance and impairments and helps you learn coping strategies to assist with emotional and psychological well-being
- Occupational therapist- Provides assistance with relearning and learning the skills necessary to perform day to day activities
- Vocational counselor- Assesses your recovery progress to determine whether you can return to work and also provides support after that
One of the most important yet sensitive parts of the body is your back. It’s made up of a complex system of muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. More importantly, it protects the spinal cord, which is very delicate. Any injury to any of these sections can result in significant pain or even disability.
Sadly, there are many causes of back injuries. These include:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Excessive twisting of the spine
However, some of the primary causes of severe back injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Direct blows to the top of the head or back
- Falls from significant heights
- Stabs or penetrating injuries to the back
With fortune, you may be able to recover fully from your back injury. However, if it’s severe, it may result in temporary or permanent disability. This is why it’s crucial to seek medical intervention immediately.
In most circumstances, the pain may go away within four weeks with home treatment. This involves resting and taking some pain relievers. Though you may continue with daily activities if it’s a minor injury, avoid straining yourself.
If the symptoms persist, visit your doctor. Depending on the severity, treatments may vary. It may include painkillers, muscle relaxants to control muscle spasms, and topical pain relievers to soothe aching and sore muscles and joints.
In cases when there is excess pain and inflammation, your doctor may give you a corticosteroid injection. If you sustain a fracture, herniated disc, or spinal cord injuries, surgery may be necessary.
Although it’s important to rest, remaining inactive for extended periods may be detrimental to your ability to recover fully. This is why physical therapy, exercise, and chiropractic care are key features in back injury treatment.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Other than the physical pain, injuries can come with other significant health, social, financial, emotional, and psychological effects. This becomes even worse if you or your loved one is in such a position due to someone else’s negligence.
In such cases, even if the injury seems mild at first, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. After seeking medical care, contact a personal injury lawyer to help you determine whether your case qualifies as such.
As you recover, they will do some investigations and compile evidence on your behalf to help with your claim. They will also negotiate with insurance adjusters to help you get fair compensation.
Getting the Right Attorney Is Key
Whereas there may be plenty of attorneys available, they may not deliver the same results. This is why you must go for a personal injury attorney with sufficient experience and a proven track record of getting clients the compensation they deserve.
Guardian Law Group is a law firm with experienced personal injury attorneys committed to serving our clients. Reach out to us today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you seek damages for your injuries.