Brain damage and head injury
Brain damage, otherwise known as traumatic brain injury (TBI) is all too common in road accidents which can have a series of complex symptoms which can have terrible impacts on people’s lives, and may eventually even result in death. It is also a type of injury which unfortunately is commonly suffered by young drivers as a result of a car accident.
Studies suggest that around 20% of patients in hospital diagnosed with brain injury either moderately or severely injured. The majority of moderate-to-severe TBIs result from motor vehicle crashes. Other causes of TBI include falls, bicycle accidents, assaults and sports injuries. Brain tissue damage can be sustained as a result or a knock to the head, or through the rapid shaking of the skull and twisting of the neck, which is more commonly referred to as whiplash injury
Back and neck injury including whiplash
Back and neck injuries are commonly sustained in car accidents even those which occur from crashes at low speeds. The injuries are caused by sudden, jerking movement of the head which can cause twisting of the neck. Whiplash itself is more often a soft tissue injury.
If you have suffered back or neck injury, or whiplash, in a car crash, it’s important to consult with a back and neck injury lawyer for advice.
Car accidents can often result in spinal injury. Nearly half of all spinal injuries are caused by road collisions. Of transport-related incidents, 51% are motor vehicle occupants and 49% are unprotected road users, predominantly motorcyclists (79%). The vast majority of unprotected road users were male (92%), and they tended to be younger with over half (56%) in the 15-34 years of age group. Motorcycle riders are more prone to spinal damage caused by road accident than are people who drive cars.
It is critical to report to a doctor any type of spinal discomfort sustained in the aftermath of a car or motorcycle injury. This is because spinal injuries may take some time to develop and may only result in severe discomfort well after the road accident.
Reporting to your doctor or to a hospital after an accident is important therefore, even if the pain appears to be mild. Not reporting in detail all small and large spinal injuries on your TAC claim form may result in a refusal of benefits by the TAC later down the track.
Internal injuries and bleeding
It is important to not ignore any symptoms which present following a car accident because the causes may not be immediately apparent. Many symptoms may be caused as a result of internal injury or bleeding and should be treated right away.
Musculoskeletal injuries include contusions, dislocations, and fractures, and sprains. They are often sustained in road trauma and can have a lasting effect on a person’s life following a road accident, and may often prevent the injured person returning to work.
Psychological injury is likewise often caused by car and other road accidents. The symptoms of psychological injury may include emotional distress, anxiety and even depression. Post-traumatic stress disorder may also result from a car crash or even by witnessing a particularly awful car accident. Claims against the TAC for psychological injury are more effective if backed up by a psychiatric assessment. Typical symptoms of psychological injury include insomnia and panic attacks.
Loss of a limb or limb function
The loss of a limb may be associated with severe traumatic injury, and may be neccessary as a post-accident surgery measure to ensure a patient best recovers from severe injuries sustained in an accident. Compensation is available to assist with the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation and prostheses, as well as to compensate for psychological trauma related to such a life changing event.
More common than the loss of a limb is the loss of limb function due to a significant injury. Available compensation is usually specified according to a set table of compensation amounts based on the degree of permanent loss of function as diagnosed by a medical specialist.
Loss of eyesight
Partial or full loss of eyesight in one or both eyes may occur following a transport accident due to flying debris, impact with part of the vehicle, deployment of an airbag, or excessive impact forces involved in the accident. As a critical part of our ability to perform everyday tasks, the loss of eye function can potentially have a severe and lasting impact on both personal and work roles.
Loss of hearing
While typically a degenerative condition, hearing loss it is not always gradual and can result suddenly from a road accident. Sometimes even, hearing loss may be caused by the operation of an airbag. Should you suffer any type of hearing loss as a result of a car crash, you should consult your doctor and make sure that details of the loss are included in your TAC claim form.
Nerve damage may be incurred as a result of a severe impact, laceration, abrasion or burn injury and may include loss of touch and other skin sensation, or reduced function in the hands and fingers, or in the feet and toes.
Car accidents often result in terrible and sometimes uncomfortable scars. Major scarring can be considered a “serious injury” within the context of a road accident, and therefore grounds for the payment of compensation under Common Law. The court will look at not just any lasting physical discomfort caused by scarring but also the psychological impact of certain types of conspicuous scars.