Accidents resulting in serious personal injuries can occur in a variety of situations. For residents in the Fort Myers area, it is important to report the incident immediately and to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if only minor injuries are suspected. Failure to do so could impact your rights in a claim as well as your overall health and well-being.
There are often times when seemingly minor mishaps leave victims suffering severe, potentially disabling, and even life-threatening harm. The following outlines how some of these types of accidents tend to happen, the high costs you could end up having to pay out of pocket as a result, and how you can protect yourself.
Minor Accidents can Result in Major Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million people are taken to hospital emergency rooms each year as a result of accidental injuries. Close to 40 million others eventually visit their doctor’s office due to personal injuries from seemingly minor mishaps.
Any time your body suffers even minor bumps and blows, there is a potential for serious damage to occur as a result. Common types of accidents in which these injuries occur include:
- Car accidents: ‘Fender benders,’ parking lot accidents, and other types of minor collisions occur regularly. Even if the damage to your vehicle is not severe, you should still report the accident and get checked out by a doctor.
- Motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents: In collisions involving motor vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians have little to protect them. As a result, even a minor crash can cause major harm.
- Slips, trips, and falls: These are one of the most common types of personal injuries and a leading cause of disabilities in the U.S. While you may be tempted to downplay injuries you suffer as a result of embarrassment, particularly if a fall occurs in a public place, doing so could endanger your health.
- Getting struck by or against objects: These incidents often occur in grocery stores, at retail malls or big box outlets, and at public parks or recreational centers. Seek medical care as soon as possible, regardless of your symptoms.
- Sports-related accidents: Players often are tempted to act tough or feel pressured to play through their injuries. Doing so could have serious ramifications on their health.
- Injuries due to damaged or defective products: Another common cause of personal injuries, manufacturers can be held liable for accidents caused by product defects or failure to provide the proper instructions.
Minor Injuries That can Have a Major Impact on Your Health
Personal injuries often have symptoms that do not emerge until days, weeks, or even months after an accident. MedLine Plus warns that even minor bumps, blows, or wounds can have a major impact on your health, with ramifications that have the potential to be life-threatening. These include:
- Cuts and lacerations: These may seem relatively harmless but visiting your local hospital room is a top priority. Bacteria can enter the site, resulting in fatal blood infections. You may also need a tetanus shot and stitches to prevent permanent scarring.
- Soft tissue injuries: Pulled muscles and tendons are one of the leading causes of chronic pain and can prevent you from working or engaging in hobbies you currently enjoy. Symptoms generally do not appear until 24 to 48 hours after an accident. Failing to get care during this time can worsen your condition.
- Broken bones: Healing a broken bone is not as simple as merely wearing a cast. If the bone fails to heal properly, it could result in permanent disabilities and the need for surgery.
- Back and neck injuries: Whiplash is common anytime your body suffers sudden jerks or other movements as are back injuries. These take a long time to recover from and can end up worsening as the months go by, resulting in the need for more extensive treatment.
- Head injuries: One of the most common and serious types of personal injuries, signs of a head injury are easy to ignore. Any time a bump, blow, or jolt to the head is suspected, be alert for signs such as headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, loss of memory, and personality changes.
The Average Costs Associated With Personal Injuries
In accidents that appear relatively minor, victims are often reluctant to report it or make sure an accident report is filed. Unfortunately, this could leave you paying heavy amounts in out-of-pocket costs. To protect yourself, notify the police, the property owner, or on-site security immediately so that an accident report can be filed. This, along with records from your doctor’s visit, provides important evidence when filing a claim.
People often fail to take these steps after a seemingly minor accident, rationalizing that it is ‘not worth the trouble.’ Unfortunately, they often underestimate the total costs that are likely to incur due to their injuries and the amount they would otherwise be entitled to in a claim. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), expenses for even minor injuries are likely to include:
- Current and future medical expenses, ranging from between $3,000 to $10,000 or more;
- Current and future lost wages, ranging from several hundred dollars in the immediate aftermath to $5,000 or more in the months and years to come;
- Other current and future losses, such as having to refrain from certain activities or being unable to perform your usual household tasks, which could result in costs of up to $20,000 or more.
Even if your accident or your injuries are relatively minor, you have the right to be reimbursed for these and other costs you incur through a claim.
Let Our Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney Help You
At the Bernardo Law Firm, we have decades worth of experience helping clients get the maximum amount they are entitled to when accidents occur. To discuss your options in filing a claim and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, contact our Fort Myers personal attorney today to request a free, no-obligation consultation.