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What is the Difference Between a Minor and a Serious Auto Accident?

By Stewart J. Guss on November 10th, 2013

While there are millions of traffic accidents every year, only a small percentage can be classified as a serious auto accident – those that can result in serious injuries or fatalities. According to data published by the United States Census Bureau, there are generally over 10 million accidents every year, ranging from minor fender benders to serious accidents involving catastrophic or fatal injuries.  As the fourth largest city in the country, and a very “car-centric” city at that, Houston has a large number of auto accidents every year.  Generally speaking, after a minor accident, most people are content to exchange information and go along their way. The truth of the matter is that everyone involved in even the most innocuous seeming car accident should allow the police to investigate the collision and contact an experienced personal injury attorney.  Many car accidents involve injuries that grow significantly more painful in the hours and days after the initial collision.  It is not unusual for someone involved in a car accident to walk away from the collision, and be in so much pain the next day that they cannot even comfortably get out of bed.  Even if your injuries may be less serious, by allowing the police to investigate your collision and promptly contacting a personal injury lawyer that specializes in auto accident injuries, you can be sure that your legal rights are protected and that you will have the evidence necessary to assert a legal claim if necessary.

Houston Serious Auto Injury Accident

Serious Auto Injury Accident

The fact is that there is no clear definition between a serious auto accident and a minor car accident. To further complicate matters, sometimes people walk away from violent collisions without a scratch, while other times simple “fender benders” can cause serious injuries.  As noted above, car accidents can cause certain types of injuries that may not develop serious symptoms for hours or even days after the injury, such as whiplash. Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe injuries to the neck or spinal column. It occurs when the head snaps quickly backwards or forwards on the neck resulting in extension and compression of the structures in the neck. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • Neck pain

  • Stiffness

  • Headache

  • Shoulder pain

  • Dizziness

  • Arm weakness

  • Arm pain

  • Jaw pain

  • Fatigue

  • Back pain

These symptoms may not develop for some time after the injury occurs, and failing to have whiplash properly diagnosed may make it more difficult to establish that it was caused by the accident. In more serious cases, the injury may not be simple whiplash, but a tear or bulge in the disc materials between the bones that make up your spine.  People with these types of injuries may be unable to care for themselves or work, resulting in significant medical expenses and loss of income. As a result, people who develop these types of injury after a car accident are able to bring a personal injury claim against those who caused the injuries.  The damages that can be recovered include medical bills and the cost of medical care that will be needed in the future, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, physical pain and mental anguish, disfigurement in the events of cuts or scars, and disability, whether temporary or permanent.  You may be able to recover for damages from your own insurance coverage, even if it was a “hit and run” accident or the person that hit you did not have liability insurance.

The bottom line is simple: always contact the police and contact a personal injury attorney after every car accident. By retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, car accident victims can ensure that their rights are protected and that they will be able to recover for their injuries.

Houston auto accident injury attorney Stewart Guss has been representing victims of all auto accidents, including a serious auto accident, in Houston, Katy, Tomball, The Woodlands, Cypress, Spring and throughout Texas for almost 20 years.  He is dedicated to helping people injured in car accidents recover, and strives to obtain the best possible outcome in each case he handles. To schedule a free consultation with Stewart, call our office today at 800-898-4877.  Remember, your call is free, and there there is no charge at all unless he wins your case.

 

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