You never know how safe (or not) Wisconsin highways will be when you get behind the wheel to travel by motor vehicle. Like all motorists, you hope and reasonably expect that you'll safely reach your destination if you adhere to all traffic and safety regulations and practice caution when you drive. The problem is that you have no idea who you might be sharing the road with at any given moment.
There could be a drunk driver on the road with you, or someone might be texting or otherwise distracted. Another person might have worked a double shift and tried to drive home instead of getting some sleep first or asking someone else for a ride. All these issues and more place you at risk for collision and potential severe to life-threatening injuries. This is why it's so important to know where to seek support before you head out on the road.
Injuries not always immediately apparent
If you're in a collision and are still conscious after your car comes to a halt, you might feel like you escaped serious injury and are okay to just go home. It's always best, however, to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident because you may not be fully aware of your condition.
Internal injuries are hidden, and other types of injuries may not develop symptoms for hours, days, even a week or more after an accident. This is why it's best to go to the hospital right after a crash so that doctors can examine you and document your case.
Traumatic brain injury
You don't even have to hit your head to suffer a TBI. Severe and sudden jarring or shaking can also cause head trauma. In fact, head and brain injuries are at the top of most lists that describe common after-effects of car accidents.
There are two types of head injuries: those you can see because of bruising, lacerations, bleeding or swelling, and those that may not show up without a CAT scan. Car accidents in Wisconsin and elsewhere are the third leading cause of TBI deaths in the U.S., which is another reason it's a good idea to seek medical examination after a motor vehicle collision.
Other common accident injuries
In addition to concussion and other TBI symptoms, you may feel pain in your neck or back areas after a car accident. Whiplash is one of the most common types of collision injuries. While it doesn't typically present a life-threatening situation, you can definitely suffer long-term disability because of neck or back injuries.
Injuries that are usually obvious after collision include broken bones, facial lacerations or chest/lung injuries associated with seat belt compression and friction. Your seat belt might do a great job of preventing ejection from your vehicle in a crash; however, it is common to suffer scrapes and bruises from the sudden pressure of the belt against your chest, and in some cases, broken ribs or punctured lungs may result.
Post-accident expenses and recovery
There's no telling how long it might take for you to fully recover after a Wisconsin car accident. The degree of emotional trauma, physical injury and economic damages greatly influences the expected the timetable of your recovery. You may be completely unprepared to resolve the financial turmoil associated with a collision, including medical bills and money problems caused by lost wages when you take time off work to recover.
Many accident victims seek financial accountability against those whose negligence caused their injuries. They do so by filing personal injury claims in civil court. When a plaintiff convinces a jury or judge that another driver's negligence caused damages, the court can order compensation to provide financial recovery that he or she can use to offset accident-related expenses.