According to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has been a steady rise in car accident related deaths over the last few years. This alarming report proves how serious car accidents are in the U.S. Broken glass is a common outcome in vehicle accidents. When the windshield or windows break, shattered glass causes laceration injuries for the occupants of the vehicle involved. The pedestrians standing close to the collision also face the risk of laceration injuries from flying pieces of glass. A laceration is a tearing or cut of the soft body tissue. If you have sustained laceration injuries from a car accident, depending on who is liable for the accident and the extent of your injuries, you may be able to recover damages. To determine your options, it would be advisable to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Types of Lacerations
There are different types of lacerations that you can sustain from a car accident. The most common types of lacerations from car accidents are:
A cut laceration is the most common and least serious of all lacerations. Cut lacerations are simply small breakages on the skin caused by contact with a sharp object. While some cuts can be treated by basic first aid, deep cuts penetrate the surface tissue and may require professional attention.
Overstretching is when an object hits the passenger’s skin at an angle and causes a pulling or pushing of the skin which completely breaks or stretches. This type of injury is less common than other types of lacerations.
This type of laceration occurs in serious car collisions. Grinding compression is when an object contacts the skin through a brushing motion. This action causes the skin to peel back damaging the epidermis and crushing the tissue below.
This kind of laceration occurs when two objects crush a specific part of the body and tear the skin and tissue.
Compensation for Laceration Claims
Surface lacerations can result in scarring and tissue damage which can cause an infection if not treated. If a laceration is deep, there may be more extensive damage. This includes:
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Broken or fractured bones
In severe cases, skin grafts, surgery, and amputation may be required. All of these complications can result in a longer rehabilitation period. In serious cases, a victim may succumb to their injuries and die.
The basic damages awarded for laceration claims are medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, if a laceration results in the loss of a limb, the victim can also claim permanent disability and loss of income. In cases where a laceration leads to death, the dependants or estate of the deceased can be able to make a wrongful death claim and recover damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral costs, loss of consortium, and future earnings.
Who is Liable For Lacerations From Auto Accidents?
According to the traffic rules, all motorists have a duty of care to avoid injuring others. For you to succeed in a laceration claim, you need to prove that the motorist who caused the accident owed you a duty of care, and that your injuries were caused by their breach of this duty of care. The burden of proof in auto-accident cases is upon the claimant. You need to prove the negligence of the at-fault party to recover damages.
How Should You Proceed After an Auto Accident Resulting in Lacerations?
The first step in pursuing a personal injury claim involving lacerations is to secure evidence. Taking pictures of the accident scene, and your injuries will help the court determine fault. If there are witnesses to the accident, they could further reinforce your claim. You should also compile a report about the events leading to the accident- was there traffic, was it raining, was the at-fault party trying to overtake or speeding,- these small details will help the law enforcement agencies determine liability.
Seeking medical attention will also help your claim for medical expenses and other damages related to how your injuries have affected your normal life schedule.
The Take Away
Often times, car accidents involve broken wind screens and windows, these pieces of glass can easily cause lacerations to passengers and pedestrians. While some lacerations are minor and can be treated with a little first aid, there are injuries that may lead to scarring or even require a person to go through amputation. If you are a victim of a laceration injury caused by a car accident, consult an attorney to determine the best course of action.