The first thing we look for after being caught up in a traumatic event is to our physical well being. The pain, the bruising, the inability to move and think – those physiological injuries jump out and demand our attention right away. What is not so easy to recognize for you or your doctors is the psychological damage done by that trauma. Things start to happen that you don’t understand or try to just ignore – you cannot sleep, you have nightmares, you feel helpless or depressed, you cannot get yourself to drive in the area of the collision or walk where you fell or were hit, you react violently to the slightest surprising sound or close call… These are some of the signs of a hidden psychological injury – post traumatic stress disorder- an injury in need of care and treatment just as are your physical injuries. To get started learning more about what it is and how to get help see the National Center for PTSD at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp.
Yearly Archives: 2010
Brain injuries and other types of serious head injuries can be caused by many types of trauma. Brain injury can occur with or without an obvious blow to the head in an accident, fall or other incident. Brain injuries require specialized diagnostic and treatment techniques to address the cognitive, functional and emotional effects.
The effects of a traumatic brain injury, whether catastrophic or mild, can affect your daily activities at home and work.
Personal Injury Terms – Unless you are an attorney, or work for an attorney, many terms such as affidavit and tortfeasor may seem foreign. After one has been involved in an auto accident, these legal terms will become everyday vocabulary. It’s important to understand key terms. Here is a helpful link to common personal injury terms used in personal injury cases. http://www.adlergiersch.com/order-brochures
The moments after a collision can be terrifying. Often times those involved in the collision do not know what to do, who to call, want information to exchange. It’s a key for all parties of the collision to record accurate information about the accident, injuries, witness, damage, etc. This information is needed to file a claim with insurance companies and move forward to financial, physical and emotional recovery. Here are some helpful tips on what do to after a collision.
- Stop as close as safely possible to the collision site
Take Care of the injuries
- Check drivers and passengers for injuries.
- Call 911. Report the collision, location, and any injuries.
- Do not move injured persons; wait until medical personnel arrive.
Cooperate with Police
- Remain at the collision scene until an officer arrives.
- Tell the officer how the collision occurred.
Take Notes for your File
- Record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
- Make notes about all significant circumstances.
- Take photos of your car, your injuries, and the other vehicles.
When to Leave the Scene
- Do not leave the collision scene until you have completed the above steps and the officer gives you permission to go.
- If you are transported from the site by ambulance, ask a witness, passenger, or friend to complete the above steps for you.
To obtain the “For Your Glove Compartment” Brochure that has step by step instructions on what do you after a collision, visit http://www.adlergiersch.com/order-brochures.
When one is injured by another an invisible clock starts ticking. This clock is more formally known as the “statute of limitations.” Failure to settle a claim or bring a lawsuit within the time period extinguishes the injured party’s legal rights to recover for their injuries. If the time period expires a court will dismiss the case without consideration of the case’s merits or the reasons for delay.
In Washington State a plaintiff has three (3) years to file a lawsuit with the insurance companies. If the plaintiff is under the age of 18 at the time of the collision, the three year Statute of Limitations does not begin until his or her 18 birthday.
For more information of the Statute of Limitations in other states, click here (http://www.adlergiersch.com/personal-injury-articles/personal-injury-articles/statute-of-limitations).
Rehabilitation is done and you have largely recovered from your spinal trauma. What next? It is especially important to get moving again but in a smart, and measured way. Low impact activities such as swimming, stationary bike riding and walking are great places to start. Here are a few more tips to help you keep your residual pain at bay:
- Always stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
- Don’t slouch when standing or sitting. When standing, keep your weight balanced on your feet. Your back supports weight most easily when curvature is reduced.
- At home or work, make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.
- Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position and height for the task. Keep your shoulders back. Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around the office or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension. A pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind the small of your back can provide some lumbar support. If you must sit for a long period of time, rest your feet on a low stool or a stack of books.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine. Always sleep on a firm surface.
- Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you. Lift with your knees, pull in your stomach muscles, and keep your head down and in line with your straight back. Keep the object close to your body. Do not twist when lifting.
- Maintain proper nutrition and diet to reduce and prevent excessive weight, especially weight around the waistline that taxes lower back muscles. A diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate.
To read the full article see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm
If there was personal injury protection (PIP) or Med-Pay coverage on the car you were in at the time of the accident, your bills should be paid under that policy. These policies also cover a limited amount of wage loss and payment for “household services”, those tasks of daily living you cannot perform due to your injuries. Coverage amounts vary depending on your policy. You should check your policy or discuss with us how much coverage you have available.
If you did not have PIP or Med-Pay coverage at the time of the accident, or if this coverage has been exhausted, you may be able to submit your accident-related bills to your health insurance carrier. Most health insurance carriers will cover your accident-related treatment subject to the referral, deductible, and co-payment requirements of your policy if PIP benefits are not available or have been discontinued.
For more information and answers to your questions about getting bills paid after a collision see http://www.adlergiersch.com/.
Event will take place between 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Come by, say hi, enjoy a glass of wine, snack on gourmet appetizers, and talk with attorneys Richard Adler, Arthur Leritz, and Janet Thoman. The new Kent office is conveniently located in downtown Kent and only six blocks from the King County Regional Justice Center.