Car Accidents

Pain After The Accident: 3 Chronic Conditions Associated with Automobile Accidents

Category: Accidents |

When you get injured in a car accident, you expect your injuries to heal. You expect to receive an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan which, sooner or later, allows you to get back to your normal life. Unfortunately, this is not always what happens. The extreme forces involved in auto accidents can cause severe traumatic injuries, and for some people these injuries can have permanent consequences. In fact, recent medical evidence shows that auto accidents can lead to a number of chronic and debilitating conditions. Three Chronic Conditions Linked to Traumatic Collisions 1. Chronic Brain Injuries As doctors continue to gain a better understanding of the effects of traumatic brain injuries, there is a growing body of evidence to support a link between brain injuries and various chronic impairments. From concussions to severe penetrating brain injuries, virtually all types of traumatic brain injuries have the potential to lead to long-term effects. In many cases, the link between an accident and a driver’s or passenger’s condition will not immediately be clear. The effects of traumatic brain injuries can manifest gradually, and forgetfulness, impulsive behavior, and other symptoms may not necessarily trigger concerns about an accident-related injury. This is one reason why all auto accident victims should seek prompt medical attention. In certain circumstances, a delay in seeking treatment can exacerbate the chronic effects of a traumatic brain injury, which may include: Anxiety, depression, and mood swings Cognitive impairments Difficulty concentrating Forgetfulness Memory loss Headaches and migraines Impaired judgment Impulsive behavior These and other effects of traumatic brain injuries can impact every aspect of an accident victim’s life. Once again, prompt treatment is critical, and individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions resulting from accident-related brain injuries must carefully follow the treatment plans their doctors prescribe. 2. Chronic Back Pain Chronic back pain is among the most common long-term injuries resulting from vehicle collisions. Like the symptoms of certain types of traumatic brain injuries, back pain can come on slowly over time, masking the accident as its root cause. Individuals who experience back pain in the days, weeks, or months following a collision should seek medical attention, and should carefully describe their symptoms so that their treating physicians can provide an accurate diagnosis. Due to its chronic nature, treatment for trauma-induced back pain generally focuses on symptom management. Along with pain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)), other treatment options can include acupuncture, physical therapy, steroid injections, and self-management. If you are experiencing back pain following a car accident, you will need to have your doctor prescribe a treatment regimen that is tailored to your own unique injury and personal circumstances. 3. Chronic Thyroid Disorders In addition to chronic brain injuries and back pain, there is now strong medical support for chronic thyroid disorders resulting from traumatic car accidents. The thyroid is a gland at the base of the neck that secretes hormones your body uses for metabolism, temperature regulation, and general growth and development. When a traumatic accident impacts the neck, the physical effects can cause damage to the thyroid, which can in turn lead to a number of chronic symptoms. For example, thyroid conditions resulting from musculoskeletal trauma during car accidents can cause: Compromised brain function Compromised immune system Exacerbation of pain from other trauma-induced injuries Mood swings Reduced energy levels Reduced metabolic rate Since thyroid disorders are both a result and a cause of pain in the muscular and skeletal systems, individuals who suffer neck injuries in auto accidents can find themselves in a vicious cycle of chronic symptoms. Fortunately, in many cases patients will have a number of treatment options available. Potential treatment options for chronic thyroid disorders include: Dietary supplements Hormone replacement therapy Physical therapy Radioactive iodide treatment Surgery Thyroid medications While anyone injured in an auto accident should be aware of the risk of a chronic thyroid condition, drivers and passengers injured in rear-end accidents are among those who are most likely to face thyroid problems. Whiplash injuries are closely associated with trauma-induced thyroid disorders, and these injuries most frequently occur in rear-end collisions. Seeking Financial Compensation for Chronic Conditions Resulting from Auto Accidents Seeking financial compensation for chronic conditions can present additional challenges as compared to seeking compensation for acute physical injuries. This is due in large part to the difficulty in diagnosing chronic conditions as the effects of physical trauma. Individuals who experience symptoms of a chronic injury or disorder following a car accident should take appropriate steps to preserve their legal rights, including: Help Your Doctor Provide an Accurate Diagnosis. If your doctor is unaware of your symptoms, he or she will not be able to provide an accurate diagnosis. If your doctor is unaware that you were injured in an accident, he or she will not be able to link your condition to the collision. When seeking medical attention after an accident, it is critical to make sure your doctor has all of the relevant information. It can be helpful to write down notes and bring them to your appointment. Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan. Treatment for chronic conditions often involves a multi-faceted approach – surgery, rest, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and a variety of medications could all be essential to minimizing the long-term effects. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, you need to be prepared to make some changes in your life, and sticking to your doctor’s treatment plan should be among your top priorities. Schedule a Free Consultation at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk If you would like more information about pursuing financial compensation for a chronic injury suffered in an auto accident, the injury lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call our office at (800) 753-5203, text us, or request an appointment online today.

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3 Common Causes of Chest Pain After a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

If you or a loved one experiences chest pain after a car accident, be sure to take it seriously. Chest pain can be a symptom of a serious injury or medical condition that may require prompt medical attention. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is a Florida personal injury law firm with over 30 years experience and $800M recovered for our clients. We invite you to contact us anytime. Our knowledgable injury law team members will listen to the details of your car accident and tell you whether you may have a valid personal injury claim related to your chest pain. Common Causes of Chest Pain After a Car Accident Experiencing chest pain after a car accident can be a sign of a serious injury. Remember, not all serious injuries result in severe pain. If your chest hurts or you feel lingering discomfort in the chest after an accident, it’s important to seek medical care for a proper diagnosis. Some of the most common causes of chest pain after a car accident include fractured ribs, bruised ribs, muscle strain and injuries to internal organs. Fractured Ribs Broken ribs are another common cause of experiencing chest pain after a car accident, often in the form of sharp, shooting discomfort. These types of injuries are often caused by the chest being restricted by a seat belt or hitting the steering wheel in an accident. Bruised Ribs The trauma involved in a car accident can also be responsible for bruising the sternum or ribs. This type of injury is often associated with dull, aching pains that may come and go with movement. Muscle Strain Another common cause of dull, aching chest pain after a car accident is strain to the muscles of the chest. While this type of injury may not be life threatening, it may be important to seek medical attention after your accident to confirm that a more serious injury has not taken place. Injuries to Internal Organs Experiencing pain in the chest after an accident can also be a sign of a potentially life threatening injury to an internal organ, particularly the heart. Chest pain can also be a sign of a heart attack. Additional signs that a serious internal injury may have taken place include fatigue, shortness of breath, headache and dizziness. Symptoms Associated With Chest or Sternum Injuries Trauma to the chest and sternum can result in a variety of symptoms depending upon the location and severity of an injury. Some common symptoms of chest injuries include: Sharp, stabbing pain when moving or stretching Severe pain when coughing, sneezing or laughing Constant discomfort or pain, even while not moving Pain or discomfort when even a small amount of pressure is applied to the chest Remember, experiencing chest pain after a car accident may indicate that you have suffered a serious injury that requires the care of your healthcare provider. Take action and seek medical attention as soon as possible if suspect that you may have suffered a chest injury from a car accident. Discuss Your Car Accident Chest Injury with an Attorney. No Fee, No Obligation If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident due to someone else’s irresponsibility, call the Tampa car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 or fill out our contact form.

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Pinellas County Averages 77 Car Crashes Per Day

Category: Car Accidents |

Late last year, a transportation advocacy group called Forward Pinellas crunched the numbers and found that over the last five years Pinellas County averaged 77 car crashes per day. In 2017 alone, Pinellas County averaged 83 crashes per day. This is a staggering number but not surprising. The report cited three main reasons for the statistic. Drivers and Pedestrians Disobeying Traffic Laws Whether it’s speeding, crossing against the light, or running red lights, many drivers and pedestrians in Pinellas County are simply not following the law. Traffic laws were put in place to keep everyone safe. However, if the laws aren’t followed, the situation becomes extremely dangerous. Pinellas County has a high percentage of high speed, high volume roadways, and not obeying traffic laws on these streets can lead to serious accidents. Distracted Driving Distracted driving is an epidemic across the country, and Pinellas County has not been spared. Drivers who are distracted by their phones or other technology in their cars are essentially driving blind. Taking your visual, cognitive, and manual attention off the road leads to a high probability of an accident occurring. With the implementation of Florida’s new texting and driving law, hopefully, the rate of distraction will decrease. However, phones are not the only things distracting drivers. Navigation systems, other passengers in the car, and other distractions are still present. Increase in Drivers/Cars on the Road According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 150 new people move to the Tampa Bay area every year. Add to this the high number of tourists and the car-focused culture in Pinellas County, and there are simply too many cars on the road. More cars mean more accidents. Solutions Pinellas County is working toward some much-needed solutions to this car accident epidemic. These solutions include: Building more overpasses, including the ones planned over US-19 Widening roads and working on major new corridors like the Gateway Express Project Adding more bike lanes and crosswalks Hopefully, these improvements will help lower the number of accidents. Contact a Pinellas County Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should contact a Pinellas County car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping accident victims in Pinellas County and throughout the Tampa Bay area. Contact us onlineor call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Can Technology Make Driving Safer?

Category: Car Accidents |

As cars become equipped with more technology, there can be mixed results. On the one hand, in-vehicle infotainment systems can be a distraction to drivers. GPS and navigation systems can also be a distraction if not used properly. However, there are a number of new innovations in technology that may make driving safer. Driver Assistance Technology While self-driving cars are not yet an everyday reality, driver assistance technology can help prevent crashes. If a driver isn’t going to prevent an accident from happening, then maybe the car itself can. Some safety features include: Forward Collision Warning—provides a visual, audible, or tactile alert to warn a driver of an impending collision. Auto Emergency Braking—this system engages the brakes to avoid a potential collision if a driver does not react in time. Lane Departure Warning—this system provides a tactile or visual warning when a vehicle crosses lane markers without the turn signal being engaged. Lane Keeping Assist—provides some steering or braking to correct a situation where a vehicle is drifting out of its lane. While studies have shown that these technologies can reduce the number of collisions, the reality is they shouldn’t be used as an excuse for bad driving. Cell Phone Blocking Technology Every year more than 3,000 people are killed by distracted driving.  Cell phone use is the most common factor in distracted driving accidents. While there are laws in place to prevent texting while driving, many drivers still engage in the practice. Cell phone blocking technology can help prevent phones from being used while driving.  This technology usually comes in the form of a smartphone app. The most basic apps prevent a phone from receiving calls or texts while the app is engaged. Other apps can disable the phone completely. The problem with cell phone blocking technology is that it is the responsibility of the driver to engage the app. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may want a Tampa Bay car accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping Tampa Bay car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Are Backseat Seat Belts Required in Florida?

Category: Car Accidents |

We all know wearing a seat belt in the car is the safest choice. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt usage saved close to 15,000 lives in 2017 alone. In the United States, close to 90% of people wear a seat belt. Under Florida law drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear seat belts. Failing to wear a seat belt is a primary offense, meaning police can pull a driver over for not wearing a seat belt even if they weren’t committing any other traffic offenses. What does the law say regarding back seat passengers? Back Seat Passengers Under Florida law, passengers who are aged 18 and over are not required to wear seat belts. Children under 18 are required to wear seat belts regardless of where they are in the vehicle. Failure to have a child in a seat belt or a car seat is a primary offense. Adult back seat rear passengers are not required to wear seat belts in Florida. The idea, however, that the back seat is somehow less dangerous than the front seat is false. The laws of physics are not suspended just because you are in the back seat. An unrestrained passenger can still be hurled into the seat in front of them. Unbelted passengers increases the risk of injury or death to other occupants of the vehicle by 40%. The impact of a passenger on the seat in front of them can be very dangerous to the passenger and to others in the car. Impact with the driver seat can cause the driver to then hit the steering wheel. In addition, in a side-impact crash, an unbelted driver in the back seat can slam into the passenger sitting next to them. Federal crash statistics find that passengers in the rear are three times more likely to die in a car accident if they fail to wear a seat belt. Florida’s lack of a law requiring the use of seat belts in the rear of the car sets a dangerous example. Because it is not required, many people feel they are safe in the back seat without a seat belt. Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia require that adult back seat passengers wear seat belts. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have been helping car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Florida Drivers Still Among the Nation’s Worst

Category: Car Accidents |

If you’ve spent any time on Florida roadways, you know the state is filled with bad drivers. Florida has some of the worst drivers in the nation. A report by the consumer website Smart Asset found that Florida ranks in the top five states for the worst drivers in the country. The Report According to the report, Florida tied with Nevada and Texas for the fourth worst drivers in the country. Last year Florida came in at number eight, so things have gotten worse. In determining the rankings, Smart Asset looked at a number of different factors. This included the percentage of insured drivers, the number of DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, the rate at which “traffic ticket” was Googled, and the number of fatalities. The report found that Florida has the lowest amount of insured drivers with only 73% of drivers carrying car insurance. Florida had the 11thhighest rate of “traffic ticket” searches and ranked high in fatalities with 1.47 per 100 million vehicle miles driven. It’s not all bad news, however. Florida had the eighth-lowest rate of DUI arrests in the country with a rate of 2.17 per 1,000 drivers. The report noted that southern states ranked the highest for worst drivers. Mississippi ranked number one on the list, followed by Alabama and California. Massachusetts was the state with the best drivers. It had an insured driver rate of 93.8%, only 1.76 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, and less than one fatality per 100 million vehicle miles driven. Reasons for Bad Drivers While the study didn’t indicate why the drivers in Florida are among the worst, there are a number of different factors that may contribute to the high rate of bad drivers. Florida is home to many retirees and, as we age, our ability to drive is negatively affected. More older drivers on the road may mean more accidents. The streets of Florida are also inundated with tourists who are risky drivers on unfamiliar roads. In addition, the high rate of uninsured drivers may be caused by the fact that insurance rates in Florida are very high. The cost of auto insurance in Florida is 52% higher than the national average. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with a bad driver, you may want a trusted car accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been representing Florida car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us onlineor call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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7 Documents Your Attorney Will Need After Your Car Accident

Category: Accidents |

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may have decided that hiring a personal injury attorney can help you through the process. In order for your attorney to effectively represent you, it is important that you provide them with all necessary information. Your attorney will need some documentation from you in order to put together the best case for pursuing compensation. Some documents your attorney may require, include: Police Report In a car accident case, the police will file an official accident report. This report will contain some valuable information about who was involved in the accident and what happened. Auto Insurance Policy An attorney will want to see a copy of your auto insurance policy, specifically the declarations page so that the amount and type of coverage you have available can be determined. Photographs Taking photos of an accident scene can be important to show the extent of any injuries or property damage and may help in establishing who was at fault for the accident. Make sure you submit any photographs that were taken by you or other people, to your attorney. Contact Information If you have obtained the contact information of any witnesses or other individuals involved in the accident, you should provide that information to your attorney as soon as possible. Medical Records Your attorney will want to see copies of your medical records to see the extent of your injuries and what type of treatment you have received. Detailed medical records are crucial to establishing an effective case for compensation. Medical Bills Copies of medical bills are also very important when pursuing compensation for your injuries. These bills itemize the losses you’ve sustained as a result of the accident. Keep all prescription receipts, hospital bills, and bills from other medical providers so that you can provide these to your attorney. Wage Records If you’ve missed time from work as a result of the injuries you sustained in a car accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for any lost wages. Pay stubs and other wage records will be needed to establish the amount you have lost. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have helped over 20,000 accidents victims pursue compensation for their injuries. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.

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Tampa Bay Ranks in Top 20 for Most Aggressive Drivers

Category: Accidents |

Florida drivers have been consistently ranked as some of the worst in the nation. Now, according to a report by Gas Buddy, Florida cities also rank among those with aggressive drivers. Tampa-St. Petersburg came in at number 19 out of major metro areas. According to the report, Tampa Bay drivers are 2% more aggressive than the average U.S. driver. There were a number of different aggressive driving indicators where Tampa Bay ranked higher than average. Speeding Aggressive drivers frequently drive at high rates of speed. This can be extremely dangerous to other drivers as speeders can easily lose control of their vehicle. In addition, collisions at higher rates of speed can cause more serious injuries. Tampa Bay drivers have 12.6 percent more speeding incidents than the average U.S. driver. The area ranked 11th for most speeding incidents. Hard Braking Aggressive drivers also drive close to other cars, tailgate, and press hard on their brakes. This is very dangerous to other drivers. It can lead to rear-end collisions and other serious accidents. Tampa Bay has had fewer hard-braking incidents than the average U.S. driver. Rapid Acceleration Rapid acceleration is another common and dangerous behavior displayed by aggressive drivers. Rapid acceleration can lead to collisions with bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles who are unable to predict the driver’s behavior. Tampa Bay drivers were 1.2% more likely to engage in rapid acceleration, and the area ranked 15th for most rapid acceleration instances. Aggressive Driving Dangers Aggressive drivers let their emotions get in the way of their reason and make dangerous decisions on the road. In addition to speeding, hard braking, and rapid acceleration,  drivers often take their attention off the road in efforts to intimidate other drivers with words and gestures. In some cases, aggressive driving can turn into road rage, which can lead to violent behavior. Contact an Experienced Tampa Bay Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with an aggressive driver, you may want an experienced Tampa Bay accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.

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Message Boards on Howard Frankland Bridge Warn of Wrong Way Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

Wrong-way crashes are serious accidents that can cause severe injuries. No one wants to see headlights coming towards them, especially on the Howard Frankland Bridge where there’s nowhere to go to avoid the crash. Wrong-way crashes happen all too often in Tampa Bay, and now authorities are taking steps to make the roads safer. Howard Frankland Bridge After a spate of wrong-way crashes on the Howard Frankland Bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is taking steps to curb accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. Six cameras have been installed along the bridge that can detect whether a driver is going the wrong way. If a driver is going the wrong way, an alarm activates at the FDOT dispatch center. FDOT can then notify the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) of the situation. FHP dispatch is in the same building as FDOT. Within seconds FDOT can also change message boards on the bridge to advise other drivers to be on the lookout for a wrong-way driver. The hope is that drivers can take evasive maneuvers if necessary and that FHP can quickly get to the scene before tragedy strikes. The system began testing this past spring. Curbing Wrong-Way Driving While signs on the bridge are a great first step in preventing wrong-way crashes, more needs to be done to end the problem. Most wrong-way drivers are driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol. Better enforcement of Florida’s drunk driving laws and educating the public on the dangers of driving while impaired may help lessen the problem. Wrong-way crashes should never happen as long as people follow the law. Dangers of Wrong-Way Crashes Some people discount the seriousness of wrong-way crashes because they don’t happen very frequently. However, wrong-way crashes are more likely to be fatal than other types of accidents. In some cases, multiple fatalities can occur. Two vehicles hitting head-on can collide with tremendous force as both objects are moving in opposite directions. In addition, you have far less time to respond to a wrong-way driver in your path, especially when both vehicles are traveling at high speeds. Contact an Experienced Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a wrong-way accident, you may want to have an experienced car accident attorney evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping Tampa Bay car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.

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Who is Liable in a Multi-vehicle Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

A multi-vehicle accident is one in which three or more cars are involved. Multi-vehicle, or chain reaction accidents can be scary situations. Your vehicle may be hit from different directions or pushed into other vehicles. The resulting injuries can be serious. When multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, who is liable for injury? Typical Multi-vehicle Accidents Most multi-vehicle accidents involve rear-end collisions. Driver A hits Driver B who then hits Driver C. Driver A may have been distracted and following too closely and hit Driver B. Driver B may have been traveling too closely to Driver C, or the force of the impact may have been enough to cause the second collision. Multi-vehicle accidents involve multiple drivers, so determining who was negligent and to what degree can be a complex matter. Determining Liability in a Multi-vehicle Accident It may appear that the driver who started the chain reaction would be fully responsible for any injuries that result from the accident. While this may be the case, it is important to look at the behavior of each involved driver to determine if other factors may have been involved. It comes down to determining which driver was careless or to what degree a driver may be responsible. An important rule that comes into play in most multi-vehicle accidents is the importance of keeping a safe following distance behind the car in front of you. Drivers need to be able to make a timely stop when they encounter hazards or unexpected situations on the road, such as the driver in front slamming on their brakes. A driver who fails to maintain a safe following distance is generally liable to at least some degree in the accident. This is often the driver that started the chain reaction. However, if a driver in the middle also failed to maintain a safe following distance, they may also be partially liable for the accident. In addition, if Driver A hit Driver B because Driver B braked suddenly and their brake lights were out, then Driver B may be liable for injuries sustained by Driver A and Driver C. When trying to determine liability in a multi-vehicle accident, it is crucial to gather all of the necessary evidence. Statements from witnesses, surveillance videos, police reports, and even the type and extent of damage to the vehicles can all be important in recreating the events of the accident and establishing liability. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted and that all necessary evidence is preserved. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, it’s important to act quickly and consult with an experienced car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer free consultations and have been helping car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.

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