Experiencing a car accident due to another driver’s negligence is traumatic, but when your injuries are caused by broken and flying glass, the trauma involved can increase dramatically. The damages you incur due to broken windshield injuries can be immense. Working closely with an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process to focus on your recovery.
When the impact of a car accident causes your windshield to break, it is terrifying, and while windshields are now designed not to shatter, immense speed and immense impact can nullify this effect. Further, the glass in the back and side windows typically isn’t held to the same standards, and it is more prone to shattering. Being trapped inside a crashing vehicle with glass raining down on you is terrifying in the extreme – and it is just as dangerous as it is frightening.
Injuries caused by a broken windshield in a car accident tend to be extremely serious, and several types are most closely associated.
Deep lacerations are generally the result of glass chunks that slice through the flesh and onward into underlying skin tissue, muscle fibers, and even bone. These severe lacerations lead to serious infections, limb loss, the need for amputation, and – when on or near the face – permanent disfigurement.
While surface-level cuts are less severe than deep lacerations, they can cover a considerable portion of the victim’s body, are often slow to heal, and can leave the victim extremely vulnerable to dangerous infections.
Severed Limb or Artery
The large shards of glass generated by a broken windshield in a high-impact accident can have so much power behind them that they can sever a limb. If an artery is severed in the process, the need for immediate medical attention becomes that much more critical.
It is not unusual for victims of accidents that generate enough impact to break the windshield to suffer serious shock, especially if they experience a severe and bloody injury. Shock can hasten severe physical damage and can lead to death if immediate treatment isn’t obtained. Milder shock can mask the pain and symptoms of less obvious injuries and cause the victim to wait longer than prudent before seeking medical attention.
Other Kinds of Injuries
The impact of a windshield breaking can also lead to injuries that don’t involve cuts or lacerations. For example, consider the following injuries that are common to nearly every kind of car accident:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – Because traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect the brain, severe injuries can have unpredictable consequences. Many victims of these life-threatening injuries suffer immense emotional consequences that can be especially painful to endure.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – A spinal cord injury can happen anywhere on the spinal cord. Even a relatively minor version of this injury can lead to chronic pain and a considerable decrease in range of motion.
- Broken Bones – The impact of car accidents leaves car occupants extremely vulnerable to broken bones, especially painful injuries that are also slow to heal. When it doesn’t heal correctly, a break can lead to long-term complications, such as chronic pain and a significant decrease in range of motion. More complicated breaks can require multiple surgeries and ongoing care.
In addition to property damage to your vehicle (which is almost certainly the least of your concerns), your physical, financial, and emotional damages are likely to be immense.
Your Medical Bills
You’ve suffered a broken windshield injury, and you may feel as if your medical bills are never going to end. The truth is that serious injuries often lead to secondary health concerns and are closely associated with ongoing medical costs. The medical expenses you’re looking at can include all of the following:
- Emergency treatment and care and emergency transportation
- Surgical care and follow-up care
- Hospital stays
- Medical testing
- Treatment and care from doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
- Intensive pain management
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Adaptive physical devices
- Home health care
Your Loss in Income
While you are out of work recovering from your physical injuries, you are very likely to experience a decrease in your earnings, but it can go well beyond this. If your ability to do your job has been affected, it can mean a permanent decrease in earnings and even earning potential. And if your injuries are very serious, it can mean the end of your career altogether. Our careers are often so integral to our sense of self that a loss of this magnitude can have a strong emotional component.
Your Pain and Suffering
Because the pain and suffering you experience resulting from a car accident that leads to a broken window injury can be emotionally debilitating, it is essential to ensure that these damages are well represented in your car accident claim. Victims of severe broken windshield injuries share that the emotional consequences are often severe and can include symptoms such as:
- Increased anxiety and anxiety attacks
- Emotional lability
- Severe mood swings
- Changes in personality
- A tendency to self-isolate and push others away
- Depressive episodes
- Crying jags
- Sleep disturbances, including nightmares
- Accident flashbacks
Next Steps After a Car Accident
If you’ve suffered a broken windshield injury, it’s a serious matter, and the first order of business is obtaining the medical attention that you need immediately. Following the course of treatment prescribed by your doctor and all other medical instructions is also critical. In addition to taking care of your medical needs, however, it’s also essential to address your car accident claim. The best way to do this is by first consulting with a dedicated South Carolina car crash attorney – who will tend to the critical matter of compiling your most substantial claim. In contrast, you tend to the crucial matter of regaining your strength and health. A couple of points to keep in mind include:
- While the insurance company may request that you provide it with a statement about your accident, there is no legal requirement that you do so, and this is a job that is best left to your car accident attorney.
- Refraining from posting on or otherwise engaging with social media while your claim is pending is a good idea. The insurance company is hoping that you’ll write something that it can translate into something detrimental to your claim – and you can rest assured that they are watching (and waiting).
Fault and Your Accident
Many drivers who are in serious accidents blame themselves (regardless of whether or not they are at fault legally), and while this is human nature, doing so doesn’t do you or your claim a bit of good. Further, the car insurance company is happy to fuel your sense of fault and would be perfectly willing to shift fault in the matter away from their client (the negligent motorist in your case) and toward you. Trust your knowledgeable car accident lawyer to determine fault in the matter and move forward accordingly.
Finally, even if you do share some of the fault for the accident that leaves you with a broken windshield injury, you retain the legal right to pursue just compensation for the percentage of your damages that the other driver is responsible for (as long as you aren’t more than 50 percent responsible).
The answers to some of the questions that accident victims frequently ask can help.
How much compensation will I receive?
There is no way to know how much compensation you will ultimately receive in terms of a settlement or a court award from a car accident. This is because your claim is not exactly like anyone else’s, and the unique circumstances will guide your compensation.
Will I have to go to court for my car accident?
While going to court in pursuit of just compensation may seem like a stressor that you can live without, the truth of the matter is that your car accident claim is very likely to settle out of court (most do). If, however, the insurance company refuses to enter into fair negotiations, your car accident lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit. Still, they will make sure that you are well prepared before you go to court. Further, merely filing a suit against the insurance company may motivate them to change their position on the matter.
Is there a time limit involved?
Yes, in South Carolina, the statute of limitations (or time limit) for filing a car accident suit is generally three years from the date of the accident.
Hire an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
The experienced car accident attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices in South Carolina are well prepared and well-positioned to help you. Please don’t wait to contact or call us at 843-733-7662 today to schedule your free case evaluation.