Driving an automobile is a task we perform on a daily basis without really putting much thought into it. The reality that we are behind the wheel of a piece of machinery weighing thousands of pounds and traveling at high rates of speed becomes almost an afterthought. While we consider ourselves good, safe drivers, we cannot control the actions of other motorists or pedestrians. And a single unplanned, tragic moment can change our lives forever.
An Ohio woman and her family found out how drastically life can change in an incident that The Washington Post called "A double tragedy." In the case, a woman, both a wife and mother, was traveling with her family when one of four teenaged vandals decided to throw a large rock at the car from an overpass. It smashed through the windshield, crushing her skull. She would lose and eye and suffer permanent brain damage. Despite numerous medical procedures, she was permanently and totally disabled, requiring 24-hour care. A few years later, her grief-stricken husband would take his own life. The children in this catastrophic series of events lost both of their parents. Everything changed for every single member of that family in an instant.
In cases such as the Ohio woman and her family, 24-hour care is necessary for a lifetime. Constant care inevitably affects the ability of other family members to work and earn a living. A family can be left financially and emotionally bereft. The tragedy of the Ohio family may seem like an extreme case. However, between 20 and 50 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents each year.
While the legal aspects may not be in the forefront of your mind after a crash, it's important to take the appropriate measures to ensure your health, safety and future well-being.
Involve The Police
Some accidents seem minor at the time. Maybe you feel like you just bumped your head and a little fender-bender can be handled without the authorities. However, head, neck and traumatic brain injuries can have significant health ramifications. Sometimes symptoms may not immediately show themselves. It's important to make a report.
Get Medical Treatment
Regardless of how well or poorly you feel, have a medical professional assess your health.
Document The Accident
Take pictures and record the statement you give to police. Keep track of what happened at the scene and expenses that arise from the accident. If the other party can convince others it was your fault, that could have could have a negative affect on you being properly compensated for your loss.
Talk To An Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it's important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and legal recourse. The implications of a serious or debilitating injury can have disastrous effects on the lives of victims and their families.
The fallout from a catastrophic car accident has deeper implications than just medical bills and lost wages. As you can see from the heart-breaking events of the Ohio family, these life-altering incidents can negatively affect many, if not all, aspects of your life and the lives of loved ones. It's important to work with an attorney who has experience dealing with serious and catastrophic personal injury matters. The attorneys at Atnip & Associates, PLLC, have 35 years of legal experience handling these types of cases.