An accident is described as an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. However, some suggest that the word accident should be replaced by something like crash or collision because so many injuries and deaths on roads in Louisiana and other states are caused by driver negligence and not by accident. Deaths and disabling injuries caused by automobile crashes surpass any other causes by far.
It is not uncommon for occupants of cars to suffer whiplash in the event of a crash. While victims often think they have suffered no injuries purely because they don’t see blood or broken bones, neck and back injuries sometimes remain unnoticed for months or even years. These injuries are especially prevalent in rear-end collisions and can cause injury to the thoracic, cervical or lumbar spine. During a study of 137 victims of road collisions who went to the hospital after the incident, only 42 said they suffered pain immediately after the crash and 85 developed the pain later.
While occupants of cars are at risk in the events of collisions, motorcyclists are even more vulnerable and their injuries often lead to temporary or permanent disability. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said about 2,500 motorcycle riders or their passengers die on roads nationwide every year. That report did not indicate the number of victims suffering disabling injuries.
Back and neck injuries can adversely affect a person’s quality of life and should not be disregarded after a collision. In Louisiana, any person who suffered personal injury as the result of another party’s negligence may pursue financial relief by filing a civil claim against that person. However, the statute of limitations requires such a filing to be made within one year of the date of the incident. Even if an injury presents months after a collision, a victim retains the right to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the viability of a civil lawsuit.