Because of the way that the body is built, the most common location
of an injury to the occupant of a motor vehicle involved in a collision
the cervical spine (neck). The second most common location of an injury
is the lumbar spine (lower back). The extent of these injuries can
range from a minor strain/sprain that takes six weeks to recover from,
to a herniated disc with nerve root involvement requiring surgical
intervention. Closed head injuries to the brain (concussion) would be
the third most common injury. They have their own unique issues.
To be compensable, an injury must be documented. Most often, the injury
is shown by objective evidence like open wounds and/or a fracture or
other orthopedic injury shown in x-ray or other radiographic images.
What becomes critical is when and how that injury is documented.
Treatment at the scene
Insurance companies aren’t going to believe somebody if injuries are
alleged and there’s no medical documentation of that injury.
Documentation begins at the scene with the medical records of
paramedics. Attending paramedics will document each and every sign of
injury to the victim of an accident. A written record is made of any
open wounds, abrasions or bruising from the time paramedics arrive at an
accident scene until the time the victim is turned over to emergency
room personnel. That’s why it’s critical that a person injured in a
motor vehicle collision insist on treatment at the scene and transport
to the closest emergency room. This is particularly important with
children and the elderly.
At the emergency room, the paramedics will advise attending personnel of
their findings from the scene and in transport. The injured person is
again interviewed at the emergency room. It’s critical that emergency
room personnel be advised of each and every complaint of pain and
discomfort from head to toe, so that all such complaints are documented
in the emergency room medical records.
Follow up care
After discharge from the emergency room or hospital admission, the
injured person must follow up with any recommended care or treatment.
Not only does this help the person physically, it also continues to
document their injuries. Missed appointments are frowned upon by both
insurers and jurors. All appointments must be attended. Medical
records will be kept throughout the course of care and treatment.
Both the attorneys and the adverse insurer will be relying on medical
records to document the nature and extent of a person’s injuries. From
immediate care at the accident scene through all follow up care, all
injuries must be fully documented.
Of you have been in a crash in St. Petersburg Florida and have questions about what is the best course of action, contact the Lawyers of Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh and we will be happy to answer your questions. For more information visit: http://www.getmejustice.com/st-petersburg