What Are The Commonly Occurring Injuries In A Car Accident?

Accidents are a part of human life. Mistakes can happen at any time and can occasionally lead to disastrous results. This is perhaps most evident during car accidents. People drive cars every day, so much so that for some it becomes second nature. Despite that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over three million people get injured due to car collisions each year, making it one of the largest contributors to personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims in the country today.

Each accident is different from each other and has a unique set of circumstances that can lead to a host of diverse injuries. In an accident, some people can sustain injuries such as traumatic brain injury or eye injuries. The various injuries caused by a car crash can depend on a variety of factors, including the speed of the car, the angle at which the collision took place, the position of the people sitting in the car, as well as the mechanical and physical condition of the car.

Injuries caused by car accidents can usually be divided in to two distinct types: Impact Injuries and Penetrating Injuries. The former deals with injuries caused when the bodies of the car occupant collide with the inside of the car due to the impact of the crash. The latter refers to the damage caused when flying sharp objects inside the car manage to hit the occupants so hard that they leave cuts or gashes in their body.

Even though most injuries differ from one another, here are some of the most common ones found in car accidents around the world:

Head Injury – An unexpected stop in motion, or a sudden change in movement, especially at high speeds, can cause the car occupant’s head to either hit the dashboard or steering wheel, or even the side window, causing severe damage. This can lead to traumatic brain injuries, concussions and can cause lasting harm to a person’s memory and motor control.

Neck & Back Injury – The sudden impact felt by the body during a car accident can have a detrimental effect on a person’s back or neck. It can result in a “Whiplash” injury which occurs when the neck or back snaps forward and back, in quick succession, leading to a strain on the muscles and tendons. This can lead to a soft tissue injury, back spasms, cervical radiculopathy and even fractures.

Arm & Leg Injury – The sudden impact of a car accident can cause the car’s occupants to be thrown around like rag dolls. Sometimes, this can cause their arms to hit the side mirrors, or their legs to come in contact with the dashboard, steering wheel or the front seat. In each case, lasting damage might be possible including sprains, bruises and even breaks.

Psychological Injury – While physical injuries are usually the most pressing matter when car accidents occur, they can also have lasting psychological effects on the person involved in the crash. It can cause them emotional distress, as well as lead to more serious psychological disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

If you have been in a car accident, contact an auto accident injury lawyer right away to get the compensation you deserve.

Nursing Home Negligence

Falls in Nursing Homes

Litigators who work with cases involving long term care know how significant the issue of falls can be. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death by injury in adults over 65. Approximately half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. fall each year, and a report by the Office of the Inspector General found that about 10% of Medicare skilled nursing residents experience a fall resulting in significant injury; and, more than 1/3 of hospital falls result in injury. In the rehab setting, rates are often higher – for example, fall rates among stroke patients have been shown to be very high. Immobility and falls can lead to poor outcomes.

Fear of falling is defined as a geriatric syndrome. It not only occurs in older adults who have fallen, but in those with impaired mobility and is associated with decreased physical ability and depression. Care of older adults requires that clinicians be aware of the myriad of issues related to falls including knowledge of this syndrome, increased risk and interventions needed to prevent injury related to falls.

Just about every resident in a long term care setting, including assisted living and sub-acute rehab, is at risk for falling. Between medications, functional and medical issues and advancing age, older adults in most settings are prone to falling.

There are well established standards of care related to fall prevention; but, as I continue to review records related to issues like falls, I am amazed at how often these basic standards are not being practiced. The basics of a fall prevention program include assessment and ongoing reassessment of risk, ensuring a safe environment, medication review, providing therapy as needed, individualized interventions, and staff education.

Basic nursing practice includes assessment, planning (Care plan), putting interventions in place and then evaluating outcomes to determine if those interventions are appropriate and effective. Assessment includes completing fall risk assessments on admission and then as needed. Very often, the fall risk assessments completed by nurses in LTC are inaccurate. The tools utilized in long term care typically include these risk factors: history of falling, use of ambulatory aids, gait/balance issues, medications, secondary diagnoses (i.e. diabetes) and mental status. Care planning is the next step in nursing care - it is the standard of care that as the resident’s status changes, assessments and care plans must be updated, and often, are not. For example, with each fall, there should be updates, or if there is a new diagnosis, i.e. stroke, or worsening dementia, updated interventions should be put into place, with ongoing evaluation of effectiveness.

Care planning and interventions very often are generic and not individualized. For example, a toileting schedule that includes only after meals and before bedtime may not be appropriate. If a resident has issues with constipation or incontinence, this may lead to the need for more frequent toileting to prevent falls. The “make certain call bell is within reach” for residents with dementia is an example of a generic intervention. Older adults with dementia may not recognize a call bell or remember to use it. The debate about use of bed and chair alarms go on – they are a part of an individualized care plan, not a solution to preventing falls. Often, I see delays in putting interventions in place, i.e. with the resident who is incontinent NOT being put on a toileting plan immediately. The other common issue I see when reviewing records is the lack of updating care plans as the resident’s status changes – with every fall, with worsening dementia, physical decline, or new medical diagnosis (i.e. Parkinsonism).

Nurses reviewing records need to pay attention to the MDS, risk assessments, care plans and Interdisciplinary notes with attention to where the standard of care is not being met.
... See MoreSee Less

7 days ago  ·  

View on Facebook