No Room at the Inn: The Struggle to Find Hospital Beds Following Car Crashes

by | Jan 14, 2021 | Car Accidents, Injuries

Emergency responders rushed four victims to three different hospitals following a serious wreck on the AA Highway’s Grayson Spur.

According to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, when a white pickup truck tried to turn left toward Vanceburg, it hit an eastbound van. The force of the collision propelled the van through dividers and into another truck. Two victims were airlifted to an area hospital. Two other victims travelled to area hospitals via ambulance. Due to the magnitude of the crash, several law enforcement agencies responded to it.

Observers speculate that a lack of ER beds due to the coronavirus outbreak might have made it hard for emergency responders to find a place to transport victims.

Diagnosing Car Crash Injuries

Head and neck wounds are among the most common, and most severe, car crash injuries. These wounds are also very difficult to diagnose.

The brain conceals its own injuries. So, many car crash victims do not realize how badly they are hurt. Moreover, many head injury victims do not experience signature symptoms, such as vomiting and unconsciousness. As a result, many victims do not tell their doctors how much they hurt. And, many physicians misdiagnose collision-related head injury symptoms, like confusion, as shock from the accident.

The motion in a car crash, as opposed to the trauma itself, often causes a head injury. This same violent back-and-forth motion also causes whiplash. When the head snaps back and forth, the brain slams against the inside of the skull and the nerves in the neck almost snap. Similarly, when the neck snaps back and forth, the nerves often severe. So, in many cases, whiplash can cause paralysis.

Whiplash injuries do not appear on MRIs, X-rays, and other diagnostic tests. Therefore, it’s very important for victims to see doctors who focus on collision injuries. Otherwise, these victims might not get the treatment they need.

Treating Car Crash Injuries

In neck/head injury cases, the hospital bills often exceed $100,000. Most of these victims do not spend a few days at the hospital then go home. The recovery process often takes months or years.

If properly diagnosed, whiplash is curable, but these treatments are rather expensive. Head injuries are even more expensive. These wounds themselves are permanent. When brain cells die, they never regenerate. However, a combination of surgery and physical therapy can ease head injury symptoms. 

Brain surgery sounds expensive and difficult, and it is expensive and difficult. Usually, surgeons drill tiny holes in the skull, so the swollen brain does not press against the skull and cause further damage.

Brain injury physical therapy is more important than surgery, at least in most cases. But this therapy is much different from broken bone and other types of therapy. Most therapists must strengthen muscles or restore range of motion. But brain injury therapists must train uninjured areas of the brain to assume lost functions. This process is long, and progress comes in fits and starts.

Some cutting edge treatments are available as well. For example, MDMA (ecstasy) effectively treats Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in some victims. 

Incidentally, PTSD is a physical injury, just like any other head injury. Extreme stress creates a chemical imbalance in the brain, causing victims to experience symptoms like hypervigilance, depression, sudden anger outbursts, and flashbacks.

Obtaining Compensation for Car Crash Injuries

For the most part, car crash victims do not need to worry about money straightaway. A Lexington personal injury attorney arranges for medical providers to defer billing until the case is resolved. As a bonus, an attorney can usually lower the amount due. As a result, victims might get to keep more of their settlement money.

So, the bill comes due eventually. Therefore, it’s very important to obtain maximum compensation in court.

There are two basic theories in car crash cases. Ordinary negligence is a lack of care, and negligence per se is a violation of a safety law. Speeding, drowsy driving, making an illegal turn, drunk driving, and most other car crash causes usually involve some kind of negligence.

Theoretical liability is not enough. Victim/plaintiffs must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Evidence in car crash claims includes the police accident report, witness statements, and medical bills.

Damages in a vehicle collision claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Car crash victims need money to put their lives back together. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act.