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. When and how that injury is documented is often critical.
Treatment at the scene
Insurance companies aren't going to believe somebody if injuries are alleged and there is 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 is 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.