Getting into a car accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience. Under the best of circumstances, the accident is a minor fender bender and the victims involved are able to walk away with only a few cuts and scrapes. However, more severe accidents can cause life-threatening injuries and fatalities, including catastrophic traumatic brain injuries. Pin-in accidents are particularly devastating. In addition to the potential injuries that the vehicle occupants may have suffered in these accidents, victims are often trapped inside the wreckage.
Oftentimes, heavy equipment like the “Jaws of Life” are necessary to safely remove the victims from the vehicle. Pin-in accidents are often caused by other motorists who are driving carelessly or recklessly.
Why Are the Jaws of Life Necessary in Pin-in Accidents?
The Jaws of Life are used by fire-fighters, rescue teams, and other first responders to safely remove motorists who are trapped in their vehicles after pin-in accidents. The term “Jaws of Life” refers to a number of piston-rod hydraulic tools, including cutters, spreaders, and rams that can quickly pry open vehicles, allowing them to remove the motorists and provide immediate medical assistance.
Other tools like saws, axes, and crowbars are not nearly as effective as the Jaws of Life, and they can put the trapped motorist in even more danger if something goes wrong. Due to the devastating nature of pin-in accidents and the injuries they can cause, every second counts when it comes to safely removing the victims from their vehicles. The Jaws of Life can help emergency responders pry open the vehicles as quickly and as safely as possible, often saving the lives of the people trapped inside.
What Types of Injuries do Pin-in Accidents Cause?
The extreme force involved in pin-in accidents can cause vehicles to spin out of control before crashing into other cars or a large objects, like trees, medians, or light posts. Despite the fact that modern cars are safer than ever thanks to airbags, accident avoidance systems, lane departure warnings, and other advanced safety features, a high-speed collision with another car or truck can cause a devastating accident involving severe injuries and fatalities. Once safely removed from the vehicle, it is crucial that the victims receive immediate medical attention. The following are examples of common injuries associated with serious collisions, including pin-in accidents:
- Broken bones: The sudden and extreme impact of a pin-in accident can result in broken bones, including ribs, legs, ankles, arms, and wrists. In extreme cases, a victim may suffer a compound fracture where the broken bone pierces the skin. Treatments for broken bones include wearing a cast, which allows the bone to set correctly and heal, and rest. Depending on the location and the severity of the break, physical therapy may be necessary to rebuild strength in the affected area and regain complete range of motion.
- Concussions: This is a common pin-in car accident injury due to the extreme force of impact. When a car accident victim hits his or her head on the dashboard, the windshield, or any other hard surface inside the vehicle, can easily cause a concussion. Common signs of a concussion include dizziness, nausea, ringing in the ears, confusion, insomnia, headaches, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. Car accident victims should always seek medical treatment following an accident, but particularly if they suffered any head injuries.
- Internal injuries: Since there is extreme impact in a pin-in accident, internal injuries are quite common. When flying debris hits the occupants of the vehicle, or the motorist slams into the steering wheel or the windshield, it can cause organ damage and internal bleeding. These types of injuries must be treated as soon as possible or they can become life-threatening. In extreme cases, these injuries can even be fatal. It is crucial that the victims are removed from the vehicle as soon as possible. This may require first responders to use the Jaws of Life if the victims are trapped in the car and emergency medical technicians are unable to remove them from the wreckage.
- Spinal cord Injuries: This is another common injury associated with car accidents, including pin-in accidents. When the body is thrown in different directions, it can cause a range of injuries to the spine. Depending on the severity of the injuries, victims may experience pain, tingling, decreased range of motion, or paralysis that may be temporary or permanent. More serious pin-in crashes can cause paraplegia, which is the loss of muscle function from the waist down, or quadriplegia, which is the loss of muscle function from the neck down.
Additionally, pin-in car accident victims are prone to suffering traumatic brain injuries. Many TBI symptoms overlap with concussion symptoms, but the following are symptoms of a severe TBI:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of coordination
- Persistent headache
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilated pupils
- Vomiting or nausea
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Extreme confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Significant behavior changes
Many of these injuries, including spinal injuries and TBIs, often require ongoing medical treatment, like physical therapy. In more extreme cases, the injury may prevent the victim from being able to return to work. If he or she suffered a serious spinal cord injury or a debilitating TBI, he or she may require long-term care.
The loss of income is physically, emotionally, and financially devastating, particularly if the victim’s insurance policy does not cover some of the costs associated with the accident. A skilled and compassionate car accident lawyer understands how difficult this can be for the victims and their loved ones, and will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial settlement possible.
How do I Hold Another Motorist Liable for Injuries?
In most cases, pin-in car accidents are caused by negligent motorists. Examples of negligent behavior include speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and driving recklessly or aggressively. A car accident victim who was injured in a pin-in collision must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent, and that the negligent driver breached his or her duty of care. For example, if the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, he or she would be considered negligent.
The victim must also prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident, which resulted in the victim being seriously injured. Obtaining a police report is one of the most effective ways to prove negligence. It is also extremely helpful to get eyewitness accounts from anyone who may have seen the accident happen. It is also highly recommended that the victims take pictures of the accident scene if he or she is physically able to do so. Additionally, medical records and doctor statements provide key information about the extent of the injuries and the treatment necessary for recovery.
What Steps do I Take to Collect Compensation?
Pin-in car accident victims are often eligible for compensation for medical bills related to the crash, property damage, lost wages, and lost or reduced earning capacity as a result of the crash. In addition, car accident victims may pursue additional compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
In the event of a tragic fatality, the surviving family members may seek monetary damages for wrongful death. This may provide the deceased’s loved ones with the financial compensation that the victim would have been eligible for if he or she had survived the accident. This would include outstanding medical expenses, loss of consortium, and funeral costs. Experienced car accident lawyers will guide clients through every step of the claims process and address all questions and concerns along the way.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Seek Maximum Compensation for Victims of Pin-in Accidents
If you suffer from car-related injuries, contact our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers immediately. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will hold the negligent party liable for the accident and ensure that your legal rights are protected. For a free consultation, call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.