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Because of the rigor of civil cases, documenting injuries in the Toledo head-on collision case was not only beneficial but necessary. With the help of an experienced attorney, victims could rest assured that an attorney could stand by them. Attorneys who have experience handling cases like these could use that experience to work toward a favorable in our out-of-court result.
An injury could have a lot of different definitions in the context of a civil case like this. Generally, an injury is some harm that was done to the victim, my client, because of the accident. These are often physical injuries, like the client’s severe broken bones. They also could involve emotional injuries like anxiety or depression, as well as things like pain and suffering associated with the injuries and treatment.
My client did not have specific emotional injuries in the sense that she did not go and seek counseling as some clients do after an accident. Generally, there is an emotional suffering component involved in a lot of these cases, and there was for her. She wound up having three different surgeries on her ankle. The last one was a fusion surgery. She is 31, and because of the fusion surgery to correct the fracture, she lost all flexibility in her right ankle for the rest of her life.
Knowing that she has lost that and the impact that has on her daily life, like recreational and work activities, it takes a significant emotional toll on her. Regardless of whether it is a specific diagnosis, it has been a life-changing event for her. Fortunately, documenting the injuries in the Toledo head-on collision case was easy because of the medical professionals’ thorough documentation.
She went to the emergency room immediately after the accident. She was transported there by an ambulance. Initially, the doctors played a role in diagnosing her fractures. They stabilized everything to determine the extent of the fractures and the best way to follow through. They did the surgeries, and she kept following up with physical therapy. As her pain and range-of-motion difficulties were continuing, doctors helped her later on to figure out what her options were as far as how she could get the best result for her ankle going forward.
Unfortunately, it was a situation where the doctor determined that the best result for her was that fusion surgery, which she elected for. It helped her pain levels, but she had limitations because of it. As time moved forward in the case and the attorney was trying to figure out how to potentially resolve the case and determine what the future implications might be, her surgeon who performed the fusion surgery was able to look at her case history and her medical history. He determined, in his medical opinion, that she would suffer permanent injuries as a result of this car crash and that those would impact her in a variety of ways for the rest of her life. He also was able to talk about the fact that it was likely she would have early onset arthritis in her ankle because of this, which would require additional treatment in the future.
The injuries were documented for legal purposes. The x-ray imaging was clear and useful. All of the radiology imaging showed the fractures. The other way that the injuries were documented was by taking photos of her scars. She had external fixators for a period of time, so there were photos of the hardware on her leg. All of that helped build up the documentation of what her injuries were.
In this case, the aspect of trauma stemmed from what the client was dealing with during and after the injury. She had a significant impact between the vehicles and lost consciousness. She has the fear of waking up in the back of the ambulance, and excruciating pain from the fracture. She has this injury where she is unable to be weight-bearing for a period of time, and then a prolonged recovery with multiple surgeries that were weeks and even another year down the road. All of that combined with the effect that it was having on her life added up to a great deal of trauma that she was dealing with.