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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Bozeman Personal Injury Blog

The MHP reports the latest statistics for fatal crashes

The Montana Highway Patrol put out statistics regularly, many of which can help drivers make better decisions and remain informed about how others are driving around them. This year, the MHP released information showing that both July and August are the deadliest months to be a driver in the state.

In 2019, 49 people died in July and August as a result of traffic collisions. The MHP patrol sergeant reported that there have been 85 traffic collision fatalities so far in 2020, which is expected to increase significantly when the data from the July 4 weekend comes in. Additionally, around 60% of all fatal crashes in the state do involve alcohol or drug impairment.

Is it possible to heal from a spinal cord injury?

When you found out that you'd suffered a spinal cord injury in the collision, you weren't surprised. You knew that you were having weakness and that your lower body didn't hurt as much as you thought it should.

At the hospital, you were told that you had an incomplete spinal injury, so you should still retain some feeling. The doctors made it clear that the goal was to help you regain as much function as possible. That left you with questions since it was always your belief that a spinal cord injury would be permanent.

You could have a brain injury even without impacting your head

You probably know that a brain injury can happen if you hit your head, but did you know that it could happen even if you don't? Brain injuries can happen when the brain impacts the inside of the skull, even if the skull isn't impacted from the outside.

Here's an example. If you're riding in your car and are hit from behind, your head may whip forward or twist suddenly. The brain could then hit the inside of the skull or twist in a way that tears ligaments or tissues.

Will you develop post-traumatic stress disorder after a crash?

Getting into a car crash is difficult for anyone, but when you suffer a life-changing and debilitating injury, your entire world is turned upside down. When you were hit by a semitruck, the force was so intense that you ended up breaking bones in your face upon impact with the airbag. You have a moderate concussion and damage to your spinal cord as well.

With such catastrophic injuries, it's no wonder that you're struggling. After a serious injury, developing anxiety or depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other conditions isn't uncommon.

Occupational therapy may need to be included in your settlement

When you woke up in the hospital, you felt groggy and a little disconnected. You had someone come to explain to you that you'd been involved in a traffic accident. The next several days were a blur as you went through various tests and slowly started to recover.

When you suffer a traumatic brain injury, it could have lasting effects. That's why many patients need to go through ongoing occupational therapy once their injury is stable enough for them to return home. In some cases, you may even start occupational therapy while you're still in the hospital.

Self-driving vehicles won't eliminate all car accidents

Like many others, you may have concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicles. With many car companies racing to be the first to have their autonomous vehicles ready for consumer use, it is likely you will be sharing the road with a vehicle that is driving itself in the near future. You may not know how these types of cars work, whether they are safe and whether this type of technology is truly necessary. 

Automakers and experts claim self-driving cars will be safer. With a majority of vehicle collisions happening because of preventable human error, one could see how a smart computer system could correct course, prevent crashes and help drivers get from place to place safely. However, studies show that they may not help prevent up to two-thirds of all car accidents.

Living with a new back injury? Here's what to know

You didn't expect to end up in the hospital today. You were riding your motorcycle on a nearly empty roadway. What could go wrong?

People rarely think that they'll be the ones who get hurt until it happens. In your case, a driver was backing out of a driveway and went straight into your path. It was an accident, but you have a back injury as a result.

Not all brain injuries are recoverable

Brain injuries can be both moderate and severe. Some symptoms can last for shorter or longer periods. How long they linger varies depending on the nature of the injury. These symptoms can severely impact an individual's quality of life. One of the most common types of brain injuries is a concussion. They can be both severe and mild.

It's often difficult for doctors to assess a patient's long-term prognosis when their injury occurs. The brain initially attempts to restore or repair damaged areas with some levels of success. One-third of brain injury patients return to some degree of normalcy within six months following their injury. The road is much less uncertain for others.

Recalls: Make sure you get your repairs

You enjoy driving, but before you get behind the wheel, it's a good time to talk about product liability and safety recalls. Recently, both the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition were recalled as a result of having faulty automatic braking systems.

The vehicles were found to have a software error that would mean that one of its vital safety systems couldn't operate correctly. In this case, the Pre-Collision Assist, a major selling point for these vehicles, could be totally inoperable. The Pre-Collision Assist programs are designed to alert drivers about potential impacts and to take steps to minimize the severity of one.

How does the level of a spinal injury affect you?

When you look at the anatomy of the spine, you'll see that there are four sections: thoracic, lumbar, cervical and sacral. Each of these is designed to protect certain parts of the spinal cord.

When you suffer a spinal injury, you'll be told which of those four areas was injured as well as the discs that may have been involved. For example, cervical injuries may be labeled as C1 through C4 injures. A thoracic injury could be labeled T5 through T8.

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