Understand your right to compensation after suffering an acute injury in Miami.
In a vibrant city like Miami, where life moves at a fast pace, accidents and injuries can occur unexpectedly, significantly impacting your daily life. Whether you slip and fall at a store or get injured while cruising in a car or boat, acute injuries demand immediate attention and often bring with them a host of questions and concerns.
As a Miami-based personal injury attorney, my goal is to provide you with essential information on the nature of acute injuries, the importance of timely medical and legal response, and the pathways to recovery and compensation.
If you have further questions after reading this article or need help filing a claim, reach out to Miami accident attorney Mike Redondo at Redondo Law to schedule a free consultation.
What is an acute injury?
An acute injury refers to a type of injury that occurs suddenly, typically due to a specific trauma or impact. This contrasts with chronic injuries, which develop over time due to repetitive stress or overuse. Acute injuries are often characterized by sudden, sharp pain and can include a variety of conditions.
What is an example of an acute injury?
Acute injuries can occur anywhere on the body and encompass a wide range of injuries. Some common types of acute injuries include:
- Fractures. Broken bones can range from simple fractures that may need a cast or splint to complex ones requiring surgical intervention. Common sites for fractures include the arms, legs and ribs.
- Whiplash. This is a neck injury due to rapid back-and-forth movement, typically occurring in rear-end car accidents.
- Road rash. This is a serious skin abrasion resulting from sliding across the pavement, commonly seen in motorcycle or bicycle accidents.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Caused by blows to the head, often seen in vehicle accidents, sports and falls. Symptoms can include headaches, confusion, dizziness and, in severe cases, loss of consciousness.
- Spinal cord injuries. These injuries can range from a loss of sensation to a complete loss of function below the level of the injury, potentially leading to paralysis.
- Internal injuries. Injuries such as internal bleeding or damage to internal organs often result from high-impact accidents like vehicle crashes or falls from heights.
- Burns. These injuries to the skin can be caused by heat, chemicals, electricity or radiation. Burns are classified by their depth, area and severity, with more serious burns requiring specialized treatment.
- Dislocations. This occurs when bones in a joint become displaced or misaligned, often accompanied by damage to the surrounding ligaments. Commonly affected areas include the shoulders, knees, and fingers.
- Cuts and lacerations. These injuries involve breaks in the skin and can vary from minor cuts to deep wounds that might require stitches or surgical repair, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Sprains and strains. These are injuries to ligaments and muscles or tendons, respectively. Sprains often occur in joints like the ankle or wrist, while strains commonly affect areas like the back or hamstring.
Each of these injuries requires appropriate medical attention, and the treatment varies based on the type and severity of the injury. While some acute injuries can be managed with first aid and rest, others might necessitate more extensive medical intervention, including surgery, rehabilitation or long-term care.
Is acute injury serious?
Acute injuries can range from minor injuries that heal quickly to catastrophic injuries that have life-long consequences. While minor injuries, such as small cuts or mild sprains, often resolve with proper first aid and rest, other types of acute injuries demand greater concern.
For instance, head injuries or internal organ damage might appear trivial initially but can escalate in severity due to risks like internal bleeding. Additionally, injuries to the face, even if they seem minor, can result in severe scarring and disfigurement, potentially leading to profound emotional and psychological impacts for the victim.
What causes acute injuries?
Acute injuries can occur from a variety of accidents, with the most common being vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. The impact of these types of accidents often results in serious acute injuries, like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, that require extensive medical care and long-term treatment.
Other common causes of acute injuries include:
- Slips, trips, and falls. These can happen anywhere, from homes to public spaces like parking lots or restaurants, leading to sprains, fractures and brain injuries.
- Defective products. Malfunctioning products like defective appliances or electronics can lead to electrical injuries or scald burns.
- Dog bites. Dog attacks can lead to acute injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations and, in severe cases, broken bones or nerve damage. These injuries not only require immediate medical care to address the wound itself but also to prevent infections and assess for any deeper tissue damage.
- Boating accidents. Injuries from boating accidents, including collisions, falls overboard, or accidents related to water skiing and other water sports, often result in acute injuries like concussions, drowning-related injuries or fractures.
- Assaults and violent encounters. Physical altercations can result in various acute injuries, like cuts, bruises, broken bones, eye injuries and head trauma.
- Playground accidents. Children often experience acute injuries like fractures or concussions from falls or collisions on playgrounds.
- Sports and recreation injuries. Activities like football, basketball, running, or cycling can lead to acute injuries, including sprains, strains, joint injuries and broken bones.
Can an acute injury become chronic?
Yes, an acute injury can become chronic if it’s not properly treated or allowed sufficient time to heal. This transition can occur due to several reasons:
- Inadequate healing. If an acute injury, like a sprain or fracture, doesn’t heal properly or is subjected to stress before complete recovery, it can lead to ongoing pain and dysfunction, becoming a chronic condition.
- Repeated injury. Re-injuring the same body part can turn what was initially an acute injury into a chronic issue, as repeated trauma can cause cumulative damage.
- Poor rehabilitation. Lack of appropriate rehabilitation after an acute injury, such as not following through with physical therapy or exercises, can result in weakened muscles or joints, making them more prone to chronic pain or repeated injury.
- Inadequate medical care. In some cases, insufficient or inappropriate medical treatment following an acute injury can hinder proper healing, leading to chronic issues. This includes delays in treatment, misdiagnosis or inadequate management of the injury.
- Medical complications. Acute injuries can sometimes lead to complications such as infections, blood clots, or scar tissue formation, which can prolong the healing process and contribute to the development of chronic conditions.
- Underlying issues. Sometimes, an acute injury can uncover or exacerbate underlying issues that may lead to chronic pain or conditions, such as arthritis or tendonitis.
- Persistent inflammation. Acute injuries involve inflammation, which is part of the healing process. However, if this inflammation persists and is not managed effectively, it can lead to chronic pain and other health problems.
It is important to treat acute injuries properly, follow medical advice for rehabilitation, and allow sufficient time for healing to prevent them from becoming chronic.
Can I file a lawsuit for an acute injury?
Generally speaking, if your acute injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional action, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Common scenarios where this applies in Florida include vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents on poorly maintained property, and injuries from defective products.
To pursue a lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate the following:
- The other party had a duty of care to act in a manner that didn’t put others at harm.
- They breached that duty.
- The breach directly caused your injury and resulted in economic and/or noneconomic damages like medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Gathering evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and documentation of the incident, is crucial to proving negligence.
It’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who can assess the specifics of your case, advise you on the likelihood of success, and guide you through the legal process. Lawsuits must also be filed within a specific timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, which varies by jurisdiction and type of injury. An attorney can help ensure that you meet all legal requirements and deadlines.
Get help from an experienced Miami accident attorney
If you’ve suffered a serious acute injury in South Florida because of someone else’s carelessness, don’t wait to get the help and legal advice you deserve. Experienced Miami personal injury attorney Mike Redondo at Redondo Law can investigate your case, help gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Redondo Law offers free initial consultations to answer your questions and help determine if you have legal grounds to file a lawsuit, so get started today by filling out the form below to schedule your appointment.