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DELAWARE INJURY LAWYERS

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Category Archives: Catastrophic Injuries


The Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Passengers in an Accident .

Types of Injuries for Backseat Passengers

Although modern advancements have made the automobile much safer than in years past, recent studies have shown that in the event of a car accident, backseat passengers are more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries than front passengers. Although many injuries can be associated with the lack of wearing a seatbelt, there are several other reasons why backset passengers suffer worse injuries than front seat passengers.

According to studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the majority of those injured in the backseat are not wearing seatbelts. Furthermore, the most common injury for backseat passengers are chest injuries, followed by head injuries. In fatal accidents, those in the backseat suffer both chest and head injuries. Other injuries included:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken ribs, punctured lungs, and heart
  • Facial lacerations
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Internal organ bleeding

Why is the Backseat More Dangerous than the Front Seat?

Wearing your seatbelt is the easiest way to protect yourself from serious injury in a car crash. However, many automobile studies have found that most people fail to buckle up when riding in the back seat. The IIHS found that, although front passengers are 91 percent more likely to wear their seat belts, only 72 percent of back seat passengers do. Although the reason may never be truly known, experts point to a few possible reasons.

  • Older beliefs: People may believe that sitting in the rear seat is safer, thus the feeling there is no need to buckle up. But this is simply not true. The roomier surroundings tempt people to cram in unconventionally without wearing seat belts. People may believe that the further they are from the dashboard or windshield the safer they would be. However, in the event of an accident, being unsecured and not upright can cause much more damage.
  • Rideshare services: Many more people are using rideshare services now more than ever; although this keeps congestion down, it is problematic for the safety of their customers. Studies have shown that four out of five passengers who use ride services do not buckle up, either because they find it uncomfortable or do not think it is necessary if it is a short ride.
  • Older vehicles: Shoulder belts were not always required in the backseat of an automobile. Lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of serious injury and death by over 50 percent for outboard and middle seat passengers. Shoulder seat belts were only required in the middle back seat in 2007, while outboard seats required them in the early 90s.
  • Front seats have better safety technology: Modern technology has vastly improved the safety of the driver and front passenger, but not much has changed for rear seat passengers. Airbag and seatbelt technology have made vast improvements for front passengers but is virtually non-existent for rear passengers. Including crash test ratings; however, that is beginning to change, as car manufacturers are using virtual crash test data to develop airbags for rear seat passengers and better seat belt fit and tech.

Rear Seat Safety Tips

Next time you plan on travelling in the rear seat of a car or use a ridesharing service, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear your seat belt: It is important to remember to always buckle up, whether you are in a family member’s car or an Uber. Buckling up saves lives, even if it is not a three-point shoulder seat belt.
  • Sit in the middle: The middle seat is the safest in most vehicles, unless it only has a lap belt. Outer seat generally will have shoulder belts which are safer and will secure you better than the older lap belts.
  • Stay in your seat: Always stay in your seat, and do not lap on someone else or put too many people in the back seat. Doing so prevents a person from using a seat belt the correct way.
  • Secure objects: Any loose objects in the cabin area of a car can essentially injure you should an accident occur, so it is best to secure anything loose or keep them in the trunk or cargo area.

What Do I Do if I Am an Injured Passenger in a Car Accident?

If you are a passenger in a vehicle and find yourself in an accident, there are some steps to follow to ensure you are compensated for your injuries.

  • Get help: Your first priority is to make sure everyone involved is okay and safe, and contact 911 for medical assistance and for the police to come to the scene right away.
  • Gather information: Get the information of everyone involved, particularly both drivers and their contact and insurance information. Be sure to get a copy of the police report as well.
  • Gather evidence: Get evidence of the scene, such as detailed photos and videos. Get pictures of your injuries if possible.
  • See a doctor: If you did not go to the hospital or feel like you needed to get checked at the scene of the accident, it is best to seek medical attention anyway just to make sure everything is okay. Many injuries are masked by the adrenaline of a car accident and do not appear until well after, so you may not feel anything right away.
  • Keep records: Make sure to keep track of all your records, including any medical bills and treatment plans you may acquire during the process. You may also accumulate new household expenses because of an injury, or lost wages should you be out of work due to the accident, so be sure to keep all those records for a claim.

An accident claim can get complicated very quickly, especially if you were a passenger in an accident. You may have to file your claim with the driver of the vehicle you were in, or you may have to file your claim with another driver if they were at fault. The best thing you can do is to contact a reputable accident lawyer to help make the process easier and answer the questions you have.

The Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Passengers in an Accident

If you were a passenger in an accident and were injured by another’s negligence, then you must contact the Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow immediately. Our knowledgeable team has years of experience and will protect your rights and help you be compensated for your injuries. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight for Those Seriously Injured in Roundabout Accidents.

Are Roundabouts Safer and More Efficient?

Entering a roundabout can be a tense situation for some drivers, especially when they are in an unfamiliar area. Even though many road safety experts say that roundabouts are safe overall, car accidents can still happen when navigating through them. If you are unfamiliar with roundabouts, that is understandable because some states and regions have very few, if any. The United States has only recently been pushing to build more roundabouts, as opposed to traditional intersections controlled with stop lights.

Roundabouts are circular traffic flow patterns that reduce the number of conflict points, aid in traffic flow, and enhance road safety. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are 35 percent fewer accidents in roundabouts than intersections. This has led to a 90 percent decrease in fatalities and a 75 percent decrease in injuries nationwide. Over the last decade, the state of Delaware has been advocating for the use of more roundabouts versus intersections.

Roundabouts are cheaper to build, safer, and improve traffic flow, according to some road safety experts. What makes roundabouts safer, overall, than a traditional intersection is the number of conflict areas in each roundabout. A conflict area is an area where two vehicles could collide. A four-way intersection has 32 conflict areas, whereas a roundabout has only eight. The fact that there are way fewer points where vehicles could impact greatly reduces the likelihood of car accidents.

Also, given the fact that there is rarely the need to stop, rear-end collisions are also reduced in roundabouts. Crashes in roundabouts are typically minor fender-benders because most of the time vehicles have to naturally slow down when entering roundabouts. Less violent collisions means less catastrophic injuries.

Roundabouts are also cheaper to build and have lower maintenance costs. These are the reasons why many areas are seeing more roundabouts.

What Are Common Causes of Roundabout Car Accidents?

Even though roundabouts seem to be generally safer than traditional intersections, you can still get into a car crash while traveling through one. This can happen no matter how safe of a driver you are because you cannot guarantee other motorists will be following the rules of the road. There will always be motorists who drive recklessly with little care or concern for the vehicles that share the road with them.

Here are common reasons why roundabout car accidents occur:

  • As vehicles enter the roundabout, someone fails to yield to oncoming or incoming traffic.
  • Making erratic, sudden, and unsafe lane changes, especially without looking before changing lanes or without checking one’s blind spot.
  • Driving too fast, especially for the conditions of the road due to weather or traffic congestion.
  • Stopping the vehicle unexpectedly and without warning.
  • When entering the roundabout, the driver uses the wrong lane while circling, or they use the wrong lane to exit the roundabout, cutting in front of other vehicles.

Determining Fault in Roundabout Car Accidents

It is more difficult to determine who is at fault in a roundabout crash compared to other types of car accidents. At an intersection, most of the time, it is fairly easy to pin fault on a driver because they ran a red light or they were not paying attention and rear-ended someone. However, with a roundabout, traffic is often weaving in and out between all of the vehicles, so it is difficult to pinpoint who is ultimately the cause of the crash. For this reason, it is critical to speak with a lawyer after a serious roundabout accident.

A lawyer can help you in the following ways after a roundabout car accident:

  • Obtain footage: Many roundabouts have cameras constantly filming the traffic, similar to the cameras on stop lights at intersections. A lawyer may be able to help you obtain this footage.
  • Speak with witnesses: Also, a lawyer could interview any witnesses and obtain their statements so that they could use them later at trial if necessary.
  • Have an expert recreate the accident scene: You could give your lawyer pictures and videos of the entire accident scene. Your lawyer could have an expert attempt to recreate the accident to demonstrate which driver was negligent and violated the rules of the road.
  • Use your accident report: A lawyer can review your accident report, which could help build your case.

All of this can be used to prove someone was at fault in a roundabout car accident.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight for Those Seriously Injured in Roundabout Accidents

Driving in roundabouts can be overwhelming for some drivers. On days where traffic is congested and busy, entering a roundabout can be confusing, leading to a collision. If you have been seriously injured in a roundabout accident because of a negligent driver, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can protect your rights. Call us at 302-427-9500 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Will Help You Figure Out Your Next Best Steps After a Collision on Private Property.

What Happens After a Car Accident Occurs on Private Property?

A car accident can happen anywhere, including on private property. After a car accident happens on private property, it can be tough to know how to proceed after that type of crash. Are the procedures the same? Typically, you should always check for injuries and call 911 after any type of crash. This includes one that happens on private property. However, you should know that there are a few distinctions between public and private roads.

A car accident that happens on private property could range from a minor fender bender to a serious collision. The driver may not be the only party at fault for the incident. In some cases, the property owner could be at fault as well. How could a property owner be held liable? They could be liable if the accident happened because of hard-to-read signage or a poorly maintained premises. There are many reasons why a property owner could be fully or partially held at fault for a car accident.

Another difference between a private and public property car accident is that the police may come to the scene but they are not required to write an official police report. You can still ask for them to document the accident with an incident report. Their write-up can help show when the crash happened, who was involved, and other pertinent details.

How Is Fault Proven in This Type of Accident?

You might suspect that the party who hit your car on private property was distracted or otherwise negligent. However, regardless of your suspicions, you need to prove that they caused the accident. Without evidence, you might be on the hook to pay for your property damage, medical bills, and other expenses. Even if you carry the state-required minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, your insurance carrier may balk at paying you what you think you deserve. For this reason, many people seek out assistance from a car accident lawyer.

To help your case, you should gather evidence that proves that the other party negligently caused your accident. Your proof could come in the form of photographs, videos, and even eyewitness accounts. You might be able to obtain security camera footage as well. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case.

Should You Wait to Get Medical Treatment?

It can be tempting to put off going to an urgent care facility or emergency room, especially if you can still get around after the car accident. However, the problem with waiting is that the longer you put off getting diagnosed and treated, the more likely that an insurance company will say that your injuries were not related to the accident.

Even though you will have to pay out of pocket for some or all of your medical costs, you should get a check-up after any type of accident. A thorough examination can rule out conditions that may seem small at first but can lead to bigger problems, such as a traumatic brain injury. Always put your health first.

You may assume that your insurance company will be able to win a fight against another insurance company or that you can talk a property owner’s insurance company into covering your bills. However, dealing with insurance providers, including your own, after any type of accident can be overwhelming and confusing.

Insurance companies want to pay as little as they can. They can take a long time to accept liability. They may offer you a sum that does not adequately meet your needs. However, assistance from a car accident lawyer can be beneficial, particularly if you are trying to heal from a catastrophic injury. It is much easier to let a legal professional handle the process on your behalf.

How Can You Avoid a Car Accident on Private Property?

Not all car accidents are avoidable, but you should still take steps to avoid one from happening. Some important driving tips include:

  • Drive at a speed appropriate for your location, time of day, number of other vehicles around you, and weather conditions.
  • Never allow yourself to be distracted while driving.
  • Never drive while intoxicated or under the influence of any legal or illegal drug.
  • Pay careful attention when driving in an unknown area.
  • Steer clear of any driver who seems to be driving erratically.

Taking precautionary measures can help you prevent a car accident.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Will Help You Figure Out Your Next Best Steps After a Collision on Private Property

Were you recently injured in a car accident that happened on private property? Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you after any type of collision. Call us 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

car accident injury

What Factors Determine the Severity of a Car Accident Injury?

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for anyone, both emotionally and physically. Even if you only suffered a minor injury, you should expect to be sore for at least a few days following the accident. However, there are times when some injuries could take longer to heal. With any injury, you want the recovery to happen as soon as possible. 

The extent of your injury plays a major role in how long your pain will last, but there are other factors as well. Your age, the type of injury, as well as what happened in the car accident all influence how long you will recover. 

If you are wearing a seat belt, the seat belt will restrain your body to help prevent a severe injury. If you are not wearing a seat belt, then something else must stop your body from moving when the car stops, such as the dashboard or the steering wheel, which can cause a catastrophic injury. When your body comes to a complete stop, the momentum of the accident can affect your internal organs, which can lead to internal organ damage.

What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?

Your age and overall health will also determine the severity of your injury. Younger people will generally heal quicker than the elderly. People with poor health cannot heal as quickly as well. For example, a person with a pre-existing condition like an autoimmune disease will take longer to heal, even if the accident is minor. 

Most mild injuries take a few days to a few weeks to heal. On average, a car accident injury takes about six weeks to heal, but each injury is different. You cannot predict the recovery time of your injury, so it is important to get medical help as soon as possible.

Although many factors can determine the severity of your injury, some injuries are more common than others. Common car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash is common in rear-end accidents, where the head moves forward and back in a violent motion. This causes back and neck soreness, disc pain, and shoulder and arm pain. Whiplash is generally not felt immediately, rather, it takes hours or days after the accident to show up. If you have whiplash, your injury may take up to a few weeks or longer to heal.
  • Soft tissue injuries: There are many different types of soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, sprains, and strains. These injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. 
  • Back or neck injuries: The impact of a car accident can cause the discs in your spine to shift and go out of alignment. More serious accidents can cause major back injuries, such as ruptured discs. The recovery time of a back injury varies, but most take about six to 12 weeks to heal if surgery is not needed. 
  • Broken bones: In most cases, broken bones take six to eight weeks to heal. However, the severity of the injury can cause a longer recovery period.

It is imperative to seek medical attention after any type of car accident. Many injuries take days to appear. Additionally, insurance companies may deny a claim if you take too long to see a doctor after a car accident.

What Are Possible Treatments?

Every injury is unique as well as the treatment plan. Doctors may prescribe the following to treat your car accident injury:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Prescription medications.
  • Physical or occupational therapy.
  • Epidural injections.
  • Surgery.

What if My Pain Worsens?

A main reason to seek medical attention immediately after an accident is because a doctor can determine the severity of your injury. Minimal pain can be misleading, and you may be seriously injured without even realizing you are hurt. A doctor can examine you and create a treatment plan, and they can give you a timeframe of your recovery period.

You may find that your pain extends past your estimated healing time. If your pain worsens or does not subside, you should return to the doctor who diagnosed you, as they may have missed something during your initial appointment. You should schedule a follow-up appointment if you are experiencing the same symptoms. It is important to follow the doctor’s orders and go to all follow-up appointments. You should go to the doctor immediately if you have any new symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, or if you are having trouble sleeping.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

There are some steps to take following a car accident: 

  • Seek immediate medical attention. This is the only way you can determine the severity of your injury. 
  • Document your injury as well as your treatment plan. Keep all medical records.
  • You also should contact your insurance company right away. You should notify them of the accident.
  • Speak with a car accident lawyer. A lawyer will protect your rights and determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury suit.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Provide Legal Help While You Focus on Healing Your Car Accident Injury

Many factors determine the severity of a car accident injury. You should always go to the doctor after an accident, but it is also important to seek legal help if you have a catastrophic injury that was caused by a negligent driver. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you explore your legal options after a collision. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

nerve damage

What Should I Do if a Car Accident Caused Nerve Damage?

When someone thinks about a car accident injury, they might visualize a broken bone or head injury. However, there are many car accident injuries that are not visible. Internal injuries can have grave consequences and should be taken very seriously. One such injury is nerve damage. 

Every sensation and voluntary and involuntary movement the body makes involves the nerves. For instance, without nerves, your body would not be able to tell if something is hot or cold, a vital sensation that protects you from harm. 

Nerve damage can be painful and is sometimes felt immediately, but the pain is often masked initially and not felt until days later. Following a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention, even if your injury seems minor, to be evaluated for nerve damage, as well as other internal injuries.

What Is the Peripheral Nervous System?

Car accidents commonly affect the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, two of the most vulnerable parts of the body. The PNS consists of three types of nerves that play a significant role in the body’s ability to function properly:

  • Sensory nerves: These nerves are responsible for transmitting the five senses, hearing, smell, sight, taste, and touch, from the spinal cord to the brain. When sensory nerves are damaged, the messages transmitted by these nerves become partially or completely compromised, ranging from sending incorrect signals to a complete loss of sense.
  • Motor nerves: Motor nerves transmit information from the brain to the muscles, instructing them to produce movement. Motor and sensory nerves work in tandem with one another. For instance, sensory nerves detect if something is hot, and motor nerves direct the hand to move away from the heat.
  • Autonomic nerves: A critical nerve group, autonomic nerves control breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, bladder control, digestion, and more. Autonomic nerves monitor and respond to bodily needs and external stress. Damage to this nerve group in a car accident can result in a life-altering disability.

What Injuries Cause Nerve Damage?

Internal injuries and the body’s reaction to trauma and stress can cause serious nerve damage, often due to compression or inflammation that press against the nerves. Some common injuries that cause nerve damage include:

  • Whiplash: The most common injury is whiplash. Although the body is well-restrained by a seat belt and protected by air bags in a collision, the head and neck are not, making them more susceptible to the force of the accident. Whiplash causes the muscles in the neck to stretch and strain beyond typical range of motion, and spinal damage in the neck or inflammation from the torn muscles puts pressure on the nerves. When this happens, nerves become compressed and pinched, damaging their ability to function properly.
  • Herniated discs: Sometimes referred to as a slipped disc, herniation is the result of the discs between the spine’s vertebrae being forced out of place. These discs absorb the shock from movements. When herniated, the discs press against the nerves causing damage, sometimes resulting in pain, numbness, and weakness in the limbs.
  • Pinched nerves: Pinched nerves are common car accident injuries. As muscles and tissues respond to the trauma and swell from inflammation, they press against the nerves and essentially pinch them, which can lead to nerve damage. Broken bones, tendons, and cartilage can also create pinched nerves following an accident.

What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Damage?

Symptoms of nerve damage tend to be worse at the site of injury. Signs of nerve damage include:

  • Shooting or radiating pain in the legs, arms, hands, or feet.
  • Numbness, prickling, tinging, or burning sensation in extremities, such as the hands and feet.
  • Full or partial paralysis to legs, arms, fingers, or toes.
  • Muscle weakness, particularly in the arms and legs.
  • Buzzing sensations akin to mild electric shock.
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements or twitching.
  • Inability to hold objects without dropping them.
  • Heightened skin sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. 

Nerve damage is most common in or near the spine but can be in any part of the body. If you are experiencing any symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Is Nerve Damage Treatable?

Not all nerve damage is permanent. Depending on the extent of your injury, medical treatment for nerve damage is possible. Diagnosis begins with a physical exam to test your sensations, reflexes, coordination, and strength to help determine whether your sensory or motor nerves are damaged. 

Additional neurological tests follow the physical exam to test the electrical activity and nerve function in your muscles and their ability to respond. These tests usually involve imaging scans. Additionally, to determine how quickly electrical impulses move through the muscles, the physician may utilize a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, which stimulates muscles through an electrode patch attached to the skin.

Treatment will depend on the severity of the nerve damage. In less severe cases, treatment may include medication for chronic pain, physical therapy, assistive devices, and more. Critically damaged nerve injuries may be treated through surgery, provided the nerve has not died.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You if You Have a Debilitating Injury From a Collision

Suffering nerve damage from a car accident can lead to financial hardship. Our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you if your injury was caused by a negligent driver. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

amputation injury

What Should I Do if I Have a Car Accident-Related Amputation Injury?

Losing a body part in a car accident is devastating. However, with a caring support team and rehabilitation, the injured person can begin to heal. According to the National Limb Loss Information Center, there are about 1.7 million people who are living with limb amputations in the United States. There are several reasons why someone has a limb amputated, such as cancer, diabetes, or vascular disease. However, according to the National Limb Loss Information Center, car accidents cause almost 45 percent of all amputation injuries.

If you have an amputation injury that was caused from a car accident, you may have legal options. It is important to consult a lawyer if a negligent driver caused your catastrophic injury.

Why Is Amputation Sometimes Necessary?

Although the loss of a limb may happen in a car accident, there are other reasons that can lead to an amputation following a collision. It is important to remember that amputations are generally rare. A doctor may decide it is necessary to amputate a body part because of the following:

  • Risk of infection: With an amputation, there is a risk of infection. There is dirt, debris, and chemicals that could get into the injured area. In order to prevent the infection from spreading, the doctor may recommend amputating the part that is infected.
  • Lacerations: In a car accident, a person may suffer a laceration so deep that it mangled bones or nerves to the point that the body part is irreparable.
  • Crush injuries: These injuries happen when sheer force from either impact or the weight of an object crushes muscles and bones. To prevent more harm, a doctor could recommend amputating the affected part.

What Complications Could Happen?

Not only can an amputee suffer from long-term psychological issues and mounting medical bills, but there are health complications that could occur, such as:

  • Phantom limb: This is a common complication after an amputation. Some patients suffer phantom limb pain. The person may feel pain or sensations in the area where the leg or arm was amputated.
  • Necrosis: This occurs when surrounding tissues die and become gangrenous.
  • Muscle weakness: When a limb is gone, the surrounding muscles have to make up for the lost muscle, leading to muscle weakness or stiffness.
  • Deep vein thrombosis: This is when an amputee is immobilized for an extended period of time, where there is now a risk for a blood clot.

One of the major complications is the psychological damage that will likely occur, which can be life-long. Reliving the moment might happen because losing a limb is traumatic, which could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The sudden adjustment to a life without a limb can be distressing for anyone. Amputees also require expensive prosthetic equipment, medications, physical therapy, and may need additional surgery, all of which could cause more depression and anxiety.

What Are Possible Therapies?

The road to healing after an amputation will be long and arduous, but you will not go through it alone. After the initial surgery, amputees might need time to recover in the hospital for a few weeks, with the amputated area likely elevated to reduce swelling. The healing will continue when the patient returns home, as it could take four to eight weeks for the surgical wound to completely heal. A properly healed wound will help when fitting for a prosthetic.

An amputee patient will likely receive treatment in the form of the following:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Counseling or psychological treatment.
  • Rehabilitation services.

When the patient returns home, rehabilitation will likely start after a few days. An occupational therapist may even come to the home and suggest handicap equipment to be installed to help with the adjustment, such as a wheelchair ramp or wider doorways. The doctor will likely prescribe medications as well, some for pain management and others to prevent infection. The patient will likely be assigned a medical team to monitor them, and they will adjust treatments, rehabilitation, or medications to ease the adjustment process.

Physical therapy is focused on the patient strengthening muscles around the amputated area. If a prosthetic is prescribed, rehabilitation services combined with physical therapy will help the patient adjust. Daily exercises will likely be prescribed as well to help the patient adapt to a new routine.

Psychological therapy will be just as important because losing a limb is traumatic. The amputee must be upfront and open with their rehabilitation team.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Clients Who Have Accident-Related Amputation Injuries

Although amputation injuries are common, they are devastating. If you have an amputation injury that was caused from a car accident, you may need a legal advocate on your side. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you explore your legal options. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

personal injury law

What Happens When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car?

A pedestrian who is hit by a car is especially vulnerable to serious injuries. Unlike motorists, pedestrians do not have the protection of vehicles around them. Cars are extremely heavy, and the force that occurs when an unprotected person is hit by a vehicle is enormous. According to some estimates, approximately 80,000 of walking pedestrians get hit by vehicles each year.

In 2018, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported 6,227 pedestrian fatalities and projected a five percent increase in the coming years. Their 2019 estimate was the highest in more than 30 years, and the final numbers have not been released yet. These accidents can lead to traumatic injuries, plus long-lasting and detrimental physical, emotional, and financial problems.

What Risk Factors Lead to Pedestrian Accidents?

Unsafe driving behaviors, like distracted driving, fatigued driving, speeding, and running red lights, increases the risk of accidents. Drunk driving is another factor that influences pedestrian accidents. In 2018, pedestrian and driver alcohol impairment was reported in close to 50 percent of traffic accidents that caused pedestrian fatalities.

Large vehicles, like SUVs, increase the risk of more serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The number of fatalities during the past 10 years that involved SUVs increased by 81 percent. The majority of these accidents involved passenger cars, and these increased at a rate of 53 percent during that same time period.

The GHSA also claimed that most pedestrian fatalities occurred at night, away from intersections, and on local roads. Nighttime pedestrian fatalities rose by 67 percent during the past decade, and daytime pedestrian fatalities increased by 16 percent. With Halloween coming, children and their caregivers need to be especially careful. Other reasons why vehicles hit pedestrians include not checking before backing up out of parking spaces, not signaling, disregarding traffic signs or signals, and failing to yield.

Pedestrians under 15 years old and over 65 years old are also more likely to be struck by cars. This is because younger kids are more impulsive and may be prone to jumping in front of cars and running into streets. Those over 65 years old may not see or hear well and have slower reflexes.

What Happens After Pedestrian Accidents?

Depending on the severity of the accident, the pedestrian can end up with soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, bruises, fractures, and other catastrophic injuries. Emergency medical care may be needed, so 911 should be called right away. If possible, it is best to get any witnesses’ contact information, and take pictures of the vehicles involved and the accident scene. The insurance companies should also be contacted as soon as possible.

Pedestrians who are hit by cars should seek medical attention, even if the pain is not severe. Waiting could lead to problems if there is an injury that is not treated in a timely manner. It could also be problematic if the insurance provider feels that the injury is not significant. They may assume that the injury was not severe enough to seek prompt medical attention. It is also important to keep accurate records of the diagnosis, treatment, and medical expenses.

How are Pedestrians Compensated for Injuries?

The answer to this questions depends on which state the pedestrian lives in. If it is a no-fault state, the drivers’ insurance provider may be responsible for paying the medical bills. If it is a fault state, there are other rules that apply to financial responsibilities for losses stemming from car accidents, including medical expenses.

If the accident occurred in a no-fault insurance state, the pedestrian has to use their own car insurance provider to pay their medical expenses and related out-of-pocket losses, no matter who was at fault. However, if the claim goes over certain limits, the victim may be able to make a claim against the at-fault driver.

Delaware is a fault state, so the person at fault for causing a pedestrian accident is held responsible for compensating the person who was injured. This means that the liable driver’s insurance company would cover the losses up to the limits of the policy.

After a pedestrian accident in Delaware, the victim can file a claim with their own insurance company, who will in turn usually file a subrogation claim at the driver’s insurance company. The victim can also file a third-party claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company or choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.

What Else Should I Know About Pedestrian Accidents?

In most states, pedestrians are supposed to have the right-of-way when walking. This includes walking on the roads while facing traffic and on crosswalks. Therefore, drivers are generally responsible for fault when accidents occur. Pedestrians can also be found at fault in certain situations.

In some states, injured pedestrians who have automotive insurance may be able to collect from their insurance companies up to a certain limit. In others, the driver’s insurance provider will offer compensation. However, not all drivers are properly insured; the pedestrian’s no-fault coverage or uninsured motorist coverage may be used. Injured pedestrians who do not have health insurance may end up paying some or all out-of-pocket expenses.

On the other hand, some pedestrians who are injured in accidents are able to bring claims against the town where the crash happened. For example, if a traffic sign was missing or a traffic signal was broken, this could contribute to an accident.

How Can I Prevent Pedestrian and Car Accidents?

Pedestrians can keep certain safety tips in mind when walking outside. If it is dusk or dark out, it is a good idea to wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. Choosing the side of the road that is facing traffic, staying on sidewalks, and only crossing at designated crosswalks are also recommended. Wearing earbuds is hazardous since it makes it hard to hear approaching vehicles. If an accident does occur, a victim should speak to a lawyer about their options.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are Experienced with Pedestrian and Car Accidents

If you were injured in an accident, our trusted Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Complete our online form or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

summer fireworks

How Can I Safely Enjoy Fireworks This Summer?

Fireworks and summertime tend to go hand-in-hand, and not just during Independence Day weekend. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, many public and private celebrations include fireworks, such as sparklers, noisemakers, and small-time displays.

People have loved fireworks for generations because they capture a spirit of excitement, provide outstanding sound and visual effects, and offer a sense of cultural nostalgia. Nevertheless, fireworks should never be underestimated. When used inappropriately, fireworks can be dangerous and cause catastrophic injuries.

What Makes Legal Fireworks Hazardous?

Fireworks are unsafe because they bring together a combination of fire and heat-causing chemicals. This combination allows the fireworks to combust and send off extremely hot sparks or send pieces of the firework flying.

People who are not well-versed in fireworks safety precautions may think that they can just set off firecrackers or ignite rockets without any problems. However, adding a flame to any type of firecracker turns it into a possibly dangerous object, even if the results look attractive.

Fireworks can be particularly hazardous when they are set off by minors. Children under 18 years old should never be in charge of lighting firecrackers or fireworks. Only adults should control fireworks at family gatherings or parties. Even then, the adults should make sure that they are sober and understand what types of fireworks they are using.

Unfortunately, some fireworks sold to consumers are ultimately meant for professionals. Typically, those kinds of fireworks are distributed in paper wrappings rather than in manufacturers’ boxes.

Essentially, any firework can cause injury to the person handling it. Even spectators can be wounded or killed by fireworks. Reports state that every year, thousands of people get hurt because of fireworks.

What Types of Injuries are Caused by Fireworks?

Fireworks burn hotter than many people expect. Therefore, the most commonly reported injuries tend to be first, second, and third-degree burns. The burns can occur anywhere on the body, including the feet, hands, arms, torso, legs, and face. Eye injuries from fireworks are frequently seen in emergency rooms, too.

In exceptional and rare cases, fireworks may contribute to mental trauma if someone witnesses a particularly tragic accident that was caused by a poorly arranged fireworks display.

How Can I Safely Use Fireworks at Home?

Just because fireworks can be unsafe, does not mean that individuals and families need to avoid them altogether. Proper planning and execution can help reduce the likelihood of injuries linked to fireworks. Therefore, every stage of setting off fireworks, from buying the fireworks to disposing them, should be mapped out.

Where Should I Buy Fireworks?

Fireworks can be legally sold in many places in Delaware and other states. However, illegal fireworks dealers may try to sell fireworks to unsuspecting buyers. Consumers should make sure that they only buy legal fireworks. They should also conduct research about each type of firework to understand what they are buying.

It is always better to be more conservative when it comes to fireworks. Individuals relatively new to working with fireworks should choose fireworks that they are familiar with, such as fireworks they have handled before.

How Can I Prepare to Light Fireworks?

Before any fireworks display, a homeowner should prepare the area where the fireworks will be used. The preparation may include picking a detonation spot away from a home, shed, structure, trees, cars, shrubs, or items that can easily catch fire. If a grassy area is very dry, a homeowner may want to wet the grass prior to setting off fireworks.

Prep time should involve filling a few buckets with water and putting them within reach of the fireworks handlers and spectators. The buckets can be used to quickly put out fires. The buckets can also be used to drench smoldering, used fireworks to ensure that they have stopped burning.

As a final precautionary measure, having a first aid kit on hand is always advisable.

How Can I Safely Use and Watch Fireworks?

Prior to igniting fireworks, handlers should thoroughly read any directions printed on the packages. If instructions have not been included, the fireworks may be meant for professionals with pyrotechnic experience. Homeowners should use great caution before agreeing to use any fireworks that seem to be unusual or uncommon.

When setting off fireworks, everyone who will be handling the fireworks should stay in a designated safety area. Fireworks handlers should wear safety goggles or protective eyewear. Any fireworks that do not ignite the first time around should be properly disposed of and not relit.

If children are going to be given lighted sparklers, they should always be accompanied by adults. Kids tend to drop sparklers, which can lead to burns.

People who are not actively involved in lighting the fireworks should stand off to the side to give enough room for the people who are. Fireworks can shoot in unexpected directions, hitting watchers who are too close to the action.

How Should I Dispose Fireworks?

After each firework has been lit or set off, it should be doused with water to cool it off immediately. People should not toss newly detonated fireworks into trash cans, as the fireworks may still be hot enough to start a fire with the rest of the garbage. Before going to bed, homeowners should clean up all fireworks debris and ensure it is not smoldering.

What are Alternatives to Setting Off Fireworks?

People worried about the risks associated with fireworks have alternatives when it comes to enjoying fireworks during the summer months. Many municipalities set off fireworks during major holidays, which allows residents and visitors to have a fun experience from a safe distance. Some national fireworks displays are televised, which may be an acceptable alternative to watching in person.

Can I Pursue Legal Action if I am Hurt?

Anyone who is seriously hurt by fireworks may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. It may be possible to recover damages from a private individual, the seller, or maker of the fireworks. Since every situation is unique, injured parties should always seek legal advice from knowledgeable professionals.

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Victims Injured by Fireworks

Fireworks can be fun, but they may cause serious injuries. If you were seriously hurt during a fireworks display, you may be able to collect compensation. Our Delaware personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow protect clients injured by negligent parties. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

motorcycle safety

Advocate for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by Driving Safely

May is an exciting time of year for many reasons. The weather starts to get warm, school ends, and more time is spent doing outdoor activities. May is also known for being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a month dedicated to the safety and recognition of motorcyclists on the road.

To reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities, all road users need to understand the challenges that motorcyclists face while driving. Their size and visibility are limited as well as their weaving techniques. Driving a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous and lead to catastrophic injuries if proper precautions are not taken by all motorcyclists and drivers.

May brings sunny days and a more desirable climate. Many motorcyclists look forward to dusting off their vehicles and taking their open-air motorcycles out for a drive.

Despite the excitement involved, both motorcyclists and motorists need to be careful while driving, and always be aware of their surroundings. Motorcycles can sometimes be easy to miss due to blind spots, which causes many accidents. Always check your blind spots when merging, changing lanes, and turning to ensure that there is not a motorcyclist in your direct path.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Riding a motorcycle comes with its dangers separate from driving a common vehicle. Serious injuries or death can occur if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident. Some common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Head and brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Neck injuries

If an accident is serious enough, fatalities of all drivers involved could happen, especially if drivers are not wearing protective equipment or seat belts.

How Can Motorcyclists Stay Safe on the Road?

Accidents are not always the fault of a motorist, an accident can happen if a motorcyclist is not driving safely.

Some ways you can maintain motorcycle safety includes:

  • Wearing protective gear
  • Conducting proper maintenance on your bike
  • Taking a defensive driving course
  • Being aware of other drivers
  • Driving at the posted speed limit

All motorcyclists are legally required to be properly licensed before operating their vehicle. Unique skills and knowledge are needed to ride a motorcycle, and that is why it is important that drivers take rider education courses before obtaining their license. Rider-training courses are offered through your local motor vehicle agency.

Besides practicing safe driving techniques, avoid all distractions while riding, and make sure you are drug and alcohol free before operating the bike. Drugs and alcohol impairs your judgement and makes it difficult to focus on the road. To avoid accidents, ride safely and sober.

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Motorcyclists Injured in Accidents

If you have been injured while driving a motorcycle, our Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are prepared to handle your case. We will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserve and help you receive all benefits you are entitled to. For a free consultation, call us at 302-834-8484 or contact us online. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve car accident victims throughout Middletown, Dover, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

fire

Fire at Delaware City Refinery Critically Injures Two Workers

On March 11, 2020, a fire was reported at the Delaware City Refining Company at the Route 9 industrial complex. Two employees were critically injured in the 1:40 p.m. fire that sent flames and black smoke into the sky surrounding the facility. Both victims were first flown to Christiana Hospital in Stanton and then taken to the Crozer Burn Center in Upland, Pennsylvania. The fire was responded to immediately and the flames were controlled quickly. The fire is still under investigation and a cause of incident is currently unknown.

Injuries at work happen frequently and can cause physical, mental and emotional harm on the injured worker. Employers must provide Workers’ Compensation benefits to those who experienced an injury in the workplace. Burns resulting from a workplace fire is covered under Workers’ Compensation. Worker’s Compensation insurance will provide the appropriate benefits to the worker. Benefits include medical compensation, missed wages, disability benefits and more depending on the injury.

If you have been injured at work, contact the dedicated Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for a free consultation. We understand how difficult this time is for you and will work hard to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 302-407-0827 or fill out our online form. We represent clients across Delaware including Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.

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