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7 Types of Broken Glass Car Accident Injuries

Why hire a Houston car accident lawyer to file a broken glass injury claim?

Broken glass injuries may be more hazardous and common in car accidents than many people know. Shattered glass from a car windshield, window, or an item in the vehicle’s cab can cause a range of injuries, including deep cuts and lacerations, internal bleeding, nerve damage, and even loss of limbs. The face and scalp are the body parts most likely to be injured by broken glass, one study noted.

Insurance companies sometimes try to downplay car accident broken glass injuries as “minor” or “cosmetic.” Awareness about this common type of car accident injury can put crash victims in the best position to recognize and refuse unfair settlement offers.

For people who have already been injured by broken glass in a Houston area car accident, the only surefire way to tell if a settlement offer is fair and fight for the compensation you deserve is to consult an attorney. An experienced Houston car accident lawyer can review the case, answer questions, and estimate your settlement during a free consultation. If you choose, a lawyer can also take on the insurance company and fight for maximum compensation while you focus on healing.

7 types of common broken glass injuries after a car accident

Broken glass injuries can be the result of just about any type of car accident: rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, multi-car pileups, and rollover accidents. Major routes in Houston where these types of accidents are common include I-45 (Gulf Freeway), TX-249 (Tomball Parkway), and Westheimer Road.

Sharp shards of broken glass cause injuries by cutting or puncturing parts of the body during a crash. Broken glass can also harm people after the collision itself. For example, while trying to pull themselves out of the wreckage, a crash victim may grab the shattered remains of a door window, causing deep cuts to their hands.

Here are some common broken glass injuries related to car accidents:

  1. Lacerations. Lacerations are tears and cuts in the skin that can range from minor abrasions on the surface of the skin to deep wounds. Deep lacerations can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves, as well as subcutaneous tissue, the innermost layer of skin. Such injuries can lead to long-term disabilities and may require surgery to repair and regain control of functions and movement. Facial lacerations can be simple or complex, jagged or V-shaped, depending on how the skin was cut in the crash. Even with the best medical treatment, such a cut may cause scars and disfigurement. Plastic surgery may be necessary.
  2. Skull penetration. In a car accident, a broken piece of glass can be expelled with enough force to penetrate the skull bone. The puncture or fracture could turn into a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) if the projectile reaches the brain.
  3. Catastrophic broken glass injuries. Severe nerve damage and lacerations that disrupt blood flow are catastrophic broken glass injuries that require immediate medical attention. Catastrophic broken glass injuries in a car accident include frayed or severed spinal cord nerves, brain puncture, and lacerations to major arteries and veins.
  4. Eye injuries. Small or large shards of glass can get stuck in a crash victim's eyes. This can cause vision loss and even blindness, as well as other complications like infections.
  5. Severe shock. Glass cuts can bleed profusely, and losing a lot of blood can cause a victim to go into shock. In this state, organs do not get the oxygen and blood they need to function properly. If left untreated, this can lead to permanent organ damage and even death.
  6. Penetrating neck wound. This is a potentially lethal wound that requires emergency medical attention to protect the nerves, vessels, and organs within the delicate neck structure.
  7. Amputation. Under some circumstances, a piece of glass can penetrate a vulnerable part of the body and sever an artery, which may require amputation of the affected limb. Glass cuts can also lead to infections like tetanus and MRSA that may require amputation in severe cases.

Minor glass injuries require first aid and, if they don’t get infected, may heal over the short term. Treatment for more severe broken glass injuries may include dressing the wound with bandages or other necessary medical devices, stitches, surgery, stents, and skin grafts. Healing can take weeks or months, depending on the extent of the injuries.

In Texas, crash victims with broken glass injuries have a right to collect damages for injury-related medical expenses and lost wages, among other things.

Who pays for broken glass injuries after a Houston car accident?

Texas is a “fault” state, which means the person who caused the accident is liable for compensating any injured victims. The at-fault negligent driver and their insurance company are responsible for paying damages that cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, reduced earning potential, loss of enjoyment, and mental anguish, among other things.

Some accident victims with broken glass injuries are eligible to file a claim against someone other than an at-fault driver. Here’s an example: many glass injuries in a car accident are due to ejection. If a defective seatbelt contributed to a driver being ejected through a windshield during a collision, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the seatbelt itself may be liable. A lawyer can help a crash victim identify all liable parties in an accident and pursue compensation.

How much is my broken glass injury car accident claim worth?

It depends on the extent of your injuries and the effects they have had on your life. There is no single value for a broken glass injury settlement. Your settlement should include the full cost of medical treatment, including future medical procedures like plastic surgery or skin grafts. It should also include your lost income and other economic losses, as well as more subjectively determined costs such as pain and suffering or disfigurement.

However, insurance companies are hardly eager to pay full value for car accident injuries. They may deliberately undervalue or “lowball” your claim to protect their bottom line. That’s why, to get the compensation they deserve, injured accident victims often rely on attorneys with experience and legal knowledge to negotiate for a maximum settlement.

How do I get compensation for my broken glass car accident injury?

Getting full compensation for a car accident injury is not easy. Fortunately, crash victims have a right to hire lawyers to make sense of the complex claims process and handle the insurance companies for them.

Experienced Houston car accident attorneys build strong cases that demand results. We can investigate the accident, collect evidence, and calculate a compensation package that puts the highest value on a victim’s health and comfort. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and we’re prepared to take the next step if they won’t pay up.

Our Houston car accident lawyers offer free case consultations and represent accident victims for a contingency fee. That means there is no out-of-pocket or upfront cost for our services. The fee is a percentage of the final settlement or verdict – and if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime.

If you were injured by broken glass in a Houston area car accident, you have one shot at getting the maximum compensation you deserve. We can help. Contact the Houston car accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law. Schedule your free case consultation with us today.

Click here to download a printable PDF version of "7 Types of Broken Glass Car Accident Injuries."

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