The human body suffers tremendous force during a serious car accident when a crash brings the body to an abrupt stop after hurtling along at 65 miles per hour. Even when traveling at a sedate 30mph, a 100lb adult becomes a 3,000-pound force during a crash. The majority of car accidents happen at much higher speeds, causing the body to sustain whiplash and other force injuries as well as damage from impacts with the interior of the vehicle. Even the life-saving devices inside the car can cause injuries. Seatbelts and airbags save lives, but may simultaneously cause injuries due to the body’s force against them during an accident.
After an accident, it’s critical to receive emergency treatment and a thorough evaluation at a hospital. Accident victims should tell their medical providers about every symptom they experience, even if it seems minor. During the initial shock and trauma of an accident, the body may mask symptoms of an injury that may go on to cause troublesome long-term effects later.
Common Serious Injuries in Car Accidents
Even those who walk away seemingly unscathed from a car accident may later develop symptoms of injuries such as whiplash, caused by the sheer force of the crash. Other injuries commonly sustained in car accidents include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries ranging from concussions to serious impairment
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries to muscles and ligaments
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic amputations
Any of the above injuries can have long-range impacts on the injury victim’s life, including long-lasting pain, necessary painful medical procedures, the need for physical or occupational therapy, dependency on medical equipment, and partial or total disability. Some injuries such as burns and facial lacerations may also cause life-altering disfigurement.
Effects of Car Accident Injuries on Victims’ Lives
After a serious car accident, it may be difficult or impossible to return to life as the victim previously knew it. Many car accident victims have to adjust to a “new normal” with long-lasting effects from the accident such as:
- Debilitating back or neck pain
- Partial or total permanent paralysis
- Decreased cognitive ability
- Amputated limb
- Problems with physical coordination and balance
- Disfiguring scars from cuts or burns
- Anxiety, depression, PTSD, sleep disturbances, and diminished pleasure in life
When accident victims suffer long-term impacts it can greatly impact their lives physically and emotionally. They may be unable to return to work at their previous capacity or unable to work at all. Injury victims may find it difficult to accomplish their daily basic routines or to care for their children without help.
Determining the long-term effects of car accident injuries on the victim’s life is an important component of an accident claim to recover damages. Damages from car accidents may include medical expenses, lost income, lowered earning capacity, reduced quality of life, and emotional trauma. An experienced McKinney car accident attorney understands the long-term impacts of injuries and how to calculate future damages as well as past and current medical expenses. Many accident victims also recover compensation for non-economic damages like diminished pleasure in life and loss of consortium—the ability to enjoy a fulfilling physical and emotional connection with a loved one or the ability to nurture and support children. While financial compensation can’t erase the harm of a car accident, it can help injury victims to move forward toward a new normal and relieve financial burdens so they can focus on maximizing their physical recovery after an accident.