21 Sep The Long-Term Effects of Being in a Car Accident
Being in a car accident can be a traumatizing experience for anyone. As an event that no one can ever be truly prepared for, a car accident comes with varying outcomes, depending on the severity of the crash.
Sometimes the accident will result in mild to severe injuries, such as herniated discs, whiplash, fractures, or soft tissue damage. Other times, the effects may be more emotional or psychological than physical, or it can produce a significant and enduring impact on finances.
Regardless, the daunting experience of a car accident is one that a victim is unlikely to forget anytime soon. This is why it is important to be able to obtain closure so you can move on with your life after the accident.
In this article, our experienced personal injury attorney explains how a car accident can impact the lives of victims and what the effects are likely to be over the long term.
The Physical Effect of Car Accidents
While some people may feel lucky to have escaped a car crash with minor injuries like a few scrapes or bruises, it still doesn’t guarantee that you’re 100% okay. You need to visit a doctor and undergo a thorough medical examination. Sometimes, the shock and adrenaline that the accident triggers may mask deeper harm that does not appear immediately.
Some of these injuries can interfere with your ability to work or continue your daily routine, and they can continue to do so for a long time. They can also limit the types of activities you enjoy with your loved ones. Some of the most common long-term physical injuries in car accidents include:
The sudden impact of a car accident can cause an involuntary movement of the body. You can find yourself being thrown around in that state. This could result in a fracture in the bones of the arm, leg, wrist, ankle, collarbone, or ribs. A car accident victim might suffer from multiple fractures which, if found to be severe, can take a long time to heal. This may result in a life-long disability.
Car accident victims may suffer cuts from broken glass or sharp metal that can cause deep laceration that may range from mild to life-threatening. These cuts may not only leave you in disoriented but also result produce permanent scars that may require expensive cosmetic surgery for removal.
Burns can occur when the impact of the crash affects a fuel line or gas tank, and in turn, causes an explosion. Victims are likely to suffer thermal burns from contact with the hot parts of the vehicle. Burns of this nature can be extremely painful, and victims are at great risk of infection. It can also lead to permanent scarring and many months of physical rehabilitation.
#4 Traumatic Brain Injury
Accidents that cause a driver or passenger to slam into the dashboard, window, seat, or any other object in the car can result in head injuries. Some of these concussions may be mild and take a few weeks to recover but a severe one can cause life-altering brain damage. Victims of a traumatic brain injury may never be able to work again. They require the assistance of medical personnel to carry out the basic things of life for them. This may not only affect the victim but also their loved ones.
The Emotional Effects
Stress is a common health implication of car accidents. This is why victims of a car accident should pay close attention to the emotional effect of the traumatic experience. A mental health professional should be contacted because emotional trauma can disrupt your career or personal relationships. Some of the most common emotional effects of car accidents include:
A report from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) found that about 44 million American adults live with some form of anxiety disorder. This also includes the number of people who experienced a traumatic event such as a car accident. Many car accident victims suffer from mental health issues such as panic attacks, insomnia, social anxiety disorder, and other certain phobias.
Another common effect of a car accident is depression. There is a type of depression called a major depressive disorder. It can be characterized by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, lack of concentration, etc. A victim finding it hard to cope as a result of a car accident can be diagnosed with depression. Especially when the wreck has a long-term repercussion like a total disability.
The Psychological Effect
A more serious psychological effect of car accidents that people may not be aware of is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People develop PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event in their life. The impact of PTSD can be devastating on a person’s ability to function normally in any setting, whether at home, with friends, or anywhere else.
People in this situation often exhibit symptoms of fear, anger, nervousness, shock, feelings of mistrust, or guilt. This problem may linger for a person with PTSD and this can interfere with their everyday lives, causing them nightmares and flashbacks repeatedly.
The Financial Effect
Every decade, the NHTSA studies the economic cost of motor vehicle accidents in the US. According to the agency, the total economic cost of traffic crashes in the U.S. is $242 billion. While the total value of societal harm is estimated at $836 billion. Some of the financial effects of accidents include:
#1 Property Damage
Car accidents can cause major cosmetic and mechanical damage to one’s car. Most crashes will cause significant damage to the vehicle’s body and will likely impair the function of other mechanical parts such as the engine and wheels. Correcting this damage can be costly, and in some cases, the vehicle may have to be written off entirely.
#2 Loss of Income
For a person who is involved in a car accident and suffered a disabling injury, the accident will have interfered with their ability to work and earn a living. Even when the accident only caused a short break in work, that’s still several days for which you won’t be paid.
#3 Medical Expenses
Medical treatment often represents the most significant expense incurred by victims, especially where it concerns injuries that require expensive surgery. The cost of medical care can be exorbitant and can also have one of the greatest effects on victims and their families.
At Sara Jones Law, we understand how a car accident can interfere with one’s life. We know the effects this can have on you and your family, and this informs our dedication to our clients’ cause. We go the extra mile by conducting a thorough investigation into the car accident to identify all liable parties.
We also make the effort to consult with experienced professionals about the long-term effects of the injuries our clients suffer so we can come to a complete evaluation of what compensation is appropriate. Our injury lawyers will ensure you and your family get the needed compensation that you deserve. Contact us for your free consultation today.