Serious car accidents can change your life, especially when the accident results in catastrophic injury or death. Regardless of who is at fault in a car accident, the aftermath is much the same for everyone. Car accident victims may be left with weeks, months, or years of rehabilitation from serious injuries they may never fully recover from, and the emotional and psychological effects of a car accident are often worse than the physical effects.
People who cause a car accident that result in a fatality are often so traumatized that they’re not able to get behind the wheel of a car for a very long time, and sometimes they’re never able to drive again due to the psychological trauma of having caused a death. Many car accident victims experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), now known as post-traumatic stress syndrome. Some car accident victims won’t even ride along as passengers in vehicles after their car accident.
Motor vehicle accidents can also take a financial toll on the people involved. Even if your auto insurance company works with you following your accident, the financial devastation experienced after a car accident can leave you struggling for years. A car accident injury lawyer can help mitigate the financial suffering from a car accident, but people who choose to forego a lawyer may have to figure out the financial mess following an accident on their own. Car accidents affect people to different degrees; some may recover rather quickly while others may suffer for the rest of their lives.
Aftermath of a Car Accident
Long-lasting physical injuries are common in car accident victims. Back, neck, and leg injuries can take years to fully heal (if they ever do fully heal), and the journey to regain strength and mobility following injuries to these parts of the body is a long and difficult one. You may need surgery, physical rehabilitation, and assistive devices to get around. Family members and friends may need to help you with activities of daily living, and you may even have to hire a personal care assistant for day-to-day tasks.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may affect your cognitive functioning, and you may suffer from headaches and cognitive impairments following a TBI. Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, disc, and and nerve damage that can affect your ability to walk, run, and have sensation in your lower and upper extremities. Internal bleeding and organ damage may be difficult to diagnose at first, and these serious injuries can result in lifelong impairment depending on how long they go undetected and untreated.
Losing a loved one in a car accident is a devastating experience and one that many people never recover from. If you were in the car and a loved one died, you may experience what’s known as “survivor’s guilt,” or you may even feel responsible for your loved one’s death if you were driving the car.
A less serious effect of a car accident is that you may not have a vehicle while it’s being repaired, and if your car was totaled, you will have to await an insurance settlement to get a new one. You may be out of work while you heal, and, for most people, this will cause financial difficulties, especially if you’re the primary breadwinner of your household. Not having a vehicle and being dependent on others to get around will be stressful, and you may be angry that you have to look to others for help for everyday tasks and errands.
Another thing you’ll have to deal with after a car accident is the mounting medical bills. If the other driver was at fault and you’re pursuing a personal injury accident claim, you will have to wait for what can be a lengthy process to play out before you receive compensation for your losses, which may include medical bills, lost income, loss of future wages, and other expenses related to the accident including pain and suffering.
An experienced, knowledgeable personal injury attorney with success in car accident cases will do everything he can to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help ease some of the stress you’ll be feeling after the accident and the money you’re awarded may afford you opportunities to help you recover more quickly and more wholly.