As personal injury lawyers at Craig, Kelley, and Faultless LLC, we prepare legal demands to submit to insurance companies for compensation after an Indiana car accident, the costs of an accident victim’s medical care are a primary driver of the amount sought. In some severe injury cases, the long-term effects on an injury will require ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation and remodeling of a home to accommodate a new lifestyle.
Indiana Car Accident Claim: Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident claim should seek to recover payment for all expenses related to the injury, including past, present and projected future costs for treatment and ongoing care.
Here are five common car accident injuries that often have long-term effects on accident victims and their families:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The effects of a blow to the head, or penetration of the skull in a car accident, can be catastrophic. Depending on the location or extent of injuries to the brain, a brain injury survivor’s mobility or cognitive ability may be reduced. In many cases, a moderate to severe TBI causes a loss of physical and cognitive function and emotional and behavioral control. Recovery is a long-term effort that requires intense rehabilitative work and involves ongoing challenges.
A serious brain injury affects the loved ones who provide care as well as the survivor. A brain injury survivor may experience changes in reasoning ability, personality and behavior that adversely affect personal relationships.
A young person up to the age of 25 who suffers even a mild TBI, a concussion, in a car accident is “more likely to have serious issues later on, including psychiatric problems and premature death,” according to a 2016 study cited by WebMD.
Spinal Cord Injury
An injury to the spinal cord in a car accident can cause paralysis, or loss of function and feeling below the level of the injury. The loss of movement may be partial or complete. In addition to loss of mobility, secondary problems that may arise include muscle deconditioning, bowel and bladder issues, respiratory infections and blood clots, the Mayo Clinic says.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Center (NSCIC) says less than 1 percent of people who suffer spinal cord injury have recovered by the end of their initial hospital stay. That initial stay on average includes 11 days of acute care followed by 35 days of rehabilitation.
A spinal cord injury is a life-changing event. Most spinal cord injury survivors require ongoing care. Rehabilitation and adaptation allow many people who are paralyzed to transition to a new lifestyle and lead productive and fulfilling lives. But the ongoing care required is costly.
The lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury range from $1.1 million for a 50-year-old with the least amount of motor function loss to $4.7 million for a 25-year-old with high-level tetraplegia (paralysis from the neck down), the NSCIC estimates.
Whiplash is, as its name implies, an injury to the neck caused by a jolt that causes sudden back-and-forth movement of the head. It most commonly occurs in rear-end collisions, which are the most common type of car accident in Indiana. In most cases, whiplash victims recover after a few weeks or months. Many whiplash victims who have severe neck pain and stiffness immediately after an accident are more likely to remain disabled a year later, according to a recent study cited by WebMD.
The Spine Research Institute of San Diego says more than 3 million Americans suffer from whiplash injuries each year and approximately 10 percent become permanently disabled. As many as 45 percent of people with chronic neck pain attribute the pain to an injury caused by a previous motor vehicle accident.
A blow to the back or sudden twisting of the torso in a car accident can injure tendons, ligaments or muscle, and cause lower back pain. A traumatic injury also may cause the spine to become overly compressed, which can cause a disc within the spine to rupture or herniate, exerting pressure on nerves connected to the spinal cord, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) says. If your spinal nerves become compressed and irritated, you may experience back pain or pain, tingling, and numbness radiating down the legs, which is known as sciatica.
About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic lower back pain with symptoms persisting a year after the initial injury. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain. In other cases, the pain persists despite medical and surgical treatment.
Mental Health Issues
Traumatic injuries suffered in car accidents can cause psychological problems over the long-term, too. Experiencing trauma, witnessing a death or suffering the physical pain of an injury may cause psychological issues that are often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as:
- Sudden, dramatic mood changes
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Flashbacks or repeated memories of the event.
“PTSD can cause an intense physical and emotional response to any thought or memory of the event,” a Healthline blog says. “It can last for months or years following trauma.”
If pain from a car accident injury becomes chronic it can contribute to the development of such psychological factors as anxiety and depression, the NINDS says in its discussion of lower back pain. Stress from chronic pain can affect the body in numerous ways, including causing muscle tension.
Contact Indianapolis Car Wreck Attorneys About Long-Term Injuries From Car Accidents
If you or your loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a car accident, your focus should be on your long-term recovery. Our experienced accident attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC have helped many Indiana families going through similar situations. We can assist you by preparing an assessment of the lifetime costs of the injury and seeking full compensation from insurance companies to help your family move forward.
The attorneys at Craig Kelley & Faultless LLC work to assess, document and obtain payment for all of our clients’ losses after a car accident injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Indiana, contact us in Indianapolis or Batesville, or online today to set up a free initial legal consultation.
Still researching? Here are a few car accident resources to help you get the information you need: