It’s hard to know in the immediate aftermath of a crash just how serious your injuries are. If you are seeking damages from another driver who is at fault for the crash, however, it is essential that you understand the full extent of your injuries before you agree to a settlement for compensation. If your injuries will likely leave you permanently disabled, your demand for damages must factor in your immediate costs as well as potential life-long expenses.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury in an Indiana car crash, it is vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the crash. As you receive medical treatment and a prognosis for recovery, your attorney will be dealing with the insurance company and protecting your claim in order to get the compensation you will need to live with a permanent disability.
Car Accident Injuries That Can Cause Life-Long Disabilities
Catastrophic injuries usually happen in high-speed or multi-vehicle crashes, but any vehicle collision can cause life-altering injuries. Some common car accident injuries that often in a permanent disability include the following:
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or loss of motor and sensory function below the site of injury, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Severe head injuries can lead to long-lasting cognitive, physical, and psychological impairments, including permanent disabilities affecting memory, mobility, speech, or emotional well-being.
- Amputations. The loss of limbs or body parts due to traumatic injuries sustained in a car accident can result in permanent physical disabilities.
- Severe fractures. Complex or multiple fractures to the bones, such as the pelvis, femur, or major joints, may lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, and permanent disability.
- Internal organ damage. Significant damage to internal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, or lungs, can result in long-term impairments or organ failure requiring ongoing medical treatment or transplant.
- Severe burns. Extensive burns from a car accident can cause permanent disfigurement, scarring, and limited mobility.
- Spinal disc injuries. Herniated or ruptured spinal discs can cause chronic pain, limited range of motion, and neurological deficits that can be long-lasting.
- Joint injuries. Severe injuries to joints, such as the knees, hips, or shoulders, may result in chronic pain, instability, and reduced functionality, potentially leading to a permanent disability.
- Nerve damage. Traumatic nerve injuries can cause persistent pain, numbness, loss of sensation, or impaired motor function.
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). This chronic pain condition, often triggered by trauma, can result in severe and prolonged pain, limited mobility, and functional impairment.
Disabilities caused by these types of injuries can require a life-long need for expensive treatments, therapies, and support.
Costs Associated With Permanent Disabilities Caused by a Car Crash
If you sustained one or more of the injuries listed above, you could be facing years of treatment and the need for help with personal care for the rest of your life. A skilled attorney will be able to project your long-term costs once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Some of these expenses might include:
- Medical care. Ongoing medical expenses include doctor visits, specialists, medications, therapies (physical, occupational, speech), and assistive devices such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, or hearing aids.
- Personal care assistance. Costs associated with hiring caregivers or personal care attendants to assist with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and mobility support, can be astronomical over the long term.
- Home modifications. You might incur expenses for adapting your living environment to accommodate your disability, such as adding ramps, widened doorways, accessible bathrooms, and assistive devices.
- Rehabilitation and therapy. Continual rehabilitation and therapy services are often needed to maintain and improve your functional abilities and quality of life.
- Transportation. You might require accessible transportation services, vehicle modifications, or specialized vehicles to accommodate your mobility needs.
- Adaptive equipment and technology. Expenses related to adaptive equipment, assistive technology, and communication devices that enhance independence and accessibility can be prohibitively high.
- Home health care. If you require skilled nursing or continuous medical care at home, the costs for home health care services can be significant.
- Loss of income. You could be owed compensation for the loss of earning capacity due to the disability, considering reduced work hours, career changes, or inability to work in the same capacity as before the accident.
These are just a few of the burdensome costs accident victims with disabilities could be forced to live with. If the crash was caused by a negligent party, that person should be made to pay.