A car accident is an event that happens in one moment but has a lasting major impact on your life. Accident victims suffer from severe pain immediately after the crash. However, the deepest type of suffering – mental and emotional anguish – as well as potential lifelong disabilities, appear later, when doctors have done their best to help the person recover and reached the point of maximum medical improvement with the best treatment plans available. As personal injury lawyers, the entire team at CAIL Law Firm, we are committed to helping traffic accident victims recover as many accident damages as possible.
While we cannot help you recover your full health and enjoyment of life, we can make sure that your everyday life is financially assured. Thus, you can proceed on the path to recovery without worrying about medical bills and regular expenses.
A Car Crash Has Widespread Implications
The screech of tires, deafening noise of crushed metal and broken glass – that’s what most accident victims report remembering after a crash. However, as any personal injury lawyer knows, the implications of this traumatic event affect all the aspects of a person’s life:
- their physical health
- their mental health and emotional wellbeing
- their financial security.
Some people lose their lives as a result of fatal physical injury. Their death has a long-lasting effect on the bereaved family, who are trying to find closure for the loss of their loved one and a way to pay for burial expenses and cover for the loss of income they have sustained.
When we see a new client for the first time, we do understand what they are going through. And this is why we strive to do our best and make sure that justice is served when someone is injured in motor vehicle crashes due to another person’s negligence.
Let us look in detail at the ways in which a person’s life can be affected by an automobile accident.
Accident Victims Can Suffer Catastrophic Injuries
Physical injuries are the most obvious outcomes of a car crash. The most common types of auto accident injuries are:
- musculoskeletal injury (broken bones, bruised muscles)
- soft tissue injuries
- neck injuries
- burn injuries
- head trauma
- spine injuries
- traumatic brain injury
A catastrophic injury can leave lifelong effects, from reduced range of motion to permanent disability (paralysis, the need to use a walking frame or crutches). Even common injuries, such as whiplash, can cause ongoing neck pain and other debilitating symptoms.
Many Accident Victims Suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental health condition caused by being involved in or witnessing a terrifying event. Motor vehicle accidents are certainly terrifying for everyone involved, as well as for onlookers. People suffering from PTSD usually experience symptoms such as:
- ongoing memories of the circumstances of the accident
- trying to avoid places or life situations that remind them of the accident
- negative change of personality and moods
- being easily frightened
- always looking out for potential dangers.
PTSD changes a person’s outlook and approach to life for the worse and can ruin relationships. With therapy, victims may recover and put the traumatic event behind them. However, they need long term counseling, which represents one more expense they have to cover.
Physical and Emotional Impact of Car Accidents: Reduced Quality of Life
Reduced quality of life represents any kind of condition or injury requiring ongoing treatment and preventing a person from returning to all the professional and personal activities prior to the car crash. Many people may appear to have suffered minor injuries (such as soft tissue damage), but they may be left with chronic pain. Or, although there is no visible damage to their body, they suffer from anxiety, emotional trauma and mental anguish.
These are accident after-effects that may occur weeks or months later, triggered by an image or a sound.
Major Car Accident Injuries May Prevent You from Resuming Your Job
Being unable to return to your job is a double blow for any person. First, they have lost their earning capacity, and cannot provide for their family. Secondly, they feel that all the decades of training and accumulating experience in their field of activity were pointless.
While everyone works for money, many people actually love their job. Being unable to do it anymore represents a strong emotional trauma. Plus, they have to take rehabilitation courses and learn a new skill (if they are still capable of any kind of work). This means time and more expenses while being unable to earn an income in the meantime.
Accident Victims May Lose Their Credit Score
One of the negative impacts of an accident in terms of money is the inability to pay all bills as they become due. Any overdue bills mean that your credit score will start going down. Anyone knows how hard it is to build a good credit score, by paying all your bills and expenses on the credit card on time, year after year. And, in a few months, you may lose your good financial standing in the eyes of lending institutions.
Car Insurance Premiums May Go Up
After an accident with damage, your insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate the case in order to determine whether you can file an accident insurance claim. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the five US states that uses a pure contributory negligence principle in personal injury law.
This means that even if you are 1% at fault for your accident, you cannot recover any damages. Moreover, the auto insurance company will increase your monthly premiums. This means that you are left with financial losses and with extra expenses to pay in the long run.
Here are some aspects that may be considered contributory negligence:
- not wearing an adult seat belt behind the steering wheel or as a passenger in the front seat
- exceeding the speed limit (although the other car hit you)
- making a turn without signaling and being involved in a rear-end accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident
An experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights and assist you in recovering as many damages as possible. However, you need to be careful about what you say or do in the aftermath of the crash.
The most important thing to remember is that you should not make any statements to an insurance adjuster who comes to inspect your damaged car or visit you in hospital. Any innocent word may be construed as an admission of guilt or give the impression that you are partly at fault for the accident.
The best course of action is to seek medical treatment, collect as much evidence from the accident scene and present your case to an experienced personal injury attorney. Be open and honest in everything you say to the lawyer, and hide no aspect that may influence your case in the future.
Finally, remember that the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia is 2 (two) years after the date of the accident. Thus, you should retain legal representation as soon as possible in order to complete all the legal procedures in due time.
Hire a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Law Firm!
At CAIL Law Firm, you will be assisted by a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys, with in-depth knowledge of the law and experience in the most complex motor vehicle accident cases. We will explain your legal options clearly and assist you in making the best choice in your situation.
We do not charge any upfront fees, so call us now for a free case evaluation: 1-800-HURT-123!