Most people who get hurt in motor vehicle collisions only suffer mild to moderate injuries. They may have soft tissue injuries that cause severe pain for a short amount of time or broken bones that force them out of work for a few weeks.
For a smaller percentage than those hurt in car crashes, the injuries they suffered will cause devastating, permanent symptoms. Before someone settles an insurance claim or decides against filing a civil lawsuit, it’s important that they have a realistic idea about the long-term impact of their injuries.
When will injuries from a motor vehicle collision have permanent consequences for someone?
When they hurt their spinal cord
Spinal cord injuries are unique. They fall at different points along the spine and cause varying symptoms. However, even incomplete injuries that may respond to therapy and surgery to improve function and sensation will still have lasting medical consequences.
Spinal cord injuries will likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat and can permanently reduce how much someone earns at work.
When they injure their brain
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause issues with balance or memory problems. It could also cause motor function issues and unexpected changes in personality. Although early intervention can improve someone’s prognosis for a TBI and treatments can help people adjust to life with their symptoms, a brain injury will require ongoing medical support and can permanently diminish someone’s income.
When they lose a limb or extremity
Sometimes, the violent motion of a car crash results in the traumatic amputation of an arm or leg right there at the scene of the collision. Other times, a person hurt in a car crash they have such extreme damage to their tissue that surgeons have no choice but to amputate. In either scenario, the loss of a limb or extremity will leave someone with both diminished income in the future and massive medical expenses.
Reviewing your current medical bills is not enough to determine the costs of a catastrophic, permanent injury. You need to look at the long-term financial implications of your injury before you settle an insurance claim or rule out a civil lawsuit. Maximizing compensation for catastrophic injuries will help you get adequate medical care and protect the people you love.