Car accidents can happen instantly, yet it can take much longer to determine the ultimate effects of a crash if you or a loved one is injured. Moreover, accidents are not always straightforward, sometimes vehicle damage being the only visible sign that a car crash even occurred. But just because an accident might seem minor, it does not mean that there are no significant consequences.
Regardless if the accident results in minor or severe injuries, the haunting experience of a car crash is one you will be unlikely to forget anytime soon. According to a Naperville car accident lawyer, some serious injuries can have a delayed onset, masked by the adrenaline rush when the body is under stress.
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#1. Physical Effects
Most car crash victims suffer severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), broken bones, or spinal cord injuries. Moderate injuries such as whiplash may take months to treat. Orthopedic injuries can leave you immobile or with disabilities and chronic limitations. By contrast, a traumatic brain injury can lead to changes in personality, memory, and reasoning or limit your ability to perform the routine tasks of daily life.
Your injuries may also limit your activities with your partner, spouse, or children, creating missed opportunities to enjoy their company. As a victim of a traumatic brain injury, you may require the assistance of medical personnel to help you with basic things. This can affect you and also your loved ones. Aside from possibly damaging your interpersonal relationships, TBI can also cause other health complications.
#2. Emotional Effects
Stress is a usual health implication of car accidents. That is why you should pay close attention to the emotional effect of the traumatic experience. Contacting a mental health professional is advisable, as emotional trauma can disrupt your career or personal life. A study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) shows that about 44 million American adults live with an anxiety disorder. That statistic includes the number of people who experienced traumatic events such as car accidents. Unfortunately, as a car accident victim, you may suffer from mental health issues such as insomnia, panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, or various phobias.
Depression is another common emotional effect of car crashes, characterized by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in activities, or lack of concentration. If you find it hard to cope due to a car accident, you might be suffering from depression, especially if the accident had long-term repercussions such as a disability.
#3. Psychological Effects
A more severe psychological effect of car accidents that most may not be aware of is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people develop PTSD following a traumatic event, and the impact can devastate the ability to function normally in any setting, be it at home, with friends, or elsewhere. If you have PTSD, you may exhibit symptoms of anger, fear, shock, guilt, or a feeling of mistrust. The problem may linger and interfere with your everyday life, causing nightmares and flashbacks.
#4. Financial Effects
The NHTSA studies the economic costs of car accidents in the United States every decade, and according to the agency, the total economic cost of traffic collisions is $242 billion. Some financial effects of car accidents include loss of income, property damage, and medical expenses. When it comes to property damage, motor vehicle accidents can cause considerable repair or replacement expenses. Repairing the damage can be costly, and the car may have to be written off in some situations.
If you are involved in a car crash and suffer a disabling injury, the accident will interfere with your ability to work and earn a living. Although the accident causes a short break in work, there might be several days for which you will not be paid. Then again, medical care and treatment represent the most significant expense you could incur, especially if your injuries require expensive surgery. The expenses of medical care can be high, having a significant effect on you and your family.
The lifetime costs of catastrophic injuries can reach millions of dollars. In general, the more losses you suffer, the more your car accident claim will likely be worth. However, it is vital to remember that insurers will inevitably search for ways to minimize payouts. For that reason, it is highly recommended to engage the services of a car accident lawyer to help you seek compensation. A lawyer will know the effects a car accident can have on you and your family and will go the extra mile to identify all the liable parties to get the compensation you lawfully deserve.