Long-Term Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Long-Term Injuries Caused by Car AccidentsCar accidents can easily take a turn for the worst. Some car accident victims are fortunate enough to leave with a few scratches and bruises. Some victims may think that they are alright until their backs and necks hurt days after the accident. Then there are some victims who experience permanent injuries from their accident.

Some of the most serious long-term injuries that can impact a person’s quality of life after a Las Vegas car accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries are the most severe forms of head trauma, and are also among the more common injuries in a crash. In a car accident, a driver or passenger can suffer from a TBI after hitting a dashboard, steering wheel, windshield, air bag, or object outside of the vehicle. But, brain injuries are also possible without the head hitting anything. After the initial impact, the brain can also hit the opposite side of the skull (called a coup-contrecoup injury), causing trauma to multiple parts of the brain.
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCI). Another permanent injury that is caused by car accidents is a spinal cord injury. The fragile bundle of nerves in the spinal cord can be bruised, torn, or severed completely. Based on the location and the amount of damage the spinal cord endures, the victim can endure chronic pain or paralysis.
  • Herniated disks. A herniated disk occurs when the nucleus of a spinal disc (the “rubbery” cushion between the spinal vertebrae) pushes out from its exterior. When this happens, the nerves in the spinal cord can be irritated or pinched, which can cause pain, tingling, or weakness. In some cases, surgery is required to remove a part of the disc or to fuse parts of the spine together.
  • Amputations. Car accident victims can also be crushed from the accident’s impact. Body parts can be severed, or be so damaged that amputation may be the only way to save the victim. The psychological trauma from the loss of a body part  affects the victim for the rest of their lives, and many amputees live with some form of “phantom limb syndrome,” which can be painful.
  • Burns. Burns are another long-term injury that result from car accidents. Victims with second, third, and fourth-degree burns experience damage to various layers of the skin. Fourth-degree burns are so severe that they can affect a person’s muscles, nerves, and tendons, and many prove to be fatal. Victims with burn injuries are in danger of experiencing shock from their burns, and may also develop complications including contracture over their joints (which limits mobility), respiratory problems, issues with regulating their own body temperature (if the pores fuse close), and acute compartment syndrome (which can cause tissue necrosis).
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One common psychological injury people develop after a car accident is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition which makes it difficult to recover from a traumatizing experience. One study published in Australia found that Americans are more likely to develop PTSD from a crash than other foreign nationals. In some cases, victims may be unable to tolerate certain loud sounds or flashing lights, or may find themselves unable to drive. In severe cases, victims may develop agoraphobia and be unable to leave their homes.

Why do long-term injuries matter in a Las Vegas car accident claim?

In car accident claims, the victim (or plaintiff) seeks compensation based on medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated costs. In cases where the victim heals, the medical costs and lost wages may be easier to calculate. Victims with long-term injuries, on the other hand, may require treatment for years, or even the rest of their lives.

There is significant financial stress that comes with coping with a long-term injury. Injured victims may have to pay for ongoing medical services, such as in-home care services. Some victims may require surgery or medical devices, or may need to renovate their homes so they are accessible for wheelchairs. Certain types of long-term injuries may leave them unable to work or support their families. Most importantly, victims will have to cope with the way that their injuries will affect their overall quality of life. The special moments with their families, like playing with their children and driving their children to school, may no longer happen.

What damages can victims with long-term injuries pursue?

If you are the victim of a car accident that led to long-term injury, you can seek damages for:

  • Current and future medical expenses. You can seek compensation for the medical expenses that you currently pay and the medical expenses that you will be paying for the rest of your life.
  • Lost income. Your injury will affect your ability to work and maintain your lifestyle. You can seek compensation for the amount of income that you have lost out on and will lose out on in the future.
  • Pain and suffering. You can seek compensation for the amount of physical and mental pain that you have endured from your injury, and the loss of your quality of life.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, our Las Vegas and Reno car accident lawyers can help. Call Claggett & Sykes in Las Vegas at 702.333.7777, in Reno at 775-322-2923, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with an experienced trial lawyer.