Car Accidents Can Result in Permanent Disabilities
National car accident statistics show that serious auto accident have a significant financial, emotional, and physical impact. Whether an accident is caused by a driver’s behavior or environmental factors such as drunk driving, inclement weather, road obstructions, construction zones, or excessive speeding the consequences for both drivers and passengers can be very serious. Every fourteen seconds a person is injured and every year almost forty thousand people are killed in a car crash.1 These numbers suggest that there is a significant level of emotional and physical healing that has to occur due to the impact of a car accident, but the recovery process becomes an even more complicated matter for the nearly two million people who annually suffer a permanent disability due to a car accident.2
What is a Permanent Disability?
A permanent disability is defined as any form of injury that impairs the physical or mental ability of a person to perform both normal work or non-occupational activities for the remainder of his or her life.3 Permanent disabilities can exist at multiple levels, where a person can be partially or totally disabled. This means that a permanent disability can exist even if a person can still work or perform former duties, despite the physical pain.4
How Does a Permanent Injury Effect a Car Accident Case?
Permanent disabilities create a life-long effect on a car accident victim’s finances, work life, and overall quality of life which is why seeking complete compensation is important. Some injures can be healed through a single one-time treatment or short recovery period, but permanent injuries often coincide with extensive treatment, medicine, hospital stays, doctor bills, therapy, and other medical expenses. This is why victims who suffer from a permanent injury not only have to seek recovery for bills and costs already incurred, but also to compensate for future expenses.5 The type of injury sustained also can significantly impact a person’s ability to return to work or a personal life, in the same fashion they had prior to the accident. A short term injury may result in a brief recovery period, but a permanent injury can mean that a person may never be able to return to their former employment placement. Depending on the type of permanent disability, an injured car accident victim may indefinitely be barred from returning to their job if it was a labor intensive or physically demanding position; in turn this means that an injured party may need to seek retraining for a different career or take a lower-paying job.6 This type of injury entitles a victim to recover compensation for the loss of income, not only sustained since the accident, but also projected losses in the future.7
What Permanent Disabilities Can be Caused by a Car Accident?
Depending on what part of the body sustains impact or injury determines what type of permanent disability may occur. The disability is directly related to the severity of the injury such as crushed limbs, dismemberment, vital organ damage, or burns. One of the most serious forms of injury is a traumatic brain injury which can cause a person to suffer from a concussion or coma that creates lasting cognitive problems.8 Similar forms of head injuries can create permanent hearing and vision disabilities. If limbs remain intact and a person does not become paralyzed, there can be significant damage to nerves, resulting in reduced sensation and limited control of arms, hands, legs, and feet.9 The most common accident injury is whiplash or other soft tissue injuries, even though pain and swelling commonly subsides, significant damage to muscle and ligaments can result in permanent pain, paralysis, and other mobility issues. The range of impairments and permanent disabilities potentially created by a serious auto accident is vast, but no matter the injury it is important to tackle the upcoming lifetime of pain, suffering, and expenses by receiving expert assistance both medically and legally.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been in a car accident that has resulted in a permanent disability it is important to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your rights and interests as a victim of a car accident. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.
LET US GET STARTED ON YOUR ST. LOUIS CAR ACCIDENT CASE TODAY
If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.
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