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Long-Term Effects of Car Accidents

April 11, 2023Auto Accident

A car accident can happen in a matter of seconds, but its repercussions can last forever. A motor vehicle collision has the power to inflict serious and debilitating physical injuries on victims, as well as lasting emotional trauma. It is important not to underestimate the potential long-term effects of your car accident when determining the value of your car insurance claim in Colorado.

Lasting Physical Injuries

A car accident can cause a wide range of serious to catastrophic injuries. The human body is not made to withstand the extreme forces exerted upon it in a collision. Common injuries suffered in a crash include bone fractures, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, tendon and muscle damage, internal injuries, whiplash, and severe lacerations.

Moderate to severe injuries can have a lasting effect on a victim, with long-term consequences such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Nerve damage
  • Limited mobility
  • Trouble walking
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Paralysis
  • Brain damage
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Organ damage or failure
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Amputations

Even with years of physical therapy and rehabilitation, it may not be possible for a victim to restore full function in the injured limb or return to the same level of physical activity he or she enjoyed prior to the car accident. The victim may have to adapt to life with a partial or full disability.

Emotional Distress

A car accident can also have long-term emotional effects on a victim. Being involved in a car crash is not something a person will soon forget. The fear and chaos of the crash, as well as the pain of the injuries afterward, can leave lasting psychological scars. It is common for car accident survivors to struggle with various mental health disorders in the weeks, months and even years following a collision. These may include:

  • Mental anguish
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Psychological trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • A new phobia of driving
  • Panic attacks

Coping with the pain and suffering of being in a car accident can take extensive therapy and counseling. Some survivors experience emotional effects for the rest of their lives – especially those who sustained life-changing injuries or watched a loved one die. These effects can impact the victim’s ability to enjoy daily life, participate in favorite hobbies and activities, and maintain relationships with others.

The Loss of a Loved One

For victims who lost family members who suffered a wrongful death in a car accident, it can be impossible to ever return to life as usual. Families will feel the loss of a loved one forever. A deadly car accident can result in lasting grief, anguish, loss of consortium, financial losses and many other long-term ramifications for survivors. Family members may also suffer from survivor’s guilt if they were in the accident and survived.

Economic Damage

The short-term costs of a car accident are often obvious, such as the price to repair a motor vehicle or receive emergency medical care. A victim may not initially realize the long-term economic impact of a motor vehicle collision, however. A car accident can cost much more to a victim over the course of his or her lifetime than originally thought. Common long-term expenses include:

  • Ongoing medical care
  • Therapies and rehabilitation
  • Psychological counseling
  • Chiropractic care
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Disability accommodations
  • Home or vehicle modifications
  • Live-in nursing aide

Lost wages and lost future capacity to earn are two major categories of long-term economic damages. These losses alone can amount to millions of dollars lost in potential earnings over a victim’s lifetime due to a permanent disability. Proving these long-term expenses may require medical documentation, expert testimony, pay statements and letters from your employer.

An experienced Denver personal injury lawyer can help you seek fair financial compensation for all of the long-term effects of your car crash in Denver.