Car accidents involve tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year, with many injuries proving severe or fatal. Even if you walk away pain-free from a vehicular accident, however, you may be able to collect compensation for a variety of reasons. Here are some to keep in mind if you are ever involved in a traffic collision.
Scrapes, cuts, bumps, and bruises are just some of the physical injuries a person may experience following a car crash. Internal bleeding, concussion, organ damage, muscle spasms, broken bones, and other unseen bodily harm may not become evident right away. In fact, until symptoms manifest and are evaluated by doctors, a person may be unaware of internal damage. It is very important to have a thorough medical exam immediately after the accident and again if symptoms are noticed in the days or weeks that follow.
Sometimes victims of car accidents are dazed or numb right after the impact. Mental fog may not clear for some time. When it does, the victim may experience extreme anxiety that could lead to panic attacks, severe depression over the resulting issues, and possibly post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD, which may recur periodically due to spontaneous triggers for months or even years to come. In the case of possible brain damage, such as concussion or post-concussion syndrome, cognitive tests and vision checks may be needed right after the accident and months later to look for any changes in the victim’s conditions resulting from the auto accident.
Transportation and service costs.
If the accident victim is unable to drive due to injuries, transportation expenses like a bus pass or taxi fares may be collectible for medical appointments and rides to and from work. Someone who lives alone or cares for a family and is unable to perform self-care or family duties may be able to claim compensation for paid service, such as delivered meals or housecleaning assistance.
All medical, dental, vision, and psychiatric expenses related to evaluation or treatment of accident injuries may be considered for compensation. It will be important to obtain full medical reports from the experts that accurately state the patient’s condition, injuries, diagnosis, treatment, reevaluation, and prognosis for full recovery, along with costs for these services. Ambulance and other special costs may likewise be reviewed for potential compensation.
Missed work is a common factor considered for compensation following a car crash. The responsible party may have to pay the injured person for days missed due to accident-related issues. If the accident victim loses a job because he or she loses the ability to perform it like before, the transition to unemployment or switchover to a new line of work should be included in the damages, as well.
Loss of consortium.
This is a legal term meaning the loss of a sexual relationship with a spouse due to accident injuries, and it may be worth compensation. The inability to interact meaningfully, as before, with family members and loved ones can sometimes be included in the claim for damages. Not being able to exercise, which can negatively impact health, may play a role in calculating damages from the car accident. Being unable to participate in family functions, lime a boating excursion, for example, due to accident-imposed limitations should be discussed with an attorney as to its potential for compensation.
A car accident can change someone’s life temporarily or permanently. Damages may be slight or significant. Only medical doctors can clearly evaluate the extent of any harm caused in all probability by the accident. Some issues may be less clear, such as whether reduced vision was caused by an accident-related concussion or is merely a sign of advanced age.
A personal injury attorney understands the law and can apply it objectively to your circumstances for a fair assessment of your claim for damages. The legal system will ultimately decide by jury trial the merit of your claim. Following an auto accident, it is always best to consult a lawyer for guidance on whether you have sustained injuries that may be deemed worthy of compensation, and if so, how to proceed.