Long-Term Effects of a Car Crash: How it Can Impact Your Health, Finances and Mental Well-Being

meeting with man in wheelchairCar accidents can do more than cause physical injuries to those involved. Crashes can also be emotionally and financially damaging. Injuries can be expensive to treat, and some victims’ lives may never be the same. Many people do not realize how common it is for victims of car crashes to experience depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress.

Over the years, we have helped many auto accident victims, so we know how difficult the aftermath of a crash can be. Even if you get to the hospital right after the crash, you may have long-term injuries that will affect you for years to come.

Our experienced auto accident attorneys in Lafayette discuss the wide-ranging effects of a car accident below. For more than 25 years, we have been evaluating the injuries and losses suffered by car crash victims. We know how to account for the full effect of your damages, including long-term medical expenses and pain and suffering.

We have secured hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients and are ready to help you if you were involved in a car crash. Give us a call to discuss legal options.

No upfront fees. Free legal consultation.
Contact us at: (337) 984-8020.

What Types of Injuries May Be Caused by Car Crashes?

Some victims are lucky, and they suffer only minor injuries that heal in short order, such as:

  • Cuts
  • Minor sprains and strains of ligaments, muscles or tendons
  • Bruises
  • Broken bones

The trouble is some people assume they have minor injuries when that is not the case. They might decide to not go to the hospital, allowing their injuries to get worse. For example, victims often downplay soft-tissue injuries, such as damage to the soft tissues in their necks. These symptoms could be a sign of whiplash, which can be a painful, debilitating injury.

Crash victims should avoid assuming their injuries are minor. It is better to be safe and meet with a doctor to hear his or her opinion. If you have a serious injury, waiting to seek treatment could lengthen your recovery and increase the odds of more dangerous medical problems.

Crash victims who get a headache may assume it will go away, not realizing it could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion. Contrary to what some people think, you can suffer a concussion without losing consciousness.

Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Car Crashes

Here is a list of some life-changing injuries that could be caused by a car crash:

  • Spinal cord injury – Car accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, such as paraplegia and tetraplegia. These injuries leave their victims with lifelong paralysis, and numerous secondary conditions in addition to their limited mobility. For example, spinal cord damage can lead to a loss of bladder and bowel control.
  • Severe burns – If there is an explosion or something catches fire, vehicle occupants could suffer second, third or even fourth-degree burns. Severe burns damage the surface of the skin, but also layers of tissue underneath.
  • Amputations – Catastrophic car crashes may result in the loss of a limb.
  • Severe broken bone injuries, like compound fractures – Some broken bones can be set, and they will heal if the victim wears a cast. Unfortunately, some bone breaks require surgery and the implantation of screws or plates.
  • Damage to your back – While the injury might not be life-threatening, muscle and nerve damage can be incredibly painful. Victims may experience ongoing issues and chronic pain, including limited mobility and difficulty sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Traumatic brain injury Traumatic brain injuries could result in impaired motor and cognitive functioning, behavior changes and even death.
  • Internal organ damage – Victims could suffer damage to their internal organs, such as if they suffer a penetrating injury or blunt force trauma to the abdomen.
  • Lacerations – Broken glass or sharp metal or plastic could cause lacerations. Depending on the depth of the cut, victims could suffer damage to muscles and nerves. This increases infection risk.

Possible Long-Term Effects of Car Crashes

While two people could be diagnosed with the same or a similar injury, the side effects may be different.

Many long-term effects may result from a car accident injury, including:

  • Cognitive impairment, such as from a brain injury
  • Paralysis below the site of the spinal cord break
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Limited mobility
  • Trouble with motor skills
  • Poor balance
  • Changes in behavior and personality
  • Severe pain
  • Restrictions in movement caused by severe burns or soft-tissue injuries

Catastrophic injuries often take people out of the workforce. Their injuries leave them unable to do their previous job or another job. Some victims may be able to work on a part-time basis.

How Long Could It Take to Recover From a Car Crash Injury?

It may be months before doctors have a clear idea about how an injury is likely to affect the rest of a victim’s life. Unfortunately, some victims may never fully recover from a car accident injury, even with continued treatment and advances in medical care and technology.

For example, some people regain some mobility and function with physical therapy and other treatment. Often, it takes a year or two for spinal cord injury victims to determine how much mobility and function they can get back.

The recovery time for each victim also varies, based on many factors, such as the victim’s age, genetic factors and response to treatment.

Emotional Impact of Some Car Accidents

The emotional and psychological effects of a car crash can be just as debilitating as some physical injuries. For example, victims may experience flashbacks and develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, PTSD from a car accident is more common than many people realize.

Some other examples of mental health issues after an auto accident include:

  • Severe depression
  • Overwhelming anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble managing anger, such as after a brain injury
  • Feeling ashamed, such as if the victim were scarred or disfigured
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Becoming easily startled
  • Struggling to concentrate
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings
  • Feeling emotionally detached from loved ones
  • Humiliation

If you suffered severe injuries in a car crash, you may find that the physical limitations of your injuries prevent you from doing the things you used to do, such as playing with your kids. Your romantic relationship with your spouse may also be negatively affected.

Financial Impact of a Vehicle Collision

A catastrophic car crash injury can make you physically unable to do things on your own. For example, some victims may need daily assistance with household chores, or activities of daily living, like getting dressed or using the bathroom. They may even need to hire a caregiver.

Unfortunately, these victims are unable to work much, if at all. This raises many difficult questions: How are you supposed to pay your medical bills? How are you supposed to take care of your family? How can you pay for counseling for mental health issues?

It is not just your lost wages in the near term. You may have also lost benefits from a job, such as health insurance and retirement benefits. You will need compensation for your pain and suffering, both now and in the future.

At Galloway Jefcoat, we understand the importance of recovering compensation for ongoing damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and more. We have the resources and legal knowledge to gather evidence for these damages and to establish their value.

Call to Find Out How an Experienced Lawyer Could Help You

Working with an experienced law firm can make all the difference when you are seeking compensation for the injuries and damages suffered in a car crash.

The insurance company is going to look for some reason to undervalue your damages. Even if you suffered a life-altering injury they may only offer a tiny sum to settle your case.

This is why you need an experienced law firm to fight for your rights. Galloway Jefcoat has been helping crash victims in Louisiana for decades, and we have been getting results. Our lawyers have obtained millions on behalf of injured victims.

Experienced Lawyers. No upfront fees.
Call us at: (337) 984-8020.