Car accidents can be life-changing events. Not only can people walk away with emotional and mental scars but they can suffer serious financial damages physical and injuries.
Car crashes can lead to serious, even fatal, injuries, including catastrophic injuries. These injuries refer to injuries that cause serious and permanent harm to a person and that affect a person’s ability to maintain gainful employment. Catastrophic injuries can be sustained in a number of accidents, including car accidents.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries Sustained After a Car Accident
Car accidents can range in severity and cause a variety of injuries. Common types of catastrophic injuries resulting from car accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injuries. TBIs include injuries to the brain that can lead to swelling, bleeding, and other damage to the healthy tissue in the brain. While there are multiple types of TBIs a person can sustain, these injuries are typically the result of a blow to the head or a foreign object penetrating the skull. These injuries can affect you even more if you have suffered head trauma or had a TBI before the accident.
- Internal organ damage. Internal organ injuries can be fatal; as these injuries can be hard to initially diagnose, you should seek medical attention immediately after the crash regardless of your presenting symptoms. During the crash, your organs may have been bruised, ruptured, and lacerated, which can lead to internal bleeding and other health complications. These injuries typically require multiple surgeries and can lead to permanent or long-term issues.
- Severe bone fractures. Bone fractures occur when a bone is subject to a high-impact blow or stress. There are different types of fractures—the most severe being compound fractures that involve the bone puncturing the skin. Depending on the severity of a break, a person may require surgery, the implementation of screws or plates (to correct the break), and extensive physical therapy. These injuries can also lead to chronic pain. If a person suffers from multiple severe fractures, they may have a much longer recovery time, especially if they are an elderly person.
- Spinal cord damage. If you experience a blow to the spinal cord or its surrounding ligaments, tissues, vertebrae, or discs during a crash, you can sustain a spinal cord injury. Depending on where the injury is located, spinal cord injuries can lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia. These injuries can also be quite painful and cause pain in the back and other parts of the body.
- Burns. Third- and fourth-degree burns, especially those that cover a large portion of your body, are not only extremely painful but can lead to other health complications and injuries. In accidents where either vehicle involved catches fire or explodes, victims in the crash can suffer burns that require rehabilitation, plastic surgery, and/or grafts. Even with treatment, those with burn injuries may suffer from permanent nerve damage, scarring, and/or disfigurement that can affect their ability to work and daily life.
- Amputation. The loss of a limb after a car accident can occur because of a natural amputation during the crash or a medical amputation. Doctors may believe that a limb must be amputated if it is crushed or severely burned during the accident.
How Might a Catastrophic Injury Affect Your Life?
As we mentioned, catastrophic injuries can affect multiple aspects of a person’s life. Some of the most common ways a person can be affected include having:
- Chronic physical pain. Many catastrophic injuries cause a person to have long-term physical pain in the affected area.
- Emotional and/or mental trauma. Car accidents can lead to PTSD and other mental and emotional scars. If a person also suffers from a catastrophic injury, they may also suffer from emotional trauma. Noneconomic damages can be pursued to compensate accident victims for their emotional distress.
- Frequent and continued medical treatment. Catastrophic injuries can require extensive medical treatment, prescriptions, and at times, rehabilitation. After suffering the injury, you will likely have to attend frequent doctor visits and check-ups, and you may need regular physical therapy and treatment.
- Financial struggles. The treatment required for a catastrophic injury can be quite expensive. While your economic damages can compensate you for your medical expenses, you have to cover the costs upfront until a settlement is reached.
- Changes to your “norm.” A person’s daily life can change as they may have limited physical and/or mental capabilities after their accident. To adjust to daily life, they may have to modify or remodel their homes and figure out new ways to travel, make their meals, hold their child, and complete daily tasks.
Injured in a Negligence-Based Motor Vehicle Accident? Contact Us!
At McHargue & Jones, LLC, our attorneys are known for providing high-quality and compassionate legal counsel to our clients. For nearly 25 years, our firm has been serving the Chicago community, and we have helped thousands of clients receive fair compensation. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, we can help you understand your legal rights and options as well as calculate your damages and develop a solid case strategy.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call (312) 487-2461 today. Our firm has the knowledge and skills to handle your case.