Vehicle Crashes and Permanent Disability
A car wreck can change your life forever. Though many people suffer vehicle accidents and walk away with little to no damage, others are not so fortunate. A permanent injury plagues a person for the rest of their life, causing a need for expensive medical care and ongoing treatment, diminished work capacity and a lower quality of life.
Examples of Dangerous Crash Types
Any type of vehicle crash can cause serious injuries, though some are more likely than others to cause a person permanent disabilities. Here are a few of the most common crash types:
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of collision on our roads, and they are often thought of as being less likely to cause a person permanent damage. However, rear-end collisions at high speeds can be extremely dangerous.
Example scenario: Car A is stopped at a stop light. Car B is distracted and fails to notice the light, crashing into Car A at a speed of 35 miles per hour. The driver of Car A, in addition to being struck from behind, also slams into the steering wheel and suffers a traumatic brain injury.
Side-impact collisions occur when a vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle, typically at a perpendicular angle (also known as a T-bone accident.)
Example scenario: Car A is passing through an intersection. Car B doesn’t notice the light has changed, and unknowingly runs the red light, smashing into Car A. The occupant in the passenger side of Car A has their hip shattered from the impact, requiring extensive surgery and resulting in a permanent disability.
Head-on collisions are perhaps the most dangerous of all collisions due to the force generated from two cars travelling in opposite directions.
Example scenario: Car A is traveling up the off-ramp of an interstate exit. Car B mistakenly takes the same off-ramp thinking it was the entrance ramp. It is late at night, and the driver of Car B doesn’t notice that they are traveling the wrong way. Both cars swerve at the last moment, but it is too late. The driver of Car A is ejected from the vehicle, causing a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis.
In all three of the examples above, the crash and the resulting injuries were caused by a negligent driver. It’s not a coincidence that we cited a driver’s mistakes as the cause of these devastating crashes. Up to 94 percent of crashes are caused by human error, and it is often an error which leaves someone else with a permanent disability.
Examples of Permanent Disabilities from Vehicle Accidents
- Traumatic Brain Injuries and/or Brain Damage
- Spinal Cord Injuries and/or Paralysis
- Shattered Bones or Joints
- Fractured Hip
How Much is a Permanent Disability Worth?
Anyone who has personal experience with these types of injuries knows just how seriously they can impact lives of a victim and the victim’s family. Permanent disabilities are incredibly expensive. They alter a person’s ability to work and to earn an income. They might result in the need for permanent ongoing care and medical assistance. They can also cause a person to be depressed or anxious and lead to post-traumatic stress. Permanent disabilities can range from paralysis to cognitive impairment and cover all points in between. These are factors that an attorney will consider when helping their client determine the value of a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims are a tool that victims can use to hold a negligent driver accountable for the damages they have caused. Damages include direct costs of a crash (medical bills, medications, property damage, etc.) but they can also include the pain and suffering of a victim. There is no precise method of determining the amount of a permanent disability without research and investigation. An experienced vehicle accident attorney will know how to help their client determine the amount that best serves their needs.
Permanent disabilities are some of the worst outcomes of a vehicle accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a major car crash, contact McNeely Stephenson to learn more about your options. Our attorneys have years of experience handling complex, catastrophic injury claims, and we can put our knowledge and resources to work for you and your family. Call us today for a free consultation.