A car accident happens in an instant. However, the effects of a car accident can be long-lasting. In fact, being a crash victim may impact you in the future in ways you might not expect.
The Florida car accident lawyers at Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC explain the long-term effects of a car accident.
10 Long-Term Effects of a Car Accident
Mental and emotional anguish
A car accident can be mentally and emotionally damaging. A victim may suffer from a range of mental injuries, including anxiety, PTSD, irritability, depression, and flashbacks. They may be nervous about being in a vehicle or driving.
Anxiety may be common in all parts of life and not just specifically related to motor vehicles. A victim may not even realize that their emotional trauma is related to the car accident. They may simply notice changes in their mental health.
Lost career potential
In the short term, a car accident interferes with a person’s ability to work and earn an income. Long term, a person’s entire career may be impacted.
Physical and mental injuries may influence a person’s career path. The result may be a lowered earning potential that negatively impacts income for many years in the future.
Future medical bills
When injuries are severe, medical bills are rarely fully resolved by the end of a car accident claim. A victim may have physical injuries that last for a lifetime. Future medical bills can be costly, but therapies and new technology can improve a person’s quality of life. In addition, the victim may need nursing and personal care in the years to come.
Physical limitations and disfigurement
Lasting physical injuries may mean physical limitations. A person may have limitations in major life activities like walking and daily living tasks. Visible disfigurement may include scars and posture changes. These limitations may continue to improve, or they may be permanent.
Car accident victims often live with chronic pain. Chronic pain can occur for several reasons, like inflammation, nerve damage, and soft tissue damage. Living with daily pain can create discomfort and stress. In turn, it can limit the quality of life.
Treating chronic pain can be challenging. A victim may need surgery or medication. Chronic pain can come with long-term financial and personal costs following a car accident.
Lowered life expectancy
Certain injuries may lower life expectancy. For example, a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury can reduce someone’s life expectancy by up to nine years. Certain injuries increase the risk of death from infection, pneumonia, or a fall.
The mental health injuries that may result from a car accident may create risk factors like poor sleep, weight management, depression, social isolation, or substance abuse.
Diminished vehicle value
Even when a vehicle is repaired, it loses some value just because it was in an accident. The loss of value from being in a car accident is the inherent diminished vehicle value. It is a loss of market value. A vehicle that has been in a crash doesn’t have the same resale value as a vehicle with a history that is accident free.
Damage to lifestyle
Car accidents change lives. A person who has car accident injuries may have long-term damage to their lifestyle. Many years or even decades later, a victim may experience lingering effects. They may not be able to walk as well as they would have without their injuries. They may not be able to go jogging or ride a bike. They may have retired early, whereas they would not have if they hadn’t been in an accident.
Damage to lifestyle can be physical as well as mental. In whatever way a person’s lifestyle is damaged, it can be a long-term impact of a car accident.
Changes to family dynamics
A car accident changes the victim’s life and, in turn, can change the life of an entire family. A person who used to provide care for family members may suddenly be the one needing care. Someone who relied on a parent for guidance and financial support may no longer receive these things. A car accident can impact the entire dynamic of the family. These changes may be long-term following a car accident.
A car accident victim may sadly suffer additional trauma in their life. Following the car accident, they may have pre-existing conditions if secondary trauma occurs. Additional trauma may be more serious than it might have been because the body is injured and vulnerable.
If a victim seeks compensation in a later case, they may find themselves defending against allegations of pre-existing conditions from the car accident.
FAQs About the Effects of Car Accidents
Will my car insurance go up after an accident?
According to Florida law § 626.9541, your car insurance rates should not go up after an accident unless you were substantially at fault for the accident.
Can the long-term effects of a car accident be a part of a claim for compensation?
To the extent that they can be reasonably determined, long-term effects of a car accident can be part of a claim for compensation. You must identify the future impact, determine the appropriate amount reduced to present value and include the amount in your claim for compensation.
What do I need to know about the long-term effects of a car accident?
When you have a car accident claim, you should know that it’s very hard to reopen a closed claim. Even if you have long-term damages or the situation changes in the future, your car accident settlement is usually final. It’s important to ensure that your settlement reflects all the damages you may be entitled to now and in the future.
Contact Our Florida Lawyers About Your Car Accident Case
The long-term effects of a car accident can be far-reaching. That’s why it’s critical to work with an experienced car accident lawyer. At Maderal Byrne & Furst, we ensure that your car accident claim addresses current and future damages. Contact us today for a review of your case.