The Long-Term Effects of a Car Accident

The long-term effects of a car accident can be far-reaching and profound. In addition to physical challenges, injuries can also result in emotional and physiological trauma.

Below, the Florida car accident attorneys at Heintz & Becker discuss the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of a car accident and what victims can do to ensure long-term relief.

Physical Injuries

While some physical injuries heal over time, it doesn’t mean the body will be the same as it was before the accident. For many crash victims, there are long-term changes in mobility.

Soft tissue injuries, like sprains or tears to ligaments and tendons, can take weeks or months to heal depending on the age and health of the patient.

Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury among car accident victims, but it’s often brushed off as minor when that’s not always the case.

Car accident victims should always seek medical attention, even if the injury doesn’t pose an immediate concern. Without proper treatment, a minor injury can produce significant long-term effects.

Head injuries are another common crash injury that, depending on severity, can take months to heal and still result in long-term challenges for the victim.

For example, crash victims who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be more susceptible to further brain damage in the future (i.e., increased risk of seizure or stroke, advanced brain cell degradation, Alzheimer’s).

The long-term effects of brain injury can include a lengthy list of life-altering symptoms such as:

As you can see, even though many physical injuries heal over time, some will result in long-term challenges that can alter a victim’s enjoyment of life, ability to work, maintain relationships, and so on.

Emotional & Psychological Injuries

Not every injury after a car accident is visible. Emotional and psychological injuries, for example, can’t be seen but can impact a victim’s life in far-reaching ways.

Emotional distress resulting from an accident can have long-term effects on victims, with or without the presence of a significant physical injury.

Emotional injuries following a car accident might include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia

Psychological injuries can also result in long-term implications for car accident victims.

Examples of psychological injuries might include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress-induced chronic pain, or pathophysiological effects in the brain and central nervous system (typically a result of TBI).

Psychological injuries can create disabilities that impact leisure activities, work performance, and home life. Although these injuries can’t be seen explicitly, they have a significant impact on a victim’s life.

Compensation for Post-Accident Injuries

Florida does not currently have damage caps for standard personal injury cases. In 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled financial limits for noneconomic damages (pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc.) were unconstitutional, even in medical malpractice cases.

For victims, this means comprehensive compensation is available to cover damages that result from an accident, including the emotional and psychological injuries that can’t be seen.

Victims should seek legal representation that strives to uncover the true extent of damage before entertaining settlement negotiations. This allows your attorney to get to know you—and not just the injured you, but the person you were before the injury occurred.

If crash injuries prohibit a victim from enjoying leisure activities or the work they once loved, an experienced Florida injury attorney can help secure comprehensive compensation to mitigate the long-term ramifications of the accident or injury. 

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