The Long-Term Effects of Car Accidents
According to the National Safety Council, there are 282.4 million vehicles and 228 million licensed drivers in the United States. While driving has become significantly safer since cars first hit the roads, many still experience crashes resulting in significant injury(ies) and long-term effects. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin in Riverside, California are focused on their clients’ well-being and work closely with them to help them get the compensation that they deserve. We have a great track record with hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for our clients. Learn more through a free consultation at (951) 682-6400.
Can You Feel the Effects of a Car Accident Years Later?
Due to the severity of injuries in accidents, it is not uncommon to experience the long-term effects years later. At Heiting & Irwin, we have seen many cases where people didn’t realize the severity of their injury until months after a crash.
Common car accident injuries include head injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, chest injuries, broken bones, burns, and organ damage–all of which can have a long-lasting impact on the person injured. Some effects that you may feel years later may include:
- Cognitive issues that arise from head injuries even years after an accident, with symptoms such as personality changes or difficulty focusing or remembering
- Back and/or neck pain
- Tingling and numbness in the extremities
- Excessive sleeping and fatigue
- Headaches and nausea
What Are the Long-Term Emotional Effects From a Car Accident?
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, many people experience emotional distress after a car accident and may experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. While people often focus on the physical injuries from a car accident, people who have been in car accidents may also suffer from long-term emotional effects. Common symptoms of mental health deterioration after a car accident may include:
- Anxiety and fearfulness
- Mood swings
- Sleep issues and recurring nightmares
- Lack of appetite
- Little or no interest in usual activities
- Development of new phobias
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Car Accident
In some cases, especially following very violent car accidents, injured people may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of the trauma associated with the accident.
Symptoms of PTSD may include:
- Intense involuntary memories of the accident
- Sudden flashbacks
- Avoidance of anything that they associate with the accident such as even being around a car
- Emotional or physical distress after encountering something that reminds them of the accident
- Depression and possibly self-harm
Compensation for Non-Economic Damages
Following a car accident, you may be able to recover non-economic damages, such as any long-term emotional effects. The experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys at Heiting & Irwin may be able to answer your questions about your right to compensation for long-term emotional effects from a car accident.
What Are the Three Impacts of a Car Crash?
When we think about the long-term effects of a car crash, we might only think about vehicle damage, or the immediate evidence of physical injuries; however, engineers and emergency medical personnel suggest that there are three separate impacts of a car crash.
- Vehicle Impact: This is the impact of the outside of the vehicle striking something else, such as another vehicle or object. The severity of the impact can be influenced by the speed of the objects, the weight of the vehicles, and even the age of the vehicle.
- Body Impact: This refers to the occupant of the vehicle hitting something inside of the vehicle. An item such as a telephone or a children’s toy could fly forward and hit someone, or the body could be thrust forward into another part of the car. If the occupant is buckled, the seat belt can often protect them from certain severe impacts within the vehicle or from being ejected from the window. This same safety belt can also be the source of bruising other injury to the body.
- Organ Impact: This is the impact on the inside of an occupant’s body–to their internal organs. During an accident, the organs, which are free-floating, may move forward, resulting in injuries such as muscle tears, or the brain hitting the skull and, possibly, causing a concussion, or worse.
How a Lawyer May Be Able To Help
If you are suffering from the long-term effects of a car accident, you may be eligible to claim damages. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney may be able to answer your questions and to guide you through the legal process. Heiting & Irwin in Riverside County, California, has gone to trial or settled myriad auto accident cases in the last 45 years and has a proven track record of success. Reach out to us today for a free personalized consultation by calling (951) 682-6400.