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What Happens When a Car Accident Causes a Permanent Disability?

Car accidents can range from minor fender benders to devastating crashes. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, you understand that the consequences can be physically, emotionally, and financially overwhelming. When a car accident leads to permanent disabilities, however, the stakes can be even higher—and an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can help.

Car Accidents: The Statistics

The Association for Safe International Road Travel shares some startling statistics related to car crashes in the United States:

  • More than 37,000 people die in car accidents each year
  • Another 2.35 million are injured or disabled
  • More than 1,600 children younger than 15 die annually in car crashes
  • Car accidents cost the United States $230 billion per year.

Permanent Disabilities

A permanent disability precludes you from performing your normal work duties or engaging in typical daily activities in which you participated before your car accident. Furthermore, permanent disabilities are ongoing and will affect you for the rest of your life. Such disabilities can range in degree, established by determining at what level (if any) you can continue to work despite your permanent disability. In other words, permanent disabilities can range from partial to total.

The Overarching Consequences of a Permanent Disability

While every car accident is potentially devastating, those that lead to permanent disabilities can be especially tragic. A permanent disability can adversely affect your work, personal life, and even your very quality of life. As such, seeking complete and just compensation is paramount.

Permanent injuries not only lead to extensive medical and therapeutic treatment, hospital stays, and cascading expenses, but also ongoing, unpredictable future expenses. Every case is unique and must be specifically evaluated in relation to the individual losses you have suffered, along with the projected losses of future earnings and quality of life. This is where a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer comes in—your attorney will help you navigate the confusing terrain of establishing the extent of damages you have suffered and will fight for the compensation to which you are entitled.

Car Accidents and Permanent Disabilities

Car accidents can lead to permanent disabilities that relate to the circumstances and the severity of the accident involved, including:

  • Paralysis caused by spinal cord trauma
  • Complete or partial limb amputation
  • Sensory deprivations, including deafness or blindness
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Limb deformation that results in mobility impairment
  • Ongoing psychological trauma

Such conditions are obviously catastrophic to the sufferer, but also have significant repercussions for the victim’s support system, including family and friends. If you or someone you care about has suffered a permanent injury in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney.

Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be so physically, emotionally, and financially damaging that it is worth taking a closer look at this particular injury. TBIs occur when the brain is smashed against its protective cover—the skull. They can be caused by blows to the head or by wrenching back-and-forth motions of the head—both of which are common to car accidents. Because your brain is your body’s command central, any injury can lead to irreparable and far-reaching consequences.

Even a relatively minor car accident can lead to a traumatic brain injury, and these injuries can go initially undetected. For this reason, TBIs are often referred to as invisible or silent injuries. The long-lasting repercussions of TBIs can be so traumatic that it’s important to understand what the symptoms might look like:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Unconsciousness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Newly acquired sleep disturbances
  • Sudden onset of incoordination
  • Sudden onset of confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness and weakness
  • Sudden mood swings or changes in personality
  • Sudden onset of speech problems

The permanent emotional and psychological effects of TBI can be just as—if not more—damaging as TBI’s physical effects. Some TBI victims, for example, find that they can no longer manage their emotions in a way that’s familiar to them. Such consequences can be emotionally and socially isolating, and can lead to mental health issues, including depression.

Not All Permanent Disabilities Are Visible

The permanent disabilities caused by car accidents can present in any number of ways, and not all of them are visibly apparent. If you remain physically healthy but your mental health, cognitive functioning, or emotional stability have been adversely affected, the consequences you suffer can be just as significant. You may require ongoing counseling and therapy. Furthermore, you could experience mental pain and suffering as well as a diminished capacity to enjoy your life. Never overlook or minimize these are serious consequences.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be legally entitled to compensation. If your injuries resulted in a permanent disability, you know how traumatic that can be. Do not rely on the insurance company involved to adequately and justly calculate your losses. Insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts, and they do not necessarily make your just compensation their top priority. Because your rights and your fair compensation matter, you need experienced legal counsel who will negotiate with the insurance company, advise you against accepting lowball offers, and advocate for a fair settlement amount.

If You’ve Suffered a Permanent Disability, Call a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible

If you’ve suffered a permanent disability in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you are no doubt overwhelmed. You don’t, however, need to face this crisis alone. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Abels & Annes are here to help. We have the skill and commitment to fight for your case and your rights. If you’ve been injured and need legal counsel, please don’t hesitate to contact or call our office at (312) 924-7575 for a free consultation today.