Accidents can happen anywhere, and even injuries that seem minor can have major, long-term impacts on a person’s life. In too many cases, people who are victims of personal injury accidents are reluctant to file a claim because they don’t think it’s worth it, or they’re not understanding how their injury could affect them months and even years from now.
Long-Term Effects of Personal Injuries
If offered an insurance company settlement, they may accept it without realizing the future costs they could incur. Once you have signed a settlement or have allowed several years to go by without filing a claim, you will lose the right to do so. In these situations, you will be responsible for ongoing medical costs, while facing potentially permanent disabilities.
Understanding the long-term effects of personal injuries can help you avoid making the kinds of mistakes that could threaten you and your loved ones’ financial security, both now and in the years to come.
Are You Thinking about Personal Injuries Long-Term?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a billion people live with some form of disability, many of which are the result of accidental injuries. Although getting immediate medical treatment often helps to diagnose and repair the injury, such as getting an MRI to gauge damaged tissues and nerves or a cast to set a broken arm, there is often little that can be done to determine or mitigate the long-term effects the victim could suffer.
The WHO warns that long-term effects of personal injuries may include:
Physical Impairments caused by Personal Injury:
- Your ability to walk, run, stand, sit, bend, or carry items may be impaired, making even simple tasks, such as driving a car, dressing yourself, and carrying a pocket book or grocery bags difficult or even impossible to do.
Cognitive Impairments caused by Personal Injury:
- These impairments may impact your memory and ability to think, speak, or comprehend what you read or things that are being said to you. As a result, you may be unable to read a book or a shopping list, communicate your thoughts and feelings, or remember important dates and names.
Sensory Impairments caused by Personal Injury:
- These impact your ability to taste, smell, hear, and feel, and may result in either partial or complete loss of hearing or sight.
Psychological Impairments caused by Personal Injury:
- Many people who suffer injuries end up having psychological problems in the aftermath, including depression and anxiety. Some may experience insomnia and sleep disorders or be more likely to become easily irritated or suffer from fits of rage.
Lifestyle Changes After Personal Injury:
In addition to the impairments listed above, there are often changes in lifestyle from personal injury that can have devastating impacts both on you and those you love. These may include being unable to work or support your family, as well as being unable to participate in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed, such as family outings or games with your children. Social activities and personal relationships, including the ability to have intimate relations with your partner, may be impacted as well.
How Much Compensation Do You Really Deserve for your Personal Injury?
Considering the ways personal injuries affect your life, it is important to think of not only the current medical costs and lost wages you have suffered, but also the future costs you are likely to incur. Under Rhode Island law, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim for damages you suffer as the result of another party’s reckless or negligent actions, including both actual and estimated costs. Damages you may be entitled to in a claim include:
- Current and future medical expenses and rehabilitative costs
- Lost wages and future loss in income and benefits
- Compensation for current and ongoing pain, suffering, and mental anguish caused by your injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life, which compensates you for the loss of activities you can no longer engage in
- Loss of consortium, which is compensation awarded to your spouse, due to the loss of companionship he or she may suffer due to your injury
- Punitive damages, a dollar amount designed to punish at-fault parties for actions that showed a particularly reckless and willful disregard for others
As you can see, the cost of an injury can be considerably more than that original hospital bill. So it’s important that you discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney who can thoroughly assess exactly how much you should pursue in damages.
Have You Suffered an Injury with Long-Term Effects?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 30 million people visit hospital emergency rooms each year in the United States as the result of accidental injuries. Although frequently attributed to accidental causes, these injuries are often the result of another person or company’s negligent or reckless actions.
Reckless drivers, store owners who allow dangerous conditions to exist, product manufacturers and others who fail to warn customers of potential dangers can held be held liable for personal injuries that result.
The CDC lists common types of potentially long-term personal injuries as:
- Muscle and tendon strains, sprains, and tears
- Broken bones and fractures
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Chemical and thermal burns
- Back and neck injuries, such as herniated disks and fractured vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
Any time you are involved in an accident, you should report it to the proper authorities and seek medical care immediately, regardless of how minor your accident or injuries may appear. Many serious and even life-threatening conditions have symptoms that can take days, weeks, or months to surface.
Let Gemma Law Associates Help You with Your Personal Injury Case
If you have suffered potentially long-term injuries as the result of an accident, contact our Providence, Rhode Island, personal injury lawyers today. At Gemma Law Associates, Inc., we provide the experienced, professional legal representation you need to assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve.