When we discuss accidents on this blog, we tend to concentrate on the most concrete forms of monetary damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. It’s relatively simple to assign a dollar value to these damages: You add up the bills related to the injury, and you calculate how much income the injured person lost during the time they were unable to return to work. But the damages in many personal injury cases can get much more complicated. A serious injury affects a person for the rest of their life, and that change has a cost.
Recently, artist Steve Shriver talked to a website about how a biking accident affected his life and work. A painter known internationally for his Renaissance-inspired style, Shriver has created murals in Moscow and other cities. He has several murals around Southern California.
In 2016, Shriver was finishing a 100-mile bike ride with his cycling group when he was struck by a car in Malibu. The impact threw him in front of a second car, which ran over him. Amazingly, he survived, but suffered broken bones, punctured organs and brain damage. He required multiple surgeries and spent a long time in a hospital intensive care unit.
Fortunately, Shriver found he was able to continue drawing and painting. However, as he prepared in May for his first gallery show since the accident, it became clear that the accident had changed his art as well as almost every other aspect of his life. In one, he paints himself staring into a skull, as if to demonstrate how the accident forced him to face his own mortality.
An injury doesn’t just affect a person’s pocketbook. It can affect a person’s emotional life, and relationships with loved ones. In the case of traumatic brain injury and other serious injuries, these changes may well be permanent.
These changes represent real losses to the injured person and their family. They may be more difficult to calculate than medical bills and lost wages, but they are damages, and the injured deserves compensation when they are the result of another driver’s negligence.
Damages of a spinal cord injury can go beyond paralysis
Whether it was a motor vehicle accident, a work-related accident or some other trauma, you may have known as soon as it happened that something just wasn’t right. You may have wondered if shock was the reason why you couldn’t feel anything.
Then you got to the hospital and doctors told you that you had suffered either a complete (no sensation below the injury level) or incomplete (some sensation below the injury level) spinal cord injury. The injury level refers to the vertebrae where the injury occurred. If you suffered a complete spinal cord injury, you could be facing lifelong paralysis.
Not being able to walk is only a part of the equation
Even though it’s true that you would not be able to walk, other issues may actually be of more concern. Secondary complications are often the ones that make living with paralysis more of a challenge. You could face respiratory and cardiovascular issues.
You may suffer from the loss of bladder and bowel control, and possibly, you have issues with sexual function and body temperature regulation. It is likely you have also become more susceptible to infections and skin breakdowns as well. You certainly experience at least some loss of independence, depending on your particular circumstances.
All of these issues can reduce your quality of life and increase your need for ongoing medical care and physical therapy. You may have undergone surgeries, spent a significant amount of time in the hospital and may now be living in a rehabilitation center. In many cases, there is also a mental and emotional component following such a traumatic and life-changing injury. You may be seeing a mental health professional to help you through these challenges.
Is someone responsible for your current situation?
You will also incur significant financial losses associated with your care and needs. You may no longer be able to work as you did prior to the accident even after a significant recovery period. As you attempt to cope with and adjust to your new circumstances, the last thing you need is to worry about money.
If the negligence of another party caused the accident that led to your spinal cord injury, you may be able to seek compensation for those financial losses. A successfully litigated claim could mean that a California court will consider awarding you monetary damages that could help with your current and future needs.
Whiplash injuries can cause chronic pain for victims
A variety of serious injuries can be suffered in car accidents and motorcycle accidents. Neck injuries are, unfortunately, common in car and motorcycle accidents, and whiplash is a type of neck injury commonly suffered. Whiplash injuries can be suffered in different types of accidents including front-impact accidents, side-impact accidents and rear-end accidents. Because there are a million rear-end accidents each year, the impact of whiplash injuries can be significant on the lives of victims.
Approximately 20 to 30 percent of whiplash injuries become chronic injuries and can lead to long-term pain and consequences for victims. As a result, it is important to recognize whiplash injuries and to closely monitor whiplash injuries, as they may also not be immediately evident. It is also important for victims of whiplash injuries to obtain the medical care and treatment they need. In addition to the physical injuries victims may suffer, they may also incur medical expenses to treat their whiplash injuries and may require ongoing treatment and care.
Personal injury legal options can help victims who have been harmed by a negligent driver in a car or motorcycle accident obtain damages for medical expenses, future medical care costs in some instances, lost wages for while they are unable to work because of their injuries and pain and suffering damages for the emotional harm victims may suffer in a car or motorcycle accident. There may be many symptoms associated with whiplash injuries including headaches; dizziness; numbness, tingling or weakness; visual disturbances; jaw pain; shoulder, neck and arm pain; nausea and vomiting, as well as emotional changes.
Serious injuries are not uncommon in car accidents and motorcycle accidents which is why the legal process provides recourse for victims of a negligent driver to recover compensation for their damages. Victims may wish to explore what options are available to victims of a car accident, motorcycle accident or whiplash or other injuries to determine the options that are available to help them.
How is a TBI affecting your life after an accident?
Even minor brain injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s life, ultimately affecting a person’s ability to live and work normally.
Brain injury victims need immediate medical care, and depending on the severity of the injury, they may need long-term care as well. All of the effects of a traumatic brain injury may not be evident until weeks or months after an accident, and if you have suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to understanding your right to financial compensation.
What type of injury is affecting your life?
Because of the unique nature of each person’s brain, the ways that a TBI could affect you or your loved one could differ drastically from other cases of TBI. Some of the most common types of brain injuries include:
- Concussions: This is a common type of car accident injury. While many people consider this a minor injury, it can actually affect a person severely, leaving a victim with lingering symptoms that can last for months.
- Contusion: This happens when there is a direct impact on a person’s head, which leads to a bruise on the brain. Severe contusions may require surgery.
- Coup-contrecoup: This injury occurs when the impact is severe enough to move the brain, leaving injuries on both the site of impact and the opposite side of the brain.
Brain injuries can affect your cognition, your coordination, your ability to think clearly and your ability to do your job as you did before your accident. Even if you were initially unaware of all the ways your injury would affect your life, you may still have a legal right to seek the care and compensation you deserve.
Getting better after a brain injury
If you suffered a TBI in an accident that was the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another party, you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
You may have a rightful claim to recovery of your medical bills and any losses that you endured as a result of your inability to work or your need for continued medical care. To learn more, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can.
Personal injury lawyers help neck and back injury sufferers
A variety of serious injuries can result from motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents. Neck and back injuries can be common in these wrecks, and they are not insignificant injuries. Motorcycle riders can be particularly vulnerable on the roadways and can suffer other significant harm, including neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries.
Neck and back injuries can include soft tissue injuries and strains, muscle spasms, herniated disks, and compression fractures. Whiplash is also a common injury in motorcycle accidents. Sometimes these types of injuries can be slow to appear, so it is important to know how to spot them and to pay attention to any developing symptoms. This way the issue can be quickly and effectively treated, which may be key to a victim’s recovery
If neck and back injuries are not properly treated, they can have a significant, and sometimes debilitating, impact on victims. Personal injury legal protections are available to car accidents victims who have suffered neck and back injuries. Taking legal action may allow a victim to hold negligent drivers accountable, as well as allowing a victim to recover compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional damages suffered in a motorcycle crash.
Accident victims may be unexpectedly left dealing with medical expenses, an inability to work, and the emotional trauma in the aftermath of a serious accident. It is important for them to be familiar with the legal options available to help them recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, which is why personal injury lawsuits exist. At Easton & Easton LLP, our team of dedicated professionals, who have years of experience and a strong track record of success, stand ready to fight for accident victims who have unfairly been dealt these damages.