How much damage can really be done in a car crash?

On Behalf of Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP

Car crashes can be particularly catastrophic in rural areas. They often involve high speeds; drivers can be distracted or impaired; the vehicles involved can be massive commercial vehicles. Each of these factors increases the severity of an accident victim’s injuries – broken bones, severe lacerations and bruising can be common.

However, it is not just the injuries we can see that prove to be painful.

Invisible injuries

Some of the most common injuries people experience after a car crash are not visible to the naked eye. For example, without medical testing and assessment, it may not be obvious that a collision caused:

  • A traumatic brain injury
  • Concussions
  • Back and neck pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Numbness or nerve damage
  • Internal bleeding

These injuries can be life-threatening, but a person may not get effective care unless they see a doctor immediately.

That said, as this article explains, many of these injuries are not immediately evident. A person may be in shock or suffering from more acute injuries; the damage may seem insignificant at first but get worse over time.

Between these injuries being invisible and being delayed, a person may not know they are as hurt as they truly are after an accident.

Other types of damages

In addition to the emotional and physical impact of an accident, there is a financial and personal toll.

Crashes can leave people unable to return to work, temporarily or permanently, and unable to live independently. Their relationships can suffer from the stress of expensive medical care or changes in a person’s health.

These consequences of a crash may not be something people connect directly to the event, but they are damages nonetheless.

Why this information matters

Too often, people look at their visible injuries and the visible damage to their vehicles and assume that reflects the full picture of what happened in a crash. Based on these assumptions, a person might accept an insurance check or settlement for that amount.

However, after a serious accident, it can be wise to hold off on making immediate decisions or concessions regarding compensation for damages. Talk to your doctor; consult an attorney; give yourself time to recover.

Unless you know the full extent of your physical and mental injuries and the financial repercussions of the accident, you could wind up accepting less than you deserve.

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