What You Need to Know After Suffering Long-Term Injuries in a Car Accident
Car accidents cause a wide range of injuries from minor bruises to life-threatening injuries. As a result, there are different types of compensation available for people injured in crashes. For example, when a person breaks a leg in a crash, there are specific medical treatment expenses to bring that person back to normal. On the other hand, when a person suffers a permanent injury that causes long-term disabilities, that person will incur ongoing medical bills and other continued costs associated with the catastrophic injury.
Types of Permanent Injuries Sustained in Traffic Accidents
Some common permanent and long-term injuries that result from car accidents, include:
- Disfigurements. Some car crashes cause people to suffer burn injuries and large visible scars on their necks and faces—permanently changing a person’s appearance.
- Amputations. Forceful crashes can severely injure a person’s limbs. As a result, someone may lose an arm, leg, finger or toe.
- Paralysis. When motorists suffer injuries to their spinal cords or spinal columns, they can suffer partial or complete paralysis that can result in paraplegia (the loss of movement in the lower body and legs) or quadriplegia (the loss of movement in the arms and legs).
- Brain injuries. When people hit their heads against side windows, steering wheels, or other objects in the car, the head and skull can suffer serious damages. When impacts are severe enough, permanent and debilitating damage will be the result, such as permanent brain damage, memory loss, vision loss, partial paralysis, and other permanent changes.
The Importance of Medical Treatment
Because the injuries listed above are serious, medical bills can quickly add up due to the long-term complications and permanency of such injuries. However, just because medical treatment can be expensive doesn’t mean victims of car accidents should shy away from getting the best medical care possible. Some medical care that may be necessary, although expensive, includes:
- Seeing specialists
- Having multiple surgeries
- Participating in ongoing physical therapy
Not only are medical bills costly when permanent injuries are involved, but claims involving these types of injuries can be difficult to calculate due to open-ended medical costs, undefined future damages, ongoing emotional trauma, and future lost wages. This is why many people involved in car accidents want to know who will pay for their medical bills and additional losses.
Covering the Cost of Permanent Injuries
Because Pennsylvania is one of the only states that follows a choice no-fault system, people can opt in or out of the no-fault rules and either purchase limited tort insurance or full tort insurance. When people choose limited tort coverage, they are essentially limiting their right to collect damages in the event of a collision. In this case, when drivers with limited tort coverage are injured in car accidents, they will need to collect compensation from their own car insurance carrier through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage—regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
When drivers opt out of the no-fault system and purchases full tort insurance, they can file lawsuits against at-fault drivers for all of their damages, including pain and suffering. However, drivers who have limited tort coverage are often shocked to find out they might not be able to sue for all of their damages in court. In fact, they are typically limited to collecting compensation for their medical bills and lost wages and are barred from collecting compensation for their pain and suffering damages. The only way a driver with limited tort coverage is allowed to sue for pain and suffering is when the injury is serious and involves significant deformity, impairment of body function, or death.
Because insurance companies are always looking for ways to deny claims and lower the amount they have to pay out, some insurance companies won’t even consider certain permanent injuries to be serious injuries that would qualify to sue for pain and suffering.
Getting the Compensation You Need and Deserve
When people suffer long-term injuries in car accidents, their claims can be complicated because permanent injury claims need to receive adequate compensation for medical treatment and future medical care, lost wages and future lost income, disfigurement, physical pain and emotional suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life. When injuries are more serious and result in long-term complications such as these, it is critical that a lawyer is involved in helping victims receive fair financial recoveries.
At Gibbons Legal, P.C., our attorneys have the experience and dedication that it takes to get you the most compensation possible in your case. To find out more about your legal rights and how we can help you, please click on the live chat button on the bottom of the screen or call our law firm at 215-569-1455 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation today.