Long-Term Physical, Emotional and Financial Effects of a Car Accident in Vancouver
A car accident can happen in an instant. But it can take much longer to determine what the ultimate impact of a crash will be, especially if you or a loved one was injured.
Crashes aren’t always straightforward. Sometimes, vehicle damage is the only visible sign that a car accident even occurred. But just because a crash looks minor doesn’t mean that there aren’t major consequences.
Many serious injuries from car accidents have a delayed onset or are masked by the adrenaline rush that comes when the human body is under stress. Victims may not even realize the emotional effects of the crash until some unrelated event triggers a psychological response.
In addition, doctors often hesitate to make a forecast for a catastrophically injured victim for days, weeks, or even months after a wreck.
Unfortunately, not all car accident victims in British Columbia receive the compensation they deserve. Despite the fact that B.C. car accidents rose nearly 26 percent between 2013 and 2017, recent changes to personal injury laws in the province are making it more difficult for accident victims to recover full and fair compensation to help them prepare for the future. But we can help.
At Warnett Hallen LLP, our experienced car accident attorneys in BC understand that car accident take a toll on every aspect of our client’s lives. We look at the big picture when we evaluate a client’s case, and we demand maximum compensation that accounts for all past, present and future needs.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Vancouver or anywhere in B.C., contact us today to arrange a free consultation.
The extent of your physical injuries from a collision may interfere with your ability to work, carry out daily living tasks or return to hobbies that you once enjoyed. Your injuries could also limit the types of activities that you can participate in with your spouse, partner or children, creating missed opportunities to make memories together.
Some of the most common physical injuries from car wrecks include:
Despite all of the modern safety features in today’s vehicles, the violent impact of a crash can cause bones to break. Car accidents often result in fractures of the arms, legs, ribs, hips, ankles, and collarbone.
Shattered glass from windshields and windows can cause deep lacerations that can range from mild to life-threatening. Not only do these cuts put your life in jeopardy, they can also result in permanent scarring that can be distressing to victims and require additional medical treatment.
Vehicle parts generate a lot of heat as they operate. Serious crashes may also lead to fires or explosions. Drivers and passengers who are exposed to these threats may suffer from serious burns. Along with being extremely painful, burn victims are at great risk of infection and may need extensive skin grafts during their recovery. Burns often result in significant scarring and many months of physical rehabilitation.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injuries vary widely. A milder form of a traumatic brain injury is a concussion, which may only take a few weeks of rest to recover from. However, a more severe blow to the head can cause bleeding and life-altering brain damage. People living with a TBI may never be able to work again and require around-the-clock medical care to assist with feeding, daily hygiene, and other activities. This lost quality of life affects not only the victims but also the families that love and need them.
Some car accident victims may be pinned in their vehicles after a crash. This is often the case when a limb gets trapped or crushed. When a limb can’t be repaired through surgery, doctors may recommend removing it to save the victim’s life. Amputees often live with complications such as pain, muscle contractures, joint weakness, blood clots and phantom limb syndrome.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Studies suggest that as many as 85,500 people in Canada are living with a spinal cord injury. Around 35 percent of those injuries were suffered in auto accidents. Severe spinal cord injuries can result in partial or total paralysis, which can cause lifelong problems with regulating body temperature, bladder function, breathing, and changes to other vital bodily functions.
Every car accident is stressful. But crashes that cause serious or permanent injuries can have lingering emotional effects as well, such as:
Many victims and their families struggle with anxiety after a car accident. It could be fear about getting into a vehicle again or fear about what the future will be like after the injury. Generalized anxiety can cause panic attacks, insomnia, fluctuations in weight and the development of other psychiatric disorders.
Depression is characterized by overwhelming feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, fatigue, trouble concentrating and a host of other symptoms. Coping with the results of a car accident can lead to depression for many people, especially if the wreck has long-term repercussions like total disability.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Experiencing the terror of a car accident may cause some survivors to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of PTSD include feelings of abnormal fear, helplessness, panic, numbness or an aversion to people or places connected to the event. People with PTSD may also be triggered by sounds or actions associated with a wreck, such as brakes screeching or a horn blowing. If left untreated, PTSD can worsen, leading some patients to substance abuse or even suicide.
The lifetime cost of catastrophic injuries can easily reach into the millions of dollars. ICBC provides compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. But it’s crucial to remember that ICBC is an insurance company, and insurers inevitably look for ways to minimize payouts to accident victims. For that reason, it’s critical for accident victims to contact a British Columbia auto accident lawyer for assistance.
How Our Dedicated ICBC Lawyers Can Help
The attorneys at Warnett Hallen LLP are tough trial lawyers who know how to put a value on a claim. Our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash to identify all liable parties. Then we will examine your medical records and talk with your doctors about your long-term prognosis. Finally, we will determine a fair value for your case and fight for you and your family to receive the compensation you are owed.
If you’ve been injured, we’re standing by to support you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.