Being involved in any car crash is bad enough, but when it leads to an injury that has the potential to change your life for years, or possibly forever, it becomes a living nightmare. Thankfully, most car crash injuries clear up within a few weeks, but what happens when you’re faced with a long-term disability after a car crash that wasn’t your fault?
Joints in the body are only supposed to move in certain, limited ways, and when those movements are violent or the limits are extended beyond what the body can endure, the effects can be devastating. Car crash victims frequently suffer pain in the neck, shoulders, and head or at the base of the skull, referred to in general terms as whiplash, and these injuries can later become long term disability after a car crash.
Whiplash commonly occurs when a motor vehicle is struck from behind, causing the victim’s head to jerk violently backwards before recoiling in the other direction. The same injury can also occur in what are referred to as “T-bone” accidents, where a car is crashed into in one side (most frequently at intersections), or when the head is jerked violently forward after a car has hit a stationary object like a wall or a tree.
Long term pain and suffering
Thankfully, most whiplash victims get relief from their symptoms with a few months at most, though the pain they experience during that time should not be trivialized, and do not need to worry about permanent disability after a car crash. However, the most recent figures also show that:
- About one in five whiplash victims develop chronic, long-term pain
- Of those, 30 percent suffer symptoms for longer than a year
- Almost 20 percent are still suffering constant, daily whiplash pain after two years
Whiplash isn’t just a “pain in the neck.” Because the spinal cord and/or the brain has suffered a traumatic injury, several symptoms associated with whiplash can plague sufferers for years, including:
- Sleep problems
- Lapses in concentration and memory
- Blurry vision
- Constant or frequent ringing in the ears
- Debilitating fatigue and a sense of weakness
What surprises many people is that whiplash injuries can occur in relatively low-speed crashes, as well as the high speed impacts more commonly associated with the condition, and can lead to disability after a car crash.
Insurance companies are skeptical about disability after a car crash
People suffering from whiplash injuries are often viewed as mere opportunists looking to make a quick claim. Insurance companies are quick to put forward that theory when they defend an action or deny a claim.
However, people who were perfectly healthy one minute, only to find themselves suddenly thrown into a world where pain is their daily companion have every right to feel aggrieved, especially when they were in no way responsible for the accident that led to their chronic pain.
Whiplash injuries can be life-changing, and they can bring virtual financial ruin to families that were getting along nicely before the accident. Suddenly, whiplash victims and their families are faced with:
- Huge medical bills
- Loss of income due to an inability to work
- Emotional stress
- An inability to enjoy your normal hobbies or the rest of your life as you knew it before the crash
Doctors now agree that whiplash isn’t just about neck pain; it should be viewed as an illness that can have long term negative effects, mentally, physically and psychologically.
Aggressive, negligent, drunk or distracted drivers cause hundreds, if not thousands of accidents in Oregon every year. Portland personal injury lawyers are often called upon to represent clients whose lives will never again be the same, people with permanent disability after a car crash who need help.
Some accidents cause injuries that permanently disable the victim, and very often, the injured party was in no way liable for the life-changing collision. Besides whiplash, personal injury lawyers have also filed lawsuits to recover damages for injuries such as:
- Paralysis or the loss of the use of limbs
- Amputations of badly damaged limbs
- Severe lower-back injuries resulting in chronic and long-term pain
- Head and brain injuries besides whiplash, which can be caused by concussion
- Damage to knees or other joints which severely impede normal functions
In cases such as these, the claimant can seek damages for permanent disability. To do so, they must prove that their life has been both unfairly and forever altered. Insurance companies will try to cast doubt on the claim, no matter how obvious it may appear to most right-thinking people.
When taking such a case in Oregon, it’s important to get proper legal guidance from an attorney who has experience in handling disability and permanent disability claims. Since they’re familiar with both insurance company tactics and what’s required to prove your case, they can be invaluable to a successful outcome.
A good personal injury lawyer will not just get up in front of a jury and try to pull on the heartstrings by painting a tragic picture. A good attorney will also use expert testimony from reputable medical experts to back up your claim. They may also call on financial experts to testify as to the amount of income you will lose over your lifetime because of your disability.
This is not the kind of process a person who has suffered a disability after a car crash should embark on without expert guidance. To do so would potentially ruin your chances of receiving the kind of compensation that you and your family will need to cope with both the expenses you’ve already incurred, as well as everything that lies ahead.
Innocent Oregon road accident victims that have been disabled, either with whiplash or a more permanent injury, should contact a Portland catastrophic accident attorney for a free consultation. They can answer all your questions and give you a good idea of the kind of compensation you should be looking for.
If you decide to proceed with your claim, they will take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis, so quite naturally they will be doing everything they can do and need to do to achieve a successful outcome. Make the call, and get the financial security your family needs and the compensation you deserve.