Some Damages Caused by Auto Accidents Will Never Heal
Every day, millions of people in the United States operate motor vehicles, and some of them become victims of accidents. Often, these auto accidents cause only minor injuries or property damage. But others cause disability, disabling injury, even death.
Lasting, Life-Changing Damage
Incapacitating injuries cause lasting damage and often change the life of the injured person forever. According to the KABCO injury scale, an incapacitating injury is any non-fatal injury “that prevents the injured person from walking, driving or normally continuing the activities the person was capable of performing before the injury occurred.”
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Broken or distorted limbs
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury
- Damage to the skull, chest, or abdomen
- Debilitating back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries that lead to quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Unconsciousness at the scene of the accident that is more than momentary
Victims who sustain incapacitating injuries are typically unable to leave the scene of the accident without help and require immediate emergency care.
Immediate Consequences of Incapacitating Injuries
Although the aftermath of an incapacitating injury varies according to the situation, most people who sustain severe injuries require hospitalization and will face steep medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
It can take weeks, months, or even years to recover from a serious accident. If the injured person has sustained a spinal or brain injury, he or she may never fully recover. Some victims of incapacitating injuries will never be able to return to their former line of work. Many suffer permanent changes to their mobility and range of motion. Incapacitating injuries can also result in irreversible personality changes as well as emotional and mental damage, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Years of expensive counseling and therapy may be necessary.
According to a 2017 National Safety Council report, in 2015 the average comprehensive cost of disabling injury was $1,100,000 per person. The average cost was $46,500 per person for accidents in which no injury was observed. The report notes:
“Comprehensive costs include not only the economic cost components, but also a measure of the value of lost quality of life lost associated with the deaths and injuries. Comprehensive costs should be used for a cost-benefit analysis, but because the lost quality of life represents only a dollar equivalence of intangible qualities, they do not represent real economic losses and should not be used to determine the economic impact of past crashes.”
Life Care Plans for Incapacitating Injuries
Incapacitating and catastrophic injuries often require what is known as a “life care plan,” a comprehensive evaluation of the current and future medical and non-medical needs of the injured person. The creation of such a plan requires a combination of medical, economic, and financial expertise. Items typically covered include:
- The life expectancy of the injured person.
- A list of the services and equipment that will be required.
- Necessary modifications to the person’s home.
- Information about the person’s loss of earning capacity.
Because there will likely be only one opportunity to resolve a case involving incapacitating injuries, the economic impact of the trauma should be thoroughly analyzed and determined by a proven automobile accident attorney.
If you or a loved one has sustained incapacitating injuries in a Colorado automobile accident, contact Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney.