Understanding the Long-Term Impact of a South Bend Car Crash on Victims

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on March 8, 2024

. Updated on March 11, 2024


A man in therapy recovering from injury.

Sometimes car crashes can affect victims long after the event itself. They may need medical treatment for months or years after the collision.

Below, Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak discuss the common long-term effects experienced by crash victims, including the physical, financial and psychological impact.

If you are feeling overwhelmed after a car crash in South Bend, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Our South Bend car accident lawyers may help you with the legal process.

Call our office at (844) 678-1800 to schedule a FREE case review.

What Are Common Long-Term Injuries From a Car Crash?

Car accidents can be incredibly traumatic to the body, causing various long-term injuries. A long-term injury is one that affects you for months or years after the accident.

These are a few of the injuries that may stick with you for a long time:

  • Head injuries, such as skull fractures or traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries, particularly injuries that cause paralysis or chronic pain, like spinal cord fractures
  • Broken bones, which can take several weeks or months to fully heal
  • Internal bleeding or organ damage, which may be life-threatening
  • Amputation injuries, which create severe physical limitations

These injuries can cause a variety of symptoms that linger, such as:

  • Chronic pain that affects victims every day or when they do certain activities
  • Permanent scarring
  • Chronic headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Behavior changes
  • Limited mobility

Recovery Process for Long-Term Injuries

The recovery process is different for everyone. Factors like age and preexisting medical conditions can affect someone’s recovery. In some cases, victims are unable to recover fully. For example, a victim could become paralyzed or partially paralyzed after a car crash.

Medical treatment for those who suffer from long-term injuries can include:

  • Physical therapy, which may help victims regain strength or improve mobility
  • Pain management medication
  • Occupational therapy to help victims return to work
  • Speech therapy
  • Assistive devices (wheelchairs, crutches or braces)
  • Surgery
  • And more

While these treatments are not going to heal the injury, they may help victims improve their quality of life. Ongoing treatment could help limit pain and allow victims to go back to work or engage in some of the leisure activities they once enjoyed.

Psychological Effects of Car Crashes

After a car crash, some victims can become depressed, especially if they have long-term injuries. They may become depressed because they are unable to engage in leisure activities, go to work or spend time with their family in the same way they did before the crash.

Here are some of the other common psychological effects of car crash injuries:

  • Mood swings
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Dissociative disorder
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Grief, if the car crash resulted in a friend or loved one’s death

Mental health conditions can go unnoticed because they are not visible like bruises and broken bones. This often results in delayed diagnosis of mental health conditions.
Car crash victims need to visit a counselor or therapist when they are experiencing symptoms like withdrawal from social activities or changes in their sleeping patterns.

Financial Burdens From Long-Term Injuries

Medical expenses can quickly add up when car crash victims are recovering from their injuries. Surgery, ongoing physical therapy, prescription medications, ongoing appointments with doctors and other treatments can quickly add up.

Car crash victims need to keep track of important documents about their medical treatment, especially bills and receipts. Keeping track of this documentation can help ensure your lawyer is able to include all those costs in your claim for compensation.

Filing a claim without an attorney could result in you paying out of pocket for some of your expenses. Sometimes having to pay out of pocket results in delaying care or forgoing it altogether. This can hurt your quality of life and ability to work.

Victims should also avoid using online calculators. They do not accurately calculate the costs of current and future expenses, especially non-economic damages.

How Do Collisions Impact Victims’ Relationships?

Some victims may have a challenge with maintaining relationships after the collision. They could face difficulties juggling their household duties and medical treatments.

For example, a parent recovering from a severe car crash injury might face conflicts between physical therapy appointments and their child’s school pickup times.
Loss of consortium claims can compensate victims’ spouses and children for the ways the crash affects their lives.

These factors are considered when evaluating the loss of consortium:

  • Shock and mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Humiliation and embarrassment
  • Stability of the marriage
  • Life expectancy of victim

What Compensation Victims May Be Eligible For

Every case is different. Compensation can vary based on factors like the severity of injuries and how long they affect victims.

These are some of the forms of compensation you may be able to seek for a long-term injury from a car crash:

  • Medical expenses: This can cover current and future medical costs related to the crash like hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy and any necessary medical equipment.
  • Lost wages:This covers victims who cannot work while recovering from an injury.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If you cannot work, cannot work as many hours as before or you cannot work in the same job as before, you may be eligible to seek compensation for lost earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering:Compensation for pain and suffering addresses physical pain and emotional distress. It can include compensation for things like ongoing discomfort, fear, depression and a decreased quality of life.
  • Property damage: Property damage covers the cost of vehicle repairs or the cost of replacing the vehicle. You can also seek compensation for damage to other personal property.
  • Disability and disfigurement:If a collision causes victims to become permanently disabled, they may be eligible for compensation that covers the cost of adapting to a new lifestyle.

Contact Our South Bend Office To Discuss Your Potential Case

We know compensation cannot eliminate the trauma you have endured after your crash. However, recovering compensation can be a vital aspect of your overall recovery.

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are committed to helping you seek the maximum compensation possible. There are no upfront costs if you hire our firm. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.

Proven results. Millions recovered. (844) 678-1800.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases