What Are the Potential Long-Term Consequences Of a Car Accident?

Many people only consider the short-term consequences of a car accident, such as frequent visits to medical professionals, pain, and vehicle damage. However, there can be many more long-term consequences that not everyone considers.

Failure to think about the long-term implications of a car accident can have devastating results, such as not having enough money to ensure your comfort and health in the years to come. The best personal injury attorneys often take your current and future suffering into account, especially when there can be some of the following potential consequences.

Long-term or Permanent Disability

The best car accident lawyer will calculate the immediate costs associated with a car accident, such as property damage, emergency medical care, and specialist appointments. However, they will also factor in the costs associated with a long-term or permanent disability.

While you might assume you only need a small amount of money to cover medication, the costs of an ongoing disability can be high. You might need to purchase a new vehicle to accommodate a disability, renovate your home for wheelchair access, and pay for specialist care.

If your disability has impacted your ability to work, lost income might also be a cost your chosen lawyer calculates and includes in a demand letter to the at-fault party’s attorney.


Many people find it challenging enough to deal with the health effects of a car accident, but the long-term consequences of a car accident can go beyond your pain and mental and physical suffering.

Healthcare in the United States is expensive, and it can sometimes be easy to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical treatment for their injuries if they don’t have adequate healthcare insurance. While many hospitals and healthcare clinics offer payment plans, the payment schedules can still be unaffordable for anyone unable to work due to their injuries.

Left with no other option, many people declare bankruptcy. According to studies, medical bills accounted for 40% of filings in a single year, with older adults, women, families, and single women most affected. According to Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, many families are one serious illness away from financial collapse.

Not Being Able to Work

The median household income in the United States is $67,521, with workers over 15 earning an average of $41,000 to $42,000 each. A temporary loss of earnings for any family can be catastrophic, but many families can also experience significant financial hardship when those losses are permanent.

Not only can you be unable to pay your ever-growing medical bills, but you also can’t cover everyday costs like mortgage and rental payments, utility bills, and groceries. When you have a long-term or permanent disability related to a car accident, financial instability can be a permanent outcome. However, it might not be if you have the right lawyer on your side to fight for compensation reflective of your losses.

Psychological and Emotional Injuries

Physical injuries like cuts, scrapes, and broken bones heal within a matter of days, weeks, or months, but the same can’t always be said for psychological and emotional injuries, which can last a lifetime in some cases. Car accidents can be traumatic, with many victims experiencing depression, guilt, a fear of driving, flashbacks, and anxiety.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also a genuine reality for many people, which can lead to sleeping difficulties, a loss of appetite, and recurring nightmares. While some people simply need time to heal from their psychological and emotional injuries, others require extensive and ongoing therapy and, sometimes, medication.

Permanent Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can turn an accident victim’s entire life upside down. Even minor head injuries can be complex, and sufferers can experience a range of symptoms that prevent them from enjoying life, holding down a job, and relating to their families and friends.

There can also be several long-term consequences associated with TBIs, such as:

  • Headaches

  • Behavioral changes

  • Seizures

  • Dizziness

  • Cognitive impairment

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Balance issues

  • Memory loss

  • Sleep issues

  • Movement limitations

There is often no cure for traumatic brain injuries, which means that people who have been involved in serious car accidents must deal with the associated consequences for the rest of their lives.

While falls are the leading cause of TBIs, followed by firearm-related suicide, motor vehicles are the third-most common cause. They are also linked to 64,000 deaths annually or 176 deaths daily.

You might assume that a car accident only means buying a new car and spending a few weeks recuperating at home, but not everyone’s that lucky. There can be many long-term consequences that lead to financial difficulty, the inability to hold down a job, and significant life changes.

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