After an Accident, Are Your Injuries Severe Enough to Pursue a Lawsuit?
The first thing most of us do after a car accident is check ourselves and our passengers for injuries. If you’re lucky, you’ll have only minor cuts and scrapes, and you’ll be able to walk away from the wreck with relative ease.
Other times, however, you or someone in your vehicle may have suffered a more serious injury, such as a broken bone, concussion, or whiplash. After you get medical treatment, you may wonder: Should I pursue a personal injury lawsuit?
How Does the Car Accident Injury Affect Your Life?
Not knowing whether your injuries are severe enough to sue is one of the main reasons why most car accident victims decide to let it go. Your car and health insurance will likely help take care of your medical expenses, and you may feel that a car accident lawsuit would be more trouble than it’s worth.
Before you make that decision, however, understand one thing: it’s not only about the injury. It’s about the injury’s effect on your life.
Even a minor injury, for example, such as a sprained or strained wrist, may cause problems for you at work, resulting in you having to miss several days for which you may not receive payment. If you’re a musician, for example, you may have to sit out the next concert because of that injury, causing you significant financial as well as physical hardship.
There are other injuries as well that may seem mild at first, but become serious with time. Spinal injuries commonly fit into this category. They may not seem bad after the initial accident, but then as time goes by, they may begin to cause pain, tingling and numbness, or even weakness in your back, legs, or hands. Herniated discs, in particular, don’t tend to show up on X-rays, and may be missed even by your doctor. They can make it significantly more difficult for you to keep working, however, or to perform the other regular activities in your life.
A concussion is another example of what may seem to be a mild injury at first but then may get worse with time. Typically there is no outward sign of a concussion or other head/brain injury, but you may feel confused, dizzy, or sleepy afterward, and it could take you months to completely heal. During that time, you may require assistance or time off work, which could have a significant financial effect on you and your family.
Other Considerations When Deciding Whether to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
Some types of injuries are severe. If you experience them, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney. These include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury that leads to partial or full paralysis
- Severed extremities
- Broken bones requiring surgery
- Miscarriage or loss of pregnancy
When determining whether a lawsuit may be wise in your situation, it also helps to evaluate the cost of your injury. How much will you have to pay for medical treatment, therapy, at-home treatment, and any necessary home modifications? How much will you lose by not being able to work? How much pain, suffering, and anguish are you likely to suffer in the coming months or even years?
If these expenses may be high, a personal injury lawsuit may help you and your family to better recover from the effects of the accident.