Understanding the facts about car accidents and permanent disability can help protect your health and legal rights if you or your loved one are in a collision. If you were in a car crash because of someone else’s negligence, you might have a legal claim against them. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and obligations to help maximize your ability to receive compensation to cover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Startling Car Accident Statistics to Know About
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that over 5.25 Million police-reported car accidents resulted in injury, death, or property damage nationwide in 2020. According to this NHTSA report, the estimated economic cost of car accidents soared to over $242 billion in 2020. The NHTSA report further reveals that 2,282,015 people suffered injuries in a car accident in the United States in 2020, and 38,284 lost their lives.
New Jersey experienced 190,783 car accidents statewide in 2020, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (DOT) most recent data. The New Jersey DOT reports that 42,791 people were injured in car crashes and that 550 people lost their lives in collisions in 2020.
What Happens When a Car Accident Causes Permanent Disability
When car accidents cause permanent disability, it can devastate the individuals and families involved.
What Is a Permanent Disability?
The definition of a permanent disability varies depending on the law at play. To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the New Jersey Social Security Administration’s definition of permanent disability. Under this definition, you must prove that your injury lasted or is expected to last at least one year and that you cannot engage in gainful work because of your medical condition.
What Types of Injuries Can Result in Permanent Disability?
The forces and weights involved in car accidents cause a range of severe injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Nerve damage;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Spinal cord damage;
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones;
- Neck injuries; and
- Eye injuries.
Depending on the extent of the damage to the body and its tissue, any of these injuries can develop into a permanent disability.
The Consequences of Living with a Permanent Disability
Living with a permanent disability can be extremely difficult and extensively impact your life and how you live it. Conditions such as quadriplegia can cripple your ability to engage in activities of daily living and endeavors that fulfill you. You may have the ability to build an engaging and fulfilling life post-accident, but it can be a difficult road for you and your loved ones.
Further, the financial cost of living with a permanent disability is undeniable, especially in the early stages after the accident. For example, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation reports that the cost to address a spinal cord injury in the first year can range from approximately $379,698 to $1,163,425, according to 2021 estimates released by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC).
Such estimates account only for the medical costs associated with spinal cord injuries. When you consider the loss of income or earning potential, the financial strain such damages can have on individuals and families can be crippling.
If the accident or injury is not your fault, you may file a lawsuit against the responsible parties to recover much-needed compensation to cover the costs of living with a permanent disability. In some cases, you may qualify for benefits issued by the Social Security Administration.
Proving Liability for Your Injuries After a Car Crash
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries if you can prove someone else is responsible for the accident. A car accident attorney who understands the necessary facts about car accidents and permanent disability can help you gather the evidence you need to prove this based on the applicable law. In most cases, this involves presenting proof that the other driver was negligent under New Jersey law.
Petro Cohen Takes Personal Injury Personally
At Petro Cohen, P.C., our injury attorneys have decades of experience handling thousands of personal injury cases with successful outcomes for our clients, fighting hard to recover fair compensation and appropriate medical care for their injuries. Petro Cohen Managing Attorney Susan Petro heads the Personal Injury Department, which includes experienced injury attorneys Rich Gaeckle and Mike Veneziani. Whether your injury resulted from a slip and fall, construction site mishap, or an accident involving an automobile, truck, motorcycle, boat, or bicycle, we can help, even if it means litigating against big corporations or public entities. Petro Cohen, P.C. has offices to serve you in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ. To determine if you may have a potential personal injury case, schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. attorney by calling 888-675-7607. You can contact us through our online form or via 24/7 live chat at PetroCohen.com.