Most people take certain steps when operating motor vehicles to reduce their risk of getting into collisions. A crash between two vehicles can be completely unpredictable, resulting in major property damage, catastrophic injuries and potentially even death. Avoiding these incidents is always the best option. Unfortunately, you can't control what other people do when they're driving.
Despite the ready availability of statistics about the dangers and laws with serious consequences, many people still decide to drive after drinking, taking prescription medication or using street drugs. Other people choose to indulge in distractions while behind the wheel, texting, eating or otherwise focusing on anything other than the road. Those decisions could leave them in perilous situations if they cause crashes on the road.
Common car crash injuries are debilitating
Although car wrecks are volatile events that can result in all kinds of situations (vehicles forced off the road, SUVs rolling with passegers inside, etc), most of them result in similar kinds of injuries. Common injuries after a collision include:
- broken bones
- amputated limbs or extremitites
- injuries to the spinal cord
- traumatic brain injuries
- soft tissue injuries, like whiplash
- penetrating injuries
- blunt trauma injuries
While some of these obviously have more serious consequences than others, any of these injuries could leave a person unable to work for some time. Broken bones require weeks, if not months, to properly heal. For those who work on their feet or with their hands, a cast could mean an inability to perform a job. Soft tissue injuries and lost limbs can cause similar issues.
Spinal cord and brain injuries can also result in a temporary inability to work. Other times, these kinds of injuries can permanently end someone's career and ability to work in the future. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, could cause issues with balance, memory, focus or motor function. Some people even experience changes in their personalities after brain injuries. That could leave educated and skilled professionals unable to continue their careers after a crash.
If you didn't cause the crash, you shouldn't pay for it
When someone else makes a mistake, like driving while texting, you shouldn't be the one to pay the price. Sadly, people end up hurt due to the driving mistakes of others every day. In 2012, the most recent year analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people hurt in car crashes cost $33 billion in lifetime work lost due to injuries.
The cost of lost wages, combined with medical expenses, often exceeds the maximum coverage of the insurance policy for the other driver. When that happens, you need to consider all of your options, such as a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the crash.