Chronic Injury from a North Carolina Car Accident?

June 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The acute injuries from North Carolina car accidents scare us the most: broken bones, lacerations, burns, brain damage, serious whiplash, and death. But the indirect and subtle and long-term consequences of auto accidents may be even scarier and may exact an even greater toll on society than the acute, newsworthy, and nightmarish injuries mentioned above. What are some common, chronic North Carolina car accident related injuries? How do we measure their costs? And what can be done to staunch the damage and frustration they create?

Common chronic injuries include:

• Soft tissue damage (e.g. musculoskeletal trigger points caused by a whiplash accident)
• Slight concussions and brain damage that only really manifest weeks or months after the crash
• Loss of faith in one’s driving ability, other subtle psychological problems and crises sparked by the accident
• Reduced ability to engage in certain activities without pain – for instance, an injured driver may only be able to work 8 hours instead of 10 hours at her desk job without growing fatigued

These subtle problems may not seem at first to be that “that important.” But consider the context. Imagine you suffer a slight limp and shin splint pain for 10 to 15 years after a crash. If you totaled up the sheer “amount” of pain over that period of time, it would surely add up to far more than the pain of single acute injury, such as a broken bone that heals after a few weeks. Same thing is true with financial costs. Yes, if you break your forearm in a defective airbag case, and you have to take four weeks off of work to let the forearm heal, you will incur tangible costs. But if you are forced to work fewer hours a week for the next 20 years, the lost opportunity costs absolutely dwarf the costs associated with our broken forearm example.

Getting beyond subtle chronic injuries

A North Carolina car accident law firm can help you identify who might be liable for your long-term injuries and hold those parties accountable. Simply acknowledging that these problems exist and that they are causing you problems can be enormously helpful. Keep a journal to track your pain. Educate yourself, so that you can withstand what works and doesn’t work for you and for other people with similar afflictions. And strive to maintain a positive attitude, as your attitude and approach to your injury can profoundly influence your ability to overcome it.

More Web Resources:

Chronic injury costs

Journaling after a disaster


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