What Happens When a Car Accident Causes a Permanent Disability?

A car accident can change your life, and the injuries you suffer can disable you for a long time. Sometimes, the injuries never heal, and the car accident causes a permanent disability. If you or a loved one suffered a permanent disability due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our seasoned attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm believe in fighting for the rights of individuals and holding negligent parties accountable for their actions.

What Is Permanent Disability?

car accident causes a permanent disability

A permanent disability negatively impacts your daily life. It can leave lasting damage and affect you physically, mentally, or psychologically. Common examples of permanent disabilities include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • Traumatic brain injuries,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • Loss of a sense,
  • Severe organ damage,
  • Amputation,
  • Organ failure, and
  • Paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia).

If you have suffered these or other injuries due to someone else’s negligent actions, contact us at the Hartley Law Firm.

What Medical Evidence Do I Need to Prove Permanent Disability?

You will need evidence to prove your permanent disability. Much of this evidence will come from your doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis. Your personal injury attorney will also show evidence of your lifestyle and how it’s altered since the car accident.Permanent disabilities make it difficult to carry out normal functions or enjoy activities that used to bring joy to your life. It may be challenging to move and get around. Or your cognitive and thinking abilities may be impaired. You will need evidence that proves the severity of your disability and its effect on your life, and your lawyer can help decide what evidence is the most helpful.

What Damages Can I Recover for Permanent Disability from a Car Accident?

Permanent disability changes your life because it typically means that you can’t do many of the things you used to do. You might no longer be able to go outside with your kids, do household chores, or perform your job duties.

The financial costs of this drastic change can be overwhelming. After a car accident, your financial security could fall apart in months. You need a personal injury attorney on your side.

At the Hartley Law Firm, we know that no amount of money can cure your disability. But we will immediately start fighting for compensation to ease the financial burden the accident caused. We will help recover economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are quantifiable damages the accident caused. Proof of these damages can come in the following forms.

Current medical expenses

You can prove your current medical expenses by providing invoices from any medical care you received following the car accident. You can get compensated for the following:

  • Emergency room stays;
  • Hospital admittances;
  • Doctor visits;
  • Diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, x-rays, and MRIs;
  • Medications, whether prescribed by a doctor in the hospital or during a doctor’s office visit; and 
  • Necessary medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or patient lift. 

This is not an exclusive list, and almost any legitimate medical expense can be included in your request for economic damages.

Future medical expenses

Any medical expenses you face in the future that derive from the car accident can also be included in the compensation you receive from the negligent party. This includes the following:

  • Any long-term care you require, such as rehabilitation,
  • Therapy, 
  • Counseling, 
  • At-home nursing care, 
  • Ongoing prescriptions, 
  • Surgeries, and 
  • Follow-up doctor’s appointments. 

Again, this is not an exhaustive list, so check with your attorney to see if you can include any other expenses.

Lost wages

After the car accident, you may need some time off work. Lost income from this time period, whether a week or several months, can be recouped. Further, you can also recover the loss of future earning capacity. A loss of future earning capacity occurs when you can’t work anymore, have to work fewer hours, or have to work a lesser-paying, less demanding job as a result of your injuries.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are not quantifiable. A permanent disability can make it hard to enjoy or cope with everyday life. Common noneconomic damages include the following:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and
  • Loss of consortium.

Noneconomic damages can be hard to calculate because of their intangible nature. In other words, there won’t be any invoices or receipts to look at when trying to quantify noneconomic losses. An experienced attorney will look at the facts and totality of the circumstances to determine appropriate compensation.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Permanent Disability from a Car Accident?

We know you’re exhausted from pain and stress. You may feel compelled to accept whatever settlement the insurance company offers you. But you shouldn’t. Insurance companies are notorious for providing low settlement offers to save money and eliminate cases quickly. 

To be sure you’re accepting a settlement offer proportional to your injuries, you need a personal injury attorney to review the facts of your case and the terms of the offer.

Alternatively, insurance companies may blame you for the accident. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that a personal injury victim can only recover if their percentage of fault for the accident is 50% or less. The portion of fault decreases the amount of recoverable compensation. For example, if you are 20% at fault for the accident, your recoverable damages are reduced by 20%.So, the more blame the insurance company can pin on you, the less they have to pay. If they can prove you were at least 51% at fault for the accident, they are released from liability altogether, and you will not be able to recover any compensation.

Contact Hartley Law Firm and Speak with Our Experienced Attorneys

At the Hartley Law Firm, our mission is our clients. We value transparency, respect, and trust. That is how we approach every case. With over 15 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys will fight against the negligent parties and uphold your rights. And we operate on a contingency basis—which means you do not pay us unless we win your case. So, if you are permanently disabled from a car crash, contact Hartley Law Firm now for a free consultation.

Go Back