Even If You Were “Lucky” Following A Car Accident, You Still Deserve Compensation!
Have you ever heard someone – maybe a friend, or coworker, or someone you follow on social media – use the phrase “I was in a car accident, but I was really lucky”?
As we’re just days away from St. Patrick’s Day, we thought we’d take a blog post to discuss this phrase and how it’s commonly misunderstood, as well as some important things that people who have used this phrase should know!
It’s interesting to note that ”luck” is a matter of perspective. Someone might say they “were lucky” following a car accident if…
- Their car wasn’t totaled, even if it was severely damaged and they have to pay thousands of dollars in repairs, and if they won’t get their vehicle back for months (which means they also have to figure out/pay for transportation during that time). But because they won’t have to pay for a new vehicle, they consider themselves lucky.
- Only their car’s appearance was damaged slightly and they’re only experiencing minor injuries from the accident, even if they do have breaks, sprains, bruising, cuts, or whiplash as a result of the collision and will have to take a few weeks off work without pay to rest and recover. But because their car is driveable and they will likely heal in a few months time, they consider themselves lucky.
- They were seriously injured, but will live,even if their car was totaled, it takes them months to fully recover, or they are left with permanent injuries. But because they lived in an accident where they very well could have been killed, they consider themselves lucky.
Gratitude is something that we should all practice, and indeed, in all of these common scenarios, there is something to be grateful for! However, it’s also important to note that in each of these three scenarios, losses were suffered. The person who was impacted may have been “lucky”, but they weren’t unscathed, and the accident may impact their lives more than they realize.
For example, some injuries don’t present themselves right away following a crash, but instead take days or weeks to start showing symptoms. Adrenaline can keep people from feeling the full extent of their injuries, or the injury itself is just one that’s not visible to the naked eye for a while. Take internal bleeding, which may present as pain in the abdomen, but not for several days – or an intracranial hematoma, a brain injury that can be life-threatening and take up to weeks to appear. Even if a person thinks that they escaped uninjured following a crash, they could be seriously hurt (which is why it is always important to undergo a full medical examination immediately after being involved in an auto accident). They may not feel as lucky if their injuries turn out to be severe.
Even minor injuries can be much more expensive than most accident victims expect, even with good health insurance. Take physical therapy, for instance, which may be prescribed treatment for whiplash, disc issues, shoulder sprains, and other “minor” injuries following a collision. People with insurance can expect to pay a copay of anywhere from $25 – $75 per session or more for physical therapy; without insurance, physical therapy averages $125 – $150 per session. Chiropractic care is comparable. A “simple” limb fracture is treatable, for sure, but it can require imaging tests, surgery, and an overnight hospital stay, as well as follow-up visits with the surgeon and prescription pain medications. That can cost tens of thousands of dollars; even with health insurance factored in, injured accident victims can face paying thousands of dollars out of pocket. Add that to the amount that they’re not making at work because they had to take off for a few weeks, and the costs increase.
Not all injuries are physical – the impact of a car crash can cause mental and emotional distress as well. As many as 39.2% of car crash survivors (roughly 2.5 to 7 million people) develop PTSD, a serious health issue that can affect you for the rest of your life and require professional counseling, which can be expensive. One study found that the average cost for PTSD in the first year was $4,100, although treatment costs decrease over time.
Car accident victims may have been lucky to survive….but they weren’t lucky to be in the car crash in the first place, and if someone else’s negligent actions caused their injury, the guilty party should be held accountable! Victims should also be paid fairly for the cost they incurred as a result of the accident. Typically, the responsible driver’s insurance company should pay damages to the victim, or their own insurance company should if the other driver was underinsured. However, insurance companies are experts at paying out as little as possible to claimants in order to keep more money in their pockets.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, or have a friend or family member who has, an experienced local auto attorney may be able to help you fight for justice and maximum compensation! Here at The Florida Law Group, we’ve recovered over $1 billion for our clients. Call one of our 11 Florida office locations to schedule a free consultation and speak with our award-winning legal team to find out if you have a case! You never have to pay our legal fees unless and until we recover a settlement for you.