Compensation for Pain After a Car Accident
Our East Bay Area lawyers will stand up for you
Pain after a car accident is more than just physical discomfort. You didn’t cause the crash, but you’re paying the high price of physical pain, emotional distress, and the cost of pain management or medication. Fortunately, East Bay Area car accident victims are entitled to compensation for their damages.
Proving your pain to the insurance company and getting the compensation you deserve, however, is difficult. We can help. Clancy & Diaz, LLP is a Bay Area law firm with a reputation for getting our clients justice and substantial compensation. We get meaningful results because we go the distance for our clients.
If you were injured in a crash in the Walnut Creek and Antioch area, contact us for a free case consultation. In the meantime, here is some information about car accident injury pain and compensation in California.
What causes car accident pain?
Between the blunt force of the initial impact of a crash and the erratic and violent movements of the smashed vehicle, car accidents can cause a variety of painful injuries. Even if you are wearing your seatbelt, the extreme force can still cause your body to become unstable, resulting in dislocation, muscle tears, and fractures, among other injuries. Some people hit their heads against windshields or windows or are jolted forward into the steering wheel. If there are loose objects in the vehicle, projectiles may also cause painful puncture wounds and lacerations.
Car crashes can cause pain in any part of the body, including but not limited to:
- Arm pain.
- Leg pain.
- Lower back pain.
- Neck pain.
- Chest pain.
- Rib pain.
- Shoulder pain.
Pain from a car accident can be immediate, but just because you feel fine in the immediate aftermath doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Delayed pain after a car accident can emerge over the next few hours, days, weeks, or longer. For instance, whiplash may not be noticeable for some time. Unfortunately, the insurance company may take advantage of this delay to question your claim. An experienced attorney can push back.
Pain isn’t just physical. Emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and general pain and suffering after a car accident are also serious consequences that must be considered when calculating settlements and verdicts.
How common car accident injuries cause pain
Typically, there are three categories of car accident injuries – soft tissue, internal, and mental/emotional. The following are examples of common car accident injuries and the type of pain they cause.
Soft tissue injuries
Also known as musculoskeletal disorder injuries (MSDs), soft tissue injuries are tears, rips, and strains to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Soft tissue injuries may not sound as serious as fractures, but they often take a long time to heal. This type of injury can severely limit motion and stop you from doing regular activities like driving, cooking, or yardwork. The pain may be too great for you to go back to work right away.
Examples of soft tissue injuries include:
- Bruising and contusions – Swelling, often around the seatbelt area, arms, legs, head, and chest. Bruises can be tender to the touch and become more painful when you move the affected part of the body.
- Whiplash – One of the most common car accident injuries is neck and back pain, often caused by a whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). While whiplash sometimes clears up over time, about 20 to 40 percent of all people with car accident-related whiplash injuries never fully heal.
- Neck and back injuries – The soft tissues that support the spine can become inflamed and internal tissues can develop stiff, painful scars. When neck and back pain after a car accident don’t heal within three months, surgery may be necessary for pain relief.
This covers a wide array of injuries including bone breaks, slipped discs, and organ damage.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) - One of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer is a TBI. TBIs can not only cause pain, but also alter your personality, reduce your control of speech and body functions, and may dramatically alter your life. Depending on the nature of the damage, TBIs can cause headaches, tingling, numbness, or throbbing pain.
- Broken bones – Among the bones most frequently fractured in a car accident are the arm bones (humerus, radius, ulna), wrist and hand bones, leg bones (femur, tibia), ankles and feet, clavicle, and skull. Bone pain is one of the most intense types of pain; it can be sharp, stabbing, burning, or otherwise intense and difficult to manage.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage – This is one of those injuries that you may not feel until it is too late. That is why it is always important to see a doctor right away after a car accident to protect your health as well as your right to compensation. Internal organ damage may be intense, burning, dull, throbbing, or otherwise give you a sense that “things are not right.” Left untreated, internal injuries can be fatal.
Emotional and mental pain
Depending on the severity of your injury and the long-term effect it may have on your life, emotional pain can range from the blues to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and suicidal thoughts. People can experience grief over reduced abilities. They may develop an intense fear of travel or could relive the crash over and over with PTSD. Mental and emotional injuries can be harder to quantify than physical pain, but they are no less real.
How does pain affect car accident injury compensation in California?
Compensation for pain after a car accident depends on different circumstances. There is no single average settlement: it could be worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. The compensation you receive after a car accident will depend on:
- Injury type and severity.
- The cost of treatment, including emergency medical expenses, surgery, physical therapy, and pain medication.
- Long-term effects on your life, including loss of quality and enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages and diminished future earning potential.
- Medical equipment and modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a permanent injury.
- Replacement services – If you needed to hire childcare, house cleaning, driving services or other services to keep your house together while you heal, you are entitled to include that in your claim for compensation.
Get compensation for your car accident pain
If you were injured in a car accident and are feeling serious pain, contact Clancy & Diaz for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, we will listen to the details of your case, explain how the law applies to you, the value of your claim, and help you weigh your legal options.
Our law firm has a reputation for getting maximum car accident pain compensation. We know how to find strong evidence that the insurance companies cannot ignore.
If finances are a concern, you should know that our East Bay car accident lawyers represent victims on contingency. That means there is no out-of-pocket expense for our services.
Do not wait to reach out. There is a statute of limitations (legal deadline) in California, and time can weaken your case as evidence disappears and witnesses forget what they saw. We are ready to hear from you right away. Contact Clancy & Diaz now to schedule your free case consultation.