According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 53 million people in this country suffer some type of long-term disability. That’s one in five adults. In Virginia, almost 20 percent of the state’s population struggles with some type of long-term disability.
Although many of these disabilities are caused by a chronic or degenerative disease, one of the most common causes of permanent or long-term disability are accidents, particularly vehicle accidents. The long-term impact of a car accident injury can range anywhere between occasional aches or stiffness in joints and muscles to complete paralysis. Traumatic brain injury is another vehicle accident injury that can often leave a victim with permanent injuries, such as cognitive impairments.
The CDC has developed five classifications of functional disabilities that can affect or limit a victim’s ability to perform certain activities. These classifications are:
- Cognitive: Impairment in concentrating, decision-making, and remembering;
- Independent living: Difficulty with cleaning, cooking, or other tasks required when a person lives alone;
- Mobility: Impairment in walking or climbing stairs;
- Self-care: Difficulty with bathing, dressing, or other personal care tasks; and
- Vision difficulties: Difficulty seeing.
The Impact of Disabilities
In the majority of cases where a victim suffers a long-term or permanent disability, the condition typically worsens over time. As it worsens, the greater impact it typically will have on the victim’s health and financial situation.
If the accident that caused the injury was a result of another person’s negligence, then the victim can file a claim against the at-fault party for financial compensation for the losses the injury as caused them. In cases of long-term disability, the victim may also be entitled to future losses. These can include future medical expenses, future home care costs, and future loss of income and benefits. A Virginia personal injury attorney can determine what the financial losses should be based on the circumstances of each case.
When determining the impact the disability will have, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) measures both the number of years the victim is expected to live with the disability, as well as the number of years by which the disability is expected to affect the victim’s lifespan. These impacts may play a significant role in the final amount a victim is awarded in their accident claim or lawsuit.
Call Our Office Today
An experienced Virginia car accident attorney has successfully represented many clients whose injuries have left them with long-term or permanent disabilities. If you have been injured in an accident, the legal team at Shapiro & Appleton is available to discuss the details of your case and what legal recourse you may have against the driver who caused the crash.