There were 304,804 motor vehicle crashes in New York during 2013, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). While the majority of accidents resulted in only property damage, there were 124,505 non-fatal personal injury crashes and 1,109 fatal crashes. A total of 1,188 people lost their lives, and another 169,177 sustained some type of non-fatal injury.

What this report does not reveal is the number of individuals who were left permanently disabled after a car crash.

Injuries in a car accident vary greatly depending on the severity of the collision, as well as the type and number of vehicles involved. Bruises, lacerations, broken bones, whiplash, neck injuries, back injuries and head injuries are all common in serious car accidents.

In violent collisions, the possibility that accident victims will become disabled increases dramatically, but even seemingly minor crashes can have devastating consequences.

When an individual sustains a serious injury, he or she may be eligible to recover damages to pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, vehicle repairs, lost income and other accident-related costs. In cases in which a severe injury results in a disability, compensation should also cover lifetime losses.

Benefits of Working with a Life-Care Planner

Lifetime losses are sometimes overlooked when determining the value of a car accident insurance claim. Most people remember to factor in immediate and short-term medical costs and recovery expenses, but they neglect to calculate the full financial impact on the victim (and his or her family) over the course of a lifetime.

This is particularly important in cases in which an accident victim’s injuries have resulted in quadriplegia, paraplegia or other catastrophic injuries. In most cases, individuals who are no longer able to care for themselves can no longer earn a living to provide for themselves and their loved ones.

If an accident victim’s injuries have resulted in permanent disabilities, consulting with a life-care planner is a necessity. A skilled life-care planner will not only be able to assess current accident-related expenses, but also calculate future financial costs as well. These include costs such as:

  • Hospitalization.
  • Surgeries.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Nursing care.
  • Medications.
  • Ventilators and other life-sustaining devices.
  • Medical equipment (beds, wheelchairs, etc.).
  • Home and vehicle modifications.
  • In-home assistance.
  • Reduced earning capacity.
  • Lost income.

Lifetime costs vary greatly depending on the type of spinal cord injury an individual sustains. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has put together a comprehensive chart detailing the average yearly expenses for individuals with incomplete motor function at any level, paraplegia, incomplete tetraplegia (quadriplegia) and complete tetraplegia.

Estimated lifetime costs for an individual who has suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury at the age of 25 ranges between $1.5 million and $4.5 million. The costs are much higher in some cases.

If you or a loved one has become disabled after being involved in a collision, hiring a skilled attorney can significantly improve your chances of maximizing your recovery in a car accident case. A qualified lawyer will work with life-care planners and others to make sure the full cost of your injury is properly calculated – and then fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Sources:
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles – Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes: 2013 Statewide Statistical Summary
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation – The Costs of Living with SCI

1 Comment

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