Helpful Information

The Long-Term Effects of Car Accidents

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Jan 07, 2021

Car accidents can be traumatizing, physically painful, and financially taxing. While some individuals may only experience minor injuries after an accident, others may be permanently disabled and never lead an independent life again or return to their career. It only takes a split-second decision by a careless or negligent driver and an accident victim could see their entire life changed beyond recognition. If you suffered serious injuries and are now having to deal with injuries and losses due to a negligent driver, you may have the legal right to receive compensation. Contact the experienced attorneys at the Labrum Law Firm today at (615) 338-9500 for a free case review with one of our dedicated team members.

Physical Effects of Car Accidents

Car accidents can cause horrific injuries, especially if they happen at high speed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed over 9,000 individuals in the U.S. in 2018. Figures from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that there were 4.5 million medically consulted injuries in car accidents in 2018 alone. Injuries can include the following:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

The physical effects of car accidents can include debilitating head injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents are a common cause of TBIs. While a mild TBI can heal with rest and time, a severe traumatic brain injury can leave a sufferer with permanent cognitive problems such as loss of memory, problems with speech, and confusion. Individuals with a serious TBI can also experience loss of consciousness, persistent headaches, seizures, dizziness, or even permanent brain damage.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Damage to the spinal cord is almost always a serious and life-changing injury. Spinal cord injuries typically cause loss of sensation and loss of movement to the parts of the body below the injury site. Individuals with a severed spinal cord may need a wheelchair to get around and could suffer from a whole host of other health issues such as potential loss of bowel and bladder control. A serious injury such as spinal cord damage can be physically and emotionally devastating. Having to depend on others for daily tasks such as eating, drinking, and personal hygiene can have a detrimental impact on the individual as well as their family.

Internal Organ Damage and Internal Bleeding

Internal injuries can be deceiving as they are not visible from the outside. However, internal bleeding and organ damage require immediate emergency treatment and can be life-threatening. Even with prompt treatment, internal bleeding can be fatal. Organs may be bruised or crushed in an accident. In the worst case, an organ could be entirely destroyed in an accident. 

There can be many other serious injuries in car accidents that may result in painful, costly, and long-term medical treatment. Other car accident injuries can include:

  • Bone fractures and breaks
  • Whiplash and soft tissue damage
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Burns
  • Nerve damage
  • Loss of a limb

The physical effects of car accidents can ruin lives as well as livelihoods, especially when victims suffer serious and disabling injuries. Medical bills for ongoing injuries can plunge a family into financial hardship for years. If you suffered any kind of injury as a result of someone else's negligence, contact the Labrum Law Firm to find out more about how to receive just and ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Emotional Effects of Car Accidents

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), individuals may experience significant mental and psychological distress after a car accident. Accident victims can suffer from a range of mental health problems, including:

Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Serious accidents can cause post-traumatic stress disorder particularly in individuals who felt that their life was in danger. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can include:

  • A general and lasting feeling of uneasiness
  • Fear of driving or being a passenger in cars
  • Fear of medical procedures
  • Excessive worry or anger
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Experiencing flashbacks of the accident


Situational depression can develop after a traumatic event such as the passing of a loved one or experiencing a serious car accident. Depression can make it hard for individuals to live a normal life. Symptoms can include:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Regular crying
  • Feelings of anxiety and stress
  • Losing appetite
  • Difficulty carrying out normal daily activities
  • Hopelessness
  • Insomnia


Anxiety can severely impact an individual's ability to lead a normal life and completely disrupt their routine. Symptoms of anxiety can include racing thoughts, inability to concentrate, excessive sweating, fast breathing, shaking, and others. The intense negative emotions that accident victims might feel in the days and weeks after an accident can lead to an avoidance of family, friends, or even work responsibilities. Some victims may not want to drive a car again and avoid going to work or appointments out of fear of getting into another accident. Victims may also withdraw from social contacts and family due to feeling emotionally distressed.

While we tend to primarily concentrate on physical injuries, the emotional effects of car accidents sometimes leave deep mental and emotional wounds that can have a severe impact on the life quality of an accident victim. Professional help, while available, can be costly. Therefore, if you continue to suffer from emotional injuries after an accident, you could potentially recover compensation from the at-fault party.

Types of Compensation Available

Suffering from negative physical and emotional effects after a car accident can feel unfair and frustrating, particularly if another's carelessness or negligence caused your injuries. However, you might be able to receive compensation from the insurance company covering the other driver, or even sue the negligent party and seek damages that could include:

  • Medical expenses (including future medical expenses)
  • Counseling expenses
  • Lost income and future lost income
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Awards for physical pain and suffering
  • Awards for emotional distress
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

Victims can also potentially receive other types of compensation, depending on the severity of the physical and emotional injuries.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney at the Labrum Law Firm for Help Today

We understand what you might be going through physically and emotionally after a car accident. It is not fair that you have to deal with all the consequences including medical bills and other financial losses when another's negligent actions caused your accident and injuries. Having an experienced car accident attorney by your side, who can fight tirelessly for your rights to justice and compensation, can give you reassurance and confidence that your rights will remain protected. Contact our legal team today at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 to secure an appointment for your free consultation, and to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

We Want To Hear From You

Labrum Law is committed to answering your questions about personal injury, car accident, pedestrian accident, truck accident, wrongful death, and brain injury law issues in Nashville, Tennessee.

We offer a free consultation and we’ll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today at 615-338-9500 to schedule an appointment.

Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Franklin
Top Car Accident Lawyer in Nashville


Top Car Accident Lawyer in Nashville