As data shows, drunk driving accidents pose grave danger to motorists nationwide. In fact, drunk driving accidents claim the lives of nearly 30 people every day in the United States. However, not everyone who gets hit by a drunk driver dies.
In Arizona alone last year, over 2,000 of the reported 4,491 alcohol-related crashes resulted in injuries ranging from minor to severe with life-long consequences. Injuries sustained from a drunk driving accident can drastically impact one’s physical and emotional well-being, and create a host of financial and professional hardships.
Common Injuries and Physical Effects
One of the most common injuries suffered in an accident is whiplash. Whiplash can generally be defined as a neck injury involving the soft tissue or bones. Symptoms of whiplash include pain, stiffness, dizziness, headaches or even a tingling or prickly sensation. In extreme cases, whiplash can cause memory loss, irritability, extreme fatigue, and sleep disruption. Effective treatment for whiplash ranges from rest and modified movement to medication and ongoing physical therapy.
A more serious but still prevalent injury sustained in drunk driving accidents is a traumatic brain injury. Such an injury usually results from the sudden force, impact, or blow to the head. This type of injury can be life-threatening even when managed and treated by neurologists and other health care professionals. Even those who make a recovery can often experience effects for up to one year, including sensory impairment, memory loss, anxiety, and emotional disorders.
Although often associated with wartime experience, post-traumatic stress disorder is also a serious form of injury that can result from being hit by a drunk driver. Unlike physical pain inflicted from other accident injuries, PTSD can cause debilitating emotional and psychological anguish that can significantly diminish one’s quality of life. Common occurrences and symptoms experienced by people suffering from PTSD include outbursts of anger, bouts of depression and anxiety, fear, nightmares, and even physical effects like high blood pressure. Treatment for PTSD often includes extensive counseling, medical evaluation, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Long Term Impact and How to Take Action
As you can see, injuries suffered as a result of being hit by a drunk driver can undoubtedly lead to both short and long-term personal and professional challenges. As evidenced by the aforementioned injuries and their consequences, physical pain is not the only byproduct of an accident.
Appropriate and ongoing treatment for injuries can give rise to financial strife when considering the staggering costs of medication, insurance charges, physician’s office and hospital co-pays, lost wages due to time away from work, and living assistance costs if needed. Furthermore, long-term physical and emotional limitations caused by being hit by a drunk driver can negatively influence and limit one’s employment prospects and earning potential.
Not Everyone Who Gets Hit by a Drunk Driver Dies
Not everyone who gets hit by a drunk driver dies, but sometimes the pain and consequences are too much to bear. If you have sustained injuries of any magnitude, it is prudent to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss how to file a legal claim if applicable.
Even if you deem your injuries to be a short-term setback, you must also consider the financial, emotional, physical, and personal pain and suffering that may present itself in the years that follow. An experienced attorney will be well equipped to discuss your case with you and explore your options to ensure that you are protected and fairly compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for immediate guidance and assistance with your case.