Life can change in an instant due to a driver running a red light or making a negligent decision behind the wheel. Sadly, innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists can suffer from a broken femur, shattered ribs, fractured pelvis, collapsed lung, paralysis, and even a traumatic brain injury. As a result of such serious injuries, victims are left with serious physical problems that can lead to self-care challenges and extensive medical treatment.
Sometimes multiple surgeries and long hospital stays are needed followed by continued treatment and recovery. For example, some patients reach the point in their recoveries to be discharged from the hospital, but they still need help walking and becoming stronger so they can once again take care of themselves. Consequently, they will need additional medical care—whether that be at home or at another medical facility—to deal with their physical problems.
While medical costs are expensive following accident-related injuries, it is important that injured victims know they should be compensated for the following:
- Home care assistance. Depending on the injuries sustained and recovery plan set up by the doctor, many people return home to continue the healing process. This often occurs after someone is seriously injured in a car accident and undergoes treatment at the hospital. Once released from the hospital, the injured person may need assistance at home while he or she is recovering. These services can include cooking and feeding, personal hygiene assistance, assisting with medication and wounds, and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy appointments. Unfortunately, many injured people lose the ability to perform daily activities and take care of themselves. When in-home care assistance is required by a doctor, the insurance company should pay for these services.
- Nursing home care. Many elderly people who suffer injuries in catastrophic car accidents and slip and fall accidents need to live in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers following their hospital stays. Because elderly people often take longer to heal from their physical injuries and need more specialized care, they generally stay in nursing homes for months until they can get stronger.
- Home modifications. When people come home from the hospital in wheelchairs that they may be in for the rest of their lives, they will likely need certain modifications done to their homes. Typically, an occupational therapist will review the home and make recommendations, such as widening doorways, lowering bathroom and kitchen counter tops, installing grab bars in the shower and bathrooms, and building wheelchair ramps—all of which should be compensable.
Because physical injuries present many self-care challenges, injured victims will likely need on-going assistance at home in addition to professional rehabilitation. As a result, families often attempt to provide their injured loved ones with the physical help they need; however, this can increase family stress and add to the burden the injuries have already caused the family.
The Effects Physical Injuries Have on Families
Unfortunately, most families don’t realize that injured victims have the right to collect money for necessary in-home care, skilled nursing facility care, home modifications, ongoing medical care, and future medical treatments. This is because insurance companies don’t freely offer this information or make it easy for people to collect the compensation they are due. As a result, families are left to provide care—even if it causes them to miss out on wages, opportunities, and interests.
Because physical injuries can be demanding on a victim’s family—in both direct and indirect costs—affected family members need to learn all they can about getting care for their injured loved one. However, navigating the systems of care and benefits can be complex and confusing—adding stress to an already stressful time for a family. For this reason, families of injured victims should talk with an attorney to find out if their loved one’s injuries and continuing care are compensable.
When physical problems lead to financial problems after traumatic accidents, injured people and their families need to know how to deal with these adverse effects. At Shevlin Smith, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge you are looking for to help you get the best compensation possible. Feel free to contact us today at (703) 591-0067 for a free consultation, or learn more about us by visiting our About Us page and meeting our team.