Champions For Injured Pennsylvanians

What distinguishes catastrophic car crashes from other wrecks?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Car crashes are a daily occurrence, and the vast majority of them are relatively minor. Even in cases where vehicles require repair or replacement, the people involved may walk away with few or no serious injuries. Better vehicle design in recent decades has improved the outcome of crashes for many people.

Unfortunately, collisions remain one of the top causes of severe injury and also premature mortality in the United States of America. Some crashes generate catastrophic but nonfatal injuries. The people involved in a wreck may have expenses that go well beyond the insurance coverage available.

The following concerns tend to differentiate a catastrophic crash from an “average” motor vehicle collision.

The presence of aggravating factors

Catastrophic collisions usually involve special circumstances. For example, a crash might occur between a standard-size passenger vehicle and a massive semi-truck. Other times, the crash might involve someone operating their vehicle at an inappropriately fast speed. Unlike fender benders that typically involve a momentary lapse of judgment, catastrophic crashes frequently involve more serious traffic infractions, issues with vehicles or other special circumstances.

The long-term consequences

What truly separates a catastrophic crash from the average wreck is the long-term consequence the incident has on the people involved. A catastrophic crash generates injuries with long-term or permanent consequences. Sometimes, they lead to people dying. Other times, they might generate traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations or disfiguring wounds.

These injuries might require hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment and could change someone’s earning potential as well. The unfortunate truth is that the average motor vehicle liability insurance policy does not provide enough property damage or bodily injury coverage to fully reimburse someone after a catastrophic crash. Sometimes, basic car insurance provides only $15,000 in coverage for injuries after a crash.

The affected party or their surviving family members may need to consider pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Driver who did something illegal or negligent could have personal responsibility for a crash. Businesses could also be accountable in scenarios involving semi-trucks, defective vehicle parts and other unusual circumstances.

Properly responding to a catastrophic car crash often requires first quantifying the economic consequences of the collision. Those who secure proper support may have a better chance of mitigating the negative impacts of a catastrophic car wreck.


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