We know that when people are injured, it can have a lasting impact on their lives. However, what we may not understand specifically, is the exact nature of that impact. The results of a new study were published last week, and the results are frightening.
Individuals in New York who filed personal injury lawsuits, especially claims for back injuries, suffered long-term financial and domestic problems. Moreover, the problems got progressively worse after they settled their claims.
According to the research, individuals who have lower income levels, those who are younger than 35 years old, and African-Americans had the greatest problems. One of the lead contributors of the study reported, “Regardless of the settlement you receive, if you continue to experience pain, our findings indicate you will often get worse over time – worse in ways that can lead to the loss of a home, lead to family disruptions, and even lead to divorce.”
To get a good understanding of the long-term impact of personal injuries, the researchers studied the court records of nearly 1,500 individuals who filed personal injury claims. In addition to reviewing the actual personal injury claims, they also studied legal matters involving the injured party in the five years before and after the personal injury claim was filed.
The study found that injured people were involved with significantly more financial and domestic court issues after their settlements than before. Those settlements included matters related to breach of contract, child support, adult abuse, stalking, divorce, foreclosure and eviction.
The study concluded that the injuries were such significant stressors in individuals’ lives that those individuals faced more financial troubles than their peers, and their problems often escalated over time.
Source: Health Canal, “Woes Worsen after Settlements for Back Injuries,” Nancy Solomon, Aug. 8, 2011