When your bone is fractured as a result of trauma, it breaks apart or cracks.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone in the United States is wounded in a car collision every 10 seconds. Fortunately, most accidents do not result in death, but even small ones can result in long-term worry as well as worries and phobias about driving or riding in a car. Steinberg, director of research at the UCLA Trauma Psychiatry Program, determined that some studies showed people can have increases in their levels of stress hormones for months after even minor traumatic events. According to a recent study conducted by British experts, at least one-third of all people engaged in nonfatal accidents suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, sadness, and phobias one year after the incident.
However, some major car accident injuries do not only include the adverse psychological impacts, but also the excruciating, long-term physical impacts of the accident that leave themdisabled for years. These may include soft tissue injuries, bone fractures, dependency on instruments to walk or stand and sit, inability to speak or see properly (lawful blindness), back disorders, among many others. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration have a long list of symptoms that a car accident applicant can meet, in order to qualify for SSDI benefits for car accident injuries.
How does the SSA do your RFC for Car Accident Injuries
The SSA's disability listing 1.06 addresses thigh, shin, pelvic, or tarsal bone fractures (in the foot). To meet this disability listing, however, you must demonstrate to the SSA that you have any of the following symptoms:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and skin can all be injured in a vehicle collision. Burns are included in the SSA's definition of soft tissue injuries.
Listing 1.08 covers a soft tissue injury or burn to an arm, leg, chest, face, or head. To qualify for this disability status, you must demonstrate both of the following.
- -For at least 12 months, you have no functional use of the damaged bodily part. If the face and head are implicated, you must demonstrate that your vision, speech, or eating process has been seriously harmed and that you are receiving continuing medical care (generally this means you have tried surgery and other treatments to help restore use of that part of the body).
Listing 8.08 is for burns alone and does not need proof of ongoing surgical therapy. To fulfil this disability classification, you must demonstrate that you have extensive skin lesions that have lasted at least 12 months and that:
- -significantly limit your functional use of at least two extremities (for example, two arms, two legs, or one arm and one leg), or
- -are on the palms of both hands and significantly limit your ability to handle and finger objects, or
- -are on the soles of both feet and significantly limit your ability to walk and carry out daily living duties.
5.02 discusses gastrointestinal bleeding (involving the esophagus, stomach, or intestines). To satisfy this requirement, you must demonstrate all of the following.
- You received blood transfusions at least three times in the previous six months.
- Each transfusion required at least two units of blood, and each transfusion was spaced at least 30 days apart.
A automobile collision might aggravate an existing back condition or trigger a new one. Listing 1.04 describes spine problems such as degenerative disc disease, slipped discs, and shattered vertebrae. To fulfil this disability designation, you must have one of the following conditions:
- -Compression of a nerve root as revealed by an MRI or x-ray, restriction of spine mobility, muscular atrophy (muscle loss) with weakness, diminished feeling or reflexes, and a positive straight-leg raising test (if the low back is part of the disability)
- -A pathology report or a surgical remark indicating spinal arachnoiditis, as well as the necessity to change postures more than once every two hours, or
- -An MRI or x-ray diagnostic of lumbar spinal stenosis, excruciating cramps, weakness, and severe impairment in your ability to walk.
Arms or Leg Fractures
A non-healing fracture with no "solid union" of the bone, as well as a significant impairment in your ability to walk that lasts at least 12 months. You would be unable to carry out your daily activities. You would also require a device, such as a walker or two crutches, that prevents you from effectively using both of your arms.
Listing 1.07 discusses arm, wrist, and elbow fractures. To meet this disability listing, you must demonstrate:
- -The absence of bone union,
- -Ongoing medical treatment (you've tried surgery and other treatments to help restore arm function) and no functional use of the arm for at least 12 months You would be unable to pick up items with your hands and fingers or carry objects with your arm.
To use this listing, you must also demonstrate the presence of a fracture using an x-ray, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or a bone scan.
Anxiety, PTSD or Mental Health Impairments
Following a car accident, generalized anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder are not uncommon. However, you must be able to prove to the SSA that your mental health is impacted sufficiently to prevent you from undertaking work under substantial gainful activity, SGA.
How Does the SSA do RFC for Your Car Accident Injuries
Even if you do not fit into one of the above-mentioned disability categories, the SSA will assess your residual functional capacity (RFC) to see if you are capable of performing even simple tasks. After a car accident, the SSA will review your hospitalization records to determine whether your medical treatment was successful and whether there were any complications. Furthermore, the SSA will consider whether the medications you are taking are effectively controlling any pain symptoms, whether you have followed all of the treatment recommendations made by your doctor, and what limitations your doctor has placed on your ability to work.
Following an evaluation of your ability to stand, walk, handle or carry objects, and interact with others, fractured a hip or cracked a tendon in a sensitive area of your body, such as knee caps, the SSA disability examiner (DE) will examine your symptoms to analyze if you could perhaps undertake previous work under skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled activity. If it's proven that you're indeed unable to take up any kind of substantial work, you would automatically qualify for SSDI benefits.
If you or your loved one has been in an unfortunate car accidental injury and are unsure on how to proceed, you may seek legal help from our professional disability attorneys here.