Hollywood actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is facing a car accident lawsuit from a woman who is claiming that she was left permanently injured and disabled as a result of a car crash.
The “Terminator” star was hit with the lawsuit over his alleged reckless driving on Sunset Boulevard and Allenford Avenue on Jan. 21, 2023. The lawsuit accuses Schwarzenegger of “negligently, wantonly, unlawfully, wrongfully and recklessly” slamming into the plaintiff, Cheryl Augustine’s car with his GMC Yukon.
Two Car Accident Lawsuits Filed Against Former Governor
The lawsuit claimed Augustine suffered injury to her body and shock and injury to her nervous system, which has caused and continues to cause her “great physical and nervous pain suffering.” The former governor, 76, was driving his GMC Yukon SUV, and was about to turn onto busy Sunset Boulevard about half a mile from his home in Brentwood when he crashed into a red Toyota Prius. The impact of the crash was hard enough that the Prius’ airbags deployed, as did the airbags in Schwarzenegger’s vehicle. The SUV then rolled into a white Porsche Taycan that was directly behind.
Augustine says the accident stopped her from working, and she is seeking “general damages,” including all medical and incidental expenses and loss of earnings. The accident left one other driver with a head injury. The police report said alcohol or drugs were not involved in the crash, and all parties remained at the scene.
This lawsuit comes just one week after Schwarzenegger was sued by a bicyclist whom he accidentally struck with his car in Los Angeles in February. According to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, the bicyclist, Joanne Flickinger, claimed that Schwarzenegger was driving with excessive speed and “failed to keep a proper lookout.” She alleged that the collision caused her severe injuries.
Car Accidents and Permanent Injuries
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can lead to permanent impairment and lifelong challenges for individuals involved. These injuries can vary significantly in severity, depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the type of collision, and the use of safety devices like seat belts and airbags. Here are several types of permanent injuries commonly caused by car accidents:
- Spinal cord injuries: Severe car accidents can damage the spinal cord, leading to paralysis or loss of sensation in different parts of the body. Paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) or quadriplegia (paralysis affecting all four limbs) can impact an individual’s mobility and independence.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): The force and impact of a car accident can cause traumatic brain injuries, ranging from concussions to severe, permanent brain damage. Cognitive impairment, memory loss, personality changes, and motor function issues are among the potential long-term effects of TBIs.
- Amputations and limb loss: In high-impact collisions, individuals may suffer severe injuries to their extremities, leading to the loss of limbs. Amputations can drastically alter a person’s life, necessitating lifelong rehabilitation and adjustments to perform daily activities.
- Chronic pain conditions: Car accidents can cause chronic pain conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or fibromyalgia, which may persist for an extended period or become permanent. These conditions can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life and require ongoing management.
- Internal injuries: Blunt force trauma from car accidents can cause internal injuries to organs such as the spleen, liver, kidneys, or lungs. In some cases, these injuries may result in long-term complications, requiring surgery or ongoing medical treatment.
- Psychological trauma: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and depression are common psychological consequences of severe car accidents. These mental health conditions can persist long-term and significantly impact a person’s emotional well-being and daily functioning.
The impact of these permanent injuries extends beyond physical limitations, affecting individuals emotionally, financially, and socially. Rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, assistive devices, and modifications to living environments are often necessary to help those with permanent injuries regain independence and improve their quality of life after a car accident. Moreover, seeking legal advice and financial compensation may be crucial to cover medical expenses and support necessary accommodations for a fulfilling life post-accident.
Compensation for Permanent Disability After a Car Accident
Compensation for permanent disability resulting from a car accident often involves a legal process to ensure that you receive adequate financial support to cover medical expenses, lost income, and ongoing care. Several avenues for compensation can be explored, including, but not limited to:
Insurance claims: Individuals injured in car accidents can file claims with their insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage can help cover medical bills, while bodily injury liability insurance compensates for the other party’s injuries in states following a fault-based system.
Car accident lawsuits: If negotiations with insurance companies do not yield fair compensation, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party may be necessary. This legal action seeks damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future care related to the permanent disability. This may be your best option to obtain maximum compensation for your tremendous losses.
Disability benefits: Those left permanently disabled after a car accident might be eligible for disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, providing financial assistance based on the severity of the disability and its impact on employment.
Navigating the complexities of compensation for permanent disability after a car accident often requires legal expertise. Consulting with a knowledgeable California car accident lawyer can be crucial to understanding the options available, negotiating with insurance companies, or pursuing legal action to secure rightful compensation for the long-term effects of your injuries.