It’s everyone’s worst nightmare — especially in this day and age. If you’re a proponent of guns, you believe that we all have the right to protect ourselves by owning one. If you’re an opponent of guns, you believe that we all have the right to protect ourselves by reducing the amount of ownership. Those who believe in the second amendment don’t seem concerned that mass shootings and gun deaths are on the rise, or that gunshot victims require a lifetime of care.
Most often, that care is psychological.
A recent study concluded that gunshot victims who survived the trauma were 68 percent more likely to experience chronic pain even after the injuries had healed. 53 percent of victims were likely to screen positive for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A whopping 59 percent of victims will not have been back to work even a year after the injury was sustained. That’s an enormous financial burden for survivors — and for society at large.
These rates are higher for gun injury survivors than for those involved in car accidents.
Research Director Juan P. Herrera-Escobar said, “The impact of firearm injuries is not limited to deaths. The long-term burden born in survivors is huge and affects multiple domains, such as physical health, mental health, reintegration to society, and quality of life.”
He continued: “Firearm injuries are a pressing public health problem in the United States. Until now, most of the research on this problem has focused on mortality, which of course is critical, but is only one piece of the story. For every person who dies from a firearm injury, three survive every year. As trauma systems continue to improve and save more lives every year, our attention should start shifting to the impact that firearm injuries have on survivors.”
This is an especially touchy subject for personal injury lawyers who realize that the long-term financial damages are astounding. Not only are survivors subject to outrageous medical bills for months and months of restorative therapy, but they are also subject to other costs as well. Not working for a year — or sometimes much longer, if ever — takes a toll. People want to feel productive. When they feel like a burden to others, they fall into depression. That in turn leaves the people around them feeling depressed, too.
Many gunshot victims will end up on disability benefits, which aren’t easy to get even when you deserve them. They will continue to endure psychological and emotional trauma throughout life.
Thankfully some of these costs can be reimbursed through health insurance or civil litigation. Sometimes in criminal court, restitution is possible. Speak with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible if you or someone you know was the victim of gun violence.