Professionals with experience with car accidents know that the type and severity of their clients’ injuries will determine the compensation they receive. A permanent personal injury may alter the quality of life and the financial status of the injured person forever. Individuals that suffer lifelong injuries will need financial compensation that reflects these changes.
What Constitutes a Permanent Injury
A medical professional will deem your injuries permanent if the personal injury results in permanent impairment after reaching maximum recovery potential. One clear example of a permanent personal injury is a severed spinal cord.
Some injuries are not as clear to discern whether they meet the “serious and permanent” threshold to qualify for permanent injury compensation. A lawyer with previous experience in personal injury cases will prove helpful at analyzing your particular injury.
Other injuries that may satisfy permanent injury thresholds include:
- Loss of life
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Bone fractures
- Inability to use organ, limb, or other body part
- Any injury that significantly decreases an individual’s ability to complete daily life activities.
Proving Permanent Injury
If you are involved in an accident, the importance of receiving timely medical care cannot become overstressed. Many people that receive injuries from an accident do not feel the ill effects immediately. For this reason, after an accident, it is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible regardless of how you feel.
Once all available treatment alternatives for your injury are exhausted, the expert opinion of a medical professional specializing in your injury type is needed to prove to an insurance company your injuries are permanent. In many cases, the doctor treating you throughout your recovery process is enough to satisfy this requirement.
The doctors tending to your injuries will document all diagnoses and treatment in your medical record. This information will become part of the calculations for the damages caused by a permanent injury. Some insurance companies will also hire independent medical examiners to confirm a permanent injury.
In many cases, injuries that lead to a personal injury claim will come with easy to discern costs. For example, it is not difficult to figure out medical expenses and lost wages associated with a broken leg.
The ongoing and open-ended costs associated with permanent injuries present a different challenge for award damage calculations. It can become problematic to award a just damage amount when undefined costs become associated with an injury.
It is also difficult to quantify the emotional distress for someone learning they must endure a lifelong disability. Several factors contribute to compensation calculations for permanent injuries. These factors include:
· Disability severity – Accident victims who suffer permanent injuries will likely experience a dramatic change in their day-to-day lives. They may experience mobility issues or find they need help to do things that were once common to them. The extent of those disabilities and the cost for daily care are key issues.
· Future wages – Your lawyer may hire a special accountant to determine the income lost to a lifetime injury. The professionals that make this determination take into account factors like level of education, job skills, and how much longer the accident victim would likely have continued working.
· Facial disfigurement – Permanent visible scarring on one’s face will likely lead to emotional distress damages. Facial disfigurement is a strong factor for these awards, especially with female and young victims.
· Age of accident victim – Younger victims often receive more compensatory damage awards due to the length of time they will have to live with an injury.
· Pain and Suffering – Accident victims facing lifelong complications due to the negligence of another person are often awarded a considerable amount in damages for the physical pain and emotional suffering they endure.