Injury Severity

How Injury Severity Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

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Accidents and injuries happen every day. If they occur due to someone else’s negligence, those injured may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. 

However, contrary to popular belief, a personal injury claim does not mean demanding an amount of money and getting it paid into your bank account. 

If you want to claim damages, you must understand how personal injury claims work. For instance, your case value depends on the severity of your injuries. This means there is a direct link between your injury and the amount of damages you can claim. 

What Are Personal Injury Damages? 

If you hire a lawyer to handle your case, they will tell you that damages fall into two categories. There are special damages that relate directly to your injury. These include medical bills, lost income, property damage, and rehabilitation costs. 

Then, there are general damages or non-economic damages. It is not as easy to quantify these damages because they include emotional distress, a loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. 

Injury Severity Directly Impacts Damages

Establishing the severity of your injury is a logical process. For instance, you will not get paid as much for a broken leg as you would for an amputated leg. However, linking injury severity to damages is much more complicated than this. 

You must prove the severity of your injuries and financial losses to claim special damages. 

Firstly, if you are severely injured, you will likely need extensive medical treatment. This may include specialist consultations and care, as well as surgery. After surgery, you may require physical therapy as part of your recovery process. 

All of this adds up, so the higher your medical bills, the bigger the impact on your case value. 

The same applies to lost income. A severe injury will likely keep you from work for an extended period. Just like your medical bills, these missed days will add up. 

If you max out your sick leave, you will not earn a salary. Even worse, if your injuries leave you permanently disabled, you will probably never work again. This will all factor into your case value, meaning you can claim a much higher amount. 

General damages focus on your pain and suffering after sustaining an injury. The more severely you get injured, the more pain you will endure. This will impact your personal injury claim. If you suffer from intense and long-lasting pain, you may be entitled to higher compensation. 

Also, depending on how you sustained your injuries, you may suffer from anxiety, depression, or PTSD for a long time. If the incident that caused your injuries also takes an emotional toll, you can claim emotional distress. 

Another factor that may impact your personal injury claim is loss of enjoyment of life. For instance, if you love dancing but lose a limb in an accident, it will limit your ability to enjoy this activity again. The more your injuries encroach on the lifestyle you are used to, the more significant your claim will be. 

Severe injuries can also strain your relationship with your partner or spouse. It will also factor into your legal case if you end up breaking up or divorcing because of this. 

Examples of Injury Severity Impacting Case Value

Here are some examples of how injury severity would affect different personal injury cases. 

  • Minor soft tissue injury: Say you suffer a wrist sprain after another car hits yours in peak-hour traffic. You may need to see the doctor for follow-up visits and get two PT sessions. 

You will not have a stack of bills and might not even miss work days. In this case, you will probably only claim for medical bills (if the accident was not your fault). 

  • Broken arm: If you slip and fall in a store and break your arm, you may require surgery and a few months of physical therapy. You may miss several weeks of work and not get paid. In this instance, you should claim for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. 
  • Traumatic brain injury: This is one of the worst outcomes of car accidents, especially head-on collisions. If you sustain a TBI because of a head-on crash that was not your fault, you may suffer long-term or permanent cognitive and physical impairment. 

You will likely require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation. Even with all this medical treatment, you may still suffer permanent disability. This scenario has the highest claim value because of the extensive medical costs, total loss of earnings, and long-term impact on your quality of life.

How to Document Your Injury Severity for Your Personal Injury Claim

If you want to claim for a severe injury, you must be able to prove how serious it is. This means that when you get injured after an accident or incident, you must get a medical evaluation immediately. Doing this will help establish a link between your injury and the action that caused it

It is vital to follow all your surgeon or doctor’s orders. Doing this includes taking medications and going for treatments. You will not be able to claim compensation if you neglect your recovery. 

At the same time, you must save copies of all your medical bills and expenses. If you cannot work while recovering, you must keep proof of your lost income. 

If your injuries stem from an accident, try to get photos of the accident scene and property damage. You should also take photos of your injuries, if possible. 

Should you want to claim pain and suffering in addition to economic damages, you should document your pain levels and their impact on your daily activities. 

Filing Your Claim

There are some things to remember when filing your claim. Pre-existing conditions will complicate your case, but if an accident worsens your existing condition, you can still recover some compensation. 

Moreover, if you are partly to blame for the accident, you will get less money.

Remember all these factors to fully understand how injury severity will affect your legal case. By documenting evidence and getting a lawyer to help you, you will exponentially increase your chances of a good outcome. 

Also Read: Are You Ready to File a Lawsuit? Checklist for Personal Injury Claims



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