Permanent Injuries and How They Are Compensated
If you or anyone you know has been involved in an injury that was due to the negligence of another party you need to be aware of what the injured party might be entitled to.
It is not a bad thing to think of what the settlement benefits will be.
Some people feel guilty for pursuing a settlement but there is no reason to feel that way.
If an injury occurs, especially one that causes permanent damage then the person suffering will no doubt have issues that stay prevalent the rest of their life.
This can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of income and lack of employment options.
It probably goes without saying but it should be emphasized that a permanent injury claim will be entitled to a larger settlement then lesser injuries.
Because of that, it is important that you (as a claimant) get everything you deserve.
Having a competent law firm represent you will be a key necessity in accomplishing this goal.
This is where the Richard Harris Law Firm comes into play.
We’ve been serving communities (Henderson, Spring Valley, Pahrump, Reno, Summerlin, Laughlin, Paradise) throughout southern Nevada and beyond for decades and will ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to.
So you can be more educated, we will have a look below at more details involving permanent injury claims.
It Can Be Complicated
When an injury occurs that causes a long term disability things can get complicated.
Aside from having massive medical expenses that continue on throughout the person’s life, there are other aspects that need to be addressed that are subjective and sometimes not quantitative.
In some cases, a “multiplier” will be referenced by both attorneys and insurance companies but when there are other intangible issues this type of tool cannot be used.
These complicated factors make it really necessary that you find a good legal representative to help you along.
You can pretty much be sure that the insurance company will have a well versed injury law professional working for their best interests.
A significant claim will always have emotional testimony due to the severity of the situation.
The same goes with presenting evidence to showcase pain and suffering.
Due to all of the factors listed above, a permanent injury claim can sometimes pay in the millions of dollars.
What to Emphasize for Permanent Injury Compensation
Attempting to calculate what the economic damages are is one of the first steps your injury attorney should do.
One of the more straightforward things to calculate are what medical expenses have already been incurred.
This is somewhat easy because there are bills and invoices already on file from medical providers.
In addition, there are receipts for payments.
Because these expenses are set in stone as having already been done, they are the first items that should be inputted on the ledger.
Future Medical Bills
Future medical care can also be expensed.
That gets a bit tricky though because no one really knows for sure what treatments will be needed in the future.
Just because a chiropractor is being used today does not mean that more pain will occur in the future or that another diagnosis will be made that causes surgery, MRI’s, CT’s among many other things.
Hospital room charges can be huge and anyone that has viewed a UB04 form (itemized hospital bill) knows this.
You need to have a good attorney that can calculate these future, unexpected items.
Bringing in medical professionals can also help with this matter but the attorney you hire will manage all of that.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is not quantifiable but still needs to be a part of your settlement claim.
An injured person needs to remember that they did not cause the injury, someone else’s negligence did.
If it was not for the other party’s action, there would not have been an injury.
So due to this, you are entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering.
Age of when the injury occurred is also a factor.
Looking at life expectancy and actuaries is a big deal for permanent injuries.
If an older person suffers a long term injury their settlement will be less than if the same type of injury happens to someone younger.
It is not any kind of bias but is really just math.
A younger person will suffer more income loss, more pain, more medical expenses, etc… then compared to an older person simply because they have more time left on earth.
Disfigurement cannot only be a visible blemish but can impact the psychological aspect of the victim as well.
Long term injuries can be depressing for some knowing that certain goals may never be fulfilled due to the accident.
Depending on the situation, the potential of lost wages may also cause stress and agony.
The stress can be for the future or may be due to the financial stress of the present time.
Visible scars and disfigurement can also be very hard to handle psychologically for some people.
How severe the disability is also needs to be assessed.
Activity of Daily Living
One way to help determine this is if the ADL’s are impacted. An ADL is the ‘activity of daily living’ and consists of numerous things that people do during the normal course of life.
They can include using the bathroom without assistance, dressing oneself, being able to feed yourself without assistance and other things.
If an activity of daily living cannot be done due to the injury then your settlement will increase in value. If your family has dealth with loss of consortium then feel free to call us also.
Injuries are Expensive
Injuries can cost money by way of losing future income.
If an injury causes a job or career change that would pay less than the victim’s current profession, then those lost wages need to be calculated as part of the settlement.
Looking at the victim’s education level and work experience will be ways to get an idea of the lost wages.
Knowing how many years they had left in their career is also a variable. One thing that can be overlooked but would not by a competent injury attorney is factoring in cost of living adjustments (COLA).
Inflation is always present meaning that prices go up so having that factored in will help ensure that the victim’s settlement will be fair and will help them throughout the rest of their life.
Don’t sit and wait for help from the insurance companies, and if you want a second opinion then call us today.
Sometimes Settlements can be Limited
In some scenarios, limited funds may be available regardless of how severe the injury was.
Workers’ Compensation claims are one example of this.
Workers’ Comp is generally managed by each state so the Nevada department will handle all partial and permanent injury claims.
One benefit to a Workers’ Comp claim is that the settlement is not considered taxable income to the victim. That brings more money to the victim’s pocket helping them in the future.
The Worker’s Comp insurance will usually settle with a lump sum payment to the victim but lacks certain things that we have previously discussed.
Pain and suffering benefits are omitted from the payout. Also, the calculation of future lost wages will not be considered in the settlement process.
Auto insurance claims can also be capped out.
When someone is permanently injured in a car accident, the settlement will be based on the driver’s liability coverage.
So whatever the maximum is on that insurance policy will be the maximum a victim will receive.
If the victim has another supplement policy then that can help.
An “underinsured motorist” insurance plan would kick in for a victim after the driver’s policy maxed out.
No one likes paying more for insurance but in a situation like this, a driver would be thankful they purchased a supplemental plan.
A permanent injury can include many different diagnosis but below are some of the most common ones dealt within the court system:
Disfigurement – Mostly this will consist of visible issues such as scars but may also include the loss of a limb. Amputations and issues that are visible can play havoc on a victim’s mindset. Often times they feel their worth is discounted due to their handicap.
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injuries – These types of issues often occur when there is blunt force trauma to the head which causes a lack of oxygen to flow to the brain. Injuries such as this can be tough to calculate because sometimes they start off as simple symptoms (similar to a concussion) but can also range to permanent brain damage which can cause significant problems up to and including the loss of cognitive functionality.
Back Injuries – anyone who has suffered a back injury or lower back pain knows how the pain lingers and how things never seem to get back to normal. Disc injuries like ruptures or vertebrae issues (such as fractures) can sometimes require multiple surgeries. These types of surgeries often require hospital confinement and at the very least will cause suffering and lack of production for the victim while they recuperate.
Sensory Losses – These will include a loss of sense such as permanent hearing loss, blindness (or not being able to see well enough to drive) or the inability to taste things. Many types of injuries can cause this type of damage to include medical malpractice, traumatic injury or toxic exposure.
If you were involved in a long term injury causing permanent damage please reach out to the Richard Harris Law Firm for help.