How a Permanent Injury May Affect the Value of My Accident Claim

physical therapist with man with prosthetic legAccident claims involving long-term injuries can be complex for many reasons. These injuries can dramatically increase the value of a claim and invoke a stronger response from the liable insurance company. In other words, the insurance company may fight hard to avoid paying fair compensation.

If you were left permanently injured or disabled due to someone else’s negligence, our auto collision attorneys in Sacramento are prepared to help you file a claim and fight for its full value.

Below, we discuss what factors affect claims involving permanent injuries.

What is a Permanent Injury?

Despite extensive treatment, surgeries or physical therapy, a permanent injury is one that lasts for the rest of the injury victim’s foreseeable future. There are some injuries that may be more easily classified as permanent, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of limbs

Other injuries that have long-lasting impacts on a person’s life may not be so easily classified as permanent injuries, including:

  • Herniated discs
  • Bulging discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Severe soft-tissue damage

It is important to note that these types of soft-tissue injuries may be corrected with some form of surgery, but those procedures do not always guarantee results and have their own potential long-term effects and risks.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove a Permanent Injury?

Although proving you suffered an injury due to negligence is necessary in every injury case, this part may be more complex in cases involving permanent injuries. This is generally because proving that an injury is permanent may require additional evidence, such as testimony from your physician certifying the severity of your injuries.

The insurance company may also ask for an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) to confirm that you suffered a permanent injury.

To prove a permanent injury, you will need medical documentation, such as:

  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • X-rays
  • Doctor’s notes

If you have a preexisting condition that made you more susceptible to permanent injury, the insurance company is likely going to try to deny liability. However, preexisting injuries or conditions do not prevent you from recovering compensation so long as you can prove your permanent injury was a direct result of the crash.

If you had a prior condition, you are likely to have extensive records showing the severity of the condition and how you were able to live with it or how it was being treated. These medical records could be compared to new records related to your crash injuries to show what is a new injury and what is an old injury. New records may also help to show aggravation of an existing injury.

Why Are Claims Involving Permanent Injuries Worth More?

Most permanent injuries cause disability, meaning the victim will not be able to engage in some of the same activities as he or she did before the accident. Victims who require assistance to do daily activities may be eligible for compensation for things like in-home care, which would drive up the value of a claim for compensation.

Additionally, permanent injuries may require future doctor visits to keep an eye on ongoing symptoms and make sure things are not getting worse. Or perhaps the injury requires persistent physical therapy sessions or visits to doctors for many other reasons. Future costs of medical care are part of a personal injury claim.

The ability to earn wages may also be hindered, so the value of a claim with a permanent injury may be driven up by a claim for loss of future earning capacity if a change in career, early retirement or outright removal from the workforce is necessary due to the injury.

It is important to remember that non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are also recoverable for permanent injuries. In fact, pain and suffering may also be worth more for permanent injuries because the victim is likely to experience a certain level of pain for the rest of his or her life. Additionally, if a person’s lifestyle is significantly altered by a permanent injury, that person’s emotional suffering may be considerable.

Call an Experienced Attorney Today

If you were involved in an accident that left you permanently injured, you may be eligible for compensation for additional damages like costs of future medical care. However, validating these damages and proving their value may be difficult, especially when the insurance company begins to put up a tougher fight to deny liability.

You need an experienced lawyer who is prepared to help you file a claim and build a strong case for all the compensation you need for past, present and future damages. Our attorneys have decades of experience and are ready to help.

Call 916-777-7777 to schedule a free consultation.