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How Permanent or Long-Term Injuries May Affect the Value of Your Claim

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Dec 20, 2021 in Personal Injury

person pushing self in wheelchairWhile there are many factors that determine the value of a personal injury claim, the type and extent of the injuries suffered is the main one. In fact, many of the other factors in the value of a claim fall under the type and extent of a victim’s injuries.

Generally, the more severe the injury, the higher the value of the claim for compensation. However, every injury is different, which means each claim for compensation is unique. Some permanent injury claims may be worth more than others, depending on the ongoing symptoms and other problems caused by a permanent or long-term injury.

Below, the experienced attorneys from Phillips Law Group discuss some of the most common long-term, or residual injuries and how they could impact the value of a claim for compensation.

Even though long-term injuries often cause more damages than shorter-term injuries, insurance companies continually undervalue these claims. That is why you need an experienced Phoenix-based personal injury attorney fighting for you. People seeking compensation for an injury caused by another’s negligence often recover more compensation if they have qualified legal representation.

Common Long-Term Injuries Caused by Negligence

There are numerous types of long-term or permanent injuries suffered in personal injury accidents. Examples include:

Head/Brain Injuries

This can include injuries like:

  • Concussions
  • Penetrating head wounds
  • Brain contusions
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Skull fracture
  • And more

Even insurance adjusters acknowledge brain injuries can last a long time and the value of claims for these injuries can be significant. Sometimes it appears the victim has recovered from a brain injury, only to have symptoms recur. That is why insurance adjusters often want to settle quickly before symptoms have a chance to recur.  

Brain injuries can cause various ongoing medical problems, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Personality changes
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Poor balance
  • Pain in the neck
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble finding things

There are various medical interventions that may help victims manage these and other symptoms. For example, there may be prescription medications for pain, depression, difficulty sleeping, dizziness and other problems. Victims may need to go to the doctor regularly and have tests done to determine if anything has gotten worse.

Victims may never return to the state they were in before the accident, which can affect their career and ability to work, along with their mental health.

Spinal Cord Damage

While you may immediately think of a paralyzing injury when you hear about injuries to the spinal cord, there are many other types of spinal cord injuries that do not cause significant paralysis but make everyday life much more painful and difficult, such as:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Herniated discs
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Facet joint injuries

These and other spinal cord injuries can cause ongoing pain and suffering and medical expenses. It often takes several months or more to determine how much a spinal cord injury victim may recover.

Personal injury victims could also suffer paralysis because of a severe fracture of one of their vertebrae. Victims could lose the use of their legs or suffer impairment to all four limbs.

What many people may not know about these kinds of spinal cord injuries is they cause many other problems that can result in pain and a significant loss of independence. Some victims lose the ability to sweat, which makes it easier for their bodies to overheat. They may also lose some level of bowel and bladder control.

Victims may also need assistance with everyday tasks or will need to make significant home and vehicle modifications to be able to accommodate a manual or power wheelchair.

Joint Injuries

This includes injuries like separations, dislocations, cartilage or ligament tears. Insurers often use a multiplier to determine the value of pain and suffering for an injury like this – they multiply economic damages like medical bills by this number to determine the value of noneconomic damages. Joint injuries are often assigned a higher multiplier by insurance companies.

It can take a significant amount of time for these injuries to heal, even with surgery. Victims may need to undergo a significant amount of rehab to strengthen the muscles around the injury site. This can help prevent reinjury or injuries to other body parts.

Scarring and/or Disfigurement

Injury victims could become scarred or disfigured from the accident, such as if they were severely burned or suffered a crush injury. Victims may have suffered a brain injury but had their face scarred because the brain injury was caused by a hit to the head by a pointy or sharp surface or object.

Compensation awards for these claims may be more because scarring or disfigurement can lead to significant psychological trauma. Insurers understand this, and they even account for things like the victim’s age and sex. For example, a young woman who was permanently scarred may be offered more compensation than an older woman who was permanently scarred. Women may be offered more compensation than men for a permanent scar.

Scarring could also be internal, such as scarring to a ligament or joint. This could result in significant pain that lasts a long time. Victims may have permanently impaired mobility.

Severe Broken Bone Injuries

Some fractures are more severe than others, but an X-ray that shows a broken bone is likely to increase the value of a claim for compensation. Insurance companies tend to view broken bone injuries as much more severe than soft-tissue injuries, often because X-rays and other imaging tests show the fracture.

The more severe the injury, the more likely it is the victim may need surgical intervention to help the fracture heal. For example, victims may need to have screws or plates inserted into the broken bones to hold them together until they heal. Surgeries like these can be very expensive.

Validating a Permanent Injury Claim

An important piece of evidence needed to validate a permanent injury is a statement from a doctor or a clear diagnosis in your medical records. It is very difficult for insurance companies to dispute this.

They may request an independent medical exam and use a doctor who they have used before because he or she reaches conclusions that favor the insurance company. That is why you need an experienced attorney representing you. He or she can prepare you for an exam and dispute any of the doctor’s conclusions that do not line up with your medical records.

It is also important to inform your doctors about all the symptoms you experience and their severity. That way they can be noted in your medical records. Consistently reporting symptoms to your doctors and having them noted in your records helps connect them to the accident.

An attorney can also inform you of steps you may be able to take to help validate your claim, such as keeping a daily journal describing your pain and the other ways your injury has affected your life.

Keeping up with your medical treatment is vital, as it helps to show you are taking your injuries seriously. Treatment may not work, but not going to treatment gives the insurance company reason to question the severity of your injuries.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today for Legal Assistance

If you were injured because of another’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. However, the legal process can be complex and overwhelming for injury victims who are already dealing with so many other problems created by their injuries.

Phillips Law Group’s licensed attorneys are here to help at no upfront cost. An initial consultation is also free of charge. We have secured millions on behalf of injury victims over nearly 30 years.

Call today to learn more about our firm: 1-800-706-3000

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