How Much Is a Permanent Injury Worth?
If you file a personal injury claim for an accident that caused a permanent injury, the amount of monetary damages can increase substantially from what you would have received in monetary damages for a milder injury. Also referred to as a “residual injury,” a permanent injury can dramatically change your lifestyle. You no longer can work, and at the same time, you have to pay for medical bills that pile up for years or even decades.
A personal injury claim for a permanent injury can turn into a civil lawsuit if you prove another party committed one or more acts of negligence. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove negligence as well as answer the question, “How much is a permanent injury worth?”
For more than three decades, the highly-rated personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have helped clients recover more than $15 billion in monetary damages. Some of the favorable judgments handed down by judges and juries cover the significant costs of rehabilitating a permanent injury.
We understand how a permanent injury turned your life upside down. When you work with the team of personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan, you get legal representation that not only fights hard for your right to receive just compensation, but we also care about your long-term health. Schedule a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers to learn how much your permanent injury is worth.
What Are the Most Common Types of Permanent Injury Claims?
A permanent injury causes changes to a victim’s mind and/or body that lasts long after the incident that produced the injury. Often considered a disabling condition, a permanent injury makes it impossible to complete the same job tasks and daily routines that were completed before the incident.
When you sit down with one of our highly skilled personal injury litigators, you will describe the extent of your permanent injury. The personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have handled the most common types of personal injury claims and lawsuits since 1988, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries have recently received plenty of publicity because of the lingering negative physical impact of the concussions suffered by athletes that play contact sports. Brain trauma can leave a victim incapable of performing normal daily tasks, such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning. It can also render a victim physically incapable of moving without an assistive device, if the victim can even move at all.
Even if a victim does not suffer a severe brain injury, the victim can experience wild mood swings, as well as deal with memory loss. Overwhelming migraine headaches make it difficult for a victim to hold onto a job. Traumatic brain injuries typically develop for victims involved in auto collisions and slip and fall incidents.
Car crashes and slip and fall incidents represent the leading cause of whiplash. The neck snaps back with incredible force to damage the upper section of the spine. Paralysis can set in, which prevents a victim from working and generates a hefty healthcare bill because of the years of treatments and physical therapy sessions.
It is not just the upper spine that receives a tremendous blow because of the impact caused by an auto accident or a slip and fall. A victim can experience severe damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments located around the neck.
Recurring Back Pain
Several factors can trigger recurring back pain. Any type of personal injury incident contributes to the damage inflicted on the discs that run up and down the back. You might experience a back strain, a sprain, or fractures, with a fractured back taking intense physical therapy simply to get you moving around again.
Recurring back pain also plays a role in the workplace. Improperly lifting heavy objects limits your ability to continue working a physically demanding job. Having to deal with constant back pain forces you to seek medical care for years after the personal injury incident. For many workers with recurring back issues, the pain never goes away.
Nearly 5.4 million Americans live with some degree of paralysis. Although advanced technology has helped some workers struggling with some form of paralysis to find their way back into the workforce, the fact remains that a majority of paralysis victims need to take legal action to receive the compensation they use to pay medical bills and make up for lost income.
Paralysis caused by the negligence of another party is an especially sensitive case for judges and juries. Plaintiffs receive sympathy for their life-altering medical condition, which often translates into large judgments awarded to victims.
Losing a limb is considered one of the worst types of permanent injuries. When amputation is the only medical procedural option, the result is a significantly diminished quality of life. Although workplace innovations such as wheelchair ramps and lower working stations can help an amputee, intense pain is an issue that limits career options.
Prosthetic technology has advanced at a rapid pace to provide amputees with assistive devices that are much more comfortable than they were just 10 years ago. However, an amputee has to pay for an assistive device, as well as learn how to walk and complete normal tasks like tying shoelaces.
How Do I Prove I Suffer From a Permanent Injury?
Before you get an answer to the question, “How much is a permanent injury worth,” you first have to understand how a personal injury attorney from Morgan & Morgan proves that you currently suffer from a permanent injury. Whether you file an insurance claim or take legal action in the form of a civil lawsuit, you must present persuasive evidence that leaves no doubt you suffer from a permanent injury. Remember that a permanent injury is not the same thing as a long-term injury.
You must demonstrate that your permanent injury is expected to be with you for the rest of your life.
The key to getting an injury designated as permanent is to submit medical records that include the results of diagnostic tests, as well as detailed descriptions of your treatment programs and rehabilitation sessions. Diagnostic tests demonstrate the presence of a severe injury, while treatment programs and rehabilitation sessions show your insurance company and a civil court how badly you are hurt.
Your physician plays a major role in determining whether you receive a designation for a permanent injury. First, your doctor refers to the American Medical Association (AMA) Guide of the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. The medical guide describes which types of injuries qualify victims for permanent injury status. Second, your physician submits a written statement describing the chances of you making a partial or full recovery. Experts that testify on your behalf also are a factor in determining whether you suffer from a permanent injury.
After you receive a designation for a permanent injury, the time has come to answer the question, “How much is a permanent injury worth.”
What Are the Types of Compensation for a Permanent Injury?
To understand how much a permanent injury is worth, you need to learn the three major types of damages that you can receive when you file a civil lawsuit.
Special Compensatory Damages
Also called economic damages, special compensatory damages pay for tangible costs. Your medical expenses for a permanent injury represent the costliest type of special compensatory damages.
Medical expenses include diagnostic tests, treatment regimens, and physical therapy sessions. You also have the right to request compensation to cover the costs associated with prescription medications and purchasing assistive devices. A permanent injury can land you in an emergency center, as well as force you to pay for extended care provided at a hospital.
Because you suffered a permanent injury, you can expect your medical bills to flood your mailbox for years, if not decades to come. One of the most important expenses that are included in special compensatory damages for a permanent injury involves receiving compensation for future medical expenses.
Not every permanent injury forces a victim off the job. However, many victims of a permanent injury must make up for lost income. Wage earning records from your employer should help you make the case for special compensatory damages to cover lost wages. You also deserve compensation for the loss of benefits, such as health insurance and a retirement savings plan.
General Compensatory Damages
General compensatory damages do not come with a price tag. As a form of non-economic damages, general compensatory damages cover the issues caused by pain and suffering. Dealing with a permanent injury can produce considerable mental anguish and emotional distress. Although you cannot put a price tag on pain and suffering, one of the personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan will calculate a reasonable amount for a judge or jury to consider.
You also have the right to request general compensatory damages to cover the loss of the quality of your life.
Punitive damages do not compensate you for economic and non-economic costs. Instead, punitive damages penalize the defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence. Your personal injury lawyer must submit convincing evidence the defendant’s carelessness and recklessness caused your permanent injury. If the defendant acted with malice, you might receive a substantial reward for punitive damages.
Judges and juries typically take a dim view of a defendant who intentionally caused a plaintiff’s permanent injury. In addition to receiving monetary damages, the judicial system might indict the defendant on one or more criminal charges. If the defendant of your civil lawsuit gets indicted on one or more criminal charges, your personal injury lawyer can support you during the trial phase of the legal process.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you answer the question, “How much is a permanent injury worth.” Legal representation also can help you avoid the litigation process. Instead of spending time and money litigating your case, your legal counsel might negotiate a favorable settlement.
If your case goes to trial, an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in litigating permanent injury cases can get you the compensation you need to pay off long-term medical bills. Schedule a free case evaluation today with a personal injury lawyer from Morgan & Morgan to get you the monetary damages you deserve.