While diagnosing someone with a permanent injury may be relatively simple, determining the value of a claim for compensation for a permanent injury could be complicated. Recovering compensation could also be difficult because these cases tend to cost insurance companies a lot of money and they are looking to avoid accountability.
Our car accident attorneys in Fort Worth are prepared to help crash victims with permanent injuries build a strong case to help them pursue fair compensation.
Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your claim and see what options may be available to you. There are no upfront fees, so there is no risk to you.
What is a Permanent Injury?
A permanent injury is one that persists even after a person has reached maximum medical improvement. Some examples of permanent injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Severed limbs
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Severe burn injuries
- Hearing loss
- Ongoing psychological damage
Other types of injuries that may not sound as severe may have permanent effects, depending on the victim’s age. For example, a compound fracture could be a lifelong injury for a senior citizen, whereas someone younger may recover eventually.
Permanent injuries usually cause significant physical and/or mental/psychological impairment. Typically, the victim’s life will never be the same. Victims may need to reorganize their entire lives, from their living conditions to the number of things they do independently. Victims may need to move in with family members or friends for assistance with daily tasks.
Recovery from the injury could take months or years, but it is important to understand recovery refers to reaching maximum medical improvement. It does not refer to returning to the same state of health as before the accident.
Understanding Maximum Medical Improvement
When a person reaches maximum medical improvement, it means his or her condition is not likely to change with further treatment. However, that person may still need continued care to manage symptoms and work toward a better quality of life. For example, a person who suffers a spinal cord injury and is bound to a wheelchair may still require in-home care, follow-up appointments with a doctor or physical therapist, prescription medication, and other medical interventions.
It is also important to understand that a person who is recommended for surgery to correct an issue but rejects the surgery, may also be considered to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
The surgery could improve the victim’s condition, but a doctor may say MMI has been reached because the victim rejected the surgical procedure. There may not be anything else doctors can do to drastically improve the patient’s condition.
However, the victim may still be eligible to obtain compensation for ongoing medical care, even after the injury claim has been settled.
What Type of Evidence May Be Used to Prove a Permanent Injury?
Some permanent injuries may be easier to prove than others, such as a severed limb or a spinal cord injury. However, the type of injury is not what matters when it comes to providing the necessary evidence. Instead, what matters are your medical records and expert analysis or testimony from your treating doctor(s).
Some physical evidence that may be used includes things like:
- CT scans
- Doctor’s notes
You should strongly consider speaking to a licensed attorney who may be able to help you gather the necessary evidence to prove you suffered a permanent injury.
Do I Need to Prove a Permanent Injury to Recover Pain and Suffering Damages?
In Texas, injury victims may be able to recover compensation for physical pain or emotional suffering damages even in cases when they did not suffer a permanent injury. You only need to provide proof that you suffered an injury as a direct result of someone else’s negligence, and that this injury made you experience physical and emotional distress.
What About for Future Costs of Care and Lost Earning Capacity?
You may be required to prove you suffered a permanent injury if you are trying to recover compensation for future damages. It just depends on the situation.
You may need to provide proof of a permanent injury to show you need in-home care, prescription medication, or other forms of treatment.
Claims for lost earning capacity may also require proof of a permanent injury that would either hinder you from continuing to work in a field you were in prior to the accident or from working at all.
Call an Experienced Lawyer Today
The insurance company is going to try to devalue your claim if they are unable to deny liability. Therefore, any demands for compensation you are making should be backed by strong evidence.
Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience helping injury victims get the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. We know how to validate permanent injury claims and are prepared to guide you throughout the legal process.
Call (817) 920-9000 for a free consultation.