If you have sustained a long-term injury at work or home due to the negligence of another, where do you turn next? Something you have to consider is that these lasting injuries are not just limited to monetary value – in some cases, pain and suffering comes into play as well. Emotional toll is really nothing that you can quantify. Enjoyment of life and being around family and friends can diminish when you sustain an injury that overpowers your life. If there is strong evidence about your long-term disability, then insurance companies will usually do whatever it takes to settle before it goes to trial. Taking a chance with a jury verdict may not always be in best interest.
Long-lasting or permanent injuries are also referred to as “residual injuries.” Even the smallest of residual disabilities will more than likely increase your award due to the fact that you will suffer from it for a long time. If it has a serious effect on your life whether in work, home, or recreation, you should expect higher compensation in turn. So what are some of the most common residual injuries and what you should expect as far as compensation is concerned?
Scars and Disfigurement
Scarring is a very common permanent injury that can result from the original injury or medical repairs such as surgery. Large and obvious scarring will usually mean a lot in damages because of things like cosmetic embarrassment and because scar tissue makes an area of flesh less flexible. If you have scars in places like the webbing of fingers, you might have permanent and lasting effects like a slight loss of mobility. If this is the case, then higher damages may result.
If the scarred part of the body is visible most of the time, damages for disfigurement will increase. If your scars are almost always covered by clothing, then they may not be seen as important because they typically go unseen and don’t cause you embarrassment. Sexism comes into play as well. For instance, a young single woman may be compensated more for scarring because society considers that “a facial scar may more strongly affect a young woman’s social life.” You should always be aware of the fact that societal prejudice is at play and that it could drastically change things for you.
The best thing that you can do if you have received a scar in an accident is to obtain a medical opinion about the cost of having the scar removed. If you speak to a plastic surgeon, they may give you an opinion about whether or not your scar can actually be removed or repaired and you should always ask for information about the procedure. Cost widely comes into play in these cases. You should include the cost of scar removal when you are making your demand letter to the involved insurance company.
Back or Joint Injuries
If you have an injury to a disk in the spine or other damage done to a vertebra, you will most likely suffer some permanent effect. You may also suffer if you have a dislocation, ligament, or cartilage injury to any joint. Yes, your pain may subside. Yes, the injury may stabilize or even “resolve.” However, despite what the doctors say, there is a medical likelihood that some pain, discomfort, or lack of mobility will continue or reoccur as you age.
So, What Should I Do if I Have Suffered a Residual Injury?
The first thing you should remember is to make sure that the injury is documented in your records. If the doctor mentions in these records that there is the possibility of some permanent effect, then you will have documented support for your claim. You should always ask a doctor if they could aid you in this. Along with this, you should also ask your doctor if there is likelihood that you may have recurring or degenerative problems as a result of the injuries. You are always permitted to raise the possibility of permanent problems in your injury settlement negotiations.
If you have a long-lasting injury and you believe you are entitled to compensation, you should speak to an experienced attorney that understands your case. Injury cases can be highly complex and involve knowledge of particular laws that you may not understand yourself. You should contact WTW today to speak to an attorney that will work with you and assess your case to the best of their ability. Call now.