Not every injury heals, and many victims of accidents and other injuries are left with lasting physical and emotional scars. When filing a personal injury case based on someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the plaintiff, or the person who files the case, will receive additional compensation for long-term injuries if he or she can prove that there is lasting harm.
When an injury will affect your life for years in the future, you deserve compensation for all of your pain, not just the pain you suffered before the lawsuit was filed. When a residual disability or disfigurement effects your ability to work or enjoy your life, the damages in your case will reflect your long-term suffering.
Common Residual Injuries
One of the most common reasons that a person’s compensation in a personal injury case is increased is because of the presence of scars or other disfigurements. When a person loses a body part in an accident, or has to face life with a severe scar, their quality of life is permanently decreased.
Scars are worth more money in an accident case when they are particularly large or visible. A large facial scar would increase a person’s damages by much more than a small scar which is only visible under clothing, because of the difference in the way these injuries affect a person’s life. In addition, scar tissue is less flexible than unscarred tissue, and any scars which affect that flexibility also deserve more compensation. For example, extensive scarring over the knee may affect flexibility in that joint as well as the ability to walk.
In addition to scars and disfigurements, lasting injuries which will never heal can be a large source of compensation. Injuries to the back and spine often result in permanent damage, which may get worse as the person ages. It is common for back and neck injuries to result in lifelong pain, even when the initial injury was minor.
Proving Residual Injuries
No matter what type of injury that you suffer, you will have to prove that the long-term effects of that injury are real and backed by medical science. In order to do that, your personal injury attorney will usually have to call in your physician and other medical experts to testify about the extent of your injuries.
Some residual injuries can be valued based on the amount of money that it would take to treat the problem. For example, if a plastic surgeon may be called to testify to the amount of money that it would cost to fix or remove a scar, as well as the likely results of that surgery. Or, a doctor may testify as to the likelihood that an injury will result in a recurring or degenerative disease or condition.
During a personal injury lawsuit, you and your attorney have one chance to prove to the court and a jury how much your injuries will affect the rest of your life. If, ten years after the accident, you develop a new condition as a result of the injuries you suffered, you cannot go back and file another lawsuit.
For that reason, it is incredibly important to have your doctors document every complication and consequence that you may face because of your injuries. When you and your attorney are proving your case in court, make sure that your settlement or verdict takes into account the possibility of future pain, suffering, and/or long-term treatment needs.
When your injury lawsuit relies on complicated medical evidence, you need an attorney who understands the medicine as well as the law. Attorney Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., is both a doctor and a lawyer, and he and his team of dedicated legal and medical professionals use their expertise to help you get justice after an injury.
For a free consultation at the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., call us today at (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed for free.