How Does Compensation Work for Long-Term Injuries?
If you have sustained a personal injury that will affect you for many years to come, you may be concerned about whether you can obtain substantial compensation. Assessing and collecting damages from a liable person, business, or insurance company can be an intimidating process, and it is normal to have concerns.
Generally, compensation for long-term injuries will work the same way as it would for short-term injuries. The key difference is the amount of reasons that you could claim damages under. In short, if the injury will cause you more difficulty, you can claim more damages. The additional damages that you might be able to claim will be determined by the nature of the injury and the scope of its long-term effects.
Before walking into a courtroom to plead your case or a boardroom to negotiate a settlement, you want the excellent preparation and assistance that our attorneys provide. The Arlington personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. know what is required to get you what you deserve. To speak to one of our personal injury attorneys, call us at (817) 476-1797.
Economic Damages for a Long-Term Personal Injury
Long-term personal injury plaintiffs who are successful in their claims can collect compensation for two types of damages. The first type, called “economic damages,” is based on consequential expenses with intrinsic monetary value. This form of damages allows the plaintiff to explain the costs of the goods and services associated with their own personal injury, as well as any loss of income associated with the injury.
Examples of economic damages resulting from associated medical expenses may include any of the following:
- Ambulance costs
- Hospital expenses
- Emergency room procedures
- Surgical procedures
- Doctor appointments
- Nursing services
- Medications and prescriptions
- Laboratory testing (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.)
- Necessary modifications for the plaintiff’s home
- Cost of assisting devices and/or a handicap-accessible vehicle
- Follow up treatment
- Physical therapy
It is important to prepare for a lawsuit by collecting and recording the costs of all past medical expenses. If your injury will require extensive follow-up care and physical therapy, it is just as important that you properly estimate the future costs that you might incur.
Our experienced Dallas personal injury attorneys can help you organize your records of past expenses as well as calculate what future expenses may look like.
If your personal injury will likely affect your ability to function in some capacity for an extended period of time, you will also be able to claim and receive compensation pertaining to your income. Victims of personal injuries caused by negligence or recklessness will often include their loss of wages and ability to generate income within the damages they claim in their lawsuit.
In addition to the direct calculation of wages lost while dealing with the personal injury, plaintiffs who have sustained long-term injuries may also claim damages under any of the following theories:
- Loss of a likely promotion or wage increase
- Loss of wages from commission-based pay structure
- Loss of pension benefits
- Loss of “paid time off” or sick days used as a result of recovery
- Loss of ability to achieve progress or verticality in chosen field or career
- Loss of earning capacity in chosen field or career
If your injuries have rendered you unable to find gainful employment in your career, you may be in line for a substantial compensation package from your lawsuit.
Non-Economic Damages from a Long-Term Personal Injury
The second type of personal injury damages includes those costs that would be categorized as “non-economic.” Non-economic damages are those that can’t be easily quantified in monetary value, but are very real to the victim of the personal injury.
The following are some examples of theories of non-economic damages under which a victim of long-term personal injury might achieve compensation in a lawsuit.
Your personal injury may not be purely physical. The toll of the emotional trauma that may be caused by the negligence or recklessness of another could ultimately prove severe. Many of our clients experience a host of psychological symptoms as a consequence of their experience, including anxiety, depression, development of phobias, and sleep disorders. A personal injury plaintiff may recover damages for all of these psychological conditions and others in a court of law.
Pain and Suffering
You most likely experienced substantial pain or discomfort as a result of your injury. Maybe that pain faded as time went on, or maybe the pain has become chronic and a distressing part of your everyday life. Courts will look to compensate the victims of personal injury for that distress in accordance with its severity and longevity, whatever that may be.
Loss of Enjoyment or Consortium
Even if you have already recovered for your inability to perform the requirements of your job, you might still face challenges to participating in the other aspects of your life. Your injury may have rendered you no longer able to engage in recreational activities that you previously enjoyed or unable to enjoy the same level of companionship with your spouse or children. The law provides an avenue for you to be compensated for the affects that your injury will have on you in the long-term outside of the workplace.
Limits on Damages for Long-Term Injuries
A court is unlikely to limit your compensation amount no matter how long the injury may affect you. If the injury is that severe, then the compensation should be significant enough to match it. The one rare instance in which some state courts are limited in the amount of damages they may award is where the injury occurred due to medical malpractice. Even there, the only statutorily imposed cap applies to non-economic expenses.
Call Our Attorneys for Help with Your Long-Term Personal Injuries
At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., we know that dealing with an unforeseen long-term injury can be shocking. Our dedicated, Fort Worth personal injury attorneys will fight to get you what you need so that you can focus on recovery. You can reach us at (817) 476-1797 to set up a consultation.