While some victims of motor vehicle accidents suffer minor or no injuries, others aren't so fortunate. Many people experience permanent injuries that result in lifelong chronic pain, future medical procedures, work limitations, and often the ability to care for themselves independently.
If you or a loved one has severe injuries after a car, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian, or bicycle accident in Kansas or Missouri that wasn't your fault, you're entitled to be fully compensated for your injuries. To ensure your settlement helps both medical and financial recovery, you need to understand how having a permanent injury affects your claim and what types of compensation are available.
Common Permanent Injuries Caused in Car Collisions
Permanent injuries are ones that have a long-term impact on an individual’s body or mind. They're often disabling and limit a person’s mobility and ability to perform tasks, work, and engage in activities they once enjoyed. Common permanent injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage and other back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Factors That Affect the Value of a Permanent Injury Claim
After you or a loved one suffers a debilitating injury, there's no need to try to settle a claim alone. A knowledgeable motor vehicle accident attorney understands exactly how to accurately value your claim that address all your current and future needs. This means your claim is more comprehensive, resulting in a significantly higher settlement. Your attorney determines:
- Your level of disability. The value of a permanent injury claim is greater due to the need for extended medical care and help with your day-to-day activities.
- Ability to work. The legal team assesses future wage losses, referred to as lost earning capacity. This can substantially increase the amount of a settlement.
- Scarring and disfigurement. If injuries caused permanent scars or disfigurement, there might be more compensation for emotional distress and pain and suffering. This is especially true if the scars or disfigurements are visible.
- Age. Younger people who experience permanent injuries might receive a higher valuation of claims because of a longer lifespan requiring expensive medical treatments and lost earning capacity.
Types of Compensation Awarded for Permanent Injuries
Laws in Kansas and Missouri both allow victims with permanent injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident to receive compensation for past and future damages. These are negotiated by your attorney with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. The full valuation of your claim is critical to your overall settlement decision, because once the claim is final, you can't ask for more money. Your legal team will make sure to ask for the following in your settlement:
Past and future medical treatments should be reimbursed and considered, such as surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, doctor visits, and physical therapy. If you need a home health or personal care aide, must make modifications to your home, or have to travel to see a specialist, you can recover these costs, too.
Your lost wage claim includes the salary, benefits, and perks of your job that you lost while recovering from the accident. As discussed above, you also have a claim for your lost earning capacity if you must take a pay cut, switch to a lesser profession, or stop working altogether.
Pain and Suffering
You're entitled to be compensated for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you experienced in the accident and in coping with the incident and your recovery. If the accident was traumatic or your injuries are especially disabling, you could develop PTSD or other debilitating psychological conditions. While the negligent driver is liable for compensation of these non-economic damages, it's nearly impossible to recover them without an attorney's guidance.
Property Damage and Out-of-Pocket Expenses
You should also receive compensation to repair or replace your vehicle and any damaged property. Towing, car rental, and other out-of-pocket expenses are eligible in the claim, too.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?