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Permanent Injury Claim
You are considered to have a permanent injury if your injury will “never” recover back to the pre-condition state. Permanent injuries are worth quite a bit more than soft tissue injuries. Adjusters are more willing to negotiate on pain and suffering and similar arguments.
The adjuster, however, is a “litigation savvy” individual and usually has some years of experience negotiating and dealing with this type of claim.
You will be at a huge disadvantage just trying to settle a claim like this on your own. This is probably the best time to hire an attorney or at least consult with one.
You can probably handle your own soft tissue injury claim without much of a problem, but permanent injuries are a “different animal”.
In a soft tissue injury claim, you are attempting to show that your injury is more severe than the adjuster is willing to recognize.
In a permanent injury, it is not a question of whether the injury is severe or not, rather it is a question of what value will compensate for the diminished quality of your life.
Adjusters will try to negotiate in terms of wages and tangible numbers.
For example, if your right hand will never work the same way it did after the accident, and consequently you cannot type as fast, the value to the insurance company will be in terms of your diminished productivity (how is this going to affect your pay check).
The insurance company will bring experts (economists) to figure out how much value there is in that specific reduction of productivity. This type of argument becomes a “battle of the experts”.
An attorney can help you deal with experts and can help you figure out the best course of action for your claim.
Letting the insurance company determine your reduction of productivity on their own is a rather bad approach to settling a permanent injury (hence, you need an attorney for this).
When your hand is hurt your entire life style changes. The fact that you cannot type as fast is only the starting point. You cannot play with your kids the way you used to and you cannot enjoy sports that require you to use your hand.
This type of injury can severely affect someone’s lifestyle negatively. However, claim adjusters do not like to entertain this type of argument. They want to narrow the issue to “productivity”. The reason is because it could add a lot of value to the injury (something the insurance company does not want).
Many insurance companies will fight over the fact that a permanent injury even exists. You have a permanent injury only when it is obvious (you can no longer walk) or only when a GROUP of doctors will support that diagnosis.
Ordinarily, soft tissue claims are (should be, anyway) settled by the value of lawsuit judgments awarded to similar accidents and injuries.
However, with permanent injuries, there are other factors that will affect the value of the settlement. Only a good lawyer knows and understands how to manipulate these variables to get the most out of it in a settlement.
The knowledge that the good lawyer has about any specific permanent injury claim is not necessarily a secret or something she/he learned in law school, but rather a recollection of knowledge and experiences that can bring the value up.
The lawyer is in the trenches and he knows what the juries usually award for the same type of injury.
She also knows which jurisdictions are more lenient towards the plaintiff’s permanent injuries. Also, other factors like age, gender, profession, economic status, and the facts of the accident can add or subtract substantial value to the permanent injury claim.
There are other claims that can be tackled within the permanent injury realm. The spouse could have a claim against the negligent party for loss of companionship and for diminished lifestyle.
In some jurisdictions, loss of companionship and loss of consortium claims are barred. However, in some others they are allowed. This is one of the reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney if you have a permanent injury. They can explain to you what kind of valid arguments you can raise.
Another reason to hire an attorney is that you could be dealing with a “policy limits issue”.
If the negligent party has low policy limits (the insurance company will not come out and tell you unless you know how to ask, which only an attorney knows how to do) or if the permanent injury is extreme (permanent brain injury), the insurance company will most likely pay up to their limit and then walk out. If someone has $50,000 Bodily Injury Protections Limit, then that brain injury will be paid at $50,000.
The insurance company will want documentation that they paid their limits and that is about it. What about the rest of the damages then? The negligent party will have to pay for the excess. However, in many occasions the defendant does not have funds to cover the excess of the damages.
This is the situation where a good injury attorney is crucial. They know how to look for other sources of income. Other insurance policies, mortgages, liens, garnish wages, fake tax returns, etc. Trying to do this on your own will be very difficult.
If you have a permanent injury or believe you could have one, Hire an Attorney. The 33% fee they take is well worth it when they can find how to collect from the insurance company and the negligent defendant.
First consult with an attorney that you or your family member knows. If you do not know of anyone, fill up the form below and a pre-screened attorney will contact you in your local area.
Follow the links below for more information about accident injuries, bodily injury claims, and what to ask when making this type of claim.
4. Permanent Injury Claim
5. Medical bills, medicine, expenses
6. Loss of Wages
7. Loss of Earning Capacity
8. Loss of Business Income
9. Loss of Consortium
10. Loss of Quality of Life
11. Loss of Essential Services
12. Future Treatment and Expenses
13. Pain and Suffering
14. Prior Injuries
15. Psychological Injuries
16. Personal Injury Claim Settlement (evaluation of a claim)
17. Car Accident Injury Claim and Burden of Proof
18. What affects compensation for back and other injury claims
19. A word about Head Injuries
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