Catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries, cause dramatic changes in a person. After any kind of catastrophic injury, you may need significant help in your day-to-day life. You may no longer be able to walk, may struggle with communication or have other challenges to overcome.
Catastrophic injuries are somewhat unpredictable. It may be hard for doctors to tell you what to expect, especially in the early stages of the injury. It is important to follow the doctor’s treatment plan and to keep records of expenses. You should give those receipts to your attorney, who will keep them for evidence in your insurance claim or personal injury case.
How can a settlement be decided when you don’t know the way your injury will affect you in the long term?
Most cases do settle outside court, so it makes sense that you’re wondering how the settlement amounts are determined. The truth is that it’s a mixture of insurance limits, limits set by law, your receipts, proof of your injuries and more. Your attorney will fight to get you as much compensation as is allowed by law for your injuries.
Before settling, you and your attorney should have a clear understanding of what your medical care provider anticipates your future care needs will be based on your physician’s experience. You have a right to a second opinion as well. Your attorney will be able to advise you on what to expect based on their experience in the courtroom and with negotiating settlements.
What expenses should be included in your personal injury claim?
You and your attorney should include expenses and losses including:
- Medical costs (past and future)
- Lost wages (and loss of future earning capacity if you are no longer able to work)
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Adaptive equipment (wheelchair, ramps, braces, etc.) if needed
- Pain and suffering
There is no question in anyone’s mind that a catastrophic personal injury will change your life. It’s important that you receive the compensation and financial support that you need to seek ongoing medical support, to update your home for handicapped access, to provide for yourself when you are unable to work and for other losses. With help, it is possible to find out what a fair amount of compensation would be and to seek to recover it from the person responsible for your injuries.