In a personal injury matter involving significant injuries or even death, there is a belief that value of a case is known at the outset, and that the job of the attorney is to obtain for a client such compensation. This belief is not correct. Determining the value of a personal injury case with significant injuries is not only complex, but it can be a painstaking process to ensure that all potentially recoverable damages are calculated.
Every injury case will be unique. The injuries suffered will be unique, and the manner in which the person was affected will be unique. We understand. In order to help each client in seeking full compensation for their injuries, we will want to understand exactly how the injury has impacted their life, the pain and suffering that has resulted, any limitations that they are subject to as a result of their injuries, and all other circumstances of their case. One of the keys to obtaining maximum settlement is constant review and contact with the client.
The medical damages component of a personal injury case includes not only the medical costs suffered prior to trial, but also those likely to be incurred in the future, such as future surgeries, rehabilitation, and other medical care. In some cases, new injuries may result which are directly attributable to a past accident or injury.
A paralyzed person, for instance, may need to undergo future operations to improve deteriorating health conditions that are a direct result of the paralysis. Paralysis and other severe injuries can sometimes lead to a significantly increased risk of premature death. These future injuries are compensable, and should be considered in a settlement or trial.
Pain and suffering can be one of the largest components of damages a personal injury case. Often, there is a tendency to focus only on the pain and suffering that has occurred prior to trial. For many accident victims, the reality is that pain and suffering do not stop when a trial ends. Frequently, so-called “soft tissue” injuries (injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons) can result in significant and unrelenting long-term pain. While a person may look fine from the outside, the fact is that the person may be experiencing severe pain as the result of nerve and other damage.
Soft tissue injuries also may limit a person’s range of movement, and may cause simple everyday tasks to be both painful and difficult. As a result, soft tissue injuries can often limit or eliminate a person’s ability to engage in strenuous activities, such as sports, and more moderate activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. While juries readily understand the impact of more obvious injuries, such as broken bones and burns, soft tissue damages can require further explanation (usually from medical experts, such as doctors) concerning exactly how a person was injured, and the amount of pain that is likely being suffered by the injured person.
Throughout the duration of a case, we work hard to convey the full and complete scope of the injuries that have been suffered by our clients to those responsible, and, if a fair settlement cannot be achieved, to a jury. Pain and suffering in some cases can also include psychological pain. When a person is hurt, such as in an auto accident, they may face ongoing anxiety or fear that results from their accident. In some accident cases in which a person believes they may die, this trauma may be particularly disruptive. Under New York law, those who have suffered from psychological pain or anxiety are entitled to damages for such suffering provided that their injuries in total constitute a “serious injury” under New York law.
As each personal injury case is unique, so too are the damages that are suffered.
Additional types of compensable damages may include:
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In many cases, those who are injured may have insurance that will compensate them for matters including lost wages and pain-and-suffering. Typically, this insurance is in the form of supplemental insurance beyond statutorily required insurance, as well as uninsured/underinsured coverage and umbrella policies. When such insurance is in effect, we work with clients to determine how best to proceed against the insurance companies of our clients and the defendants who may be liable for causing injury in order to seek to maximize the compensation for our clients.
Our Long Island personal injury firm is meticulous not only about building the cases of our clients to prove liability, but also about establishing the full value of the damages to which they are entitled. If you’ve been injured, please call our firm for a free, no-risk consultation. When we meet with you we can learn about your injuries, advise you of the legal options available to seek compensation, and explain how we can help.
At The Harrison Law Group P.C., we strive to foster and maintain a team that values a broad range of experiences, perspectives, and ideas. We believe a diverse legal team is the cornerstone to providing high quality and effective representation. If you are looking for creative problems solvers and innovative solutions, contact our law firm today. Our team reflects the diverse community we protect and represent.
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