It does not require a major accident to suffer serious personal injuries. Car accidents, work-related mishaps, slips, trips, and falls, or even incidents such as a dog bite or attack can leave you with injuries that could result in permanent impairments. When an injury occurs as the result of an accident or another’s reckless or negligent actions, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney before accepting a settlement check, to ensure any future medical costs and lost wages you incur as the result of disabilities are covered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 53 million people in the United States suffer some type of long-term disability. Disabilities can occur due to degenerative illnesses or chronic diseases, but one of the most common causes is as the result of accidental injuries.
Car accidents involving motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians, work-related accidents, sports injuries, and slip and falls are all common causes of long-term disabilities. Impacts can range from relatively minor, such as suffering from occasional stiffness in your joints or muscles, to more severe, such as those causing paralysis or cognitive impairments associated with brain injuries. Functional disabilities are those that limit your abilities to perform certain activities or tasks, which the CDC divides into five classifications:
1. Mobility, which involves impairments in walking or climbing stairs
2. Cognitive, which involves impairments in remembering, concentrating, and decision making
3. Self-care, which makes it difficult to bathe, dress, or otherwise provide care for yourself
4. Independent living, which makes it difficult to cook, clean, or perform other tasks required when living alone
5. Vision difficulties, which can range from slight impediments to complete blindness
The Impact of Disabilities
Unfortunately, many injuries can get worse over time, and can end up having major impacts on your future health and financial security.
In determining the impact of disabilities, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) measures both the number of years you are expected to live with your condition, as well as the number of years by which it is expected to shorten your lifespan. When dealing with insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits, these potential impacts become important in determining a settlement amount. In addition to your current costs and expenses, you may be entitled to the following:
• Future medical costs, including diagnostic testing, treatment, and medication, rehabilitation
• Future home care costs, which may include nursing care and modifications
• Future lost income and benefits, due to being unable to work or having to switch careers
In the aftermath of your brain injury, it is important to remember that you have only one chance to get compensation for the damages you suffer. Before accepting a settlement for less than what you deserve, call a law firm today. They can arrange a consultation with a skilled brain injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ to discuss your injury and any lasting impacts they could have on your life.
Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and injuries resulting in permanent disabilities.