Catastrophic injuries from an auto accident or defective product may result in the development of a permanently disabling condition. Injuries where a person loses a limb or sustains a serious brain or spinal cord injury can result in mobility loss, cognitive impairment, and cause emotional distress. These factors impair more than just the person’s health; these permanent disability expenses can cripple a family’s finances.
That said, your standard injury claim offer rarely holds a candle to the full amount of compensation rightfully due to a family whose loved one suffers from a permanent disability due to another’s negligence. Make the following considerations when evaluating a settlement offer for an accident resulting in a permanent disability.
Physical Expenses – Living Needs, Medical Care, Lost Wages
No matter what type of disability resulted from the accident, your living needs will be changing. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis in your legs, you will likely require a converted vehicle for wheelchair transport. You may also need to make modifications to your home such as installing a chair lift, ramps, or lowered countertops.
If a brain injury resulted in cognitive impairment, your loved one may now require assistance with attending to basic life needs such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. If you cannot provide these services yourself, you may need to hire a professional nursing aide or place your loved one in an adult care facility. Therapy, both physical and vocational, may also be necessary and will require a trained therapist to help your loved one adjust to life with a disability.
When someone in your household suffers a serious injury in an accident, it often disrupts the work ability of the heads of household. If the accident caused the disability of a major income earner, the injury settlement needs to compensate for his lost wages. Likewise, if another income-earning person has to take time off or permanently leave her job to help with the newly disabled person’s care, the settlement should also account for those wages.
Emotional Expenses – Pain and Suffering, Loss of Support
Becoming permanently disabled is a difficult situation for both the injured person and his family to face. The trauma of seeing your loved one severely injured and then permanently disabled can cause depression, anger, and even grief among the family. For the injured party, these same emotions can run high and often cause mental disorders.
The trauma of surviving a serious accident and then adapting to life with a disability can result in the need for therapy and, in some cases, medication to combat PTSD, depression, and anxiety. These treatments add to the cost of living with a disability, and your settlement should consider them.
Loss of support or consortium is a type of damage compensation typically seen in wrongful death cases, but they can apply to permanent disability injuries as well. If a loved one suffers from a mental disability due to a brain injury, he may no longer be able to provide emotional support to his spouse or children. Additionally, some disabilities may result in the loss of consortium to the spouse.
Before You Accept a Settlement for Your Permanent Disability Damages, Talk to an Ohio Injury Attorney
Once you accept a settlement for your injury claim, you cannot ask for more money. Do not sign an agreement to settle your claim until you know that it accounts for all of the long-term damages associated with a permanent disability.
Personal injury attorney David Bressman can assist you in evaluating the long-term expenses associated with your injuries and disabling conditions. Using this information, he can help you negotiate a fair and full settlement for your future needs and damages. Contact Bressman Law to schedule a FREE consultation, call today: 877-538-1116.