Under the law, a personal injury is any harm that you, as an individual, sustains including physical injuries, financial costs and emotional trauma. Injuries can also be personal losses such as losing the care and companionship of a loved one.
As you work to resolve your claim, you may hear insurance adjusters, lawyers and doctors talk about different degrees of injuries. You may hear injuries described as minor, moderate, severe or catastrophic.
Minor and Moderate Injuries
Minor or moderate injuries can be injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, bruising or superficial cuts. These may be painful, but they usually heal well and quickly with minimal medical treatment.
Soft Tissue Injuries
You may also hear insurance adjusters refer to “soft tissue injuries.” Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the non-bony parts of the body such as internal organs, nerves, muscles and connective tissues. Sprains, whiplash and pulled muscles are all types of soft tissue injuries. Some soft tissue injuries can result in chronic pain and disability, which can be permanent if not treated properly. Typically, it is harder to recover substantial compensation in these types of cases compared to the cases involving serious or catastrophic injuries.
A catastrophic injury is a serious injury that is expected to permanently change the victim’s life. Examples of this type of injury include burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and certain head injuries. These types of injuries result in the most significant settlements and verdicts because the injuries can be proven objectively and are more obvious to the insurance company and/or the jurors.
Although catastrophic injuries are immediately obvious in most cases, sometimes the full extent of the injury is not immediately revealed. This is especially true when the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, which may also be called a closed head injury. In some cases, the brain may be affected in ways so subtle that only people close to the victim notice changes in his or her abilities, behavior or personality. A concussion is the mildest form of brain injury, but more serious brain injuries leave their victims permanently disabled.
If you’ve been injured in any accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call Joe and Martin at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.