Most people have the perception that the seriousness of your injuries means a higher compensation received This is true in that the type and seriousness of an injured person’s injuries play a key role in deciding how much compensation they receive for their personal injury case. This article will discuss how injuries directly affect the compensation amount.
While the idea that how serious your injuries are has a direct bearing on how much compensation received is true; it is important to note that no one factor affects how much compensation you receive than the type and extent of your injuries. Money that is spent on injury assessment and treatment is called medical special damages. These are a key factor and indicator used when insurance companies decide on settlement talks; ensure you have a personal accident attorney representing you during such talks.
It is important to note that at times the type of injury may not seem to link to the seriousness of the injury. For example, if a person suffers a sprained ankle they may be in more pain as compared to a person with a cracked ankle bone. Insurance companies generally split injuries into two categories:
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries are defined by the Johns Hopkins Medicine as ‘damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons that cause pain, swelling, bruising and damage’. The main criteria that define a soft tissue injury to an insurance company is that the main evidence of such an injury is describing the discomfort experienced by the patient. Common injuries that fall under the category of soft tissue injuries include:
- Contusions (bruises)
- Stress injuries
Common areas that suffer soft-tissue injuries are the back, neck, knee and ankle. Soft tissue injuries are considered to be less serious injuries by insurance companies and are assigned a lower damages formula multiplier of 1 and 1/2-3. The basic reasoning is that soft tissue injuries are often not permanent nor are they dangerous despite how painful they may be. Further, insurance companies are aware that if a claimant chooses to go to court with soft tissue injuries making up a case it is difficult for the injured individual to clearly prove what the soft tissue injuries are.
These are considered to be more serious and as a result are awarded higher damages formula multipliers of 4, 5 or even higher. Hard injuries are characterized by being identifiable on diagnostic tests, such as an x-ray showing a joint separation or broken bone. The very fact that you are able to show the injury through a diagnostic test means that the value of a claim goes up. Similarly, any injury that requires the exercise of physical repair such as stitching or intrusive examination such as setting a bone; significantly increases the value of your case despite any other aspects.
Some categories that make up hard injuries are
- Broken bones
- Head injuries - concussions, dizziness, disorientation or periods of unconsciousness
- Separation, dislocation and ligament or cartilage tears
- Wounds - any gash or cut requiring treatment
- Spinal disk or vertebrae injuries - such as spinal disk displacement