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Do You Need a Serious Injury to Recover Compensation After an Accident?


Unfortunately in our world, there are a lot of ways to get injured, and that means, there are a lot of injuries that people can sustain. Some are catastrophic, life-altering and permanent injuries. Others are not—they may be temporary, not that debilitating, and lead to a complete recovery, and of course, there are a whole bunch of injuries that fall somewhere in the middle.

That begs the question of whether you need a serious injury to recover compensation for your injuries?

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

The first thing to remember is that the severity of your injury only really affects compensation for your non-economic damages—that is, damages like pain and suffering, fear, anxiety, or loss of quality or enjoyment of your life. It does not affect economic damages—things you can count or quantify, like lost wages or medical bills.

Imagine someone who needs surgery after a car accident. They may end up with $50,000 in medical expenses. Even if they make a full and complete recovery, with no lasting disabilities, they still have $50,000 in medical bills that they deserve to be compensated for.

Likewise, imagine someone with a slight neck strain. But they work in a physically strenuous field, so because of their neck strain, they are out of work for a month. Those wages can still be paid to the victim—even if the injury itself is one people may consider “minor.”

Non Car Accidents

When it comes to accidents other than car accidents, there is no law that requires that you have a serious injury, in order to ask for compensation for your injuries. As you may expect, someone with a more serious and long lasting injury would likely get a higher settlement offer from an insurance company, or a higher verdict from a jury in trial.

But even with a temporary injury or one that heals, you still can, legally, make a claim for compensation for your losses and for what you are going through.

Car Accident Cases

Car accidents work a little bit differently. In a typical car accident case, to get non-economic damages (pain and suffering, anxiety, loss of quality of life), you need to have a permanent or serious injury to get those kinds of damages.

There is no exact definition of what a “serious injury” is; that’s up to the jury to decide, and it’s something your injury attorney will need to prove in your personal injury trial.

But permanent doesn’t always have to mean completely debilitating. For example, if you lost some use of your pinky finger, some may see that as a relatively minor injury. But if you are a musician or a writer or a secretary—some profession that uses his or her hands—that pinky injury is a very severe and life altering one.

Whether a large or smaller injury, come see us for help and advice after an accident. Contact the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today.


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