“Personal injury” is a legal term, and generally refers to the harms to an individual caused by the negligence of another person or entity. We can categorize personal injuries in many ways, including non-catastrophic, catastrophic, and non-economic.
Non-catastrophic injuries are still serious. Non-catastrophic injuries may require medical care, hospitalization, and could even produce life-altering consequences.
The most common non-catastrophic injuries include broken bones and abrasions. Such non-catastrophic injuries may result in serious damages. For example, an elderly slip and fall victim may break a hip or thigh. Broken bones in older patients can take months and even years to heal, while one in three elderly patients with bone fractures will actually die from injury complications.
Catastrophic injuries cause permanent damage to the body. Such injuries may result in disabilities or death. Catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal and neck injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the primary diagnoses for half of emergency room visits for motor vehicle accidents are sprains and strains of the back and neck, contusions with the skin intact, and spinal disorders.
- A variety of accidents may cause burns, but they are particularly common in commercial truck accidents because of the transportation and use of hazardous and combustible materials. Burns may cause significant scars or disfigurement, and often require multiple medical procedures to treat.
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Concussions are the most common type of brain injury, and the CDC reports that concussions are most frequently caused by falls. Concussions may lead to chronic pain and even brain disorders. Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths for all age groups. Traumatic brain injuries may leave lifelong consequences, including impairment of thought, sensation, language, and emotions. Doctors have also linked traumatic brain injuries to long-term conditions, including epilepsy and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders.
- Crushed limbs or traumatic amputations. Truck, motorcycle, and car accidents can cause crushed bones. Significant blood loss, the possibility that surgeons cannot reattach a limb, and the physical and mental consequences for a victim who must rehabilitate and adjust to life without a body part may complicate traumatic amputation injuries.
- Scars and disfigurement. Scars and disfigurement can happen with almost any accident, and may cause emotional distress for victims. Common injuries that cause scars or disfigurement include deep lacerations, eye injuries, burns, soft tissue injuries, and fractures of facial bones.
Catastrophic injury victims often face a lifetime of follow-up doctor visits, multiple surgeries, prescription medication, and rehabilitation.
Non-economic injuries may include physical or mental pain and suffering. Anger, depression, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and/or sleep disturbances are just some manifestations of pain and suffering. Such problems can prove so severe that they limit or prevent sufferers from working and participating in normal life activities.
Injuries are a leading cause of chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts for longer than 12 weeks. The American Academy of Pain Medicine reports that more than half of chronic pain sufferers feel they have little to no control over their pain, and 60 percent experience break-through pain that damages their quality of life and wellbeing every day. A majority say that pain causes them to feel depressed, hurts their ability to sleep well, and decreases their energy levels.
What Can You Do if You Suffered a Personal Injury?
Injuries can make you feel vulnerable. You may experience pain while coping with big medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The insurance company may pressure you to agree to a settlement that won’t cover your costs, but you may also wonder if you have any other real options.
A personal injury attorney may help calculate your damages and advocate for rightful compensation. The Law Offices of William W. Hurst is familiar with insurance company tactics, and has lawyers experienced in negotiating on behalf of our clients. In cases where settlement isn’t possible, we have used litigation to ensure the best possible results and the recovery of medical, economic, and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical costs including ambulance, hospitalizations, doctor visits, surgeries, radiology, and prescription medication
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages, or lost earning capacity
- Physical therapy and future treatments
- Rehabilitation and recovery costs, including assistive devices
- Long-term care for permanent disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
You Have Nothing to Lose! Call the Law Offices of William W. Hurst
Most law firms offer free consultations to discuss potential cases. This allows a lawyer to evaluate the specific situation, and advise you as to the next steps. After a consultation, if the lawyer agrees to pursue your claim, you may not need to pay attorney fees and litigation costs up front. Lawyers generally handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning the lawyer will deduct fees and expenses from any eventual settlement or judgment.
If you were injured, you may feel overwhelmed. Don’t allow the time pressure of complying with Indiana’s statute of limitations add to your worries. Speak with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.
The lawyers at the Law Offices of William W. Hurst are committed to helping personal injury victims protect their rights. If someone else caused your injuries, call the Law Offices of William W. Hurst at (317) 636-0808 or use our online form and contact us.