What exactly is a “severe” personal injury?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Plenty of people get hurt in Pennsylvania each year due to circumstances outside of their control. Some people fall when shopping, while others end up injured in a crash. The majority of such injuries are minor, often resulting in only topical injuries such as bruises, scrapes or cuts.

However, sometimes people suffer more serious injuries. Catastrophic or severe injuries don’t just require medical attention when someone first gets hurt. It can be difficult for those coping with the consequences of a recent injury to objectively categorize their own conditions. What factors indicate that someone has a severe injury?

Extensive treatment requirements

If an injury is not something that people can resolve with a single treatment or visit to the hospital, it is likely more serious than the average traumatic injury. Severe injuries may require surgery, and long-term stay at a rehabilitation facility and ongoing care, including physical therapy or pain management. In many cases, people cannot fully recover from severe injuries and require treatment just to manage their symptoms.

Personal and professional limitations

Severe injuries typically have permanent medical consequences. Traumatic brain injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, extreme fractures, injuries that cause nerve damage and disfiguring injuries are all examples of conditions that may have long-term consequences for the person injured.

Such conditions have an association with a reduced standard of living connected to the persistent symptoms and functional limitations someone experiences. For example, a traumatic amputation will very likely leave someone in need of assistive technology that costs thousands. They will also likely require support for daily activities and may no longer be able to perform the same job. A severe or catastrophic injury can permanently alter someone’s ability to live independently or continue in their chosen profession. It is the severity of the initial injury and the impact of someone’s persistent symptoms that largely dictate whether their injury qualifies as severe or not.

More severe injuries often result in expenses that exceed what a Pennsylvania car insurance policy will pay, which means that people may have to prepare themselves mentally and financially to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Recognizing when an injury is severe enough to justify taking legal action may benefit those who have been hurt due to another’s actions and are likely entitled to significant compensation.

 

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