Car accidents and bad slip and fall may cause herniated/bulged disc or other spinal injuries. If this happens to you because of another party’s carelessness, then you are entitled to reimbursement. However, you must understand that filing such a claim involves various factors to consider. It is not something you do just to get back at the person or company you blame for the accident. It is something you undertake in order to reimburse your harms and losses.
The amount of reimbursement for herniated disc and other personal injury cases varies, as it depends on several factors. Among these factors are the gravity of the accident and the seriousness of the injury. But basically, determining the worth of compensation all boils down to damages.
When you say damages, it points to the injury’s impact on the different aspects of the victim’s life. It can be financially, mentally, physically and emotionally, among others. Though the physical injury is easier to determine through medical examinations and treatments, other factors might be more complicated to gauge.
Damages are the amount paid to the victim by an insurance company or the other person/party responsible for the accident. There are different types of damages, including compensatory and punitive. Understanding these issues might be difficult for us all and that is why it is advisable to hire a St. Louis accident lawyer to represent you. But to give you some of the basics, the information below can help you be aware of what damages mean in personal injury cases, including herniated disc and spinal injury claims.
Compensatory damages are awarded to the victims in order to help them deal with the financial effects of the accident. Its amount is usually determined based on medical expenses, loss of income and property damages that the victim has to shoulder. Some damages are easy to identify and calculate, while others, like pain and suffering caused by the injury, are harder to determine.
Compensatory damages often include the following:
- Medical Treatment – in this case, the damages are set depending on the medical expenses you have already spent and will spend in the future. The kind of treatment you need and the future medications you’ll require are also taken into account.
- Property Damages or Loss – accidents often result in damage to physical property. If the accident not only injured you but also damaged your vehicle, property or any other personal possessions, then Missouri law mandates reimbursement for them. The amount might depend on how much you will have to spend for repairs and the property’s market value.
- Income Loss – sustaining spinal injuries like a herniated disc, might force you out of work. Because of this, you might lose income. What is worse is that you might be unable to work the way you used to because the injury was so severe. If this is the case, then you will likely receive compensatory damages appropriate for the income you have lost and will lose.
- Pain, Suffering, Emotional Distress – accidents can have a huge emotional impact on the victim. Some victims will have to live with pain for a long period of time because of the injury. The accident can also cause fear and anxiety, as well as lead to sleep difficulties.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are applied in cases where the wrongdoer committed an extremely dangerous act that let to an injury, like racing, etc. If evidence showed that the defendant’s act was undertaken with knowledge that harm would result, punitive damages may be added to the compensatory damages. Punitive damages are a way to punish the party responsible for the accident and send a message to the community that this conduct is not acceptable.
Plaintiffs Role In The Incident
A case involving spinal injuries is not just about identifying the actions of the defendant because the role of the plaintiff is also determined. As a matter of fact, the plaintiff’s action or lack thereof can affect the damages awarded to him/her.
Most states in the country have a comparative negligence rule, which associates the cause of the accident with the damages. If you are found to have contributed to the accident, even partly only, the damages paid to you can be affected. There are even states that follow the concept of contributory negligence, in which a plaintiff would not receive any compensation if he/she did something that led to the accident.
Another thing to keep in mind when being involved in an accident is to act accordingly. Do not wait to either receive treatment or determine the scope of damages caused by the accident. Otherwise, you will be subjected to failure to mitigate damages and this can affect your claim. There are cases wherein the victims refrained from getting immediate medical treatment, which made their injuries worse and led to more expensive medical bills. In such cases, the defendants use the plaintiff’s inaction to reduce the amount of compensation they will have to shoulder.
Doing Everything Right
With the information given above, you may now realize how complex filing a claim for your spinal injury can be, especially if the situation is complicated and severe. However, it is still recommended to pursue your claim if you are entitled to reimbursement. Of course, you will have to evaluate your situation first before deciding whether filing a complaint against the responsible party is appropriate. Making such a decision can be difficult; however, getting legal advice will definitely make things easier for you. Having an experienced and trustworthy St. Louis spinal injury lawyer to talk to can help you obtain all the needed information. This will allow you to do everything right and make a wise choice. In addition, getting an injury lawyer specializing on the kind of case you have will eliminate the need for you to personally deal with insurance companies, as well as lawyers representing the party that caused the accident. For more information, contact St. Louis injury lawyer at 314-409-7060.