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What Is Considered a Serious Injury in a Car Accident?

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A car accident can leave you facing significant property losses and potential injuries. While all collisions can be difficult to handle, those that leave you with serious injuries can cause ongoing consequences that affect you for years. What is considered a serious injury in a car accident? Scroll down to learn more about the severity of car accident injuries.

Exploring Car Accident Injuries

Car crashes can cause many types of injuries that range in severity. Minor injuries include those that might take a few weeks to recover from, but serious injuries might cause lasting impairments. What is considered a serious injury in a car accident? Generally, anything that leaves you with a substantial impairment in one or more areas of functioning is considered a serious injury. The following are examples of serious car crash injuries:

  • Fractures
  • Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Dismemberments
  • Amputations
  • Severe burns
  • Psychological trauma

Each of these types of injuries can have long-lasting effects. Some might leave you living with permanent disabilities requiring round-the-clock care for the rest of your life.

Your Rights Following a Severe Car Accident Injury

If suffer a serious injury in a car accident, you might face a lengthy recovery process and may never fully regain your ability to function. Serious injuries typically involve extensive treatment followed by rehabilitation, physical therapy, and ongoing care. Because of this, your medical expenses can quickly overwhelm you while you are also dealing with wage losses, property damage, and non-economic losses. This combination makes it important to understand your rights to pursue compensation following a crash when someone else is at fault.

Missouri is a pure comparative fault state under R.S.Mo. 537.765. This means you have a right to recover compensation for your losses in a car accident even if you were partially at fault. However, your gross damages award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds that you were 20 percent at fault and allocates the remaining 80 percent to the other driver, your total verdict award would be reduced by 20 percent to account for your percentage of blame.

While you technically have the right to pursue compensation from the other driver even when you share fault, you should discuss whether it is worthwhile to pursue a claim with an experienced attorney. It might not be economically feasible to file a legal action against the other driver if your fault percentage was greater than 50 percent.

Types of Compensation in a Serious Car Accident

Compensatory damages in a car accident are monetary awards designed to compensate you for your economic and non-economic losses. These are also called special and general damages, and they include the following categories:

  • Past and future anticipated medical expenses to treat your injuries
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Prosthetics
  • Mobility devices
  • Home modifications to make your home accessible for your injuries
  • Attendant care costs
  • Property damage
  • Past wage losses
  • Reduced ability to earn an income in the future
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Psychological trauma
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Reduced ability to enjoy life

When you meet with a lawyer at our firm, we will review your case and explain the types of damages that might be available in your case. In addition to compensatory damages, punitive damages might be available in rare circumstances. However, punitive damages are only awarded in cases involving gross negligence or willful conduct. If available, they are payable in addition to the compensatory damages you might receive.

Contact a Knowledgeable Injury Lawyer

Serious car accident injuries can be life-altering. If you are dealing with severe injuries because of another driver’s negligent or reckless actions, talk to the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave. We offer free consultations and can discuss your case and options. Call us today at 417-322-2222 or contact us online.

Files under: Personal Injury