What Is Considered a Severe Injury?
Under U.S. law, serious injury has a strict definition. A serious personal injury refers to one resulting in death or dismemberment, loss of a fetus, significant disfigurement, fracture, and permanent loss of use of a bodily organ, system or function.
Other severe injuries may involve those with “permanent consequential limitation” or “significant limitation” of use of a bodily organ or member, function or system.
If the person suffered a non-permanent injury that kept them from performing their daily activities for more than 90 days during the 180 days following the accident, this is also considered a severe injury.
Whatever the circumstances, whoever caused your severe injury changed your life irrevocably. You may have lost the ability to hold a job, or can no longer perform the work you did prior to the accident. Your medical bills are soaring and ongoing. You may feel desperate, but do not despair.
/A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable so that you may receive the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for clients in settlements and verdicts.
Personal injury causes
Personal injury claims originate from all sorts of accidents or incidents, but what each one has in common is that another person or entity’s negligent or reckless actions were the cause. Many personal injury claims arise from motor vehicle crashes, but that is just one area of this field. Other frequent sources of severe personal injury include:
- Chemical or drug poisoning
- Construction accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability – slip and fall
Under California’s statute of limitations, plaintiffs typically have two years from the date of the injury in which to file a personal injury lawsuit. After that, the claim is not considered by the court. However, it is imperative to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible, as a personal injury lawsuit requires a great deal of evidence. Waiting too long to discuss the consequences of your severe injury with a lawyer means that precious evidence may get lost.
Personal injury compensation
In California, personal injury compensation falls into the categories of economic and non-economic. Economic compensation is determined by the provable losses incurred, such as medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage. You have receipts for your bills and out-of-pocket expenses, and documentation from your employer about your wage loss. A mechanic or repair shop, in the case of a car accident, can give you an amount for repairing your car, or the insurance company may determine it is totaled.
While economic compensation is relatively easy to figure out, non-economic compensation is based on subjective factors. It may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional anguish
With the exception of medical malpractice, California does not place a cap on damages for a severe personal injury.
Wrongful death lawsuit
As noted, a serious injury includes one ending in death. Under California law, the family members of the deceased person may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Money cannot bring back a beloved family member, but it is the only way to compensate for the loss of a loved one.
The family may recover financial support the late person would have provided. Even if the person did not work outside the home, the family might recover the economic benefits the individual provided, such as childcare. Compensation may also include loss of companionship, sexual relations, and the guidance a parent gives to a child.
Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a severe injury because of another party’s negligence, you need the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law. We offer free consultations, so submit our online form or call or text us 24/7 to arrange an appointment.
Every client receives personal attention. If you are too severely injured to come to our office, we will come to your home or hospital bed. There is never a fee unless you receive compensation.