How Seriousness of Injury Affects Settlement Value

Some signs of an injury’s seriousness emerge at the time of the accident. Others might show up much later. Still, that does not diminish the serious level of harm that has been done to the victim.

The basic question to answer, when determining an injury’s value: How much money was spent on the treatment?

Insurance companies consider the expense linked to each phase of the treatment. That could include physical, psychological or emotional therapy. It could include, as well, the money that might be spent on future treatments. Insurance companies do not like to pay for utilization of diagnostic techniques. In the past there were no diagnostic techniques for certain injuries. As medicine discovers new ways to diagnose various conditions, the insurance industry could be forced to re-evaluate its view of diagnostic procedures.

Soft injuries are not viewed as serious

• Sprains and strains are the most common soft injuries.
• Damage to soft tissue means damage to connective tissue or to muscle.
• Soft injuries are hard to diagnose and prove, although any one of them could produce a great deal of pain.

Hard injuries are considered serious.

Some of the most serious hard injuries affect the victim’s brain, skull, neck or backbone. Broken bones fall in this category. They are usually easy to identify, by means of an x-ray.

Sometimes the nature of the harm done to a connective tissue creates a hard injury. That is the case whenever there is a separation or a dislocation. A ligament or segment of tendon could separate from the underlying cartilage or muscle fiber. Alternatively, a ligament or tendon could get displaced, causing a separation.

Why are separations and dislocations classed as hard injuries? That is due to the fact that the affected tissue needs to mend during a delicate recovery. An open wound, regardless of its size, belongs in the group of hard injuries. Indeed, some open wounds are decidedly serious. Take, for example the wounds that are found on a burn victim.

Like the injuries associated with a separation or dislocation, such wounds require a delicate sort of treatment. Moreover, each of them heals slowly. Moreover, the treated patient must normally receive patches of skin from other parts of the body. That necessitates the performance of multiple surgeries.

Of all the hard injuries, the traumatic brain injury can prove hardest to identify. That is especially true in teens and in pre-teen youth. Parents could easily view a child’s suddenly erratic behavior as the result of hormonal changes. Laziness could be pointed to as the reason for bad grades. In reality, the child was just displaying a symptom. Unknown to parents, it was the symptom of an unrecognized traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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