What Is a Life-Changing Injury?

By Peter DePaolis

When you sustain life-changing injuries to the negligence or recklessness of another person, you deserve compensation for your damages. However, the amount of compensation you can receive depends greatly on the severity of the injury and the circumstances of the case.

In particular, the law views life-changing injuries as being especially deserving of significant compensation. At the same time, the law can be vague regarding what qualifies as “life-changing.”

Our team at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, is here to clear away any confusion or concerns you might have in the aftermath of a catastrophic accident.

What Are Life-Changing Injuries According to the Law?

Legal professionals and insurance experts generally define a life-altering injury as one that permanently interferes with a person’s daily life. These tend to be synonymous with catastrophic injuries and traumatic injuries. In some cases, these may be injuries that lead to significant disabilities or a shortened life expectancy.

While the law does not always give specific medical details, it is generally accepted that the following constitute a life-changing injury:

  • Amputation or loss of limbs
  • Spinal injuries or paralysis
  • Loss of sight or hearing
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe burn injuries
  • Respiratory injuries

Proving that an accident directly resulted in one or more of the above conditions is a major step toward securing compensation suitable for life-altering injuries. 

Keep in mind that such severe injuries tend to also indirectly affect your loved ones. If your injury necessitates that a family member assumes the role of caretaker, then your settlement should reflect that as well.

How Can a Life-Changing Injury Affect Your Daily Routine?

Life-changing injuries can make it difficult to do everyday tasks.

When an injury limits your mobility or renders you incapable of everyday tasks like driving or even taking care of your own routine needs, then it is arguably life-changing in nature. There are also emotional impacts to consider, such as symptoms of depression or anxiety that can exacerbate the negative changes to your routine.

An injury could significantly alter the state of your finances as well if the costs of ongoing treatment prevent you from maintaining the same quality of life as before. If you experience these effects, or if a medical professional attests that you will experience these effects in the future, then you have a life-changing injury deserving of compensation from the at-fault party.

Medical records and other relevant documentation can serve as powerful evidence to strengthen your claim and establish just how much the negligent party owes you for causing your life-altering condition.

Contact an Attorney Who Understands Life-Changing Injuries

If you are pursuing compensation after a catastrophic accident, then contacting one of our personal injury attorneys can make all the difference. Our team can help you understand what is a life-changing injury and how much you can expect to receive in an insurance settlement. We will thoroughly investigate the cause of your injury and represent you during negotiations or trial proceedings while you focus on rest and recovery.

At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, we proudly help people across Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington D.C., Metro Area who experience life-changing injuries.  We are happy to provide a free initial consultation on your case and will not expect any payment until you receive a settlement for your injury. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.