Nature of Injury

In evaluating the injuries, the loss of enjoyment of your life, the changes to your life, and the permanent impairment should be considered. Do not forget the past medical costs and the FUTURE medical costs that will be incurred. These factors influence how much compensation you deserve in your case.

Functional disability is the most important factor in evaluating injuries. A claimant who loses an arm or a leg may be able to make a reasonably good adjustment and function well for the rest of his life, while a victim who suffers a disabling traumatic neurosis may be completely disabled functionally. Nature of injury is one of the most important factors to consider in the evaluation of your case. Include all of this information in your demand letter.

Comparing Your Injury to Your Limitations

A person with a high pain threshold may sustain a relatively severe injury and yet suffer less pain and be less disabled than another person with a low pain threshold. A person working in an occupation involving little or no nervous tension may continue to function satisfactorily with a particular injury, while another person working under great pressure and tension could be completely disabled from his work by the same injury. All these factors must be thoroughly investigated and considered in evaluating an injury. This is why documentation after an accident is so important.

The pain involved is another important settlement factor, for the greater the pain accompanying the injury, the greater the recovery potential. Where the plaintiff has been or will be required to submit to painful operations or medical procedures or to use uncomfortable or disagreeable prosthetic devices, the settlement value increases. Consider these factors in deciding whether to settle or arbitrate your case.

Past Medical Conditions

The existence of a prior medical history or similar complaint or illness on the part of the defendant may tend to decrease the settlement potential, for the jury is likely to feel that the plaintiff's complaint is chronic or was merely aggravated by the defendant's conduct. On the other hand, a preexisting condition may have made the plaintiff susceptible to more severe and more lasting injury by the defendant's negligence and thus result in a higher verdict or settlement value.

Your Ability to Heal After the Accident

In personal injury cases, the attorney must take into account the prognosis for recovery as well as the diagnosis of the particular injury. Medical costs to the plaintiff should of course be submitted to the defense counsel or adjuster, but the plaintiff's attorney should not assume that these may be claimed routinely without preparation for proof of their reasonableness and necessity. Some claims are settled of necessity because of the medical condition of the claimant.

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