What Kind of Injuries Can You Receive Compensation for After an Accident in Los Angeles?
If you’ve been in an accident and have been seriously injured, you may be facing high out-of-pocket costs, fears about the future, and uncertainty about to what extent you may heal and how your life will be impacted long-term as a result. While filing a personal injury claim isn’t always practical or feasible, sometimes, certain situations give cause for bringing forth a personal injury claim.
By filing a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the full value of your losses, including compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses. Here’s what you should know about the kinds of injuries for which you can receive compensation after an accident in Los Angeles, as well as the grounds for filing a personal injury claim–
Types of Injuries that Can Result in Compensation in Los Angeles
When recovering compensation after an accident, it is much less about the type of injury that a person has sustained as much as it’s about how the accident was sustained. That being said, most of the time, personal injury claims are brought forth following serious accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or/and high costs. Types of injuries included in these categories include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoup, diffuse axonal, and penetration head injuries are all types of traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can have severe long-term effects, including effects on cognition, thinking, learning, memory, sensation, language, and emotion. Sometimes, these effects are permanent.
- Spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury occurs when a person’s spinal cord, which runs the length of the spinal column, is impacted. The spinal cord is responsible for relaying messages between the brain and the rest of the body. If this message-relaying system is impacted, the result can be permanent paralysis or partial paralysis from the injury site downwards. Unfortunately, doctors have currently found no cure for spinal cord injuries.
- Burn injuries. Burn injuries might include first, second, third, or even fourth-degree burn injuries. The greater the degree, the more severe, with third- and fourth-degree burns sometimes being fatal. Burn injuries can be disfiguring, disabling, and very painful.
- Amputation/loss of use of limb injuries. An amputation injury or another injury type of injury that leaves a person with the loss of a limb is permanently disabling and life-changing.
- Severe bone fractures. While most bone fracture injuries heal fully with time and medical treatment and are relatively minor in comparison to other serious injuries that are more life-threatening, this is not always the case. Some bone fractures are so severe that they are permanently disabling, puncture organs, or require surgery and ongoing medical care to treat.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries can be incredibly dangerous, as sometimes lead to internal bleeding and death or long-term complications of organ failure.
- Psychological injuries. Not all injuries are physical; sometimes, being involved in an accident or being the victim of a serious crime (such as sexual assault) can have psychological effects that manifest in the form of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
- Other. The above list is not inclusive, and someone who has suffered injuries other than those listed above may still seek compensation in a personal injury claim if they can prove the elements of a personal injury claim.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
As mentioned, it is less about the specific type of injury that a person suffers so much as it is about how the person suffers that injury that determines their eligibility to file a personal injury claim. A person cannot file a Los Angeles personal injury claim simply because they are injured; they must be able to prove the four elements of a personal injury claim in order to recover compensation. The four elements of a personal injury claim are:
- Duty. First, a plaintiff (the party who is filing the personal injury claim) must be able to prove that the defendant (the person against whom the claim is being filed) owed the plaintiff a duty of care. In some circumstances, a duty of care is implied. For example, all drivers on the road have a duty to operate their vehicles in a way that is safe and in compliance with the law. On the other hand, a property owner may owe a different duty of care to someone who’s on their property as a trespasser vs. an invitee; or a friend offering advice about how to treat a medical condition offers a different duty of care to the “patient” than does their medical doctor.
- Breach of duty. The second thing that you will have to establish is that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to you. In car accident cases, this might mean proving that the driver was speeding, performing an illegal maneuver, drunk, or driving aggressively; in dangerous premises accidents, it might mean proving that the property owner failed to remedy a known hazard; in cases of medical practitioners, it could mean proving that the doctor failed to refer to the patient to a specialist or take another action that a medical professional of similar background or training would have taken.
- Causation. The third thing to prove is causation: the plaintiff must be able to prove that their injuries would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence.
- Damages. Finally, you must prove that you’ve suffered actual damages as a result, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional distress, etc.
Get Help from a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer
At the office of Fisher & Talwar, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers understand that being injured and suffering losses can be overwhelming and very unnerving. As you think about your future and your options, our team wants you to know that we are here for you. To learn more about how we can help and your options for improving your future, please call our team directly or send us a message at your convenience. We offer free case consultations.