Any injury that takes an accident victim to the theater, emergency room, or incapacitates is serious according to them. Legally speaking, a serious injury is more severe than a standard injury. In particular, serious injuries are typically hard and expensive to treat.
If you’ve recently been involved in a serious accident in Alaska, you should pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your loss. Where do you start? Just schedule a consultation with an attorney for personal injury in Alaska for the best outcome.
Serious Bodily Injury Defined
In legal language, serious injury refers to any physical injury that exposes a person to death, serious disfigurement, or impairment of the body organs. From this description, a serious injury is more severe than a superficial injury (minor). Under serious injuries, the wounds take a long time to heal or they never heal.
In the state of Alaska, serious injuries are defined as a wound that is long-lasting and with long-term effects. Examples of serious injuries can include:
- Severe burn;
- Spine injuries;
- Deep lacerations;
- Permanent scarring;
- Loss of limbs;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Head, back, and neck injuries;
- Bone fractures;
- Loss of sight; and
- Loss of hearing;
Serious bodily injuries are typically associated with traumatic accidents, such as motorcycle and trucking accidents, where the impact is usually catastrophic. However, severe injuries are also common in minor or normal accidents, such as slip and fall accidents.
Bodily injury refers to the physical damage or pain inflicted on a victim’s body. It is also commonly referred to as physical injury. Any degree of pain or injury may qualify as a bodily injury, including something as minor as a bruise.
A common example of bodily injuries that are not serious can include:
- Burns (first degree)
- Soreness or sensitivity;
- Swollen muscles;
- Superficial cuts, abrasions, and lacerations
Serious bodily injury refers to intense physical damage inflicted on the body. Only high degrees of pain or injury is considered serious injuries and cases involving serious injuries are taken seriously by courts.
Compensation for Serious Bodily Injury
Serious bodily injuries typically require frequent medical attention because they take longer to heal and hence, incur huge medical bills. In personal injury law, any loss incurred after an accident, such as bodily injury and property damage should be compensated. The recoverable damages in a serious bodily injury claim can include:
This includes money spent on medical image testing, hospital admission and stay, ambulance fees, doctor consultation, surgery, therapy, prescription medication, and others.
Pain and Suffering
This includes the costs associated with physical and mental anguish, and emotional distress suffered after an accident. Pain and suffering damages can be recovered by a spouse for the death of their loved one.
Lost Wages and Lost Opportunity to Earn
This includes foregone income resulting from the accident injury, such as hourly wages, sick and vacation days, overtime pay, and other employment benefits.
Out-of-pocket expenses refer to the expenses paid that should have been paid by the defendant but were paid by the plaintiff. Such expenses can include gasoline expenses, lodging fees, parking fees, bus fares, the cost of acquiring medical aids, such as slings or bandages, prescription drugs, and more.
Costs of Replacement Services
This refers to money spent by the injured person to continue running their life normally. Such expenses can include money paid for house cleaning, child care, or other tasks that the plaintiff can no longer do thanks to their injury.
If your serious injury claim also involved a damaged vehicle, you should recover money for vehicle repair or money to acquire a new car.
Do Insurance Companies Cover Serious Bodily Injuries
Do insurance companies cover serious bodily injuries? Your auto insurance policy or that of the at-fault driver will determine whether you qualify to be compensated. If your auto insurance policy covers such injuries, you’ll be compensated. Otherwise, you get nothing.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
If you’ve recently been involved in a serious bodily injury, you need to find a way of settling incoming medical bills besides catering to your expenses and that of your family. This is where a personal injury lawyer comes in.
After an accident, whether a car crash, motorcycle crash, slip, and fall accident, or others, you can consult a skilled personal injury attorney for legal aid. Besides legal advice, the lawyer can help you file an injury claim in a court of law or help you pursue an insurance recovery. Your injury attorney should help you with:
- Obtaining testimonies from eyewitnesses;
- Obtaining photo evidence of the injuries
- Obtaining photo and/or video evidence from the accident scene
- Getting expert witnesses to build a strong case
- Records of all medical examinations and formal diagnoses
- Receipts of all medical bills, related expenses, and proof of lost wages
If you or a loved one has recently suffered a serious accident you should be compensated. However, you should always involve a legal professional for the right results.