What Constitutes a Permanent Disability After an Accident?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Mark Choate with Choate Law Firm LLC.
Permanent disability or “total permanent disability” refers to any physical or mental condition that prevents an individual from working full-time and engaging with daily life activities on a permanent basis. Permanent disabilities can arise from a myriad of circumstances, including workplace injuries, birth injuries, service injuries, and vehicle accident injuries. People who are permanently disabled may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits, which typically entail a monthly stipend in an amount that can vary based on the severity of an individual’s disability.
However, if the disability occurred due to the negligent or intentional conduct of one or more parties, such as in some kind of accident, it may also be possible to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for additional damages.
Some damages that are often associated with permanent disability include:
- Ongoing medical bills
- Ongoing physical and/or psychological therapy
- Daily life care expenses
- Lost wages
- Impairment of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A permanent disability following an accident occurs whenever an injury is so severe that the victim cannot return to normal daily life.
Whenever someone’s life and/or earning capacity are severely inhibited or prevented due to an ongoing injury sustained in an accident, this may constitute a permanent disability. Not only are disabled individuals potentially eligible for Social Security disability benefits, but if the disability was the result of negligence, it may be possible to seek additional damages in an accident claim.
Whenever an accident is severe enough to result in permanent or even temporary disabilities, it’s important to look into every avenue for potential recovery, as the damages to the individual and their family can be severe, even beyond the pain of the injury itself.
Injuries that may result in permanent disabilities arising from motor vehicle or other accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Non-healing fractures
- Loss of function of one or more parts of the body
- Nerve damage
- Chronic debilitating pain
- Burns or other injuries to the hands and/or feet that prevent or inhibit walking or handling objects
- Psychological trauma (i.e. depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.)
Proving the validity of a permanent disability can be difficult.
Unfortunately, proving an individual’s eligibility for Social Security disability benefits and/or a personal injury claim can be extremely difficult. The process for documenting the injury and its effect on daily life, collecting necessary evidence, and compiling it properly in the legally required format is known for being complex. In some cases this may lead to the denial of an otherwise valid disability claim; the good news is that even denied claims can be appealed.
However, it’s highly recommended to reach out to an experienced Social Security disability claim lawyer to help with the paperwork the first time around, to prevent the need for filing an appeal. In the event that a disability occurred after an accident, it’s important to contact an experienced accident attorney in your area to help estimate your current and future damages and hold the negligent party accountable for the sake of you and your family.
To learn more about permanent disabilities following an accident as well as options for recovery, reach out to an experienced accident attorney in your area.