None of us expect to be involved in an accident that alters our lives, but many Texans find themselves in that situation every day. Car wrecks, construction site accidents, and slip-and-fall incidents are some of the most common types of accidents resulting in serious bodily harm. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 14,656 people sustained serious injuries in Texas car wrecks alone during 2020. 

If you’ve sustained an injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to obtain damages to cover medical bills and other expenses, as well as compensate you for the suffering the accident caused. But what exactly qualifies as a serious bodily injury, and what sort of damages can you expect from the liable party? 

What Is the Definition of “Serious Bodily Injury?”

The Legal Information Institute defines the term “serious bodily injury” as “an injury that involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.”

This could apply to numerous scenarios and injuries, but the key factor in a serious bodily injury case is that the injury does not heal within a few days or weeks, and instead is either permanent or involves long-term recovery. 

What Are Common Serious Bodily Injuries?

The most common types of serious bodily injuries fall under these categories:

  • Back and neck injuries leading to chronic pain and/or loss of mobility 
  • Spine injury result in full or partial paralysis and/or nerve damage
  • Burns and cuts
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement 
  • Severely broken bones
  • Amputation 
  • Internal organ damage 
  • Traumatic brain injuries that cause permanent cognitive or motor impairments

Serious injuries are not always apparent right away. You may not know the exact type of injury you have or the effects it will have on your life until days, weeks, or even months after the accident that caused it. Even so, it’s best not to take a “wait and see” approach for a few different reasons. 

First, it’s in the best interest of your recovery to receive professional care as soon as possible. Second, it can take time to schedule diagnostic tests and get appointments with booked-up specialists who are able to give you answers about your condition; the longer you wait, the more of a risk you take of letting the two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases expire. Third, creating a record of your injuries can help strengthen your case and increase the compensation you could potentially receive. 

What Kinds of Damages Can Be Recovered? 

Catastrophic injuries often require intensive, long-term medical treatment and assistance. The bills mount up quickly for prescriptions, physical therapy, diagnostics, surgery, medical devices, accessibility accommodations, and so much more. But you do not have to suffer financially because of someone else’s recklessness or negligence. By filing a claim against the liable party, you can recover compensation for your injury and the impact it has had on your life. 

When it comes to serious bodily injury claims, damages that can be awarded include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. Due to the life-altering nature of such an injury, however, you may also be able to receive financial recovery for anticipated expenses, such as long-term medical care, medical support services, and reduced earning capacity. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you estimate an appropriate amount to cover economic and non-economic damages. 

Johnson Garcia Can Help

Our attorneys at Johnson Garcia have 30 years of experience protecting the rights of people who have been seriously injured by no fault of their own. We fight to maximize your compensation and relieve the financial burden of your injury, taking the case to court if necessary. 

We understand that you have endured physical, economical, and emotional hardships, and while nothing can erase that, recovering compensation from the liable party can restore your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your case so we can get to work for you.