What is a Life Altering Injury?
A life altering injury is a permanent injury which substantially interferes with one's daily life. Generally, catastrophic injuries are defined as injuries that result in long-term medical problems, permanent disability, shortened life expectancy, and anything that is life changing for the individual who has been injured. It often goes beyond what you might envision as a catastrophic injury, such as loss of limb, brain injury, or life. Analysis is expended in determining exactly how an injury does alter an individual client's life, because it is different for everybody. The client's ability to earn, conduct life activities and normal routines, and how they comfort themselves and live their lives can be greatly affected in varying degrees. These are important factors in every case.
Life Altering Injuries in the Context of CT Law
Life altering injuries are not specifically defined by Connecticut statute. However, the law that we rely on in instructing juries is somewhat helpful. Financial recovery is allowed for any complete or partial loss of any type of bodily function. You can think about the functions that the body parts serve, such as walking, bending, lifting, sitting, reaching, using your hands, or thinking. This can also include any of the five senses, whether it is hearing, seeing, or someone's emotional state. All these things can be injured, and can be considered life altering in many ways.
There is the resulting loss of income in many cases—a loss of career or livelihood. As well as punitive losses, both past and present. Further, there is the non-economic aspect of the loss of enjoyment of one's life. If one is limited or restricted, not just in what they earn but how they live their life or how they enjoy their life, these elements become items of damages that are considered to be compensable. Thus, the definition of life altering injury can be quite varied. Everyone's definition is going to be different, as every situation and case has wide variations and distinctions.
Accidents That May be Considered Life Altering
As the term “personal injury” is very broad, it's important to note that there can be many different situations and circumstances that may inflict a serious injury onto an innocent individual. The accidents can result from incidents that happen on the highway, in public places, and that often happen in the workplace.
Some common causes of physical injuries may include (but are not limited to):
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Defective products
- Dog and animal bites
- Lead poisoning and asbestos
- Medical malpractice cases
- Nursing home abuse
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall
- Wrongful Death
- Workplace Accidents
There really is no simple classification of what a life altering injury is. It does not matter whether it happens at work, at home, while you are engaged in some recreational activity, or at a social event. Generally, accidents occur as a result of someone's negligence or carelessness. Construction accidents, things that occur as a result of medical negligence, or injuries that occur as a result of the manufacturing, production, or design of a defective product. Negligence can involve machinery and all types of equipment on the job. It can also involve motor vehicles, trucks, and tractor trailers. We encounter premises cases with defective premises for all sorts of reasons arising out of negligent maintenance or construction.
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