What's the difference between temporary, partial, and permanent disability? How should individuals document their injury when pursuing a personal injury claim? Understanding the differences between these disability levels is crucial for determining how to pursue a personal injury claim. Most importantly, thorough documentation during the recovery period establishes the true extent and severity of the disability suffered.
Car Wrecks and Injuries in the US
There are an average of six million car accidents in the United States each year. In 2018, car accidents caused around 4.5 million personal injuries that result in either temporary, partial, or permanent disability.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) examined in the Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS) showed that in 2017, 2.9% of police reported motor vehicle crashes involved serious injuries, and 35.9% involved moderate or minor injuries. A total of .2% of accidents involved critical, life-threatening injuries, and .1% involved untreatable, fatal injuries.
NHTSA data from 2017 for police reported accidents showed that 1.25 million people (25%) suffered minor injuries, 153,000 (3.1%) suffered moderate injuries. Approximately 64,000 (1.3%) suffered serious injuries, while 18,500 (.4%) suffered severe injuries. Finally, just over 5,000 (.1%) suffered critical injuries and slightly more than 4,600 (.1%) suffered untreatable injuries.
A temporary disability is expected to have a duration of days, weeks, months, and in some cases, a couple of years. These types of injuries include strains and sprains, broken bones, whiplash, lacerations, etc. that will generally heal with prompt care and treatment.
Partial disability is an injury that prevents an individual from fully performing a task at full physical capacity. For instance, the individual can lift 5 lbs, but before the injury could lift 20 lbs. Partial disability can also involve the loss of function of a limb. For example, a knee injury that limits the ability to walk.
Permanent disability is an injury that results in the loss of a limb, loss of mental function, or loss of a sense, such as sight, hearing, or touch. A permanent disability is one where the individual cannot recover the health they had prior to the motor vehicle accident.
Documenting the Disability
Thorough documentation is invaluable when pursuing a temporary, partial, or permanent disability claim. Your documentation should include copies of police reports and eyewitness testimony, records of doctor's appointments, therapies, treatments, and medication usage. Your documentation should also include copies of earning statements, medical bills, receipts for assistive aids, etc. It's also advisable to keep a diary that indicates the impact of the injury on your ability to work and perform common tasks such as lifting, walking, sitting, etc.
Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. We represent clients pursuing disability compensation claims in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.