How the Law Differs for Permanent Serious Disfigurement
Under Pennsylvania law, many types of injuries are handled differently when they are determined to constitute serious bodily harm or permanent disfigurement. Generally, pain and suffering are not claims available to injured victims in many car accidents in the state, except in cases of serious permanent disfigurement. These non-economic damages can be recovered regardless of whether the at-fault party holds full-tort or limited-tort policies.
Briefly, Pennsylvania law allows drivers the option of choosing one of two types of insurance policies. A full-tort policy allows injured victims to sue at-fault drivers for their losses and pain and suffering. A limited-tort policy only allows for claims to be brought in cases of serious bodily injury, death, and serious permanent disfigurement.
The accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky can help you if you have been injured in a car accident, regardless of the policy you hold. Our team of lawyers know the curious nuances of the law and how to make sure you or your injured loved one do not have to suffer a lifetime of pain due to limitations of insurance policies.
Types of Injuries Associated with Permanent Serious Disfigurement
Pennsylvania courts have ruled that numerous injuries that may not be obviously identifiable do rise to the level of permanent serious disfigurement. Injuries courts have found for include fractures, joint and tendon injuries, and many others. A 1995 case before the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that an injury need not be permanent to be considered serious.
In Dodson v. Elvey (1995) the court held that “the consequences of an injury must involve serious impact for an extended period of time on the plaintiff’s life and must interfere substantially with the plaintiff’s normal activities, rather than impose only mild or slight limitations, in order to meet the threshold of serious injury.”
Visible scars that cause the victim emotional harm and nerve damage that inhibits normal motor function are permanent disfigurements. Often, disfigurement claims involve injuries that require numerous surgeries to repair. This can include complex fractures that will eventually heal, but will always create some restriction to the victims life. Numerous cases in recent years have failed to protect injured victims because of the difficulty presented in proving a permanent disfigurement injury that isn’t visually obvious.
Ways Permanent Disfigurement Accidents Happen
Any number of types of accidents can result in permanently disfiguring injuries. The accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky frequently win cases for victims that are injured in the following ways.
The overwhelming number of claims involving disfigurement arise from car accidents. Unfortunately for many victims, the limited-tort policy rules can be very challenging to overcome, and in many cases, even injuries that greatly impact your life and cause a lifetime of suffering do not meet the threshold.
Our team of lawyers will fight on your behalf to make sure that you or your injured loved one gets the care you need. Our attorneys have spent decades studying the complex ways limited-tort claims are brought and won.
Common injuries in car accidents can be found to meet the standard of serious injury or disfigurement, but the insurance companies will do what they can to prevent that from happening. We won’t let an insurance company bully you into accepting a settlement that does not meet your needs.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky have seen numerous claims of disfigurement resulting from workplace accidents. Fire and chemical burns are common and almost always cause long-term suffering and permanent disfigurement. Even many slip, trip, and fall cases result in permanently disfiguring injuries.
Workers’ comp is supposed to be a no-fault policy that is intended to get you back on your feet, but in too many cases, insurance companies seeking to limit expensive liability will try and use the law to deny claims of permanent disfigurement.
Our accident lawyers will not allow your workers’ compensation claim to be disregarded as just another expense. We make sure the insurance company treats your claim with respect and care, because we believe everyone injured at work deserves the best care for their injuries.
Permanent disfiguring work-related injuries can have long-standing consequences. Many injuries will prevent a person from returning to their original line of work, and some injuries may even make it difficult to find a new job. Call the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky and let us prevent you from living a lifetime in pain because of a work-related accident.
The injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky see many cases of permanent disfigurement resulting from medical error. Some claims arise from poorly sutured injuries, improper procedures, and errors by surgeons. Many of these claims arise from botched augmentation surgeries, like breast enhancement and nose jobs.
Pennsylvania law can be tricky in these cases. Proving that the injury has resulted in permanent disfigurement requires that the courts identify errors made by the surgeon or surgical team in many claims. Without this evidence of error, many claims are dismissed or settled for far less than the victim needs to live a normal life again.
Our malpractice injury attorneys can help you recover damages for permanent disfigurement resulting from botched medical care. We make sure you receive the best treatment possible and ensure that the at-fault party is fully held responsible.
Unfortunately, it seems like we are seeing more and more dog bite cases each year. A huge number of claims also involve children who are permanently disfigured as a result of a dog bite.
Dog bite claims get complicated quickly due to local, state, and regional laws, and the possible number of at-fault persons. Dog bite cases are rarely simple and typically result in long-term suffering for the victim. In many cases, the at-fault individual lacks appropriate insurance coverage to compensate the victim for their injuries.
Our personal injury lawyers know how scary dealing with dog bite injuries can be, especially for children. Many dog bite injuries happen to the head, face, and neck as well as defensive injuries to hands and arms commonly leave visible scars. Many of these injuries also result in loss of nerve function and can cause permanent impairment.
The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky want to help you get the settlement you need if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite. We will fight on your behalf to make sure every responsible party is held accountable.
How We Can Help
Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience winning cases in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. We have the extensive knowledge and practical experience you need to make sure your claim is handled professionally. Injuries that cause permanent disfigurement need to be handled differently than other injuries, and it is essential that victims have a lawyer willing to fight at every step of the process against profit-motivated insurance companies. Our risk-free consultation is provided so we can discuss your claim and how our lawyers can help you proceed.