Category: 

What is Loss of Use?

Article Details
  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Loss of use is a legal term that describes an injury that has permanent consequences for the victim. A full loss of use injury may be an accident that resulted in a severed limb or a completely inoperable condition such as blindness or loss of smell. Partial loss of use cases are normally applied to an accident where a victim has a permanent injury that prevents him or her from doing certain activities as well as they used to. In either situation, loss of use is part of a larger formula that is used to determine settlement amounts in injury cases.

The term "loss of use" was created to fill a void that existed between lawyers and insurance companies. In the case of a vehicular accident, for example, a victim could sustain numerous injuries that would take various times to heal. It was relatively easy for insurers to base a formula on time lost from work and medical expenses, but when the victim had lasting injuries, it became more difficult. Loss of use measures a percentage-based estimation of the injury so that fair compensation could be sought.

Ad

For example, in the event of back or spinal damage, the victim would likely experience a loss of mobility for the rest of his life. That does not mean that he cannot move his back at all or continue to work; the term only indicates that the injury caused measurable complications that the victim can expect. If the loss was a relatively low percentage, then it is possible for the person to continue his daily life without too many changes. A high loss of use would indicate that the individual would likely have severe problems due to the injury.

Whenever a person is considered to have a full loss of use, it means that he will never be able to use that body part again. This still does not naturally imply that the victim is permanently disabled; there are plenty of productive workers who have experienced a full loss of use yet overcome their handicap. Less severe cases may refer to a loss of a finger or a ruptured spleen, while more serious incidents could include the victim losing a leg or his hearing.

Each injury is handled individually and there is no preset value within loss of use cases. The formula merely exists to present involved parties with a numerical value on the damages suffered, and physicians may have conflicting opinions on what the actual percentage is. A victim's doctor often places a higher value on the injuries, while an insurance company's physician may be less critical. These two percentages are often factored together to find a middle ground for a settlement offer, which is why both sides sometimes overstate their findings.

Ad

Recommended

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email