Technically, “catastrophic injury” means an injury so severe that it permanently prevents a person from returning to gainful employment and self-sufficiency. What that means for the injured individual and his or her family differs considerably from case to case. Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Injuries to the spine or spinal cord
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Crush fractures
- Serious burn injuries
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injury
Catastrophic injury can occur in many ways. Some of the most common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall injuries
- Workplace accidents, especially construction accidents
- Sports injuries
No matter how the injury occurs, a catastrophic injury is life-altering and traumatic. If that injury occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation that will:
- Replace lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Compensate you for medical expenses
- Provide for future medical care
- Pay for therapy and rehabilitative services
- Compensate your family for the loss of your participation and assistance
- Compensate you for intangibles, such as pain and suffering
Depending on how the injury occurred, you may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to the type of compensatory damages listed above.
Pursuing a Catastrophic Injury Claim
Pursuing compensation after a catastrophic injury can be complicated. In any personal injury or medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant was negligent, and that the negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. This requires thorough investigation and careful assembly of evidence.
The plaintiff must also prove damages. Proving damages in a catastrophic injury case can be difficult, and expert testimony is typically required to prove damages such as projected future medical costs and projected lost income over a lifetime. The defendant’s insurance company will not want to pay out large sums for anticipated future costs, and so will employ its own experts in an attempt to minimize your damage award. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney will know how to secure the right expert witnesses to build a strong case on your behalf.
Contact a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
When you’ve been seriously injured, insurance companies and legal claims likely won’t be your top priority. However, the issues move forward with or without your participation. The clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations, moving you closer to the deadline for filing a lawsuit. The insurance company conducts its own investigation, and may attempt to negotiate a quick, lowball settlement. Evidence may be lost or destroyed, and witness memories fade. Meanwhile, your medical bills and other expenses will continue to grow.
When you give yourself the advantage of an experienced advocate in your corner, you can focus on healing and rebuilding without putting your claim at risk.
Schedule a Free Consultation Right Now
The first step toward protecting your future is to learn more about your rights and the damages you may be entitled to. You can get started right now by scheduling a free consultation.