When an accident takes place because of someone else’s mistake, financial, physical, and emotional stress typically follows. If you’ve suffered from a catastrophic injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and collect damages. Here is what you need to know about auto accident cases that were caused by someone else’s negligence.
What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
The term “catastrophic” indicates that a catastrophe or a disastrous event took place, like a car accident. Therefore, if your injury stemmed from a disastrous event, your injury could qualify as catastrophic. Common examples of catastrophic injuries are:
- Severe spine injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Worsened spine injuries, like paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries, TBI
- Severe head injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Severe burn injuries
Essentially, any injury that would require long-term care or intensive medical treatment would qualify, as well. This qualification applies especially to individuals who suffer from a long-term disability or permanent disability because of the injury.
Such types of injuries change an individual’s life and livelihood forever and thus are due just compensation. When you suffer from any one of these types of injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you should seek damages to compensate for your losses and injuries.
The catastrophic nature of an injury depends somewhat on the individual harmed. If your livelihood or ability to function in your daily life changes significantly, you’re due just compensation for the injury.
When a catastrophic injury delays an injured victim from returning to work, the victim’s finances are ultimately affected, resulting in lost wages. Additionally, if the injuries are severe enough and prevent that individual from ever returning to work, then that person’s earning potential has then been affected. Not only has that particular victim’s well-being been compromised, but so has the victim’s family.
An experienced personal injury attorney will take the time to investigate each client’s case and determine exactly what types of damages can be pursued after filing a personal injury lawsuit for a catastrophic injury.
Challenges in Catastrophic Injury Cases
One would think the more severe your damage, the higher the compensation in a catastrophic injury case. This is not always the case, though. You and your attorney need to prove the full extent of the damage done. Therefore, you have to present that your life has changed completely because of the negligent party’s actions.
The catastrophic injury case will take place while the victim is still undergoing medical treatment, physical therapy, recovery, and rehabilitation. Those damages taking place in real-time can be determined based on medical bills and medical records.
However, it may not be clear how much longer you will have to treat your injuries or if you will have to make adjustments to your daily life due to these sustained catastrophic injuries. Therefore, when filing a personal injury lawsuit, it can be difficult to determine how much “future” losses are worth. Furthermore, there’s no monetary measurement for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other subjective forms of damage.
An established law firm with a proven history of winning personal injury cases will be able to prove the different types of damages, including those that appear to be more subjective. With the help of expert witnesses, like medical professionals and specialists, qualified attorneys will be able to accurately calculate damages and then come up with a figure for your lawsuit. They will consider all the factors when they seek compensation value, such as:
- Loss of income
- Past, current, and future medical costs
- Cost of personal care attendants
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Emotional pain
- Psychology therapy costs
Financial compensation helps victims pay for medical bills and compensate for the trauma they have been forced to experience. Additionally, recent research has also indicated that “pain and suffering” are a better predictor of winning a bigger settlement even more than pain and disfigurement.
Measurement of Loss
It’s difficult to measure loss in any personal injury case. In the case of a catastrophic injury, though, the loss is more apparent. It will involve the loss of a limb or a physical sense such as eyesight or hearing.
It also involves pain and suffering resulting from the trauma of the loss or medical procedures following the loss. Pain and suffering will diminish a victim’s quality of life.
The damages the victim receives will help remove their impairments, restore their mobility, or assist them with a long-term recovery plan. The money will go toward fitting the victim’s home with medical equipment and tools that allow them to live their lives as normally as possible after such a catastrophic injury.
Individuals who have suffered severe physical harm will need to reconstruct parts of their homes appropriately for handicap accessibility. Such renovations vary in cost from as little as $1,000 to over $30,000. Some individuals will need an altogether different residence because such renovations are impossible. The more assistance an individual will need, the more their compensation can increase.
When to Seek Help
After suffering from a catastrophic injury, victims should focus on hiring an attorney for help. When hiring a lawyer, you will quickly discover that an experienced attorney will also have a realistic settlement number in mind.
Have you suffered from a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s negligence or purposeful harm? The Law Offices of Daniel Kim provides one-on-one legal services to get our clients maximum compensation. We fully prepare our cases for trial, even with the knowledge that most vehicle lawsuits are settled out of court. We want the best for our clients and work hard for them.
If you need a personal injury attorney for your catastrophic injury, schedule a free consultation with our law firm today.