How Can a Lawyer Help in a Catastrophic Injury Case?
Catastrophic injuries may include but are not limited to burns, amputations, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, nerve damage, blindness, and fractures. If you suffer a catastrophic injury because someone else was negligent, contact a Bethesda catastrophic injury attorney at once.
Catastrophic injuries occur in a variety of ways: traffic crashes, job site accidents, by using defective products, and even by merely tripping or slipping and falling. The physical and financial cost of a catastrophic injury is enormous. The victims may require medical care for life.
Are You at Risk?
Are you – or is someone you love – at risk for a catastrophic injury? What are your rights if you’re catastrophically injured? How can you be compensated? Are injury claims handled differently when those claims are for catastrophic injuries? Will you need an attorney’s help?
Anyone could suddenly be catastrophically injured. If you’ll keep reading this brief discussion of catastrophic injuries and your rights, you will learn the answers to these important questions.
What Is the Definition of a “Catastrophic” Injury?
The law does not define which injuries are and are not “catastrophic.” Anyone who has been injured by another person’s negligence may take legal action to recover compensation from the negligent party.
Of course, as a general rule, a more serious injury will require more compensation. What sets catastrophic injury cases apart is the medical complexity of these cases and the profound negative impact that the injury has had on the victim’s life and loved ones.
Usually, when an injury damages the head, brain, or spinal cord, it is considered catastrophic. The leading causes of catastrophic injuries are slip-and-fall incidents, traffic accidents, and sports accidents. Nevertheless, almost any accident can potentially result in a catastrophic injury.
When they are not life-threatening, catastrophic injuries are life-changing injuries, sometimes resulting in disabilities such as organ damage or loss, the loss of a limb, blindness, scarring or disfigurement, and paralysis.
What Expenses Are Catastrophic Injury Victims Likely to Incur?
If you sustain an injury which requires continuing medical attention and long periods of hospitalization, your medical expenses may include:
- multiple surgeries
- extensive physical therapy
- home or institutional nursing care
- psychological counseling
- medical equipment (a wheelchair or a hospital bed for the home, for example)
What Are Your Rights as an Injury Victim?
If you’re injured catastrophically because someone else was careless in the Bethesda area or anywhere in Maryland or Virginia, you may be compensated for your current and projected future medical costs, your lost wages and earning capacity, and your personal pain and suffering.
The victim of a catastrophic injury loses the ability to earn a living while simultaneously incurring substantial long-term medical expenses. If you will require years of medical treatment or lifelong care, you will need the maximum compensation amount that’s available.
You’ll also need the advice and services of a Bethesda catastrophic injury lawyer who knows how to recover the maximum compensation on your behalf. If more than one party was at fault for the accident that injured you, your lawyer will identify all potential sources of compensation.
Who May Be Liable for Catastrophic Injuries?
Depending on the specifics of the accident that caused your injury, the liability for a catastrophic injury could be assigned to:
- an intoxicated or distracted motorist who injured you in a traffic accident
- a property owner who neglected to fix a hazard on his or her premises
- a manufacturer who placed a defective consumer product on the market
- a malpracticing doctor or medical facility
- any other party whose negligent behavior caused a catastrophic injury
How Will a Bethesda Catastrophic Injury Attorney Help You?
Your lawyer will review the details of how you were injured and develop a strategy for recovering your compensation. In a Maryland or Virginia case arising from a catastrophic injury, the injury victim or “plaintiff” and his or her personal injury lawyer must prove:
- The negligent party or “defendant” owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- The defendant breached the obligation to act with care by behaving negligently.
- As a direct result of that negligence, the plaintiff suffered a catastrophic injury.
Do not speak to any representative of the defendant’s insurance company, sign any insurance documents, or accept a quick settlement offer. Instead, let your attorney do the talking for you. Your attorney will be an experienced negotiator who will insist on a fair and just settlement.
If Your Claim Cannot Be Resolved Out-of-Court
However, if no reasonable settlement amount is forthcoming in the out-of-court negotiations, your attorney will take your injury claim to trial, tell a jury what happened, and ask the jury to order the defendant (or in most cases, the defendant’s insurance company) to compensate you.
If your case goes to trial, you and your injury attorney will need to prove that the defendant’s negligence was a direct cause of your catastrophic injury. You may also need the testimony of a qualified medical expert who can testify regarding the nature and the extent of your injury.
When Should You Contact a Bethesda Catastrophic Injury Attorney?
There is a time limit for taking legal action after a catastrophic injury. The statute of limitations – that is, the deadline for filing a personal injury claim – is three years from the date of your injury in Maryland. In Virginia, the deadline is two years. Do not wait that long to speak with a lawyer.
If you sustain any injury due to someone else’s carelessness, seek medical attention first, and then promptly contact a Maryland catastrophic injury attorney. If you wait, the evidence in your case could deteriorate or disappear, and the memories of the witnesses may fade.
You may wonder how you can afford an attorney if you’ve been catastrophically injured, if you can’t work, and if your medical bills as well as your monthly obligations are piling up. A Bethesda catastrophic injury attorney can help you launch the legal process.
It Costs You Nothing to Begin the Personal Injury Process
Personal injury lawyers in Maryland and Virginia offer catastrophic injury victims a free case review with no obligation. It’s your opportunity to learn if you qualify to file a catastrophic injury claim and to learn how the law may apply in your own situation.
If you and your attorney move forward with legal action, you will pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your attorney recovers compensation – and wins justice – on your behalf.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, let a Bethesda catastrophic injury attorney hold the negligent party accountable and recover the compensation you need and deserve.