Catastrophic Injuries

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Suffering a catastrophic injury is one of the worst things you or a loved one can experience. In addition to the physical pain, there are lasting emotional injuries, financial strain, permanent injury, and life-altering changes. Contacting an experienced catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible after the event is one of the most important things to do when you are facing this situation. They will ensure you or your family member receives the damages owed, as well as navigate around insurance companies and the statute of limitations.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

Generally, a catastrophic injury is major trauma that was inflicted upon a person. Such trauma could be targeted to the head, neck, chest, or limbs, or over multiple areas of the body. They are usually sudden and unexpected, especially in terms of vehicle or workplace accidents. Public transportation can also be a potential cause of a catastrophic injury, such as train or bus accidents. Catastrophic injuries can even have a negative effect on the central nervous system, making someone more susceptible to illnesses like pneumonia, or pulmonary issues, to name a couple.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can happen in a number of ways. Some of the most common ways include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, defective products, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, public transportation accidents, and even intentional acts against another person or people.

Some injuries someone can receive include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Severe burns
  • Partial or complete amputation
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
  • Neurological disorders
  • Joint and limb injuries

Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Catastrophic injuries are life-changing. Because of this, and the fact that the person who suffered these injuries will no longer be able to maintain the quality of life they enjoyed prior to their accident. In addition to the pain and suffering, they are entitled to receive damages. A skilled catastrophic injury attorney will know whether or not they have a case, as well as who and what to pursue. Catastrophic injury survivors are eligible to receive both compensatory and punitive damages. An insurance adjuster will utilize a formula to determine the amount of damages someone might be able to receive based on the above factors, with a multiplier of between 1.5 and 5 depending on the severity of the injuries. From there, an attorney will be able to determine whether the amount is fair, or if a higher amount needs to be argued. They will also determine whether the case should be settled in or out of court.

Compensatory Damages

Someone who has sustained catastrophic injuries is eligible for compensatory damages. These include economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are the non-tangible things a person experiences. This includes past and future pain and suffering, loss of family, social, and educational experiences, emotional trauma, and loss of quality of life. It should be noted that puts caps on non-economic damages. Currently, the cap on non-economic damages is set at $845,000. Economic damages are quantifiable. They include medical bills, rehabilitation bills, loss of income, loss of pension, and if applicable to the situation, property damage. A highly experienced catastrophic injury lawyer will be able to determine what damages to pursue in a catastrophic injury case.

Punitive Damages

Someone who has sustained catastrophic injuries can also potentially be eligible for punitive damages. These are very rarely awarded, and are reserved for when a gross act of negligence, malpractice, or other harm has been perpetrated on an individual. Punitive damages serve to act as both a punishment against the person or entity who caused harm to the plaintiff, and a deterrent against individuals or entities who might otherwise act in a similar manner, and can be awarded at up to ten times the amount of compensatory damages. It is up to the judge or jury as to whether punitive damages should be pursued in someone’s catastrophic injury case, however.

Importance of a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered catastrophic injury, contact our catastrophic injury attorneys today. They will go over the facts of your case during your free consultation, and help you through this difficult process.

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