When Does a Personal Injury Case Become Catastrophic?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Jan V. Hinson with Tilton & Tilton LLP.
Personal injuries are considered catastrophic based not only on the severity of the injury itself but also on the damages which will need to be compensated in order to recover the victim’s quality of life. Catastrophic injury cases are often eligible for higher compensation to make up for past, present, and future medical costs as well as additional life care costs which might be necessary for recovery and to engage sufficiently with daily life and activities. Certain damages may be claimed in a catastrophic injury case that an injury victim may not be eligible for in a lesser injury case. To learn more about what kind of damages may be available to the victim of a catastrophic injury, reach out to an experienced catastrophic injury attorney. These attorneys have access to expert resources to help with a patient’s physical and financial recovery, in addition to helping predict future expenses which are likely to arise as a result of the injury.
Injuries which are more likely to be catastrophic:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of limb injuries
- Loss of movement injuries
Any kind of injury which affects a person’s ability to engage with their daily life in the way they did before may be considered catastrophic.
Even more significant than the economic damages caused by these injuries such as medical bills and lost wages, are non-economic damages such as loss of enjoyment of life. When someone sustains an injury that prevents them from being able to pick up their child or throw a ball with friends, that is a catastrophic damage and should be included in compensation. An injury which affects your ability to work in your chosen profession, to perform daily functions, or to interact with loved ones may be considered catastrophic. Additionally, an injury which results in permanent disfigurement, disability, or scarring may also be considered catastrophic due to the predicted effect those results may have on the victim’s life.
It often takes expert analysis to identify the future expenses which should be compensated for in a catastrophic injury case.
Damages which are present in a catastrophic injury case might not be immediately obvious to the victim. Before accepting a settlement offer or seeking compensation for a catastrophic injury, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney and make use of their expert resources to identify and estimate the value of future expenses. For example, will your home require modifications for the injured party to live comfortably? Does the injured party need a wheelchair? If so, how long will the wheelchair last before a new one is needed? Discussing your situation with someone experienced in catastrophic injury cases can ensure that you receive compensation not only for current damages but for future ones as well. If money is an issue, it might help to note that most of these attorneys offer free consultations and may work on contingency besides. If you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury, seek legal counsel from an experienced catastrophic injury attorney before deciding how to proceed.