What Are Catastrophic Injuries ? Part 1
Personal injury lawsuits based on catastrophic injuries can present unique legal issues. In legal circles, it is generally understood that a catastrophic injury is one that injuries the plaintiff so severely, there are long-term or permanent disability and/or disfigurement.
There is no precise legal definition of a catastrophic injury, but they usually involve a long recovery, many surgeries, and possibly a lifetime of follow up medical treatments. A plaintiff who has a catastrophic injury may never be able to return to work.
One of the major factors in whether the injury is catastrophic is how debilitating the injury is and the extent to which the debilitation is expected to go on. For example, if the person has a serious brain injury in a car accident and cannot perform typical life functions and will require assistance for the long term to live, then the brain injury is catastrophic.
Another important factor is the effect the injury has of on the life and the ability of the person to earn a living. Long term injuries that lead to permanent disability and keep the person from earning a living are probably catastrophic.
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NEXT: What Are Catastrophic Injuries? Part 2
In all personal injury cases, the injured party may be entitled to financial compensation. This means compensation for all losses caused by the injuries and the effects on their life. Damages are not just a lot higher in a catastrophic case, but the facts and arguments that must be made to prove those damages are more complicated. The Herron Law Firm is experienced in catastrophic injury cases and can help you with your case.
If the defendant is found liable for your catastrophic injuries, the defendant must pay damages to make you whole. That means, as much as possible, you will receive enough money to pay all of your expenses and make up for your pain and suffering and loss of quality of life from the catastrophic injury. Your attorney will need to make strong arguments and present many facts to prove the extent of your injuries.
For instance, you may have a TBI and are just starting the long recovery process, but you also face many years of expensive medical care. The attorneys for each party must have a good grasp of the medical process to negotiate a settlement. Usually, medical experts must testify to what the future medical treatments will be and what they will cost.
Depending on the state, there can be limits that you can receive in a medical malpractice case. Usually, the limits are on non-economic damages such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
The caps will vary but usually are from $250,000 to $750,000. Many caps give plaintiffs who suffered a catastrophic injury such as a TBI more than the normal limit. It could be an unlimited amount or up to $1 million or $1.5 million.