The consequences of a personal injury on your life and talents may be considered “catastrophic” by the law. If you think you are in need of an experienced catastrophic injury law firm, read the rest of this blog to learn more!
In the field of personal injury law, it’s frequently debatable whether a particular incident resulted in a “catastrophic” injury. This issue is important for a variety of reasons, including how claims are paid out and what damage caps may be imposed by law on the overall claim.
Let’s take a look at what constitutes a catastrophic injury and why it might be so important to the outcome of a lawsuit.
What Is A Catastrophic Injury?
From a legal standpoint, these are injuries that merit a higher degree of compensation than a typical personal injury case. Although they are still considered personal injuries, they fulfill a threshold for higher damages – a fact that is especially crucial in jurisdictions that have adopted no-fault vehicle insurance systems or have enacted aggressive tort reform.
A catastrophic injury is one that leaves a person:
With a lifelong impairment
Severely scarred, misshapen, or disfigured
Completely unable to continue to make money
In a long term care facility
The argument behind granting greater compensation to catastrophically injured victims is simple: they will suffer more, and they will want more money to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, and other expenses.
Catastrophic Injuries Include
It’s sometimes easier to consider what does not qualify as catastrophic personal harm. A person involved in a slip-and-fall mishap in a store, for example, may break their forearm while attempting to brace themselves during the fall. We usually expect a broken forearm to mend quickly unless there are unique conditions.
On the other hand, there are some injuries from which a person may never fully recover. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it includes:
Comatose due to brain injury
Spinal injury that makes it difficult to walk
Scars on the face
Injuries to body components that are essential to their work
Workplace accidents that are catastrophic
The most difficult cases to prove are those involving work.
To begin, it’s important to note that a connection between your handicap and your job must already exist. However, you cannot sue for damages if you are unable to perform a hypothetical job that you formerly desired.
There must be proof that you were engaged in the line of work you claim. For example, a computer programmer who had their hand severely damaged, limiting their ability to type, would have good reason to seek compensation beyond the ordinary personal injury claim.
A person may also claim a catastrophic injury in the following circumstances:
Disfigurement due to faulty cosmetic products
Paralyzation due to a workplace accident
They suffered significant digestive tract injury as a result of a pharmacist’s error.
Why does it matter?
By focusing solely on a personal injury claim, you may be limiting the amount of compensation you receive. Many states have damage ceilings that limit the amount of money awarded in personal injury claims. However, almost all of them contain exceptions for catastrophic injuries.
This is the big question:
What amount of money will I require to live comfortably for the rest of my life?
It’s easy to think of millions of dollars in large accident settlements as a windfall when you read about them. Imagine being 20 years old and having to pay for medical treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the next 50 years. Costs mount quickly, and a catastrophic injury settlement helps to cover some of these immediate and long-term expenses.
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, don’t hesitate to contact us today! Ace Lakhani Law Firm has experienced attorneys that specialize in navigating catastrophic injury cases.