A catastrophic injury — whether from a fall, a car accident, a workplace accident, or another type of injury — can mean significant changes to your life, and significant damages. Just what goes into the calculation of the amount of damages you may be able to recover after a catastrophic injury?
A catastrophic injury can be defined in various ways, but generally, it describes an injury that was fatal, caused a permanent disability, or led to a marked change in the circumstances of the victim’s life. In personal injury law, there is no single, set definition of this term, and whether an injury is considered catastrophic will depend largely on the unique facts of each case. Some examples of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal injuries, paralysis, severe burns, the loss of limbs or amputations, and serious internal injuries.
Damages include out-of-pocket costs, such as medical and hospital bills, which can be quite significant in a catastrophic injury case. after an accident, as well as your lost wages if you are unable to work.
Additionally, you may be able to recover for your general damages, like the chronic pain and suffering that is often caused by a catastrophic injury, along with the detrimental effects of the accident that affect your general quality of life, such as disfigurement and physical impairments.
There are many different variables that can affect the amount of compensation you may receive for your damages in a catastrophic injury case. For example:
- The extent of your medical expenses. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, your medical expenses will likely be very high. They can include hospital stays, the costs of prescriptions, visits with your physicians and specialists, the costs of any medical testing and imaging, and expenses for physical, occupational, and other types of therapy. In a catastrophic injury case, these medical expenses can be astronomical. It’s important that you have trusted legal help to assist you with recovery.
- Whether you are able to return to work after your accident. In many cases, a catastrophic injury renders the victim unable to work in their current position, resulting in lost wages. Additionally, the victim may be unable to work in any job in the future – whether temporarily or permanently – which means the loss of future wages may be able to be added to the calculation of damages.
- Life-changing injuries and a decline in your quality of life. In many catastrophic injury cases, the victim is no longer able to engage in many of the activities in which they could previously partake. For example, leisure activities that are now too difficult or too painful to enjoy. Moreover, many catastrophic injury victims experience crushing, chronic pain and suffering. Some also experience life-altering scarring, the loss of body parts, and the loss of body functions.
- The likelihood of proving liability, and the willingness of the other party and their insurance company to negotiate. Generally, catastrophic injury claims involve some form of negligence, which will require you to prove both the extent of your damages and liability by the other party — in other words, that the other party’s actions were directly responsible for your injuries. If the other party is willing to negotiate, that makes it more likely to aim for a settlement; however, if negotiations fail, you may still be able to recover in court. To assist with negotiations, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help go up against large insurance companies.
- The strength of your case and evidence. In order to prevail on your claim, you will need to prove both liability and damages, and that proof may hinge on the strength of your claim and the evidence you’ve gathered. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you collect, categorize, and present your evidence in order to strengthen your case.
Although it’s impossible to predict the potential amount of damages in your catastrophic injury claim with absolute precision, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help assess your injuries and damages accurately. Determining the value of your damages is extremely important in a catastrophic injury claim, as is the ability to negotiate with the other party and their insurance company, in order to arrive at a fair and reasonable settlement offer. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be invaluable in assessing, ascertaining, and proving your damages.
Our client-focused practice creates a warm and welcoming environment where we can focus on your needs so that you can focus on putting your life back together. With over 35 years of combined experience, we have helped clients with catastrophic injuries recover compensation.
We negotiate on your behalf towards a favorable settlement so that you can focus on getting better after a catastrophic injury. Even when the other party or their insurer are not negotiating fairly, the personal injury attorneys at Johnson Garcia can help, and we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to trial if needed. If you have suffered a serious injury, do not hesitate to contact Johnson Garcia for a free consultation.