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How We Handle Your Catastrophic Injury Claim

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Have you or a loved one suffered from a catastrophic injury?

Any sudden and unexpected injury can have a major impact on your life. However, catastrophic injuries result in permanent, irreversible damage that wreaks havoc on those affected by them. Catastrophic injuries include brain damage, spinal cord damage, amputations, and severe burns, among other things. Many of the accidents leading to these tragic results are entirely preventable.

If you or a loved one recently suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of another’s negligence, you may be able to obtain financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. If you are successful in bringing a catastrophic injury lawsuit, the damages you receive can ensure that you and your family are not forced to bear the brunt of the significant costs associated with the accident.

No Fee PromiseAt the law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., we provide compassionate yet aggressive representation to individuals and families living through the aftermath of a catastrophic injury. We recognize what a challenging time this is for your family. Understandably, rehashing the tragic events that led to the accident isn’t an easy thing to do, but it is a necessary part of the recovery process. At Console & Associates, P.C., we have 25 years of experience advocating on behalf of accident victims, and have developed an effective approach that makes the process as easy on you and your family as possible. If you want to learn more about Console & Associates, P.C. or the personal injury recovery process, give us a call to schedule a free consultation. Calling is risk-free because we will never pressure you to bring a case and, if you decide to move forward with a catastrophic accident lawsuit, we won’t bill you unless and until we can recover compensation on your behalf. That’s part of the “No Fee Promise” we make to each one of our clients.

Call us today at (866) 778-5500, and let us make this difficult time easier on your family.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

What makes an injury catastrophic? How do you know if you or your injured loved one suffered what would be considered catastrophic car accident injuries in the collision? Can injuries sustained in other ways be classified as catastrophic?

Catastrophic Injury Definitions

There are different ways to define “catastrophic injury.”

  • Legally speaking, the term ‘catastrophic injury’’ as defined in S. Code Title 42—The Public Health and Welfare refers to “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”
  • The American Medical Association considers a “catastrophic injury” to be a severe injury that affects the brain, spine, or spinal cord.
  • The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research includes under its definition of catastrophic injuries serious injuries that result in temporary functional disability but achieve full recovery, injuries that result in permanent functional disability, and fatalities.

These definitions each have different parameters, so an injury may be considered catastrophic under one definition but not another.

A ‘Simple Catastrophic Accident’ Meaning

Generally, when we use terms like “catastrophic accident” and “catastrophic injury,” we’re talking about an extreme level of severity of either the physical damage itself, the disability and loss of function the injury causes, or both. A catastrophic injury is likely to be one that causes some sort of disability, loss of function, or inability to work or results in a long-term or lifelong need for nursing care and assistance, medications, or assistive devices.

Plenty of injuries are serious or impact a victim’s life in serious ways without being catastrophic. Suppose you suffer a routine—but no less painful and disruptive—broken arm that results from a simple closed fracture to a single bone and heals normally with a cast. Your injury was serious, and it required medical treatment. Immobilizing the arm probably kept you from living your life normally in at least some ways, and it may have temporarily kept you out of work. However, in this situation, it generally wouldn’t reach the level of severity needed to constitute a catastrophic injury.

A catastrophic accident attorney can review your situation at no charge and help you understand not only whether your injuries are catastrophic but also what your legal rights are, regardless of whether or not your injuries meet this definition.

What Are the Types of Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries aren’t all the same, even though they have a similarly extreme impact on the life of the victim. Some of the categories of catastrophic injuries that can result from accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): An injury to the brain can cause physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional symptoms. Some types of TBIs include concussions, open head injuries, closed head injuries, intracranial hematomas, contusions, and diffuse axonal injury.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can cause complete or incomplete paralysis of the lower limbs only (paraplegia) or all four limbs (quadriplegia or tetraplegia).
  • Severe burns: Third- and fourth-degree burns, which burn both the top and bottom layers of skin and affect the tissues underneath, may affect nerve endings and require skin grafts.
  • Traumatic fractures: More serious than average broken bones, traumatic fractures may include fractures of the spine or skull, as well as multiple complex fractures of bones throughout the body.
  • Limb loss and amputation: When a body part is severed or a severe injury or infection necessitates amputation of the limb, it affects the victim’s life permanently.
  • Loss of sight or hearing: Acquired blindness or deafness, which may be caused by injuries like TBIs, eye injuries, and perforated eardrums, can have a major impact on an accident victim’s life.
  • Internal organ damage: Serious damage to internal organs can be catastrophic, especially when it has lasting effects on the victim’s health.

The attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. have experience handling accident cases involving all types of catastrophic injuries.

Who Is Liable for Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injury claims are civil legal matters through which your family can pursue financial compensation for the harm caused by a catastrophic accident. Several different defendants may face legal liability for a catastrophic injury, but to succeed in your claim, you need to prove that the person, company, or entity you’re suing was negligent.

Proving negligence requires you to establish certain points, like that the defendant owed you a duty of care and that a breach of duty of care caused your catastrophic injuries. By proving negligence, you could seek legal settlements from defendants like the following:

  • A driver whose negligence behind the wheel—whether due to distraction, intoxication, or a violation of basic traffic safety laws—caused the motor vehicle accident in which you suffered catastrophic injuries as another driver, a vehicle occupant, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian
  • The owner of a business or residential property whose failure to repair hazards and maintain the property in safe condition caused a fall or another accident that led to your injuries
  • The manufacturer of a defectively designed or produced consumer item that caused a catastrophic injury when it failed or malfunctioned
  • A healthcare practitioner or facility that was involved in medical malpractice that led to a catastrophic injury, such as birth injuries and botched surgeries
  • Any other party whose negligence resulted in a catastrophic injury

Your catastrophic accident attorney can examine the unique facts of your accident and investigate the matter to identify all potentially liable parties from which you could seek financial compensation.

What Are the Considerations in Determining the Value of Compensation in Catastrophic Injury Cases?

Determining how much money you’re entitled to for a catastrophic injury due to an accident is complicated. Some of the considerations that affect the value of catastrophic injury claims include:

Physical and Mental Injuries Suffered

The biggest factor that affects the value of a settlement is what physical injuries and resulting pain, suffering, and mental anguish the victim suffered. Since catastrophic injuries are, by definition, severe injuries, the value of catastrophic accident claims is typically high. Related factors that can raise the value of your claim include the treatment and recovery you have to go through after suffering a catastrophic injury in a car accident, the medical bills that arise, and the physical and emotional suffering you have gone through and are likely to continue to go through because of the injury.

Loss of Wages

Loss of wages after accidents can compound the troubles families are facing. Not only do your regular bills keep piling up, but the significant medical expenses of treating a catastrophic injury add up, too. Suddenly and unexpectedly losing out on the income the injured person usually provides for the family only adds to the financial stress. As part of their catastrophic injury claims, victims and their families can seek compensation for their missed income.

Loss of Future Earning Ability

Since catastrophic injuries often keep people from returning to work—or, in the case of children, from ever joining the workforce—the decrease in future earning ability is an important part of the compensation paid in these matters. If your injuries leave you permanently disabled or otherwise prevent you from holding down full-time employment, part of your claim will include your projected loss of future income.

How To Prove Liability in Catastrophic Injury Claims

To seek compensation for a catastrophic injury, you need to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. For the defendant to have legal liability for your injuries, you must establish the following elements of negligence:

  1. The existence of a duty of care owed to you, such as the duty to follow traffic safety laws when driving or to maintain a property in a safe condition
  2. A breach of duty of care, such as by violating traffic laws or allowing hazards to exist on the premises of a business
  3. Causation of your injuries by the defendant’s breach of duty
  4. Legally recognizable damages caused by the accident

Proving catastrophic accident liability is a challenging endeavor that requires a thorough investigation and gathering of evidence. Having professional legal representation makes the process of proving liability easier and puts you in a better position to secure the full amount of money damages you deserve.

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What Will a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Cost You?

Getting legal assistance after an accident doesn’t have to add to your family’s financial burden. Under our No Fee Promise, the catastrophic accident law firm of Console & Associates offers free legal advice, no-cost legal consultations, and no-win, no-fee legal representation. It costs nothing to have the unique facts of your case reviewed by our experienced legal professionals, and if you choose us to help you move forward with your claim, you’ll pay nothing unless and until we succeed in getting compensation for you.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Catastrophic Injury Attorney

When you’re coping with the chaotic aftermath of an extremely severe injury, the last thing you need is the stress of managing a legal matter. Hiring a no-win, no-fee catastrophic injury lawyer allows you to simplify the process of pursuing the compensation you deserve. Our catastrophic accident attorneys will handle everything from investigating the accident and collecting evidence to negotiating a settlement or representing you in court, so your family can focus on rehabilitation.

It’s not uncommon for a defendant to try to get out of paying a claim by attempting to blame the victim—and the more severe the injury, the more incentive the defendant has to do this. The legal team at Console & Associates, P.C. is used to seeing tactics like these, and we know how to minimize your liability and demonstrate the full extent of the defendant’s negligence. Our sound legal strategies and our commitment to going the extra mile has helped us secure six-figure catastrophic car accident settlements and settlements for other accident victims with catastrophic injuries, such as $635,000 for a bicyclist who sustained skull fractures in a hit-and-run crash and $900,000 for a little girl who sustained life-changing ankle injuries in a forklift accident.

Our legal team is standing by to evaluate your case for free and answer your questions about the legal process and your right to compensation. For a free, no-obligation legal consultation, call Console & Associates today at (866) 778-5500.

Catastrophic Accident Claims FAQs

How Long Do You Have to Sue for a Catastrophic Accident?

A catastrophic injury is likely to affect you for months or years, if not for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, your right to pursue compensation doesn’t last anywhere near as long as the accident’s impact on your life does.

Exactly how long you have to pursue a claim depends on the statute of limitations that applies in your state, but generally, these deadlines can be as short as one year after the accident or as long as four years. Other factors, such as if a defendant in your claim is a government entity, may impose additional deadlines on your legal rights.

No matter what your state’s statute of limitations says, the sooner you begin moving forward with your case, the better. Hiring legal representation early on allows your attorney to more effectively conduct a thorough investigation of the catastrophic accident and begin gathering evidence before it disappears.

Where Do Catastrophic Accident Settlements Come From?

While the at-fault driver, negligent property owner, or other defendant is the one who is legally liable for your catastrophic injuries, most personal injury lawsuit settlements aren’t paid directly by the defendant. Instead, they’re paid by an insurance company.

Depending on the circumstances of your injury, a catastrophic accident insurance payout might be made through any of the following types of insurance policies:

  • Auto insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Business insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Professional liability insurance, including malpractice insurance for healthcare providers

It’s not uncommon for accidents to be caused by the negligence of a person or entity that the victim has a relationship with, like the driver of a car in which the victim was a passenger or a retail store at which the victim was a regular customer. Knowing that you can get the compensation you need to move forward with life after a catastrophic injury without the defendant being directly responsible for paying your claim can be a relief if you are hesitant to sue a friend, relative, or acquaintance.

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