Injuries – no matter how big or small, can be unnerving and stressful for not only you as a victim but also your family and loved ones. While you cannot put a price on mental peace and well-being, you can definitely start by holding the party responsible for your injury accountable and liable to compensation. As you may already know, only 4-5% of injury lawsuits actually go to trial, but the odds are higher for catastrophic injuries that have long-term impacts since the settlement amount is likely to be higher as well.
Considering the higher number of economic and non-economic repercussions resulting from catastrophic injuries, finding the right lawyer who can get you fair compensation is quite crucial. However, it is important to first understand what catastrophic injuries are, and the specific ways in which they can impact the victims:
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are very similar to personal injuries, however, they are more life-threatening. These injuries are ones that can leave individuals with life-altering consequences that may include extensive treatment and care, a lot of medical equipment, or personal assistance caused by an accident or event.
According to a recent study, around 54 people out of a million suffer spinal cord injury, and more than 2.8 million people reported traumatic brain injuries in the United States. When an individual incurs such an injury, they can end up going through a lot of emotional and financial hardships, which can often lead to high financial losses for the victims and their families.
Such injuries can include:
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of eyesight or organs
- Permanent disability
Considering this, it is important to distinguish between catastrophic injuries and personal injuries effectively. Here are three major differences between the two that you should know about:
One of the major distinctions between personal injuries and ones that are catastrophic is the impact that the latter leaves on the victim. Catastrophic injuries can leave you with long-term impacts, in terms of physical manifestations and the subsequent financial implications, unlike personal injuries.
Some of the common long-term impacts of catastrophic injuries include:
- Lost income
- The projected loss of future income
- Future medical needs
- Medical care and rehabilitation
- Lost quality of life
When you file a lawsuit with the goal of getting financial compensation for catastrophic injuries, the long-term implications of the injuries and projected costs or loss of income are some of the primary considerations. These parameters play a crucial role in deciding the compensation amount that may be necessary for handling the financial future of the victim and any dependents they might have.
Costs and Repercussions
As mentioned before, apart from life-threatening and altering injuries that may leave individuals maimed or disabled for a long time, or worse, for the rest of their lives, there are many financial implications that the victims and their families need to incur. For many families, these costs can lead to financial ruin, making financial compensation for the accident, not just fair, but also necessary.
Some of the major costs that you may have to incur as a result of catastrophic injuries are:
- Medical costs
- Long-term rehabilitation costs
- Day-to-day expenses without income
The repercussions and costs arising out of catastrophic injuries are a lot greater than personal injuries, which is why characterizing them is important. With that in mind, the compensations claimed and expected for such injuries are a lot higher compared to personal injuries, and the process of filing a lawsuit is a lot harder.
Law and Litigation
Unfortunately, even with the serious injuries and life-long impacts that can come with catastrophic injuries, the legal process to claim compensation for such an injury is far more complicated compared to a personal injury lawsuit. Since these cases generally involve larger claims and settlements, victims have to go through a stressfully arduous process, if they decide to pursue the lawsuit.
Some of the common legal challenges that you may face in the process include:
- Disputes against the liability and accountability
- Challenging fault/role of the victim
- Expert testimonies and references about the victim’s quality of life and ability
Legally, the aforementioned challenges can complicate the lawsuit, and lengthen the process significantly. Considering this, you need to find an injury lawyer who can contest these challenges and secure fair compensation for the injuries incurred by you. You might also want to assess your lawyer’s ability to deal with catastrophic injury claims specifically so that you have the right legal counsel for your lawsuit.
Considering all the factors and parameters involved in putting together an injury lawsuit, every little detail might make or break your case. Since catastrophic injury lawsuits often result in hefty settlements, the victim needs to collate all the facts and evidence diligently for the lawsuit. The next important step is to, of course, get an adept personal injury lawyer who understands and knows the steps that need to be taken, so that your lawsuit is effective and successful in getting the necessary compensation.