What Is a Catastrophic Injury Case in Personal Injury Law?
Personal injuries are one of the things that no one ever signs up for in life. And, unfortunately, they always come unannounced, leaving the victim with a great deal of pain, loss, and misfortune.
Personal injuries can result from different kinds of accidents, usually all stemming from negligence and irresponsible behaviour. When the results of the accident are especially too severe on the victim, it can be labelled as a catastrophic injury.
While all personal injuries can be devastating, catastrophic injuries are much more serious, which means they need special care and solid experience. You will definitely need the help of an experienced lawyer if your personal injury is catastrophic, as they are much more difficult to handle. It’s also important to keep in mind that personal injury laws differ according to the state you’re living in and the place of the accident. So if you are living in Las Vegas, Nevada, your best bet is to seek a personal injury lawyer Las Vegas consult. They’ll be the most experienced professionals when it comes to the laws of your state.
So how do you know if your personal injury is catastrophic? How does a normal personal injury differ from a catastrophic injury? Here’s everything you need to know about your case.
What is a personal injury?
If you’ve ever been exposed to physical injury as a result of a defective product, car accident, or a negligent party, then you have the right to file a personal injury claim. The laws of personal injury exist to help the victim become whole again after suffering from an accident. Personal injuries can result from many incidents, such as the following:
- Car, truck, and motor vehicle accidents,
- Defective products,
- Medical and pharmaceutical malpractice,
- Intentional harmful acts,
- Work-related injuries,
- Slip and falls,
When subjected to personal injury, whether it is due to negligence, intentional harm, or strict liability, you are usually faced with two options. You can settle for compensation from the other party (or their insurance company), or sue them through filing a personal injury claim. When you settle for compensation, you give up your right to sue, but it removes a lot of the hassle that will go into the courts while your case is being processed. It can be difficult to choose the best option for you, and there are a lot of factors you need to put into mind before proceeding.
Most of the time, when the other party is completely at fault, and their insurers or lawyers know so, they’ll try to get you to settle. The compensation offered in those cases might not be fair to you, and they know that if you proceeded into filing a lawsuit that they will lose so much more. Before deciding to settle for compensation, you should calculate the true worth of your damages and losses and never settle for less than you deserve. If your negotiations with them don’t go anywhere, then it might be in your best interest to proceed with filing a personal injury claim.
When does the injury become catastrophic?
Incidents that result in personal injury can leave the victim harmed physically and emotionally, and they may also result in property damage. When the injuries are too severe to the extent that they alter the victim’s life forever after the incident, they are considered catastrophic. There are different laws in each state and country, and mostly there isn’t a specific definition of catastrophic injuries. However, most laws can agree that a catastrophic injury permanently prevents the victim from being able to maintain a life in which they can work and have sufficient financial stability to take care of themselves and their families.
What classifies as a catastrophic injury is any injury that results in permanent disability or disfigurement that prevents the victim from leading their life as they normally used to. To give you a more detailed idea about types of catastrophic injuries, here are some examples:
- Injuries resulting in loss of limbs or amputation,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Injuries that result in complete or partial paralysis,
- Serious burn injuries,
- Multiple bone fractures
- Severe organ damage,
- Severe scarring and disfigurement.
Calculating the damages in a catastrophic injury
Catastrophic injuries are much more serious than any other personal injuries, and this makes weighing the damages much harder. The “damages” is the legal term used to try to measure in financial terms the degree of harm the victim has suffered. In any personal injury case, catastrophic injuries included, there are two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are pretty straightforward; they represent the amount of money that is lost or will be lost as a result of the injury. Economic damages include (but are not limited to) costs of medical bills, prescriptions, physical therapy, and any past, present, and future medical expenses. They also include the cost of repairing damages to property, transportation costs, lost earnings that the victim would have otherwise been earned if not for the injury, and future business opportunities that have been lost, too. Basically, economic damages are about all of the tangible losses and damages that the victim can prove their worth by submitting the needed documents, receipts, and invoices.
Non-economic damages are trickier because they’re supposed to cover the costs of the non-tangible losses resulting from the injury. All of the emotional trauma, PTSD, pain, and suffering resulting from the injury should somehow be evaluated and translated into a number. The best course of action is for the victims to seek the help of an experienced attorney, who’ll be able to get the needed professional statements to testify for the victim’s case.
After experiencing misfortune events, there can be many physical, emotional, and materialistic damages and losses. Catastrophic injuries are injuries that are too severe to the extent that they permanently alter the victim’s life. They are the most serious forms of personal injuries, and they need the help of an experienced lawyer to properly represent your case and get you the fair amount of compensation you deserve.