Catastrophic injuries can have lasting effects on a person's quality of life, including their capacity to work, participate in the things they once enjoyed doing, and care for themselves. If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury due to the carelessness of another party, the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm can help you file a claim for damages. This could include compensation for lost earnings, medical bills, suffering and pain, and other losses.
An Overview of a Catastrophic Injury
A catastrophic injury is often described as any illness or physical injury that is highly significant and can impact various parts of an individual's cognitive and physical ability. Though some people recover fully after suffering catastrophic injuries, many others are left with lasting disabilities and ongoing medical needs.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
The following are examples of the most common catastrophic injuries for which victims can seek legal assistance from a catastrophic injury attorney:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
After learning that you sustained a brain injury due to the actions or negligence of another individual, you would experience a wide range of emotions, including anger, frustration, confusion, and isolation. All traumatic brain injuries, such as commas, are potentially devastating. However, some are more serious than others and could have far-reaching effects on an individual's life, including their ability to think, memorize, feel, and sense, to name a few.
Spinal Cord Injuries
According to National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center statistics, around 18,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries yearly in the United States (NSCISC). Injuries to the spine are undoubtedly the most distressing type of catastrophic injury since they are often permanent. This means that the person will be affected for the rest of their life. This catastrophic injury impairs the spine's ability to transmit messages and signals between the brain and the body. When this happens, it causes paralysis from the location of the trauma downwards, which can have life-altering lasting consequences.
Loss of a limb is a severe, life-altering injury that has both psychological and physical consequences. Many individuals and occupations rely on the limbs for a living (for example, athletes, cooks, doctors, drivers, and so on), which complicates these circumstances. The loss of an arm, hand, foot, or leg due to injury is devastating, and while physiotherapy and prosthetics can help, nothing can bring back the original function of the limb.
A burn injury is regarded as catastrophic for various reasons, including the fact that they cause irreversible psychological and physical harm. Burn injuries are among the most excruciating types of catastrophic injuries. The "degree" or severity of any burn injury can vary significantly depending on various conditions. Burn injuries are potentially fatal and can cause permanent disability, disfigurement, and even death in extreme cases.
Accidents that leave victims with disfiguring scars, lifelong disabilities, or other forms of physical deformity are devastating and can have lasting psychological and emotional consequences. Some scars will stay with you for the rest of your life. However, a competent personal injury lawyer can file an injury claim and seek the maximum financial compensation for your bodily, present, and prospective psychological traumas allowing you to move on with your life.
Fractures of the Skull or the Spine
Severe skull or spine fractures (or serious fractures to other body regions) are sometimes described as catastrophic due to the risks of spinal cord or brain injury. Furthermore, treatment for such complex fractures could be highly specialized, risky, and very expensive due to the high likelihood of a much worse injury arising as a result of even a minor mistake.
Losing your sight, temporarily or permanently, could be an extremely distressing and frightening experience. What makes the circumstance even more devastating is learning that you could have avoided your impairment had the individual responsible not acted in negligence. Get in touch with professionals if you've had a severe eye injury that temporarily or permanently caused you to lose sight.
Causes of Catastrophic Injury
The following include some of the common types of accidents that often result in catastrophic injuries:
Motor Vehicle Accident
Car accidents result in a wide range of serious physical injuries. One severe injury that frequently results from these incidents is traumatic brain damage. When another driver's negligence causes a car crash, you should consult your personal injury attorney to determine what kind of compensation you're entitled to.
Most motorists get accustomed to sharing the road with large trucks. However, there is a high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death if you are involved in a crash with a large truck. Large trucks like these have the potential to exert enormous amounts of force, which would do extensive damage to any passenger vehicle they collided with.
Some individuals find hopping on the back of their motorcycle and going for a ride is the best way to release some tension. Failure to recognize how risky this mode of transport can be can result in significant injuries. These kinds of accidents could cause catastrophic bodily harm because of the lack of safety and protection provided by motorcycles.
Proving Negligence In a Catastrophic Injury Case
Although it could be challenging to pinpoint negligence in a catastrophic incident that has occurred, it's not impossible. If someone else's negligence caused the accident, you and your lawyer would need to demonstrate that.
The first thing is to gather as much proof as you can. You could do this immediately at the accident scene, but a full investigation will be completed much later. For a claim to be successful, your attorney should demonstrate that each of the following four elements is present:
It is necessary to demonstrate that a duty of care has been violated before a case can proceed further. Evidence of a breach of the defendant's duty to the victim is required. However, the nature of the breach would vary based on the case's specifics. A driver's duty of care could be infringed if they are operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or preoccupied. A medical professional may violate his or her duty of care if he or she does not get a patient's medical history before treating them.
Establishing that the offender was obligated to care for the victim is essential. The specifics of this investigation depend on the nature of the injury. When operating a motor vehicle, for instance, drivers are responsible to the public to do so safely. The property owners are responsible for exercising reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of everybody legally present on their premises.
Attorneys have the burden of proving causation after demonstrating that their client was injured due to a breach of duty.
Lastly, it should be proven that the victim suffered a monetary loss due to the injuries. You should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney specializing in catastrophic injury cases to assist you in establishing negligence. Since catastrophic injury claims aren't always black and white, the opposing party would seek to shift all or a portion of the responsibility onto the injured party or a third party. To convince the insurance company or the jury, a catastrophic injury lawyer will use their collected information to present a clear picture.
The Role of a Phoenix Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Your Case
After a vehicle accident or other damage caused by negligence, you have up to 2 years to bring your personal injury case in an Arizona court. If you file a claim for compensation in Phoenix after the statute of limitations has passed, your claim will be dismissed.
If you've suffered serious injuries in Arizona, you can benefit by speaking with a catastrophic injury attorney.
Establishing Liability After a Phoenix Accident
Sometimes people think that they are ineligible to claim because they contributed in some way to the accident. In contrast, the state of Arizona applies the pure comparative negligence law in cases involving personal injuries.
If you win a personal injury lawsuit and the jury or judge determines that you were somewhat liable, they will lower the amount of money you are entitled to receive. If you do not want to pursue legal action in court, an experienced Arizona attorney focusing on catastrophic injuries could reach a settlement on your behalf with the insurer.
Evaluating Your Compensation Alternatives
Injury claims in Arizona are handled under a fault system. If you are seriously hurt in an accident that was at least to some degree someone else's fault, you have the option of either:
- Submit a claim to your own insurer, and they will seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurance
- Claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company
- Claim damages in court
If you begin negotiations with the insurer and the adjuster proposes compensation that doesn't adequately compensate you for your injuries, you can file a lawsuit. If the negligent motorist does not carry enough insurance to cover your claim, you could also choose to launch a lawsuit. Drivers in Arizona are only required to carry $15,000 in physical injury liability for each individual and $30,000 for each accident. Damages from serious accidents can quickly run into the six figures.
The Different Forms of Compensation That Are Available For Phoenix Catastrophic Injury Claims
Anyone in Arizona who suffered harm as a result of someone else's negligence ought to be entitled to seek financial recompense for their damages. There are several different sorts of compensation accessible following a claim for catastrophic injury brought on by someone else. A lawyer who specializes in catastrophic injury cases can work to have the client's financial and emotional losses compensated.
Special damages are one common term for this category of losses. After a serious injury has occurred, the monetary damages are reasonably easy to calculate. A lawyer can accurately determine the following by compiling receipts and bills:
- All medical costs resulting from the injury
- Costs related to property damage
- The necessity for medical equipment or at-home care
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost income from an absence from work
These losses are more difficult to estimate because they only sometimes involve provable expenses. Although there might not be any invoices or receipts associated with these losses, there's a means to put a tag on these damages effectively:
- Losses due to suffering and physical pain
- Psychological and emotional trauma
- The inability to enjoy life
- Losing a spouse's company or companionship, or that of a family member
Phoenix does not have a fixed compensation policy for claims involving catastrophic injuries. Instead, several variables will be considered to decide how much is sufficient to give a person.
The extent of the damage, the presence or absence of shared responsibility, the length of recovery, the development of any disabilities, and the victim's capacity to perform their previous job duties are all taken into consideration.
Wrongful Death After a Catastrophic Injury
Accidents or catastrophic injuries are serious and frequently pose a risk of death. Many patients get the care they need quickly to avoid permanent damage, and they can exit the hospital after their condition has stabilized. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone.
Injuries from accidents account for a disproportionate share of fatalities across the country, and most of these devastating injuries are entirely avoidable.
The news that a beloved member of one's family passed away as the result of an injury from an accident is distressing. In addition to going through a great deal of grief and suffering, you also have to contend with the actual and financial repercussions of the death.
This could consist of:
- Potential loss of household income when the deceased was the breadwinner
- Losing out on domestic services, such as cleaning, childcare, and lawn care, among others
- Lost counsel, company, affection, and care
- The cost of the burial and funeral services
- Providing financial support for life-saving procedures before their passing
An accident victim cannot file a lawsuit for personal injury if they pass away as a result of a catastrophic injury. However, this still doesn't imply that the negligent person avoids responsibility. Rather, the law enables close relatives to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to recover losses.
Consult your attorney if a family member suffers a fatal injury as a result of the negligence of another person.
How are Disability Benefits for Permanent Impairment Determined?
If you've suffered a catastrophic injury, putting a monetary value on your claim could be tough. This is because the sum that you will receive is sometimes predetermined in advance. Additionally, the Industrial Commission of Arizona categorizes claims for permanent disability into two main groups:
The state's statutes governing workers' compensation already cover this catastrophic injury. In most cases, this refers to the kinds of injuries that could be anticipated to occur at work, including those that impact the legs, feet, arms, or hands. Scheduled injuries are those which have a predetermined standard amount that is utilized to evaluate your disability payments.
In most circumstances, the entire loss of a certain scheduled part of the body will result in compensation equal to 55% of your typical earnings. This sum can go up approximately 75% of your typical monthly income in a severe case where you are unable to resume your obligations at work.
The extent of some injuries is more difficult to quantify because it varies from case to case. These kinds of injuries are not included on the scheduled list and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account things like the likelihood of a full or partial recovery and the possibility of finding suitable alternative employment.
This category encompasses most catastrophic injuries. If it does, your compensation will be based on how much money you were able to earn before your injury and how much money you will be able to earn when you recover from it.
Monthly payments are made for both forms of permanent disability claims, and the entire process, from the notice issued by the insurer to payment, takes about 90 days.
What Is the Value of Your Catastrophic Injury Claim?
Your case could be worth a lot if you suffer a catastrophic or life-altering injury due to someone else's negligence. The value of the personal injury lawsuit will typically increase in direct proportion to how much the injuries impact your standard of living.
Although each personal injury case is unique, most plaintiffs in Arizona can seek compensation for the following losses when filing a personal injury lawsuit:
- Future and current medical bills
- Lost income
- Suffering and pain
- Lost the ability to earn
- Personal expenses
- Mental suffering
- Physical suffering
- Deterioration in the standard of living
- Disability accommodations
What Should You Do After Suffering A Catastrophic Injury?
Always seek the necessary medical care first. This may involve taking a ride in an ambulance or staying in the hospital. You must get a proper diagnosis and begin treatment immediately, regardless of how much it would cost. Getting treatment right away will help the injury claim go more smoothly because you'll have documentation for your injuries.
The next step is to make sure that you always get assistance from a catastrophic injury attorney. An accomplished personal injury lawyer will take care of all the details of your case and advise you on the best course of action to take to defend your legal rights following an accident.
Find a Phoenix Catastrophic Injury Attorney Near Me
Since every catastrophic injury case is unique, you require legal counsel that will collect the evidence after a catastrophic car accident and assist you in obtaining the medical care and monetary compensation you require to rebuild your life.
At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we defend accident victims in court to alleviate their burden of negotiating with insurers, lienholders, and medical bill collectors so that they can focus on getting well. Call us at 602-641-9589 immediately to schedule your free case evaluation.