Philadelphia Catastrophic Personal Injury Attorney Defending the Rights of Clients With Serious Injuries in PA
From nursing homes to public transit and the workplace, a catastrophic injury can happen anywhere and alter a victim’s life significantly. The Boonswang Law Firm has a team of catastrophic injury lawyers with experience litigating a wide variety of personal injury cases. Here are a few important answers to catastrophic injury questions.
What Is a Catastrophic Personal Injury?
A catastrophic injury is considered to be serious enough to leave the victim with long-term or even permanent consequences. The injured person is left struggling with issues such as temporary partial or total disability, permanent disability, spinal cord injuries, loss of body function (such as vision or hearing loss), scarring, amputation, and facial injuries. In addition, other potential conditions that are classified as catastrophic injuries include permanent disfigurement or physical and mental deficits, such as memory loss or impaired mobility due to neurological issues.
Much like a simple personal injury claim, a catastrophic injury is usually the result of an accident or dangerous condition caused by another person’s negligent actions. The case is usually built on the premise that the at-fault party breached the duty of care they owed toward the victim and their negligence was the main cause of the unsafe situation that led to the accident, and the victim suffered catastrophic injuries mostly because the at-fault party breached their duty of care.
Catastrophic injuries usually result in life-altering damages for the injured person. This may mean a long and painful recovery or the prospect of dealing with the consequences of the accident permanently if they have become partially or totally disabled. A catastrophic personal injury lawsuit can be initiated after an auto accident, product liability, or medical malpractice case, which are some of the most common catastrophic injury case types.
What Kind of Damages May Be Available for a Catastrophic Injury Case?
Damages available for catastrophic injury victims may include a combination of economic and non-economic damages. Injury victims may not only be dealing with the physical repercussions of the accident, such as pain and a long recovery, or even struggle with a disability or medical condition for their lifetime, but also with the financial implications of paying for their medical expenses and making a living while being unable to work or being placed on light duty.
Economic damages encompass all tangible financial losses, such as current and future medical expenses and cost of care. This can include hospital bills, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and physical therapy, surgery, or any medical procedure or treatment required for recovery. If the injured person is temporarily or permanently disabled and requires assistance at home, the cost of hiring a home health aide is also counted as part of their economic damages.
Lost wages are another type of loss counted as economic damages. Those who suffered a catastrophic injury may not be able to work after their accident because they may be in the hospital or recovering at home, meaning they are unable to earn their regular wages. Their injury may also affect their ability to earn a living in the future—if they can return to work, their ability to perform their old job duties may be very limited, impacting their ability to earn their normal wages in the future.
Catastrophic injuries hurt much more than a victim’s finances. The emotional distress and psychological burden caused by a catastrophic injury tend to be very serious and affect the victim’s quality of life. In addition to the physical pain and trauma brought on by the accident and injury, the recovery process can be just as difficult and result in even more pain and suffering. A life-changing injury can cause mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship. While these losses are not measurable and more subjective, they are included in a catastrophic injury claim as non-economic losses because it is understood that the injured victim would not have had to go through all of the pain and suffering they may be enduring if the at-fault party had not acted with negligence and caused the accident.
Why Is a Catastrophic Personal Injury Case More Challenging Than Other Personal Injury Cases?
Victims of catastrophic injuries deal with more serious damages and significant consequences that impact their quality of life and ability to make a living. Their injuries may affect them for many years, and sometimes they may never fully recover and remain disabled permanently. The amount of compensation a catastrophic injury victim may seek is often higher, which means stakes are higher, and victims have a more significant burden of proof.
The complexity of the case is usually driven by the case value. Higher case values mean there is a lot more on the line, and the insurance company (usually the defendants in this type of case) are well aware of this and are prepared to fight back because their ultimate goal is to protect their profits and make large payments to injured victims goes against their interests. It is common for them to argue that the victim is partially responsible for causing their own injuries or that the cost of the plaintiff’s future medical expenses is not as high as the plaintiff is claiming.
Working with a skilled catastrophic injury lawyer is essential for the success of a catastrophic injury case. Because the value of a claim of this nature is typically higher, resorting to the use of expert witnesses to strengthen your case is fundamental. Your attorney may want to recruit the help of a variety of experts—from a contractor to give their expert testimony in a construction accident case to a healthcare professional to talk about the extent and severity of your injuries and their implications on your daily life.
How Much Money May I Be Entitled to Receive for a Catastrophic Injury?
A pressing concern among catastrophic injury victims is how much money they may be entitled to receive, especially as they are unable to work and earn their normal wages. The safest way of getting an estimate for your case value is to contact a catastrophic injury lawyer who can analyze the specifics of your case, including the extent and severity of your injuries and the economic damages you may have sustained after the accident.
Generally speaking, the more serious your injuries are, and the more significant your damages are, the higher your case value may be. It may be tempting to simply use one of the many online “personal injury calculators” or similar tools available online that promise to give you a dollar amount for your case after you answer a couple of questions. However, more often than not, these tools are inaccurate and offer a cash value that is way too high or sometimes, too low. By consulting with a catastrophic injury lawyer, you can feel more confident about how much compensation you may be able to recover and will also be able to discuss other key aspects of your case and have a better idea of your chances of being successful.