Accidents are in the news daily, but the resulting lawsuits are not necessarily newsworthy—unless the accident was severe and damages are significant. Damages in catastrophic injury cases can run in the millions, intended to compensate for the lifelong, permanent effects of the injuries sustained.
But catastrophic injury cases are not a walk in the park. To be successful, these lawsuits require a lawyer at the helm with a deep understanding of the circumstances and causes of the accident, a near physician-level grasp of the injuries and their long-term effects, a keen trial strategy, and advanced courtroom skill. A lawyer meeting this profile has what it takes to secure a judgment that will take care of a client whose life has changed forever.
The Anatomy of the Case and Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases
Lawsuits seeking damages due to a severe accident—or even a simple accident that had severe consequences for the victim—are at their core personal injury claims. All personal injury claims have the same basic elements:
- A duty was owed to the victim;
- Defendant breached that duty;
- The victim suffered injuries; and
- Defendant’s conduct caused those injuries.
Upon establishing these elements, the question turns to damages: how much would compensate the victim for the injuries sustained.
When the injuries sustained were severe or significant, they are said to be catastrophic. As might be expected, damages in catastrophic injury cases are often much higher than in typical slip and fall or fender bender cases. Because the stakes are so much higher, the knowledge, skill, and strategy required for catastrophic injury cases demands more complex case preparation and strategy.
When you work with a catastrophic injury attorney from Camden & Meridew, P.C., the captain of your case is equipped by experience and skill level to capably pursue damages that can help take care of you and your loved one despite devastating injuries.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is one that causes serious, often life-long consequences for the victim. They may result in permanent total or partial disability. In the extreme, they result in the victim’s death. Examples of some types of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, extensive burns, or loss of a limb—injuries that cause permanent loss of function or mobility or other long-lasting effects.
Catastrophic injuries effectively change your way of living, likely due to the need to accommodate permanent disabilities or deficits. The severity of the injury and their extensive and lasting effects tend to make damages awarded much higher than in other cases.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries that Forever Change Lives
Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can cause severe loss of function. TBIs are often caused by a severe blow to the skull. They can lead to patients having stroke-like symptoms and temporary or permanent loss of physical functions. They can also result in altered mental states, such as severe agitation, memory loss, a state of confusion, or inability to make sound judgments.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent nerve damage, pain, and paralysis. In some cases, a complete severing of the spinal cord can be fatal.
A person suffering either of these injuries will incur a lifetime of physical therapy, occupational therapy, potentially speech therapy, and may be unable to provide self-care or hold a job. From the extreme case of someone almost completely paralyzed, requiring round-the-clock care to meet all of his or her needs, to severe injuries that limit the victim’s earning potential going forward, catastrophic injuries can ravage the victim’s qualify of life and future.
Types of Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases
Damages are intended to compensate the victim for something lost as the result of another’s negligence or recklessness. Following are common types of losses that may be included in a personal injury damages award:
- Medical expenses for diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care;
- Property damage, such as in auto accident; and
- Lost wages.
When the injuries involved are catastrophic, it’s easy to understand how a damages award could increase dramatically. Medical expenses are much higher for severe injuries than lesser bumps and bruises, and the cost of ongoing care can be completely out of reach for extreme, permanent injuries such as paralysis.
In addition to the compensatory or actual damages listed above, an award may also include special or non-economic damages. These amounts are intended to compensate for consequences of your injuries that cannot be tied to a particular expense, such as the following:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of consortium.
Because special damages cannot be supported by particular bills, proving them requires a skilled catastrophic injury attorney.
Who You Hire Can Affect an Award for Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases
Catastrophic injuries can be completely overwhelming both physically and emotionally. Even if a semblance of physical recovery is possible, lingering disability, lost wages and potential impacts on your earning capacity—not to mention the effects on your mental health—can make proving damages challenging. No one willingly pays damages. You need an attorney armed through years of experience with the skill and knowledge necessary to succeed in catastrophic injury cases. When you’re researching catastrophic injury lawyers, your first and final stop should be at Camden & Meridew, P.C. Catastrophic injury attorney David Allen has years of successfully handling complex medical device and personal injury cases that prepared him to win damages in catastrophic injury cases to help you move forward. To learn more about how the team at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can help you, call us at 317-770-000 or complete our online contact form. While you work to find your new way of life, we’ll work to help you to recover financially from your injuries.