Injury Lawyers - Accident Compensation Claim Settlements
A catastrophic injury is one where the victim is likely to suffer from serious disability for the rest of their life. Catastrophic injuries have serious long term consequences and can be as a result of just one serious injury or several contemporaneous injuries that together cause serious disruption to an individual’s life. A catastrophic injury usually affects people other than the victim, in particular family, friends and carers because of the requirement for constant care, supervision or assistance for the rest of their life. In addition to time spent by others there is often an onerous financial requirement to pay for medical expenses and personal care including professional help, specialised equipment and physical adaptions to living accommodation. Catastrophic injuries can be caused by any number of different circumstances causing injury to various parts of the body including :-
- limb amputation
- spinal cord injury
- brain damage
- burns & scalds
- multiple injuries
- organ damage
- loss of vision
- severe paralysis
A catastrophic injury needs the intervention of a specialist personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the event that caused the injury. Catastrophic injuries unfortunately happen every day. They happen because of motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, sports injuries, falls from height or injuries sustained whilst working. In some cases, the accident is not the fault of another person however in other cases, it can be determined that someone did something or failed to do something that resulted in the accident. In certain circumstances this is called negligence. A catastrophic injury lawyer is trained to examine the various aspects of the accident in order to determine who is negligent. The negligent person can expect a claim to be made against them in a court of law in order to compensate the injured person for their injury.
Your catastrophic injury lawyer will talk to you about your injuries, even if you are still in the hospital, and will examine your medical records in order to see the extent of your injuries and to make initial decisions on which injuries were severe, which will result in recovery and which may result in a permanent disability. The lawyer will in due course refer your medical records on to a medical expert for a detailed professional opinion on catastrophic injuries which will enable a value for pain and suffering to be assessed.
A catastrophic injury lawyer will make enquiries about all of your financial losses as a result of the accident. In all likelihood given the potential value of the award in a catastrophic injury case the lawyer will obtain detailed advice from professional consultants in regards to wages losses and will employ a forensic accountant to fully determine the long term losses. Anything related to a future disability is taken into account and any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident will be included in the claim. Common items of loss in a catastrophic injury compensation claim include :-
- loss of wages both past & future
- property damage including vehicle repair costs
- care costs
- rehabilitation costs
- medical expensesgeneral expenses
- loss of lifestyle
- loss of congenial employment
- special equipment
- property alterations
The catastrophic injury lawyer will determine the amount of the claim based on the above factors and will share that information with the defendant’s attorney in the hope of getting a settlement. If there is not an agreement on a settlement, the case will likely go to court. Your personal injury attorney will have eyewitnesses and experts speak on your behalf and likely your doctors will speak at the trial in an attempt to explain your injuries and any disability expected. The information about the accident itself will be discussed and your injury attorney will provide evidence to prove the negligence of the other party or parties involved in the injury.
Your catastrophic injury lawyer will not charge you for legal services provided throughout the duration of the case. If the lawyer wins the case, you receive the greater part of the compensation award and the lawyer takes an agreed portion for legal fees. The lawyer only gets aid if you get paid. If the case is lost there is no charge whatsoever.
It should however be noted that all personal injury claims are subject to time limits. You should take professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Failure to act in accordance with the statute of limitation within the limitation period may mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever.