While some injuries keep you from working for a few weeks, catastrophic injuries often keep a person from working and enjoying life the same way she or he used to before the injury. Examples of such injuries include severe burns, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis and mistaken amputations. No matter the catastrophic injury, Judd Shaw Injury Law™ wants to help you recover physically and financially. Let us protect your rights and educate you on catastrophic injuries.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic harm often results from construction site falls, car crashes, motorcycle crashes, slip and falls, intentional acts of violence and medical malpractice. Victims owe it to themselves to receive prompt medical attention, especially because some injury symptoms take time to appear.
Construction Site Falls
Construction workers face more hazards than employees in other industries. Falls may happen on ladders, scaffolding, roofs, cranes and other heights. Some severe workplace injuries qualify for workers’ compensation, but even then, an injured employee may have grounds to file a personal injury suit against her or his employer or another negligent party.
Severe car collisions could cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Even if car crash victims have insurance, their policy limits may not cover severe injuries. If not, they may have little choice but to take legal action against the at-fault driver.
Patients trust doctors and other medical professionals to take great care of them, but mistakes happen. When a health care provider’s actions do not meet the current standard of care and patients suffer harm, they could have a medical malpractice claim against the guilty party. Examples of medical malpractice include birth injuries, failure to diagnose, medication errors, misdiagnosis and surgical errors.
Intentional Acts of Violence
When someone engages in intentional reprehensible behavior, their actions may leave victims catastrophically injured. Examples of intentional torts are false imprisonment, defamation, misrepresentation, fraud and battery.
The responsible party’s state of mind determines whether her or his actions represent an intentional act of violence. For instance, if a person drives distracted and fails to see a pedestrian crossing the street before hitting him, the motorist may bear guilt for being negligent, but not for committing an intentional tort. If that same driver saw the pedestrian, felt he walked too slowly and accelerated to run the person over intentionally, a court could consider that intentional violence.
To stand the most favorable chance of winning their case, intentional tort victims who suffer catastrophic injuries must prove intent. To strengthen their case and claim for fair compensation, harmed parties must prove the defendant intended to harm them, knew her or his actions would harm the plaintiff or acted without regard for others.
Common Damages for Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic accident victims may feel the only way to recover fair compensation from the at-fault party is through a personal injury lawsuit. After all, catastrophic injuries could leave a person permanently disabled, unable to derive joy from life and unable to provide for her or his family. Common damages plaintiffs may recover include:
- Medical Expenses: From ambulance rides and doctor’s appointments to physical therapy sessions and medical assistive devices, catastrophic accidents can leave victims with expensive medical bills. Medical expenses damages help plaintiffs cover the cost of recovering from another’s negligent actions or intentional wrongdoing.
- Lost Income: After a severe injury, plaintiffs may need to take time off work to heal or quit their positions entirely. Lost income damages account for wages lost and personal or vacation days victims take to while healing.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: Going beyond lost wages, intense injuries may force a person to step down from her or his position. Injured individuals could lose the ability to fulfill their current job duties or lose out on a promotion or raise because of a catastrophic incident. Loss of earning capacity damages make up for financial opportunities lost because of another’s disregard.
- Pain and Suffering: Enduring a spinal cord injury, brain injury or amputation may leave a person in considerable physical agony. Even undergoing treatment could increase a patient’s suffering. Pain and suffering damages compensate plaintiffs for the pain they never would have endured had it not been for a catastrophic incident.
- Mental Anguish: Injury victims may also experience mental suffering after an accident or intentional tort. For instance, a car accident could trigger anxiety, depression, stress, nightmares or flashbacks. Some distressing events cause post-traumatic stress disorder, which may make it difficult for someone to get into a car again, undergo surgery or think about the distressing event. A mental health professional could help diagnose personal injury victims and help them overcome their psychological struggles.
No matter how strong an injury case or how much evidence a person has against the negligent party, working with an experienced severe injury legal professional could present the most favorable chance to collect fair damages. While injury victims concentrate on making a full recovery, their legal team handles insurance companies, ensures their clients meet all legal deadlines and works with other professionals to build a case.
Proving Fault for Catastrophic Injuries
No matter how major the injuries, plaintiffs must prove fault to collect damages and win their case. Several premises help determine legal liability and identify at-fault parties:
- If a catastrophic injury happened where the plaintiff should not have been or where she or he should have expected the action that triggered the injury, the defendant may not represent the responsible party because the individual did not owe the harmed party a duty of care.
- Employers may bear legal responsibility for major injuries if a negligent employee causes someone injury while on the clock.
- If accidents happen on dangerous properties, such as those with inadequate lighting or defective construction, the owners could bear liability for neglecting the property. This could apply regardless of whether the owner contributed to the hazardous situation.
- When plaintiffs contribute to their own catastrophic harm, a judge or jury may decrease compensation according to the plaintiff’s percentage of carelessness.
- Sellers and manufacturers of dangerous defective products may both become responsible parties. It makes no difference whether the injured individual knows how the defect happened or whether the seller or manufacturer caused the defect.
The fundamental rule of establishing negligence is: If one party involved in the incident displayed less care than the other party, the less cautious party must compensate the other with at least a portion of the more careful party’s financial damages.
Multiple At-Fault Parties
Some traumatic events involve several responsible parties. For instance, in a truck accident, the truck driver’s consumption of illegal substances caused the accident, but a truck part manufacturer could become a second liable party for selling defective components. When multiple parties contribute to avoidable harm, at least one of them must compensate the victim fully. Then, the negligent individuals or entities must decide amongst themselves if one should compensate the others.
SERVING CATASTROPHIC INJURY VICTIMS IN NEW JERSEY
After a catastrophic injury, you deserve to be compensated for what you’ve been through. At Judd Shaw Injury Law™, we believe everyone should have access to the legal help they need after an accident or injury. That’s why we have the No Fee Guarantee®—our promise that you won’t pay us unless we get money for you. There’s no cost or obligation to get started, so don’t wait. Contact us today at 1-866-909-6894 or online and let us get to work for you.