How Are Catastrophic Injury Claims Handled?

In Southern California, if you sustain a life-changing, catastrophic injury due to another party’s negligence, schedule an appointment at once to discuss your rights – and particularly your right to monetary compensation – with a Pasadena personal injury lawyer.

Catastrophic injuries can happen unexpectedly to anyone at almost any time. Unlike more typical injuries that heal in several days or weeks, catastrophic injuries are long-term and may become more serious over time. Victims face a future of partial or total disability and costly medical care.

If you sustain a catastrophic injury because another person was negligent, if your ability to work is taken from you, and if you’re going to require medical care for years to come, get the help you need and schedule a consultation immediately with a Pasadena catastrophic injury attorney.

Which Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?

Catastrophic injuries include burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, paraplegia, traumatic brain injuries, quadriplegia, injuries that require amputations, and injuries that lead to the loss of vision or hearing. The physical and monetary toll of a catastrophic injury can be overwhelming.

Catastrophic injuries can happen almost anywhere, but these injuries are typically caused by traffic collisions, accidents at the workplace, sports accidents, and by the use of defective consumer products. Traffic accidents are the most common reason for catastrophic injuries.

If you sustain a catastrophic injury, your health insurance is not going to cover most of your long-term costs. You’ll need to be advised and represented by a Southern California personal injury lawyer who will work with you to recover the maximum available compensation amount.

How Do You Prove an Injury Claim?

After suffering a catastrophic injury, you’ll have substantial medical expenses for years, while at the same time, you’ve lost your income and your future earning capacity. Of course, no amount of cash can ever genuinely compensate you for a catastrophic injury.

However, a Pasadena personal injury lawyer will examine the particulars of your case, review the evidence, and if you have sufficient grounds for legal action, your lawyer will advocate aggressively on your behalf. In a personal injury case, you and your attorney must prove:

– The “defendant” (that is, the allegedly negligent party) owed you (the “plaintiff”) a duty of care.

– The defendant’s negligence constituted a breach of the duty of care.

– As a result of that negligence, the plaintiff sustained quantifiable damages and should be compensated by the defendant for those damages.

What Types of Compensation Can Catastrophic Injury Victims Receive?

The victims of negligence who sustain catastrophic injuries may bring personal injury claims, and when those claims prevail, injury victims may receive “economic” damages (for medical expenses and lost wages) as well as “non-economic” damages (for personal pain and suffering):

– Medical expenses: Catastrophic injury victims who prevail with a personal injury claim are usually compensated for the medical treatments and care they receive, and victims are also compensated for their projected future medical costs.

– Lost income: Catastrophic injury victims with successful personal injury claims are usually reimbursed for their lost wages and compensated for their projected future lost wages.

– Personal suffering and pain: When a catastrophic injury victim has suffered physical pain and/or psychological damage, that victim may be compensated for that damage and its effects.

– Loss of consortium: When marital intimacy is impaired as the result of a catastrophic injury, the victims may recover additional compensation.

What Compensation May Be Available?

Catastrophic injury victims will have receipts and documentation for medical expenses and lost wages, but it’s difficult to calculate a dollar amount for suffering, pain, or the loss of consortium. California courts take these factors into account when calculating non-economic damages:

– the victim’s age and general health prior to the injury or injuries

– the severity and ongoing consequences of the victim’s injury or injuries

– the cost of medical expenses until full recovery (or over a victim’s lifetime)

Punitive damages may be ordered to punish a defendant’s egregious negligence or lack of regard for the safety of others, but punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases in this state. Your attorney will know whether punitive damages may be awarded in your own case.

The formula that your personal injury lawyer uses to calculate the final amount of compensation you should ask for will depend on the specifics of your personal injury claim and the extent of your catastrophic injury.

How Much Compensation Can Catastrophic Injury Victims Recover?

When an injury causes long-term or permanent damage or disability, a victim of negligence may require the maximum compensation amount that’s available. California does not cap pain and suffering compensation except in cases that are based on a claim of medical malpractice.

Of course, a catastrophic injury will mean that your bills are piling up while you’re not working, but you shouldn’t presume that you can’t afford an attorney. If you’ve been injured by another party’s negligence, your first legal consultation is provided with no obligation or cost.

If you have an injury claim and proceed with legal action, your Pasadena catastrophic injury attorney will represent and advise you on a contingent fee basis, so you’ll pay no fee to a lawyer until you’re compensated. If for any reason you are not compensated, you’ll owe no lawyer’s fee.

When Should You Call a Personal Injury Lawyer?

The deadline (statute of limitations) for filing personal injury claims in California, including catastrophic injury claims, is two years after the date of the injury. There are several exceptions to the deadline, but as soon as a doctor has treated you, contact a personal injury attorney.

Your attorney needs to see the evidence in your case before that evidence can be lost or altered. It’s also important to speak to witnesses before their memories fade. The legal team at Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell will determine which party or parties have liability for your catastrophic injury and will fight for the compensation – as well as for the justice – you need.

If you or someone you love has been catastrophically injured due to another’s negligence, or if this happens to you in the future, promptly get the legal help you need and contact the award-winning attorneys at Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell by calling 626-208-9906.