The average settlement for a catastrophic injury claim is $20,000 to $75,000. A catastrophic injury can change your life dramatically. The considerable amount of medical assistance such injuries require leads to formidable expenses. If the injury was caused by another person’s negligent actions, you are entitled to compensation.
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, it’s easy to feel disoriented. By working with an experienced attorney, you can get the compensation you deserve while minimizing related stress. Our personal injury lawyers have been helping catastrophic injury victims get what they deserve for many years. Visit our website for a free case review.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic or severe injury is a serious personal injury that causes a deformity, debilitates the victim, or results in other long-lasting life-altering consequences. The common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Severe physical injuries – burns, fractures, orthopedic function damages, amputation, and tissue damage.
- Spinal cord injuries – issues affecting the spinal cord and hindering the victim’s mobility.
- Cognitive injuries – injuries that cause brain damage, taking away the victim’s ability to communicate, work, or form new memories.
The impact of catastrophic injuries usually includes:
- Permanent disability
- Inability to work
- Need for lifelong assistance and medications
- Need for prosthetics and/or assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs and walkers).
- Sever deformities, including scarring
- Loss of hearing
- Severe burns
Lifetime impacts of catastrophic injuries call for sizable medical bills and substantial pain and suffering damages. Victims and their families have to live with the consequences of these injuries for many years. To ease the burden, it’s imperative to get fully compensated.
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The Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Catastrophic Injury Claim
Catastrophic injuries are severe personal injuries. They result in drastic and often life-long consequences for the victims and their families. Factors that can change the nature of a claim include:
The Severity of the Damage
Since the degree of physical, emotional, and mental injuries suffered by the victims is higher, the damages in a catastrophic injury claim are usually bigger. They may involve lifetime care and support, formidable medical expenses, emotional damage compensation, loss of wages, and much more.
How Long It Will Take to Recover
The consequences of a catastrophic injury usually last much longer than the consequences of less severe personal injuries. The victim may lose the ability to work, thus calling for life-long wage loss compensation.
Ongoing medical conditions may require substantial medical expenses. In some cases, victims need 24/7 care and assistance for the rest of their lives. Future medical needs and lost wages usually make up a large chunk of the catastrophic injury settlement.
The Level of Expertise Necessary to Handle the Case
Determining future expenses in a catastrophic injury case requires greater expertise than it does for smaller personal injury cases. To make a decision about the settlement amount, the judge would need detailed medical documentation and testimonies from several experts (doctors and mental healthcare providers). The biggest challenge victims of catastrophic accidents face when trying to achieve a fair settlement is fierce opposition.
Since catastrophic injury claims usually entail sizable payouts, insurance companies, property owners, and other people at fault will fight hard to minimize the amount. Corporate defendants are likely to hire a team of renowned attorneys to fight their way toward a smaller settlement. That’s why it’s nearly impossible to win the case without expert assistance and while hiring a personal injury attorney to file a catastrophic injury case isn’t mandatory, it is highly recommended.
What Costs are Associated with a Catastrophic Injury?
When you or a loved one is injured, you can be entitled to compensation of the following costs:
- Emergency medical expenses – expenses for short-term medical services.
- Continuous medical care – this can include medications, medical appointments, physical therapy, and life-long medical support.
- Physical and occupational therapy – both these therapies assist with personal injury recovery. For catastrophic injury victims, these therapies may last for many years.
- Counseling – a catastrophic injury and its consequences can cause severe emotional and mental distress for the victim. Just like physical and occupational therapy, it may be long-lasting.
- Medical equipment – since catastrophic injuries often lead to debilitating conditions, the victim may need medical equipment like wheelchairs, lifts, and hospital-type beds.
- Lost wages – a catastrophic injury usually hinders the victim’s ability to work. If the person has to take time off work to recover, the expenses should be covered.
- Earning capacity – the settlement should cover lost wages if the person is unable to perform the same type of work they did before the accident.
Factors that Can Affect Your Damage Award
All the above costs should be included in the settlement. However, the amount you claim can depend on other factors, including:
- Liability – to win the case, you need to prove that another party was liable for the accident. According to California negligence laws, the compensation you receive is directly related to the percentage of your fault.
- Evidence quality – to make sure you get fair compensation, it’s imperative to gather evidence that can prove how much medical assistance you need right now and in the future. This also includes experts’ testimonials.
The amount of your settlement can also depend on the expertise of your personal injury attorney. Besides filing documents, representing you in court, and providing legal advice, personal injury attorneys handle all communications with insurance companies to negotiate high settlement amounts.
Get Assistance with Your Catastrophic Injury Case Today with Our Skilled Attorneys
Even if your catastrophic injury case seems straightforward, the fierce opposition you may face could minimize your settlement amount. With all the expenses related to the consequences of such injuries, a small compensation is a disastrous outcome.
By working with a personal injury attorney, you can maximize your chances of getting fair compensation. If you’d like to speak with an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer, please contact our team at any convenient time.