The last thing you imagine when you are in an accident is that you will suffer a catastrophic injury, and your life will change forever. Even a minor accident can result in serious injury. The definition of catastrophic makes these claims especially difficult because it means the person will never live everyday life.
Catastrophic is the severity of the injury, not the actual harm. There are six qualifying conditions which we discuss in the next section. A catastrophic injuries lawyer in Buford from John Foy & Associates can help you recover compensation in a claim.
Higher Compensation Amounts for Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury classification also means the compensation amounts will be much higher because they must account for the lifelong complications of these cases. While higher compensation is available, that does not mean it will be easy to obtain.
The insurance company and other parties in the lawsuit will work hard to lower and delay your claim. You will need to have an experienced Buford catastrophic injuries lawyer on your side.
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Defining Catastrophic Injuries
Six injuries can garner a catastrophic classification. These injuries are so severe that they alter a person’s life forever. As you might imagine, they are some of the worst injuries you can suffer.
The six catastrophic injuries are as follows:
Paralysis is the loss of muscle function. You cannot move your muscles because your nervous systems cannot deliver messages to your body. There is partial and complete paralysis.
When you suffer partial paralysis, you will have some feeling and can control a small amount of movement. Complete means you have no feeling or control of your muscles or movement. Paralysis symptoms can be delayed, so it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.
Amputation is the loss of a limb and is challenging because you need to learn how to live without an essential body part. An amputation happens when you need to have an arm or leg surgically removed. There are times when the amputation will occur at the scene, while other times, a doctor will find the limb useless and require you to amputate.
Severe Brain Impairment
When your brain function is disrupted severely, that can cause severe brain impairment. Victims will suffer from a coma, minimally conscious states, or be in vegetative states. When a person does wake up, they will have difficulty with normal brain functions like processing information.
Head trauma can often result in vision impairment. Other times a person can suffer a retinal detachment or eye trauma that causes vision impairment.
Extreme Impairment from a Mental Disorder
Aside from physical impairments, there are psychological impairments. It is normal to feel mental anguish and distress after an accident, but some can alter a person’s life. Conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder can be catastrophic injuries that require lifelong care.
Combination of Impairments
The term outlines what this injury is. A combination of disabilities that affect a person in multiple ways can cause impairments throughout the body. To be considered a combination of impairments, there must be at least 55 percent impairment to the body.
Anything less is unlikely to be considered in this category.
The Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Any accident can cause a catastrophic injury. However, the most common causes of catastrophic injuries are:
- Truck accidents
- Car accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
Many other accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, but these are just a few. Even a seemingly minor accident can result in a life-changing injury.
The Value of a Catastrophic Injury Claim
We cannot tell you how much your case is worth without looking at the individual factors of your circumstances. You can get several different types of compensation for your injuries and losses. If a family member is injured in an accident, the family can begin the legal process while the person recovers.
If the injured person is in a vegetative state or a coma, they cannot decide for themselves, but the family can begin a recovery claim. If the person wakes up, they can take over the legal process. Some items you can get compensation for are:
- Medical expense
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of benefits
- Punitive damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The Timeline for a Catastrophic Injury Claim
There is no telling how long your claim will take without knowing the details. However, some things can prolong the case. Liability is one of the essential elements of catastrophic injury cases.
It is crucial to determine who is liable because that party will need to pay for your losses. When there are liability issues, that can delay your compensation claim.
A Buford catastrophic injuries attorney will work diligently to prove who is responsible for your injuries and losses. Multiple parties can be accountable for your damages in some cases, such as with a bus accident.
The Statute of Limitations
There is a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury cases. There are also pre-litigation and litigation phases of the legal process. During the pre-litigation phase, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best settlement possible.
We will also conduct discovery to find essential evidence that will help your claim. Pre-litigation will take one to two years.
Once you enter litigation, the case length will be much longer and become more contentious. It can take years before you go to trial and settle the claim. However, every catastrophic injury case is unique, and you will need a Buford catastrophic injuries lawyer to guide you through the process.
Why You Should Call a Catastrophic Injuries Attorney in Buford
You should not attempt to take on a catastrophic injury case alone but should contact a Buford catastrophic injury lawyer to protect your rights. Among the topics we will address are:
- Getting you compensation
- Negotiation with the insurance company
- Finding the liable party
- Collecting evidence
A severe injury will change your life, and getting the compensation you need to move on from this traumatic experience is vital. John Foy & Associates offers free, no-obligation consultations, so you do not lose by seeking our advice. During an initial consultation, we can determine how the case will go and give you information on what to expect.
Call a Buford catastrophic injury lawyer today to schedule a consultation.