There are many serious injuries a victim can sustain in an accident due to negligence. A catastrophic injury, however, is not just an injury that is severe but an injury that changes an individual’s ability to live their life permanently. Catastrophic injuries are some of the worst imaginable injuries an individual can sustain in an accident, such as severe burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, or amputation.
Survivors of catastrophic injuries often survive injuries that may end in a fatality for other victims. Individuals that sustain catastrophic injuries may face life-threatening risks in the days and weeks after an accident and the possibility of complications from their injuries throughout their life.
These injuries take not just an overwhelming physical toll on their victims, but also an emotional and mental toll on the victim due to the nature of the injuries, their recovery, and the potential limitations on their abilities and future.
How Can a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Columbus Help You Fight for Justice and Compensation After an Accident?
A Columbus catastrophic injury attorney’s role in your case is to help you fight for your right to compensation under the law. To accomplish this task, a lawyer will take charge of your case and manage all aspects related to your insurance claim or potential lawsuit where you may claim compensation for your damages.
A lawyer’s responsibilities in a catastrophic injury case can include but are not limited to:
- Discovering all liability for the accident and your injuries
- Calculating the losses that arise from your injuries, including economic and non-economic damages
- Gathering the proof necessary to show an insurer or the court who is at fault for your injuries
- Collect records and evidence of your injuries to prove the impact the injuries have now and will have on your future to support the amount of damages you are seeking
- Negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company or other parties to attempt to reach a settlement that can benefit you
- Build your case for a lawsuit if it is needed to continue to pursue compensation if negotiations fail
- Represent you through court proceedings, including a trial, until there is a resolution in your case
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How Will Fault Be Determined in a Catastrophic Injury Case?
Determining who is at fault for a catastrophic injury arising from an accident is accomplished by proving that a defendant acted negligently under the law. Negligence will guide the fault determination in a catastrophic accident case; a plaintiff must prove that one or multiple defendants meet the elements of negligence and are in turn liable for the victim’s losses.
The elements of negligence in a catastrophic injury case:
- The defendant owes the catastrophic injury victim a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care either through their actions or lack of action
- The victim suffers an injury or loss
- The damages to the victim are related to the breach of the duty of care by the defendant
What Are Your Rights If You Are a Victim of a Catastrophic Injury Due to Negligence?
As a victim of a catastrophic injury, you may not be sure what rights you may have to pursue compensation in your case. Depending on the parties at fault and how your injury occurs, there can be one or more parties liable to you for your injuries. If an insurance policy was in effect at the time of your injuries, it is possible you can pursue an insurance claim for your losses with the applicable insurance company.
It is common for the damages of a catastrophic injury victim to near or surpass the policy limitations for some insurance coverage. If this is the case or if there is no insurance available, a victim can pursue a lawsuit against the party at fault personally through the courts.
What Damages Can You Seek Compensation for in a Columbus Catastrophic Injury Case?
Compensation in a catastrophic injury case is widespread over various damages that a victim can sustain after an accident and throughout their recovery. Damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit for a personal injury case such as that for a catastrophic injury can include both economic or non-economic losses.
For victims of catastrophic injuries their damages can amount to significant compensation, this is because the injuries they sustain often require long-term care and eliminate a victim’s ability to earn an income as they did before the accident.
Damages in a Columbus catastrophic injury case may include:
- Economic losses – such as medical costs, loss of income, and property damage.
- Non-economic losses – including pain and suffering, impacts on quality of life, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses.
- Punitive damages – only available in rare cases where a plaintiff can prove the defendant’s actions were malicious, grossly negligent, or intentional.
- Wrongful death compensation – families that lose a loved one after a catastrophic injury may be able to recover damages for their own pain and suffering, the loss of income of their deceased loved one, and costs for the funeral and burial of their loved one.
The Statute of Limitations that Applies to Plaintiffs of Catastrophic Injury Cases
Catastrophic injuries are categorized as a type of personal injury case for purposes of legal action in Georgia. As such, a victim of a catastrophic injury is subject to the same limitations as any other personal injury victim in terms of the period of time in which they have to file a lawsuit for damages against the parties responsible. In Georgia, most plaintiffs must initiate their lawsuit in court within two years from the date of the catastrophic accident causing their injuries.
Contact a Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Columbus for a Free Consultation
After an accident that leads to catastrophic injury, a victim or a family member on their behalf must contact a Columbus catastrophic injury lawyer as soon as possible for a free case evaluation to discuss what action you may be able to take to seek compensation in your case.