If you or your loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, a Sandy Springs personal injury lawyer from John Foy & Associates can provide answers to the legal questions you have about the process of obtaining compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The Personal Injury Claims Process in Sandy Springs
A personal injury claim generally begins when the claimant hires a personal injury attorney to assist them. The attorney evaluates the case, determining all sources of liability and insurance resources that are available to compensate their client. Once the liable parties have been identified, the attorney submits a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
The insurance provider has three options when responding to a demand package from a personal injury claimant and their attorney:
- They can admit to their insured’s liability and approve the claim for payment
- They can deny the claim and notify the claimant of the reason
- They can offer a settlement to resolve the claim for less than its stated value.
If the insurance carrier approves the claim, the case is considered resolved. If they deny the claim, the claimant and their attorney have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. If they offer a settlement, they can negotiate its terms with the claimant’s attorney, though a personal injury lawsuit can still be filed.
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How a Catastrophic Injury Claim Is Different from Other Claims
A catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that, simply due to the organ it affects, has a high likelihood of producing permanent deficits that will significantly impair the individual’s ability to work and earn an income.
The term is most often used to describe injuries involving the brain and the spinal cord, though certain other injuries such as amputated limbs, loss of eyesight, or damage to the spinal vertebrae and discs can also be considered catastrophic.
Catastrophic injury claims generally follow the personal injury claims process listed above. However, because of the serious and permanent nature of the injury, there are special considerations to be made when it comes to valuing the claim and the evidence needed.
Higher Valued Claims
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, any incomplete motor function from a spinal cord injury can result in nearly $350,000 in medical expenses in the first year of the injury, and more than $40,000 every subsequent year, for the rest of the sufferer’s life. Injuries resulting in quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia) can result in lifetime medical costs of more than $4.7 million.
Northwestern University reports that a traumatic brain injury can result in lifetime medical costs of up to $3 million, along with an unemployment rate of 60% two years after the injury.
Catastrophic injuries are significant and life-changing. In order to fairly compensate the sufferer for the expenses and impacts of the injury, a catastrophic injury attorney in Sandy Springs is not only required to account for the expenses and impacts their client has already faced, but ensure that there is enough compensation to address their future needs, as well.
The Type of Evidence Needed
In order to have a successful outcome to a Sandy Springs catastrophic injury claim, the attorney will need to gather several types of evidence and witness testimony. This may include evidence from the scene of the accident or a police report, medical evidence of your injury and prognosis, bills from medical providers, and more.
A Sandy Springs catastrophic injury attorney also needs to provide evidence to show the likelihood of permanence with the injury. This is often accomplished through expert testimony from medical or vocational professionals who can explain how the injury will impair the claimant’s ability to earn an income.
One of the biggest challenges a personal injury attorney has when valuing a catastrophic injury claim is the policy limitations that are placed on insurance policies. Because these are such high-valued claims, it is not unusual for the claim to exceed the limit of the policy. This is why the attorney will look carefully for other potential sources of liability, as those liable parties also may have insurance policies that can be used to compensate you.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Sandy Springs?
Many people hesitate at the idea of hiring an attorney to assist them with their personal injury claim because they don’t think they can afford one. However, it is more possible than they realize due to free case evaluations and contingent fee billing.
The free case evaluation is time that the claimant can use to obtain more information about the legal process of seeking compensation for their injuries and the services the attorney and their legal team can provide to help. Providing free case evaluations helps us to ensure that anyone who needs our assistance understanding their options for compensation is able to access that assistance without obligation.
The contingent billing method allows the client to withhold payment for their attorney’s services until the claim is resolved by a court award or a negotiated settlement. At that point, the attorney will assist the client in collecting the compensation and will receive a percentage of the settlement or award as outlined in the contingent fee agreement the attorney and the client entered into when they began working together on the case.
John Foy & Associates Can Help
In the past 20 years, the legal team at John Foy & Associates has helped clients to recover over a billion dollars in compensation, including settlements and awards for catastrophic injury claims. Let our Sandy Springs catastrophic injury lawyer explore your legal options for seeking compensation. For your free case evaluation, contact us.