Full Recovery Isn’t Always an Option
The goal of most personal injury cases is to return the victim to their original state and avoid financial ruin from medical bills and lost wages. Unfortunately, this is not the case with catastrophic injuries. The goal of catastrophic injury cases is to seek compensation for what can never be regained.
By definition, catastrophic injuries are permanent. Full recovery is impossible, and returning to work in the same job is also out of the question. Catastrophic injuries can cause disfigurement, loss of mobility, loss of brain function, or even death. These injuries seriously impact a victim’s life, and medical bills only add to the stress. Fortunately, legal action has the potential to minimize the impact of the bills.
The Damages Owed
Since the victim of a catastrophic injury often needs significant medical care, medical bills can quickly become overwhelming. If the problem is ongoing or requires continuing care for the foreseeable future, expenses continue to add up. On top of medical bills, all of the potential earning capacity that the victim had before the injury is now lost. When you look at it in these terms, the financial impact of a catastrophic injury is vast, without even touching on the mental and physical effects that the injury has on the victim and their loved ones.
Catastrophic injuries are never cheap. Before the victim can even think about long-term costs, bills for out-of-pocket medical expenses often flood their mailbox. Just the first visit to the hospital can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The medical expenses that a victim racks up, including the initial ER visit, follow-up appointments, rehabilitation, and surgeries, can be claimed in a lawsuit. No one should have to drown in medical debt as they adjust to a new life.
If the injury was one in which the victim can no longer work in their field, they and any of their dependents can file a claim for lost wages. If the injury is so severe that the victim can’t work at all, they may be able to receive their lost future income as well. These amounts are calculated using pay stubs, tax returns, and other documents that determine the fair amount owed.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can be claimed by both the injured party and the loved ones of the injured party. This is compensation for the emotional stress caused by the injury, whether it be from having a loved one in the hospital, from the uncertainty of a serious injury, or from the tensions the injury can put on personal relationships. For the injured party, it refers to the direct emotional trauma of suffering a catastrophic injury.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
When a person is seriously injured, they are often unable to do things that previously made their life joyful. This might be a sport or activity such as rock climbing, bike riding, or gardening. If such activities were a significant part of an injured person’s life but are suddenly impossible, the victim can file a claim for loss of enjoyment of life.
Sometimes injuries are so catastrophic that they lead to death. Wrongful death claims cover most of the same expenses as any other catastrophic injury, but they also cover funeral and burial costs.
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim
When filing a catastrophic injury claim, it’s necessary to provide medical records, offer testimony, and have access to a wide array of documents. Understanding what is important and necessary will help to file an airtight claim and get the compensation due. An attorney can help get everything in order and contend with insurance companies offering lowball settlements.
If you are thinking about filing a catastrophic injury case, please don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys of Skinner Law Firm. We will work hard to ensure that your case is thoroughly prepared and try our best to get you the compensation you deserve.