Catastrophic injuries can change the course of a person’s life forever. A catastrophic injury is so severe that the injured person is left permanently disabled or disfigured or facing decades of medical treatments or procedures. When a devastating injury affects you or a loved one, you need professional assistance to recover the compensation necessary for effective treatment.
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The North Port catastrophic injury lawyers at Boohoff Law can assess your case while you focus on your recovery. Call to hear more about your legal options after a catastrophic injury.
A catastrophic injury leaves the victim permanently disfigured or disabled or requires a lengthy recovery period. Some people with catastrophic injuries may eventually heal but can have scarring or disfigurement that will never go away. Other victims may have lifelong medical problems or require constant care due to their injury.
Catastrophic injuries can take many forms.
Some examples of common catastrophic injuries include:
When a catastrophic injury results from someone else’s actions, the injured person can recover compensation by filing a negligence lawsuit.
Catastrophic injuries have many causes. People can be severely injured after a car accident, a slip and fall, an assault, or medical malpractice. Whether or not the victim can recover compensation for their injuries depends on the circumstances of the case.
Most personal injury cases rely on the legal doctrine of negligence. A person is negligent if his or her actions (or inactions) are why the injury occurred. To be found liable for negligence, the injured person must prove four things:
The injured person (the plaintiff) must show that the person who caused the accident or injury (the defendant) owed a duty of care. In general, people have a responsibility to act in a way that does not harm others. For instance, a driver must use caution and navigate their car safely to avoid accidents.
The plaintiff must also show that the defendant breached their duty of care. This means that the defendant acted in an unreasonable way given their duty. When drivers get into their car while drunk, they are not acting reasonably and carefully. They have breached the duty of care owed to other people on the road by acting negligently and driving drunk.
The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of their injury. For example, suppose a drunk driver and sober driver get into an accident that was entirely the fault of the sober driver. While the drunk driver may have been negligent in operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the drunk driver did not cause the accident and may not be at fault for any injuries suffered by the sober driver.
Finally, the plaintiff must also prove that he or she suffered actual damage due to the negligent person’s actions. Even if a person had a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused an accident without an injury or other compensable damage, there can be no recovery.
In the case of catastrophic injuries, proving damages is often relatively straightforward. People who have suffered severe injuries can easily show that they have suffered harm. However, proving the other elements can be more complex and requires the help of an experienced North Port catastrophic injury lawyer.
A negligence lawsuit may not be possible without a person or entity that caused the injury or accident. However, the cause of many injuries is often not immediately apparent. For instance, a man who falls off a ladder on his own property probably cannot sue anyone for his injuries. But, if the ladder was defective or faulty, he might hold the manufacturer of that ladder liable.
For that reason, speak with a catastrophic injury lawyer after a severe injury to determine if any person or entity has responsibility for causing the accident.
A catastrophic injury can affect every member of the injured person’s family. A spouse may have to stop working and become a full-time caregiver. A younger person may have to return home and live with their parents.
Children can lose the benefit of having an active and involved parent. The relationship between the injured person and their loved ones can change dramatically and often for the worse. You can address all of these situations in personal injury cases with the help of a North Port catastrophic injury lawyer.
When a family member needs to provide care for an injured person, that family member can file a legal claim. If the family member must give up a job or cut back hours at work, they can include that lost income as part of the personal injury lawsuit. The family member can also claim compensation for the hours spent working as a caregiver.
When a married person suffers a permanent and debilitating injury, his or her spouse can file a claim for loss of consortium. This type of claim compensates the spouse for the loss of companionship, assistance, marital relations, and other qualities resulting from the injury. In Florida, a spouse can only claim loss of consortium if they were married at the time of the injury.
Under Florida law, the children of injured parents can also claim the loss of parental consortium. This statute compensates children when their parents can no longer provide for them financially or care for their emotional and developmental needs. Similarly, Florida law also allows parents to claim the loss of filial consortium if their minor child is severely injured or disabled.
When dealing with a life-changing injury, the idea of filing a lawsuit is often the furthest thing from people’s minds. The aftermath of a severe injury is hectic and full of indecision and doubt, and making important decisions with serious legal consequences during this time may seem impossible.
Working with an attorney can allay many of these fears and doubts. A catastrophic injury lawyer can review the facts of the case, speak with medical experts, and answer the family’s questions. The attorney can also act as an intermediary between the family and the party that caused the injury or their insurance company.
After a severe accident or injury, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to reach out to victims in an attempt to quickly settle the case. While a quick settlement may seem like the best idea, especially when medical bills are mounting and expenses are adding up, settling quickly can cost injured people a significant amount of money.
By working with a catastrophic injury attorney, injured people and their families can be confident that they are not being taken advantage of and have accounted for their future costs and expenses in any legal settlement.
Unlike other personal injury cases, catastrophic injuries have long-term consequences and require careful planning. Because these injuries may affect victims for the rest of their lives, you must work with an attorney who can fight for all of the compensation necessary over the injured person’s lifetime.
People who suffer catastrophic injuries can expect certain expenses throughout their lifetime. The complications from these injuries can compound over time and may worsen as the victim ages. Some long-term costs that can comprise a personal injury settlement or judgment include:
People who have broken bones or lost limbs may need extensive physical therapy to regain their mobility and independence. Physical therapy may take months or years to be effective, and the long-term costs of this treatment can be expensive.
After a catastrophic injury, the victim may need to use assistive devices such as a wheelchair, a prosthetic limb, hearing or vision aids, or computerized machines for speech. With a permanent injury, these devices may wear out over time, and victims may need to replace them periodically.
People who are permanently disabled after a catastrophic injury can no longer navigate their homes without assistance. They may need home modifications like a stairlift or wheelchair ramp installed to get around. The injured person may also need to move if they cannot make these modifications to their existing home.
Some types of severe injuries can leave the victim in need of round-the-clock care. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other debilitating accidents can leave a person in a nearly helpless state. Injured people may need to remain in a long-term care facility or hire in-home care part-time or permanently.
Catastrophic injuries may also require future medical treatment. Serious injuries can complicate a person’s health for decades in the future, especially if the victim was young at the time of the accident. Additional surgeries or treatments might be necessary, and the victim should take these into account as part of their damages.
A catastrophic injury case is complicated because all of these treatments and more may factor into the amount of compensation that fairly compensates an injured person. An attorney who has experience in catastrophic injury cases can help injured people fight for the compensation they need for future expenses and medical care.
Recovering from a catastrophic injury can be nearly impossible without financial help. Many people who suffer these injuries are overwhelmed with the number of procedures necessary and the cost of medical care.
When negligence causes an injury, the injured person may sue for compensation. The purpose of this compensation is to pay for the costs of treatment and make the injured person whole. While money can never replace the quality of life someone had before an injury, financial compensation is the primary tool that the judicial system has to reimburse injured people for their losses.
A court may award three types of compensation after a catastrophic injury: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Of the three, economic damages are the easiest to understand. These are the damages awarded as reimbursement for actual costs. Lost wages, medical bills, and the costs of repairing damaged property are all examples of economic damages.
Non-economic damages compensate an injured person for damages that are not easily quantifiable. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and anxiety and emotional distress. Unlike medical bills, it is difficult to put an exact number on the amount of money a person should receive for the amount of their suffering. Injured people and their families can testify about how the injury has impacted their lives to help the court decide how much compensation they should receive.
The third type of damages is punitive damages. The law intends for these damages to punish the person who caused the injury rather than compensate the victim. Punitive damages are only appropriate in cases where the plaintiff acted in an intentional or highly reckless manner. Since most accidents do not occur with any intent involved, punitive damages are relatively rare.
After a catastrophic injury, your family may be overwhelmed with anxiety and fearful about the future. Dealing with physical recovery is stressful enough without having to worry about how you will pay for treatment. By working with an experienced North Port catastrophic injury lawyer, you can rest assured that someone will be fighting for your rights while you work to heal.
At Boohoff Law, our attorneys work with families to understand how an injury has affected their lives. We handle complicated personal injury cases and can help you understand the process. We will review your case, answer your questions, and work with you to get you the compensation you need to be whole again.
14900 Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287