We have handled many car accidents, medical malpractice and nursing home cases involving serious or catastrophic injuries. The injuries considered catastrophic are very severe in nature. They usually involve damage to the spine, brain, or extremities. Often they have resulted in paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia). In most instances, the individuals that suffer catastrophic injuries are permanently disabled as a result.
Do Catastrophic Injuries Generally Occur as a Result of Certain Types of Negligence?
Catastrophic injuries can be caused by any type of negligence or failure of another to abide by safety rules. The most common we see are car and trucking accidents, and pedestrians who are struck by vehicles. We also see construction site accidents and medical malpractice claims that cause catastrophic injuries.
What Types of Damages are Available in Cases Involving Catastrophic Injuries?
We seek to recover damages for our client/s past and future pain and suffering, as well as their past and future medical bills, and any past and future lost wages. The goal is to try to make them whole, at least from a financial standpoint to where they were before the incident occurred.
How can I Know how Much My Catastrophic Injury Claim is Worth?
Part of it is a calculation. For instance, the past and future medical expenses is something we can calculate, and use experts to help get to that answer. Sometimes, we hire life care planners, and our vocational rehab experts to help us calculate past and future medical expenses as well as past and future lost wages. We can calculate those amounts pretty accurately. The other aspect of it, past and future pain and suffering is a little bit more difficult to quantify. In determining how much the case is worth, you want to rely on your attorney’s experience, and his/her research of other types of cases they have handled in the past where the injuries are similar, or other reported cases in a similar venue with similar injuries. We have access to all of that information at our firm, and with that, we can determine what an appropriate settlement amount is and determine the maximum amount of compensation that you would be entitled.
What Sort of Financial Assistance can be Obtained in a Catastrophic Injury Scenario?
Depending on how the injury occurred, there may be ways to get financial assistance while the case is pending. That could include recovering through disability, or workers compensation. There are other avenues that you could potentially use in terms of obtaining an advance, but clients need to be careful in those instances, because the interest rates are very high. I recommend speaking with your attorney before taking an advance against any personal injury case.
Should I pay Medical Bills as They Come in or Should I Wait for the Claim to be Resolved?
Each case is different. For instance, in motor vehicle cases, your medical expenses should go through the no fault carrier, and paid by the no fault carrier, so there should not be any out of pocket expenses. In other types of case, if you are in a position to pay for the medical expenses that are related to your injury, we would likely recommend that you do so, and then be reimbursed through the claim itself. We would not want your credit to be damaged if you do not pay the medical bills, but each situation is different. Therefore, if you have the ability to pay any out-of-pocket expenses that you as the patient occur, we would likely be making that part of the claim we pursued on your behalf.