Catastrophic injuries are life changing and debilitating. They often stop people from working and, thus, can hinder their ability to support their families. These types of injuries, in addition to the physical pain and suffering endured by patients, also come with tremendous mental and emotional costs.
Victims who suffered catastrophic injuries because of someone else’s negligent behavior have recourse to get the compensation they need. But before you settle your case, work with an attorney to make sure you understand the severity of your injuries and the full extent of your damages.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries & Their Effects
Catastrophic injuries can include:
- Multiple broken bones or soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Severe burns to the skin
- Loss of sight/eye injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of mobility
These injuries may require long-term hospitalization; expensive and extensive therapies; in-home care; and, in some situations, home or vehicle modification to accommodate the patient’s needs.
Catastrophic injuries can have lasting emotional effects in addition to the physical impairments they cause. They can cause permanent disabilities, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. In some cases, a victim may develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you are filing a claim for a catastrophic injury, make sure you account for these damages. Work with your doctor and your lawyer to get a full understanding of your injury’s prognosis and the effects on your life. Do not settle too early, as you cannot reopen your case later if you find it does not cover all of your costs and losses.
What kind of personal injury claim do I file?
Each injury may require a different type of lawsuit.
- Car accident: You would file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Even if you live in a no-fault state, most states allow victims of serious injuries to pursue pain and suffering and other damages from the at-fault driver. If the accident was your fault, you can look to your own policies for compensation.
- Slip and fall: Your claim would fall under premises liability. The location determines both the defendant and who pays. For example, if your friend is renting an apartment and you slip and fall on a broken step, you may be able to file a claim with the landlord’s homeowner’s insurance or your friend’s renter’s insurance. If you slip and fall in a store, you would file a claim with the store’s liability insurance.
- Prescription or medication error: If a doctor writes you the wrong prescription, you would most likely file a claim against the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance. If a pharmacist gives you the wrong prescription, you would most likely sue the pharmacy. If a manufacturer labeled the medication or prescription incorrectly, that becomes a case of product liability.
- Using a defective or dangerous product: You would file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. You may be able to prove manufacturer or seller liability through negligence or strict liability depending on your state’s laws and the circumstances of the accident.
Get Help from a Lawyer in the Primerus Network
Make sure you have legal help if you are filing a claim after a catastrophic injury. These cases require more than accounting for your immediate and short-term damages. Consider how the injury changes your life and the costs and losses it causes. A local attorney can help you file a claim. Locate one with the Primerus Find a Lawyer feature.