While any injury you suffer due to the negligence of another person or party is serious, a catastrophic personal injury is exactly that – catastrophic. These are injuries which may not only leave you in a world of physical pain, but may also leave you in an overwhelmingly burdensome financial situation, which could be compounded by the fact that you may no longer be able to work.
At Gold Spike Legal, we’re experienced in all areas of personal injury law, and catastrophic injuries are included in that. If you think you may have a catastrophic personal injury case, this is what you need to know:
“Catastrophic” doesn’t describe every case
While all personal injury cases are taken seriously, not every instance can be labeled “catastrophic.” That said, if any of the following characteristics or circumstances sound familiar, you may have a catastrophic personal injury case.
- Your injury includes the loss of a limb, or injuries to your head, neck and/or spinal cord. Generally speaking, any injury that results in any of the aforementioned medical issues can be determined catastrophic. In most cases, those who have suffered these types of injuries are affected permanently – whether or not they are able to carry out their career or favorite activities prior to the injury. If you’ve experienced an amputation, traumatic brain injury or neck or spinal cord injury, it’s imperative you speak with a catastrophic personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
- Your injury is costing you a substantial amount. While there is no financial “threshold” that separates a catastrophic personal injury from any other, if your medical bills are debilitating, it’s possible that your injury is indeed catastrophic. Typically, victims of catastrophic accidents suffer losses (both financial and nonfinancial) of several hundred thousand dollars or more. If your injury requires extensive medical treatment, ongoing therapy, inability to work or permanent disability, it may be considered catastrophic.
- Your injury is causing strain. Even if your financial losses aren’t in the six-figure range, if your injury is making it difficult for you and your family to make ends meet, it could be considered catastrophic.
Your reward may not be capped
In many states, there is a limit to the amount of compensation a personal injury plaintiff can receive for a medical malpractice or other case. Usually, these limits refer to the “non-economic” damages suffered, like pain and suffering. But if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, it’s possible that you may qualify for more than the compensation limit. Talk to your attorney about your state’s specific personal injury and medical malpractice caps.
Your attorney can help
Generally, there’s no judge who will determine whether or not a personal injury is catastrophic. Ultimately, your personal injury attorney will determine for his or her client whether he or she has suffered a catastrophic injury. This is because catastrophic personal injuries require a greater amount of details and information to prove the case, so your attorney will be able to determine whether or not your situation can be proven in court with these parameters.
You may still have a case
Just because your injury may not be considered catastrophic, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a personal injury case. Any time you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person or party, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost work and pain and suffering. As with any legal issue, it’s best to speak to your attorney specifically about your case to determine your options.
At Gold Spike Legal, we’re here to make sure our clients are compensated justly. We can’t erase your pain and suffering, but we can certainly help to make life a little easier for you from here on out.