Compensable damages that result from catastrophic injuries are understandably much greater than the damages that arise in a normal personal injury case. For victims of catastrophic injuries arising from an accident that wasn’t the injured victim’s fault, it is critical to understand the available compensation options to ensure that any compensation award received pays for all of the injured victim’s bills and losses.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is typically defined as any injury that leaves a person temporary or permanently disabled or that ultimately proves to be fatal. Catastrophic injuries typically arise from motor vehicle accidents, falls from heights, crush accidents, explosions, or other severe trauma.
Filing a Legal Claim for a Catastrophic Injury
After suffering a catastrophic injury, it becomes critical to understand who can be held legally responsible for compensation. For example, following a motor vehicle accident the victim of a catastrophic injury may turn to the driver at fault for the accident for compensation. Or if a person suffers a catastrophic injury due to a defective product, he or she may be entitled to file a legal claim against the manufacturer and/or retailer of the product. Even when an accident and catastrophic injuries are caused by a person, there may be other parties who can be held legally responsible for compensation; for example, if the at-fault party caused the accident and catastrophic injuries in the course and scope of his or her employment, his or her employer may be held liable for compensation.
Calculating damages following a catastrophic injury is always a difficult process due to the outsized impact that a catastrophic injury will have on a victim’s life. At a minimum, someone who has suffered catastrophic injuries will likely incur massive bills for medical treatment and rehabilitation. When catastrophic injuries lead to temporary or permanent disability, the injured victim will also likely incur home health care and other personal care costs, potentially for the rest of their lives — these costs can also include purchasing medical equipment and renovating one’s home to accommodate physical disabilities caused by a catastrophic injury.
Catastrophic injuries also typically result in wage and income losses for victims. In addition to lost wages and income for time missed from work while recovering from injuries, an injured victim will also likely suffer damages in the form of lost earning potential. This may arise when an injured victim can return to part-time or restricted work, which would lead to him or her earning less than she was prior to his or her injuries — in that case, an injured victim would be entitled to compensation for the difference in earnings. Or if catastrophic injuries lead to permanent disability, an injured victim deserves to be compensated for his or her lost earning power.
Finally, a person who suffers a catastrophic injury also incurs loss in the form of pain and suffering, both from the injury itself as well as from the treatment and rehabilitation the injury will require, and in the form of loss of enjoyment or quality of life, such as due to the loss of motor skills or other bodily functions or due to physical scars or disfigurement that might cause an injured victim embarrassment.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Catastrophic Injury Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured in Pembroke Pines, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Weston, and throughout Florida. Call (754) 226-1747 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.