What is a catastrophic injury claim?
A catastrophic injury claim is a legal action brought by a person who suffers an unexpected, life-changing injury caused by another person’s negligence, carelessness, or deliberate actions. The goal is to compensate the injured party for his or her economic damages (past and future medical expenses, lost wages, travel expenses, etc.) and pain and suffering. Catastrophic injuries comprise their own category of personal injuries because of their complexity and severity. These injuries have a life-long impact, often require long-term medical care, and may prevent a person from ever working again. Common causes of catastrophic injuries include
- Car accidents
- Large truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Industrial and commercial accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports accidents
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, hiring an attorney experienced in bringing catastrophic injury claims will greatly increases your chances of receiving full and fair compensation.
What kind of damages can be awarded in catastrophic injury cases?
A catastrophic injury affects your quality of life and your ability to provide for your family. It may also shorten your life expectancy and affect your ability to live independently and participate in daily life activities. Appropriate compensation can protect both your family and your future. Common damages that are recoverable in catastrophic injury cases include
- Medical care and related expenses
- Lost wages and future loss of earnings
- Property damage
- Emergency services
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Travel expenses
- Legal costs
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Value of household services
The value of damages such as doctor bills and physical therapy expenses are straightforward. But there are also damages without an obvious price tag, such as pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and value of household services. These losses are assigned a dollar value through the claims process. Pain and suffering damages compensate an injured person for the loss in his or her quality of life. After an injury, you may experience a loss of enjoyment in family, social, professional, and educational experiences, such as when
- depression caused by the injuries and accompanying financial stress prevents you from enjoying family or social activities.
- your sexual relationship with your spouse is negatively affected (loss of consortium).
- you can no longer carry or cuddle your children.
Unpaid tasks that keep a household running, such as yard work, housecleaning, cooking and shopping, laundry, and some caretaking of children and other family members, are called household services. Injured persons can be compensated for the value of the household services he or she provided before the injury, but can no longer provide. The tasks must still be done so the family might have to pay for outside help, or a family member might take time off from work to keep the household running.
How will a catastrophic injury attorney help me?
Catastrophic injury claims are based on negligence, intentional misconduct, and strict liability. Experienced catastrophic injury attorneys know how to prove that you deserve full compensation because the person who caused the harm was negligent, did something wrong on purpose, or is legally responsible regardless of fault. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer understands how insurance companies work and how they place values on catastrophic injuries. Because of the lasting impact of catastrophic injuries, an award from the legal claim may be the only source of future income for an injured person. Therefore it is critical to have an experienced attorney present your case in a way that will result in maximum valuation. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney works with a network of doctors, life care planners, and other medical experts to determine the extent of your injuries and your future medical needs. Before settling a claim, it is essential to understand the full impact of the catastrophic injury.
Do I need to hire a catastrophic injury lawyer?
When deciding how much they are willing to pay for your injuries, insurance companies consider whether you are represented by a lawyer, the lawyer’s history of settling personal injury cases, and the value of those settlements. Claims evaluation software tracks this information. Insurance companies make larger profits when they pay smaller claims, so they want to pay the least amount of money in every case. Experienced catastrophic injury attorneys
- know how to negotiate with insurance claims adjusters and insurance company attorneys.
- know what a fair settlement looks like and how to get one.
- are ready to go to trial if they can’t achieve fair compensation for you through negotiations.
- increase your chances of receiving appropriate compensation for all your losses, not just the ones with immediate price tags.
How much does it cost to hire an experienced catastrophic injury attorney?
Catastrophic injury attorney fees vary by law firm, but in general, the firm receives a percentage of the award or settlement in a personal injury case. The lawyers get paid after the case is resolved.
Cerritos Legal Services provides a free confidential consultation to evaluate your case. Once we take your case, you pay nothing until your case is settled. Our law office provides personalized service including referrals to claims specialists and medical experts. Our team helps you and your family handle your affairs while your case is being resolved. We even work with doctors and specialists who can provide treatment on a lien basis until your case is resolved.
Contact us today for your free consultation with a catastrophic injury attorney at Cerritos Legal: 562-865-9356.