What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
The injuries involved in some accidents in Alabama are categorized as catastrophic. This means that they will have a substantial effect on the circumstances of the victim’s life. Although you may qualify for financial compensation if you are diagnosed with any type of injury, it is even more important to seek compensation if you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury. You have more to lose, more at stake and should not settle for less than you deserve from an insurance company.
Definition of Catastrophic Injury
In personal injury law, a catastrophic injury is one that is damaging to a victim’s entire livelihood. It is an injury that causes permanent disability, disfigurement or the loss of a bodily function. This type of injury can inflict significant pain on a victim, as well as cause immobility, dysfunction and/or psychological harm. Examples of catastrophic injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
- Amputation or dismemberment
- Scarring or disfigurement
- The loss of a fetus
- Wrongful death
Catastrophic injuries often have matching effects on victims – major consequences that can alter a victim’s life for months, years or life. A catastrophic injury may make it impossible for a victim to return to work, for example, or partake in favorite hobbies and activities. It could interfere with the enjoyment of time spent with children and loved ones, and have many other repercussions on a victim’s life, as well.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries in Alabama
Catastrophic injuries can be caused by many different types of accidents in Alabama. The human body is not built to withstand many types of forces, such as the gravitational forces of a car accident or contact with heavy machinery. Just as there are many different types of catastrophic injuries, there are many examples of accidents that cause them. Common causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Dog attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Fires and explosions
Most of these accidents and disasters are avoidable. They trace back to human errors and preventable mistakes, such as a motor vehicle driver’s failure to obey traffic laws in Alabama. In these scenarios, the injured victim may qualify for financial compensation for past and future losses, such as medical bills, ongoing medical needs, surgeries, medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Your Rights as the Victim of a Catastrophic Injury
If you believe that someone else had the power to prevent you or a loved one’s catastrophic injury, discuss your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit with an attorney in Alabama. You may be eligible for financial compensation if someone else was negligent and this caused your catastrophic injury. Negligence is the failure to act with proper care, resulting in harm to others. If you or your lawyer can prove negligence in connection with your catastrophic injury, you can qualify for a monetary recovery.
While no dollar amount will ever take back your injuries or restore the life that you used to have, obtaining fair compensation from a defendant can help you pay for related costs and move forward with greater peace of mind. Catastrophic injury claims in Alabama are generally worth more than cases involving less serious injuries, since case value depends largely on injury severity and medical costs. Unfortunately, insurance companies often underestimate case values in an attempt to save money on payouts.
Rather than offering fair benefits, an insurance company may try to underestimate how much your catastrophic injuries will cost you and your family over the course of your life. This is why it is critical to consult with an attorney to determine the value of your claim before accepting a fast settlement or signing anything from an insurance company. An attorney will give you an accurate case value estimation, as well as fight for maximum financial reimbursement on your behalf. Your lawyer can use compelling storytelling to illustrate how dramatically a catastrophic injury will affect your life.
For more information about a catastrophic injury claim in Alabama, contact Drake Injury Lawyers for a free legal consultation.