A catastrophic injury is legally defined as a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, typically one that affects the nervous system. Although it may be hard to establish the differences between a catastrophic injury and other devastating injuries, victims of catastrophic injuries often require life-long medical care and assistance. Additionally, catastrophic injuries are so severe that the victim usually cannot return to work, faces enormous medical bills, and cannot enjoy life the way they once did.
If you or someone you love suffered a catastrophic injury that you believe was due to the negligent or reckless actions of another, it could be vital that you contact a Lafayette catastrophic injury lawyer. A dedicated personal injury attorney could examine the details of your accident and begin to build your case for the best possible outcome.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Although catastrophic injuries can occur almost anywhere, some of the most common causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Offshore accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Severe dog bites
For a free legal consultation with a catastrophic injuries lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Catastrophic Injury Claims
Due to the nature of catastrophic injuries, the damages awarded to a successful plaintiff in a catastrophic injury case are often substantially greater compared to other personal injury cases. Damages can include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium and much more.
Furthermore, losses that do not have a dollar amount attached, like loss of lifestyle or pain and suffering, can be extremely hard to quantify. As a result, non-economic damages awarded can be significant.
However, under Louisiana Civil Code §2323, if the defendant claims that the injuries were partially the plaintiff’s fault, the damages awarded to the plaintiff may be reduced by the percentage of fault they bore for their own injuries. For example, if a plaintiff was found to be 15 percent responsible for their own injuries, they could recover a maximum of 85 percent of their final damage award.
For a plaintiff’s catastrophic injury claim based on negligence to be successful, they must establish the following three points:
- The defendant had a responsibility to keep the plaintiff safe and failed to do so
- The neglect of the defendant’s responsibility to the plaintiff—whether intentional or unintentional—directly caused the catastrophic injury
- The injury has resulted in significant and compensable physical damages
An experienced Lafayette catastrophic injury lawyer understands that for those injured in a catastrophic accident, no amount of money can erase what has occurred. That being said, the current and future financial needs of the families affected by this tragedy must be protected.
Lafayette Catastrophic Injuries Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Catastrophic Injuries and Insurance Settlements
Before accepting an insurance settlement that might be too low, it is important to understand the value of a claim. A catastrophic injury lawyer in Lafayette could initiate an investigation into a potential client’s case to determine what compensation the client should be offered. This could involve but is certainly not limited to:
- Obtaining necessary documents to prove injury—for example, medical records, medical bills, police reports, and proof of lost time at work and other expenses
- Working with police to acquire video of the accident from nearby security cameras
- Interviewing witnesses
- Accessing medical experts to determine the extent and duration of injuries
Iberia Parish Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are life-altering and often involve permanent disability or disfigurement. Common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Third-degree burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
If a catastrophic injury victim dies as a result of the accident, the surviving family members may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Pursuing Compensation in Iberia Parish
Most catastrophic injuries are the result of accidents, and the at-fault party may not have intended to cause harm. However, accident victims can still seek compensation if the responsible person or company was negligent.
Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315, if a person causes damage to another, the actor must repair the victim. That means that whoever caused the accident to occur must compensate the victim for all of their losses. If the victim had any role in causing their own injury, their recovery is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the victim was 20 percent responsible for an accident, they could only recover 80 percent of their damages.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations, or prescription period, is the time limit for filing a lawsuit. Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, accident victims have one year from the date of their injuries in which to bring a claim. Contacting an Iberia Parish catastrophic injury attorney as quickly as possible after an accident can be essential to the success of a case.
Damages Related to Catastrophic Injuries
There are often significant expenses associated with a catastrophic injury. A victim may require extensive rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, and numerous corrective surgeries. At the same time, the injured person may be unable to work in their previous occupations or be completely disabled. Catastrophic injury victims can pursue compensation for all of their losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost future wages
- Loss of consortium, service, and society
A catastrophic injury attorney in Iberia Parish could help victims identify all of their losses and demand fair compensation. Insurance companies may be quick to offer a settlement, but initial offers are often insufficient to cover a catastrophic injury victims future expenses.
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Consulting a Lafayette Catastrophic Injury Attorney
If you suffer from a catastrophic injury or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, a Lafayette catastrophic injury lawyer could help you handle insurance companies and work to prove negligence on the part of another party. Client-focused lawyers are standing by to fight for your rights, so call today to schedule a consultation.