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Catastrophic Injury

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

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.

Proving Negligence

For a plaintiff’s catastrophic injury claim based on negligence to be successful, they must establish the following three points:

  1. The defendant had a responsibility to keep the plaintiff safe and failed to do so
  2. The neglect of the defendant’s responsibility to the plaintiff—whether intentional or unintentional—directly caused the catastrophic injury
  3. 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.

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

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.