Catastrophic Injury Accounting in Tampa, FL
Most of the time, people can walk away from an accident and suffer no permanent damage. Unfortunately, there are times when an accident causes catastrophic injuries to its victims. And when such injuries are the result of negligence, the responsible parties can be held legally accountable and required to compensate the victim for their past, present, and even future damages.
What Makes an Injury “Catastrophic”?
Generally, “catastrophic” is a term used to describe any injury that has permanent or long-term consequences, typically involving the loss of the use or function of a body party or organ. Some of the more common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- damage to the spinal cord;
- traumatic brain injuries;
- partial or total paralysis;
- loss of a hand, foot, arm, or leg; and
- third-degree burns over a significant portion of the body.
Again, this is not intended as an exhaustive list, and what qualifies as a catastrophic injury can vary based on the specific facts and circumstances of a given accident. An experienced Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyer can provide you with more specific advice.
Determining Fault for a Catastrophic Injury
As with any personal injury claim, legal responsibility for a catastrophic injury depends on establishing a defendant's negligence. Negligence refers to an act–or failure to act–when a duty is owed to another person. In the context of a car accident, for example, a driver is negligent when they fail to obey the rules of the road and in doing so they cause an accident. When a person is found negligent, they can be required to pay damages to the victims of their negligence.
At the same time, negligence is not always a cut-and-dry matter. Defendants in personal injury cases often try and shift blame to other parties, including the victim. In other words, the defense can argue the defendant's own actions contributed to their catastrophic injury. If the victim is found partially at-fault, they can still receive compensation from the other negligent parties, but any award must be reduced to account for their own “comparative fault.”
Determining Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury
By their very nature, catastrophic injuries often require a lifetime of medical care. A negligent defendant can be held liable for all of these medical expenses. In addition, a personal injury award for catastrophic injuries may include any or all of the following damages:
- physical therapy;
- psychological counseling;
- nursing or in-home care;
- lost wages and earning capacity;
- compensation for permanent disfigurement;
- pain and suffering; and
- loss of enjoyment of life.
In addition, if a victim dies as the result of a catastrophic injury, their family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent parties. If successful, the family may receive compensation for the loss of their loved one's income, companionship, and overall support.
Do Not Wait to Speak with a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
If you, or someone that you love, has suffered a catastrophic injury, time is of the essence when seeking compensation. Most personal injury claims have a statute of limitations that ends after only a few years. So the sooner you engage a skilled Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyer, the quicker you can begin the process of holding the negligent parties accountable.