Any type of personal injury can be a devastating experience for the victim and their family, but catastrophic injuries are especially damaging. A “catastrophic” injury is any injury that causes permanent damage to the victim. Some catastrophic injury victims experience permanent disabilities that diminish their quality of life, while others may be left paralyzed, unable to live independently, and/or dependent on ongoing medical care for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one suffered any type of catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another party, it is vital to understand your legal rights and the recovery you could potentially secure with the help of an experienced El Dorado Hills catastrophic injuries lawyer. The team at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC are standing by to assist the injured in recovering fair compensation for their losses resulting from catastrophic injuries.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
Even if fault for your catastrophic injury seems readily apparent, it is vital to understand the value an experienced El Dorado Hills catastrophic injuries lawyer can provide to your case. Without an attorney helping you, you run the risk of making procedural mistakes with your claim that jeopardize it at the foundational level. A missed filing deadline or mistake on your court paperwork could potentially result in the court throwing out your claim before it even reaches a judge for consideration.
Hiring an attorney is an investment in the success of your catastrophic injury claim. Your legal team can handle your procedural obligations with the El Dorado Hills civil court on your behalf so you can focus on resting and recovering. It would be very difficult to manage your own legal affairs while also dealing with the aftermath of any injury, especially a catastrophic one that likely involves painful symptoms and adjusting to permanent medical complications. The right attorney will also have the professional experience to ensure you explore every channel of compensation available to you to help you maximize your recovery.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries
If you are unsure whether a recent injury qualifies as catastrophic, consider a few of the most common examples of catastrophic injuries that commonly lead to civil claims:
- Crushing injuries. A crushing injury may completely destroy part of the body, potentially causing the victim to lose an affected limb or experience severe internal organ damage. These injuries may occur in serious car accidents, workplace accidents, and in various other scenarios.
- Severe bone fractures. A compound bone fracture that breaks the skin may require multiple surgeries and entail nerve damage. These factors can result in permanent complications, such as lost range of motion, lost fine motor control, or diminished sensation.
- Traumatic brain injuries. The human brain is highly susceptible to traumatic injury. Some brain injuries cause permanent damage, including cognitive impairment, diminished memory, language processing problems, and loss of motor control over various parts of the body.
- Amputations. Some injuries may cause the victim to lose one or more limbs. It is also possible for some injury victims to require amputation of a limb to save their life from infection and other complications related to a severe injury to an arm or leg.
- Severe internal injuries. Gunshots and other traumatic injuries to the body can damage the internal organs, sometimes irreparably. Some internal organ injuries may result in permanent medical complications for the victim.
- Burns. Burning injuries are devastating and traumatizing, often resulting in permanent disfigurement and scar tissue formation that can interfere with range of motion.
These are only a few examples of catastrophic injuries that can cause long-term or permanent damage to the victim. If you are uncertain whether a recent injury you or your loved one experienced qualifies as catastrophic, it is essential to consult an attorney right away, especially if the injury occurred because of another party’s negligence.
Proving Fault for a Catastrophic Injury
Depending on how your catastrophic injury occurred, it is possible for one or more parties to bear liability for the incident. Your El Dorado Hills catastrophic injuries lawyer will help you identify the party or parties responsible for your injury and hold them accountable through a personal injury claim. The first step in proving fault for your catastrophic injury is identifying the defendant and establishing their duty of care in the situation that led to your injury. For example, a driver has a duty of care to refrain from operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Next, you and your attorney must prove how the defendant breached this duty of care. This means proving that the defendant failed to act with reasonable care in the situation in question or acted outside the scope of acceptability for the situation. Following the previous example of a driver’s duty of care to avoid driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol would be a clear breach of this duty of care.
The final phase of establishing fault for a catastrophic injury is proving the full scope of the plaintiff’s damages and providing evidence that those damages resulted solely from the defendant’s breach of duty and not some other cause.
Legal Recovery for a Catastrophic Injury
If you and your El Dorado Hills catastrophic injuries lawyer successfully establish a defendant’s negligence, you can secure various types of compensation under California’s personal injury laws. The compensation your attorney can help you secure potentially includes:
- Medical expenses. A catastrophic injury is likely to incur significant medical costs, both immediately after the accident and in the future. A plaintiff in a catastrophic injury case can claim immediate medical expenses like ambulance fees and emergency room treatment costs, and they may also claim any long-term medical expenses they anticipate in the future. Some catastrophic injuries may require lifelong medical treatment and ongoing therapies to restore the victim’s quality of life as much as possible.
- Lost income. A catastrophic injury can not only prevent the victim from working during their initial recovery period but also prevent them from returning to work at all in the future. Your El Dorado Hills catastrophic injuries lawyer can coordinate expert witness testimony to help you prove the full extent of your lost future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering. A catastrophic injury will completely change the victim’s life, potentially preventing them from living independently in the future. California law allows personal injury plaintiffs to claim compensation for physical pain and psychological trauma, and the amount they receive depends on the severity of their injuries. The only limits a plaintiff would encounter in claiming pain and suffering damages would be in medical malpractice claims, which California state law limits to $250,000 regardless of severity.
If you or a loved one experienced any kind of catastrophic injury, it is very likely that your family not only incurred significant immediate damages but also face a very difficult financial future due to ongoing medical treatment costs and lost income. Working with an experienced El Dorado Hills catastrophic injuries attorney offers the best chance of success with your personal injury claim and increases the likelihood of maximizing your recovery.
Expert Witness Testimony in Catastrophic Injury Cases
Some personal injury claims are more challenging than others when it comes to proving a defendant’s liability for the plaintiff’s damages. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, our team has years of experience handling the most challenging personal injury cases, and we have cultivated a wide network of professionals who can testify on our clients’ behalf. Your catastrophic injury claim may require you to prove the full extent of the medical complications you will experience in the future due to your injuries, and our firm can contact medical experts who can provide their professional interpretations of your condition to support your claim in court.
Catastrophic injuries are also likely to interfere with the victim’s ability to work and support themselves in the future. We can have financial experts weigh in on your case to ensure the court understands the full scope of the economic impact your injury is going to have for you and your family. No matter what complex or technical issues your catastrophic injury claim entails, rest assured the team at the Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC have the experience and professional resources you need to approach your case with confidence.