Getting injured in any way because of another person’s actions can disrupt your personal and professional life, and could require substantial medical care to make a full recovery. However, some injuries are so severe that no amount of treatment or financial restitution can completely restore the injured person to their pre-accident condition.
When someone else’s actions result in a catastrophic injury, the civil recovery process must focus on mitigating long-term harm rather than undoing the harm that has been done. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Lowenthal & Abrams, P.C. can advocate on your behalf to get the compensation you need. If you are dealing with a life-altering injury caused by someone else’s negligence, call an Erie catastrophic injury lawyer who can fight to protect your best interests and provide stability for years to come.
What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?
Generally speaking, “catastrophic” injuries are expected to last someone’s entire life. They also cause a substantial loss of sensory, motor, or cognitive function that seriously inhibits an individual from having the same life they enjoyed before. Examples of injuries that commonly meet these criteria include the following:
- Moderate to severe brain trauma
- Severe spinal cord damage resulting in paralysis
- High-degree burns
- Injuries resulting in widespread nerve damage
- Injuries causing blindness or deafness
- Limb loss/amputation
When seeking compensation for harm someone else caused, labeling an injury as “catastrophic” impresses upon a judge, jury, or settlement negotiator its severity and life-long consequences. An Erie attorney can further explain what constitutes a catastrophic injury during a free confidential consultation.
Catastrophic Injuries Could Allow For At-Fault Litigation
In some cases, the nature of an injury affects an injured party’s legal options after the accident. State laws establish a “no-fault” law for car insurance claims, meaning insurance companies are automatically liable for paying medical costs for someone’s injuries regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, insurers often limit the compensation that is available in these claims. A potential plaintiff may need to prove their injuries were catastrophic to file suit against the at-fault driver or a third party.
Potential Obstacles to Effective Recovery
Comparative fault laws are a roadblock that could affect the ability of a catastrophic injury survivor to recover the full compensation they deserve. The defendant’s attorney may argue that the plaintiff contributed to their injuries at the time of the accident. For example, someone may have been driving over the speed limit when another motorist drove through a red light and hit them. 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 7102 allows courts to assign a percentage of total fault to a personal injury plaintiff, and reduce the compensation available or bar them from recovery at all.
Additionally, 42 PA Con. Stat. § 5524 usually allows just two years after a catastrophic injury occurs for the injured person to begin the litigation process. Support from a seasoned lawyer can be essential to navigating and overcoming these obstacles throughout a catastrophic injury case in Erie.
Discuss Your Case with an Erie Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Catastrophic accidents can be challenging claims, especially given the severity of the injuries you may be dealing with. Fortunately, you have help available from determined legal representatives who know how to fight and win on your behalf.
A conversation with an Erie catastrophic injury lawyer can give you much-needed answers to important questions and guidance about your next steps. Schedule your free initial consultation by calling today.