Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in Dallas
CALL (214) 390-3177 TO SPEAK WITH DALLAS CATASTROPHIC INJURY LAWYERS FOR FREE
Most accidents leave their victims with injuries that can be fully treated by careful medical attention. Though the experience might be stressful, painful, and expensive, these victims may fully recover and leave the accident behind them. However, certain accidents leave their victims with more permanent, life-changing injuries. While all injuries may require some life adjustments, catastrophic injuries have the potential to turn the lives of their victims upside down. Dealing with the fallout from a catastrophic injury without any assistance can be extremely difficult, and may leave you with a sizable financial burden to cover continuing medical treatment.
The injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group understand that injury victims deal not only with physical pain but also severe emotional and financial burdens. In addition, our firm believes that catastrophic injury victims should never have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation, which is why we offer a no-win, no-fee guarantee. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, call (214) 390-3177 for a free case evaluation with our Dallas attorneys.
WHAT MAKES AN INJURY “CATASTROPHIC”?
The word “catastrophe” comes from a Greek word meaning “overturn,” or, “when everything changes.” In other words, a catastrophic injury is an injury that has long-term, life-changing effects on the victim.
In a modern legal context, according to the laws of the United States, a catastrophic injury is “an injury, the direct or proximate consequences of which permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.” They often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, or personal nurse care long after the accident that causes them. To make matters worse, catastrophic injuries often leave their victims to find any sort of work, which renders them dependent on others for the rest of their lives.
COMMON CAUSES OF CATASTROPHIC INJURIES
Though catastrophic injuries form their own category, they can have very different causes. A few of the more common include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Accidents that end up causing catastrophic injuries typically occur at very high speeds, for example, on a freeway or an open street late night. In addition, accidents involving a truck can cause catastrophic injuries due to the sheer size and weight of an 18-wheeler.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other health care professional acts negligently in performing their duties. Because of the high-stakes situations that medical professionals operate in, any act of negligence can result in serious consequences.
Construction sites will typically have powerful machinery and heavy building equipment lying around. Any misuse of, or accident involving these items can potentially cause life-changing injuries.
COMMON EXAMPLES OF CATASTROPHIC INJURIES
Catastrophic injuries take lots of different forms, but they can generally be placed into one of the following categories:
Physical injuries include injuries that damage or force the removal of organs, limbs, or tissue. Some examples of injuries that would fall into this category include burns, amputation, severe fractures, and organ damage.
Injuries in this category are exactly what they sound like—injuries to the spinal cord. Typically, these injuries will leave the victim with some degree of mobility issues. Common examples include varying degrees of paralysis, including tetraplegia (loss of use of all four limbs) and paraplegia (loss of use of legs).
Injuries in this category come as a result of damage to the brain, and they typically affect a person’s ability to speak or work. One common of a result of this sort of injury is aphasia, which is the loss of ability to understand or express speech.
How to File a Claim for a Catastrophic Injury
Even though catastrophic injuries cover a vast range of different types of injuries, the process of filing a claim remains relatively constant. The main steps of this process include:
1. Contacting an Attorney
Any personal injury claim is complicated, and catastrophic injuries make things much more so. Thus, it is advisable to contact an experienced Dallas catastrophic injury attorney before you make any decisions that may permanently impact the future of yourself and your family. An attorney may be able to advocate for you and help you seek maximum compensation for your catastrophic injury.
2. Gather Evidence
Once you have hired an attorney, they may be able to get to work gathering the evidence that your case will require. This step will be a bit more complicated in cases that involve a catastrophic injury. In claims for injuries that are relatively minor, the extent of the evidence gathering is typically finding bills for medical procedures that made the victim well again. However, because catastrophic injuries typically require ongoing care, this step can require contacting experts who are able to testify to what a lifetime of medical care might cost the victim and their family.
3. Negotiate a Settlement
After your attorney has a solid understanding of all of the facts in the case, they may be able to enter into settlement negotiations with the other party. Again, this step is more complicated when a catastrophic injury is involved. This is because damages for pain and suffering, which will be discussed later in this article, usually are a bigger part of these discussions. For minor injuries, most settlements only involve the money that the victim had to expend to cover their medical care and lost wages. However, catastrophic injuries involve a great deal of pain and suffering, so the negotiation process can become a bit more complicated.
4. Go to Trial
The vast majority of cases settle before they ever reach the courthouse. However, if the other side is unwilling to give a settlement offer that you deem acceptable, then going to trial might be the only option. If this is the case, then your attorney may be able to develop a trial strategy to emphasize the strong points and deflect attention away from the weaker points of your position.
COMPENSATION FOR A CATASTROPHIC INJURY
Victims of an injury, especially catastrophic injuries, will probably begin to wonder, “How much is my case actually worth?” While there is likely no amount of money that will ever really restore you or your loved one completely, catastrophic injury sufferers do have expensive needs, and this question is important. It is impossible to predict an exact number at the outset of a case, but the damages will generally fall into one of two categories:
Economic damages include the costs that you have incurred or will incur as a result of your injuries. They can be things like medical bills, damage to your vehicle, or other property that you were forced to replace as the result of your accident. In addition, catastrophic injuries can also include damages for future medical costs because of the fact that these victims will often require life-long care.
Non-economic damages compensate victims for the physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering that they experience as a result of their injuries. Because catastrophic injuries are very serious and often result in a lot of physical pain and loss of enjoyment of life, this number can be fairly high in these cases. However, in certain types of cases, there will be a cap imposed by the state of Texas on how much these damages can be. Talk to an attorney to find out more about how much your specific case might be worth.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Every type of personal injury claim has an associated “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have to file a claim based on a given injury. For example, if the statute of limitations for a given claim is two years, then the victim would have two years from the date of the accident that caused her injuries to file a claim. If a victim does not bring a claim in time, then her case will probably be thrown out. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years.
However, there are certain exceptions to the typical Texas statute of limitations rule. One major example is if the victim is a child when the accident occurs. A child's statute of limitations will be "tolled" or stopped until the child reaches the age of eighteen or is otherwise emancipated. This means that a child who is in a severe accident may be able to bring a claim even after the general two-year statute has expired. It is advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to make sure that you do not risk the possibility of losing out on a claim because it is brought outside of the statute of limitations.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP FOR HELP
When you choose to hire Zinda Law Group, you may have an advocate on your team who is willing to invest the necessary time and effort into helping you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. In addition, we believe that accident victims shouldn’t have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation. Our no-win, no-fee guarantee means that you don’t pay us any money unless we win your case.
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