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Bronx Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Accidents happen every day in the Bronx. When they do, victims suffer serious injuries. Sometimes, the injuries are so severe they are considered catastrophic, which are some of the most serious injuries a person could sustain. A catastrophic injury is one that will change the life of the accident victim forever. Individuals that sustain catastrophic injuries may be unable to maintain relationships, go to work, or live in the manner they did before the accident.
When someone else’s negligent actions cause a catastrophic injury, you can file a claim for compensation against the negligent party. However, these claims are some of the most complex to file. Personal injury cases are always complicated, but those involving a catastrophic injury have a greater value. As such, insurers are more likely to aggressively try and reduce, deny, or delay these claims. An experienced Bronx catastrophic injury attorney from Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help you hold insurers accountable for paying the full damages you deserve.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Federal law 42 U.S.C. 3796 b defines a catastrophic injury as one that prevents an individual from obtaining any meaningful work. Although this definition covers a wide variety of injuries, there are some catastrophic injuries that are more common than others. These include:
- Concussions and other brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including fractures and paralysis
- Skull fractures
- Deafness and blindness
- Internal organ injuries
- Severe burns
Catastrophic injuries require medical treatment that can last for months and in some cases years. Long-term assistance and rehabilitative treatments are also often necessary after a person suffers a catastrophic injury. These treatments are incredibly expensive and no one should ever have to be denied from receiving them just because they cannot afford them. When catastrophic injuries are caused by another person’s negligent or careless actions, accident victims can file a claim against the liable party to recover damages that can help with their medical expenses, lost income, and more.
Types of Accidents that Result in Catastrophic Injuries
Just about any accident can result in a catastrophic injury, but some of the most common include:
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products
- Premises liability accidents, including slip and falls
- Train accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Dog bites
- Uber & Lyft accidents
After an injury is caused by any of the above accidents, you should speak to a Bronx catastrophic injury attorney that can help you claim the compensation you need.
Catastrophic Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
While any type of accident can result in a catastrophic injury, car accidents are unique when it comes to these claims. New York is among the handful of states that follow no-fault auto insurance laws. This means that in most cases you must file a claim with your own insurer after a crash to claim accident benefits. Most drivers though, purchase only a minimum amount of auto insurance and it is not usually enough to cover the large cost of a catastrophic injury.
New York Insurance Law Section 5102 (d) outlines when car accident victims can sue for a catastrophic injury. One way to determine whether an injury is serious enough to be considered catastrophic is the 90/180 day Rule. Under this rule, a person can sue a negligent party after a car accident if they cannot continue on with their usual and customary daily activities for at least 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the accident that resulted in injury or impairment.
Proving Liability After a Catastrophic Injury
It may be clear to you that someone else caused the accident that resulted in a catastrophic injury, but you will still have to prove it when filing your claim. To do this, you must establish these elements of your case:
- Duty of Care. The first is that the negligent party owed you a duty of care. This is easier in some cases than others. For example, if you sustained a catastrophic injury during a car accident, it may be easy to prove because all drivers owe each other a duty of car. On the other hand, if you suffered a catastrophic injury as a result of medical malpractice, it is sometimes more difficult to prove a doctor-patient relationship had been formed.
- Breach of Duty. Once you have proven the negligent party owed you a duty of care, you must prove they breached that duty of care. A breach is the negligent act that caused the accident. Proving that someone acted negligently is sometimes the most difficult aspect of catastrophic injury cases.
- Cause of Accident. An act of negligence is not enough to file a claim for damages. You must also prove the act of negligence resulted in an accident, and that you sustained a catastrophic injury as a result. When doing this, you must establish the link between the negligent act and the accident that caused your injuries.
Statute of Limitations in Catastrophic Injury Cases
All personal injury cases in New York are governed by a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time you have to file your claim. This will depend on the type of accident that caused your injury. Most personal injury claims in the Bronx have a statute of limitations of three years. However, if your injury was caused by medical malpractice, you only have 2 ½ years to file your claim.
It is essential that you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. If you do not, you will likely forfeit your right to claim damages as the courts and the insurer will throw out your claim.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or someone you love has sustained a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to call our Bronx catastrophic injury lawyers at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. Our seasoned attorney will take care of every aspect of your claim, ensure it is filed on time, and give you the best chances of recovering the full damages you deserve.