Catastrophic Injury Settlements & Verdicts
Any accident can result in serious injuries, but sometimes an injury is so severe it is considered catastrophic. Generally speaking, a catastrophic injury is one that is so severe the victim is permanently disabled and cannot return to work. Loss of vision, amputations, brain injuries that result in severe cognitive impairment, and spinal cord injuries such as paralysis are just a few common examples of catastrophic injuries. Regardless of the type of catastrophic injury sustained, the life of the accident victim is usually changed forever.
The majority of catastrophic injuries are the result of an accident, which means they are sudden and unexpected. Auto collisions, falls, and explosions are just some of the most common types of catastrophic injury a person may suffer from. These accidents are usually caused by the negligent or careless actions or inactions of another person. When this is the case, accident victims can file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Although the damages available in these claims cannot restore the victim’s health, they can help offset the financial burden the injury causes. A lawyer can help with these complex claims so you obtain the fair settlement you are entitled to.
A Personal Injury Claim will Restore Your Losses
The purpose of personal injury claims is to restore the accident victim as wholly as possible. This isn’t to say a person will be physically cured, but a New York City personal injury lawyer will negotiate a settlement that better allows accident victims to lead a life that is as normal as possible considering the circumstances.
When an accident victim can no longer walk due to a catastrophic injury, the settlement from a personal injury case will try to restore their mobility by making sure the accident victim has a wheelchair that will help them get around. In this case, the injured individual may also require a vehicle that is operated with hand controls only, or their home may have to be renovated to accommodate for the injury with ramps and entrances that are easily accessible. An individual may also need vocational rehabilitation to help them find new work. A settlement involving a catastrophic injury should also cover the current and future lost income and medical expenses the accident victim will likely incur.
In certain cases, such as serious brain injuries and other conditions and injuries that leave a person bedridden, a catastrophic injury settlement will focus on bringing in professional help to aid with the individual’s safety and comfort. These damages may include the cost of a home nurse to assist with basic daily tasks, or the expense of a residential care facility where the accident victim can receive the round-the-clock care they now require.
A lawyer will work with multiple experts to determine the full impact a catastrophic injury will have on the victim’s life. Lawyers will work with not only healthcare professionals, but also life care planners, economists, rehabilitation experts, medical equipment suppliers, and accessible housing specialists. A lawyer will need to develop a full understanding of the challenges the accident victim will face, and the means of how the accident victim can overcome them.
Evaluating Catastrophic Injury Pain and Suffering Settlement Amounts
In addition to the economic damages, or those that are easily calculated, an accident victim is entitled to claim, they can also claim damages for pain and suffering when an injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.
These damages are meant to compensate for the physical pain a person experiences during their recovery, as well as those for emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages can help compensate for the individual’s loss of ability to have sexual relations, to socialize, take part in hobbies they once enjoyed, and raise their children.
Damages for loss of enjoyment of life are not as easy to calculate as other damages, such as medical expenses and lost income. It is also true that no amount of financial compensation can help accident victims overcome emotional pain. However, it can help them find other ways to enjoy their life.
A catastrophic injury lawyer will consider a number of different factors when evaluating damages for pain and suffering as part of a settlement. The most pertinent of these is usually how a jury will respond and the amount of compensation a jury would award for the same injury.
Why Do Catastrophic Injury Cases Settle?
The vast majority of personal injury claims involving catastrophic injury settle out of court. Some may settle even before a lawsuit is filed, and others will settle before a trial begins. Insurance companies often want to settle claims because they can then limit any potential losses they would suffer as a result of a large verdict.
It is not only insurance companies that have an incentive to settle the case out of court, accident victims do too. This is especially true when the catastrophic injury was caused by an auto accident. Drivers typically purchase only the minimum required amounts of auto accidents and in these cases, accident victims often settle for the policy limits because that is the only compensation available. If medical malpractice, defective product, or unsafe conditions in a commercial premise caused the injury, the insurance policy limits are likely to be more appropriate.
Even when the negligent party has adequate insurance, a dispute about fault may still arise. If the accident victim is partly to blame for the accident, the verdict a jury will issue becomes much more unpredictable. In this case, it is often better for accident victims to settle for less than the amount of compensation a jury would award them if they had not been partly at fault.
Our Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in New York City Can Help You Claim a Fair Settlement
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, do not file a claim on your own. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our New York City catastrophic injury lawyers can help you through the claims process, and ensure you receive the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to receive the legal advice you need.