Recovery for Catastrophic Injuries
Many injuries are sustained in car accidents or work-related falls, and some of the injuries are so serious and the effects so long-lasting that they are considered catastrophic. These types of injuries often result in permanent and severe disabilities including loss of mobility, communication, and cognitive abilities. The debilitating and severe effects of catastrophic injuries often make it impossible for the victim to reclaim a normal and active life. Compensation for both economic and non-economic losses can help make the difference between receiving proper medical care and rehabilitative services and suffering for years with no relief.What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
Factors that distinguish catastrophic injuries from less serious injuries include:
- The debilitating nature of the injury;
- The extent to which the debilitation is expected to last; and
- The impact of the injury on the victim’s life and livelihood.
Some common types of catastrophic injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Severe burns;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Multiple bone fractures;
- Internal organ damage; and
- Accidental amputations.
Catastrophic injuries may be caused by any number of activities. Common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Car accidents, including head-on and t-bone collisions, roll-overs etc.;
- Sporting activities;
- Work-related accidents;
- Slip-and-fall accidents; and
- Medical malpractice.
Victims of catastrophic injuries have the option to pursue financial compensation for the losses they have sustained. Potential damages may include:
- Lost wages, both current and future;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Medical bills, both current and future;
- Property damage; and
- Rehabilitation services and permanent disability coverage.
The statute of limitations in California for personal injury cases is two years. This means that a victim of a catastrophic injury must file a suit against potentially responsible parties within two years of the date that the injury occurred. However, if the claim is against a California state government agency, a city, or a county the statute of limitations is six months.
California law also prevents recovery for non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, after a car accident if the victim is an uninsured driver, even if the other driver was completely at fault. The one exception to this rule is when the victim was injured in a car accident where the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and that driver is later convicted of a DUI in connection with the accident. The state has also placed a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
Catastrophic injuries can be the result of a variety of different accidents. Some may be due to the negligent or intentional acts of another person or even the result of a defective or dangerous product, but receiving compensation for those injuries can help improve a victim’s overall quality of life. If you believe that you have suffered a catastrophic injury, please contact the skilled Monterey personal injury attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. for a free consultation.