When you are in an accident that causes life-changing injuries, you might not know what to do next. Calling a local personal injury attorney is a smart first step.
Most accidents result from one or more parties’ negligent acts. In such cases, another is liable to compensate anyone who suffered losses due to their conduct.
Insurance companies often fight hard to avoid large settlements in catastrophic injury cases. You will need support as you and your family adjust to your injury and your altered circumstances. A Jupiter catastrophic injury lawyer harnesses data and technology and combines them with traditional legal skills to secure a settlement that provides appropriate compensation for life-changing injuries.
Proving Negligence Usually Triggers Liability
When a person seeks compensation for their injuries, they typically must prove another’s negligence contributed to the incident. Negligence is failing to use the degree of caution a reasonable person would have used in similar circumstances.
A person’s specific situation determines how a devastating injury lawyer in Jupiter would find evidence of negligence. In a car accident case, a police citation or other proof a driver was violating the law or operating their vehicle carelessly would be evidence of negligence. When the injured person was hurt in a fall in a restaurant, a legal professional would look for evidence the restaurant did not warn about or promptly repair a hazardous condition.
Proving negligence might not be necessary to establish liability for damages in all circumstances. When the catastrophic injury resulted from a workplace accident, injury from a defective product, or an illness or condition related to a dangerous medication, an attorney could secure compensation for an injured person without proving negligence.
Determining Whether an Injury is Catastrophic
The term catastrophic injury has different meanings in different contexts. Most people use the term to refer to an injury with life-altering consequences.
Florida Statutes § 766.118 defines a catastrophic injury in a medical malpractice case. The law says the following are catastrophic injuries:
- Spinal cord injury leading to paralysis
- Amputation of an arm, leg, hand, or foot
- Brain injuries resulting in impaired communication, motor functioning, cognitive functioning, seizures or other episodic neurological disorders, or other severe impairments
- Second-degree or more severe burns over 25 percent of the body
- Third-degree or more severe burns over five percent of the face or hands
- Loss of reproductive organs
The definition is similar in Workers’ Compensation cases, although the loss of reproductive organs is not listed as a potentially catastrophic injury in that section of the law.
In most negligence cases, a catastrophic injury could be any injury that causes significant lifestyle changes and impairs the injured person’s ability to support themselves. For example, an injury that required amputation of the middle and ring fingers might not be catastrophic for someone in banking or sales but could be for a musician. A Jupiter attorney could gather data about the effect similar injuries have on others in the same profession to ensure the injured person receives a settlement that adequately compensates their losses.
Pursuing a Claim for Compensation after a Catastrophic Injury
The recovery period for a catastrophic injury could be months or even years. An insurance company for someone potentially responsible is likely to contact the injured person or their family members soon after the incident, sometimes before the person has been discharged from the hospital.
The insurance company might offer a cash settlement in return for a promise not to sue. An injured person and their family should refuse to speak with the insurance company and, instead, refer them to their legal representative.
The settlement the insurer offers is likely a small percentage of the claim’s actual value. A Jupiter lawyer could demonstrate the actual losses the person will suffer over their lifetime because of a catastrophic injury. They can demand the company negotiate in good faith and offer a settlement that reflects the true value of the claim.
Call a Jupiter Attorney for a Free Consultation About Your Catastrophic Injury Claim
The weeks and months after a catastrophic injury are enormously stressful. It is critical to keep your focus on adjusting and healing. Leave everything else to professionals.
A Jupiter catastrophic injury lawyer could manage your case skillfully from the beginning, leading to a favorable settlement that allows you to live the best life possible going forward. Schedule a free consultation today.