Understanding Catastrophic Injuries and Car Accident Lawsuits
Moving forward from a car accident is always difficult. The car accident survivor’s health is the top priority, but other obstacles include the damage inflicted on the car and the lost wages the survivor is likely to suffer. When a survivor’s injuries are catastrophic, recovering from a wreck is particularly challenging. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with catastrophic injuries, you should consult a car accident lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn immediately for legal guidance.
Defining Catastrophic Injuries
All car accident injuries are undesirable, but catastrophic injuries are on a different level. They are broadly defined as severe injuries that inflict long-term or permanent bodily impairment or disfigurement. Catastrophic injuries will typically involve a lengthy period of recovery and extensive medical treatment, such as multiple surgeries. Some people with catastrophic injuries require a lifetime of medical and personal care. Some examples of catastrophic injuries that a car accident may inflict include traumatic amputations, permanent loss of vision, severe and extensive scarring, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries in particular can be devastating because they often involve a degree of paralysis, which is irreversible.
Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney must identify and calculate the plaintiff’s damages or losses. These calculations will inform the amount of money that the lawsuit specifies. It may not be possible to develop an accurate estimate of a plaintiff’s damages right after the accident. The plaintiff may first undergo extensive medical treatment and try to recover to the maximum extent that is possible. Then, the attorney can add up all of the plaintiff’s economic damages, which include medical bills, medication costs, and similar expenses. The attorney will also develop an estimate of the medical costs the plaintiff can expect to incur over his or her lifetime. Then, the attorney can calculate the plaintiff’s non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
In any personal injury lawsuit, it’s necessary for the attorney to gather evidence and argue the plaintiff’s case in court. In a catastrophic injury case, the attorney must not only prove that the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, but also prove the extent of the injuries. It may be necessary to have an expert witness testify as to the future medical and personal needs of the plaintiff.