A catastrophic injury can permanently alter your physical or mental abilities. Daily activities you used to accomplish with ease could become difficult. You may require personal care assistance and therapy for the rest of your life. Knowing that another person’s actions are the reason for your injury can cause even more suffering.
Fortunately, a Bala Cynwyd catastrophic injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for your trauma. Contacting an experienced accident attorney early on could improve the outcome of your personal injury case.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are commonly defined as injuries severe enough to affect movement or cognitive function. According to The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, catastrophic injuries produce one of three outcomes: fatality, permanent and severe disability, or severe neck or head trauma from which the patient eventually recovers. Examples of situations that produce catastrophic injuries include:
- Agricultural accidents, such as losing a limb after being run over by a tractor, being kicked by a large farm animal, and falling from a silo and sustaining a brain injury
- Recreational, professional, or school-related sports accidents, such as a fatal punch in boxing; being tackled in football; snapping the spine in diving, and severe neck injuries in cheerleading or gymnastics
- Violent criminal acts in which guns or knives are used
- Second or third-degree burns that result in debilitating scarring
- Medical malpractice
With knowledge of catastrophic accidents, an attorney in the area could review the facts of a victim’s situation to build a lawsuit against a reckless defendant.
Pennsylvania Negligence Law
To recover compensation in a lawsuit, plaintiffs must show that the defendant had a duty to act reasonably but did not, resulting in injuries. Under the comparative negligence rule of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Title 42 § 7102, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can still collect damages from defendants, as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault. The financial compensation will be diminished by the percentage the court finds the plaintiffs responsible for the accident.
Insurance companies and defendants’ attorneys routinely use the comparative negligence rule as a defense by attempting to prove that the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault. It could be critical for the plaintiff to have a local catastrophic injury attorney on their side to present all the facts against the opposition.
Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania
41 Pa.C.S. § 5524 permits personal injury lawsuits to be filed up to two years after the date of the accident. Medical malpractice cases generally also must be filed within two years of the incident. If the victim is a minor, however, the two-year limit begins to toll when the child harmed by medical error turns 18.
Creating a Life Care Plan After Catastrophic Injury
Medical professionals may draw up a life care plan for victims of catastrophic injuries. This personalized plan will detail what a patient needs after an accident. The plan will also help a patient’s attorney estimate suitable compensation when bringing a negligence lawsuit against defendants who caused the catastrophic accident. The plan may be updated over time to record a patient’s progress. A life plan may include:
- An adaptive van if the patient plans to drive
- Home renovations, including wheelchair ramps, bathroom accommodations, and lower kitchen counters
- Assistive animals and equipment, such as wheelchairs and voice-controlled technology
- Help with personal care, cleaning, and cooking
- Ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, nursing, therapy, medication, and medical supplies and equipment, such as incontinence supplies
- Case management
- Vocational services
Because catastrophic injury victims may need care throughout their lives, a nearby attorney who is experienced in personal injury law could consider the proper amount of financial compensation needed from the person who caused the injuries.
A Bala Cynwyd Catastrophic Injury Attorney Can Help
State laws addressing personal injuries are complicated, and you may need a qualified attorney to fight for your rights in court while you fight to recover your strength. Call a Bala Cynwyd catastrophic injury lawyer today to review your case if you are suffering from a devastating accident that someone else caused. An experienced legal advocate could help you achieve financial compensation and peace of mind.