Severe harm in an accident could result in changes to your mental abilities, physical functions, or both. Treatment for a catastrophic injury could be long-term, and lead to substantial medical bills and other costs. This can cause a significant financial burden on someone already facing serious physical and mental trauma.
If your harm is the result of another’s negligence, a Bucks County catastrophic injury lawyer can represent you in a personal injury case. A well-practiced local injury attorney can review your claim and provide experienced guidance throughout the litigation process.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is one that is so severe it affects a person’s ability to maintain their lifestyle for an extensive length of time, or even permanently. These serious injuries can occur to any part of the body and will be different for every victim.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Loss of mental or cognitive function
- Loss of limbs, hearing, or vision
These devastating injuries can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and typically require expensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation. If a person suffers these types of injuries due to the negligence of another party in Bucks County, they can file a catastrophic injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer to get financial compensation from those responsible.
Causes of Devastating Injuries
When other people, businesses, or entities are negligent, innocent people can get severely hurt. While accidents happen every day, some can result in grave harm that can cause an individual to be permanently disabled or disfigured. Common causes of traumatic injuries include:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Accidents in the workplace
- Slips and falls
- Defective products
- Fire or chemicals
- Medical malpractice
- Assault and battery
- Recreational activities and sports
No matter the cause of the catastrophic injury, if it is the result of another person’s negligence or intentional conduct, a local attorney could be highly beneficial. Well-practiced legal counsel can investigate the cause of the harm to determine the correct defendant to hold liable for the resulting damages.
Recovering Damages for Traumatic Harm
In order for someone to recover damages in their traumatic injury case, the claimant and their local lawyer must analyze the case and present substantial evidence of defendant negligence. The plaintiff should also provide efficient evidence of damages, including economic and non-economic losses directly linked to the catastrophic accident.
Putting together these cases requires experience and training, as the legal process can be incredibly complicated. The help of an experienced lawyer can improve a claimant’s chances of a successful lawsuit and ultimately recovering financial compensation.
In a successful civil lawsuit, the injured party can recover compensatory damages to cover medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and lost future earning potential. Plaintiffs are also able to pursue damages related to their pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or compensation for disfigurement.
What Could Limit a Catastrophically Injured Plaintiff’s Recovery?
Responsibility for any catastrophic injury may lie with a single individual or multiple parties. Investigating all circumstances surrounding these incidents and uncovering all relevant evidence is crucial because Pennsylvania law requires all parties to accept ownership for their role in creating the dangerous situation that led to the traumatic accident, even those sustaining damage.
Under 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 7102(a), those injured may find their recoveries reduced in direct proportion to their level of fault. For example, assume that a plaintiff establishes damages worth $100,000 in a slip and fall accident. However, the court determines that this individual bears 25 percent to blame because they were texting while walking and failed to notice the icy parking lot. As a result, this distraction results in them receiving only 75 percent of judgment, or $75,000.
If a claimant’s share of the blame equals 51 percent or more, the law precludes them from recovering any damages. In other words, imagine a motorcyclist recklessly driving their bike during inclement weather. They suddenly change lanes, cut off another vehicle causing that vehicle to hit them from behind. If the court finds the biker 80 percent responsible for their injuries, they will receive nothing. Such resolutions could be disastrous financially for those suffering from long-term or permanent injuries. By working with accomplished local attorneys familiar with the implications these laws could have on a catastrophically injured claimant, the plaintiff has a better chance of recovering damages.
Statute of Limitations in Bucks County
Plaintiffs may lose their ability to recover sufficient damages if they wait too long to file their claims. While individuals need time to seek medical care, address their physical ailments, and comprehend the magnitude of what happened to them, a delay in taking action could be devastating to their case.
Pennsylvania establishes statutory timeframes for commencing civil litigation. The goals of these filing windows are to encourage plaintiffs to act timely and protect defendants from unjust prosecutions. As time passes, parties may find it harder to prove or disprove a matter – evidence may disappear or be lost, witness memories may fade, or these people may move or pass away. So, in the interests of justice, the law makes cases time-sensitive.
42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(2) establishes a two-year statute of limitations for catastrophic injury cases. With few exceptions, plaintiffs who fail to raise their allegations within this window have their cases dismissed and forfeit their ability to secure court-ordered damages. Without the threat of court proceedings, those suffering traumatic harm may also sacrifice negotiation power when attempting to settle their cases.
Bucks County attorneys who frequently represent those with catastrophic injuries keep an eye on these and other court deadlines as they investigate and develop the plaintiff’s strategy. The awareness of these requirements may help the injured party avoid missing key dates that could undercut their legal case and allow them to work both avenues of resolution – settlement and trial – that might lead to the most beneficial outcome.
A Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Bucks County Can Help
Catastrophic injuries may be life changing, but it does not mean there is no hope. If you were the victim of another person’s negligence, you are entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact an experienced Bucks County catastrophic personal injury lawyer for help today.