Every year, Monroe, NC residents discover an uncomfortable truth: an accident causing severe injuries can occur any time. Whether you’re driving to the store, walking on public property, or enjoying a swimming pool, you could get hurt in a way that changes your life forever.
Catastrophic injuries cause devastation to both victims and their families. They lead to expensive medical bills and extensive treatment. When someone else causes your accident and injury, you can hold them responsible and demand they pay for the cost of your treatment and other damages.
If you sustained a catastrophic injury because of another party’s negligence, the experienced Monroe, NC catastrophic injury lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call (704) 291-9200 if you were the victim of negligence and suffered a catastrophic injury. We can explain your legal options in a free consultation.
The Definition of a Catastrophic Injury
A catastrophic injury often permanently prevents an individual from maintaining gainful employment. If someone else’s negligent or intentional actions caused the catastrophic injury, the victim could pursue compensation for their losses.
This type of injury differs from other injuries because it causes significant physical or mental damage and negatively impacts daily life even after treatment. You might find it difficult to continue working, participate in the activities you enjoyed before, or spend time with family and friends.
Catastrophic injuries often lead to disabilities that require long-term medical care. Ongoing medical bills become expensive and if you’re unable to work, you might not have the means to pay.
If you don’t have another form of income, you could struggle to support yourself and your family. The good news is that the experienced Monroe lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices can help you recover the cost of the bills you’ve already paid and the ones you expect.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal cord injury or paralysis
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Multiple broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- PTSD or psychological disorder
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Fatal injury
- Severe burns or permanent scarring
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Crush injury
- Physical disfigurement or disability
- Internal bleeding or organ failure
- Ligament or nerve damages
Our Monroe, NC catastrophic injury lawyers can review your case and determine if the legal definition of catastrophic includes your injury. The above list doesn’t include every possible catastrophic injury, so contact us to find out more. We’ll investigate the negligent behavior that led to your difficult circumstances and advise you if you’re entitled to compensation.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
When someone behaves negligently or recklessly, they can cause incidents that affect you forever. The common acts of negligence that cause catastrophic injuries include:
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Nursing home negligence
- Defective medical equipment
- Pedestrian accidents
- Hazardous work environments
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective products
- Dangerous drugs
- Truck Accidents
The psychological and physical effects of catastrophic injuries reduce your quality of life. It’s an extremely traumatic situation that can upend your life and affect your family. That’s why you need a good lawyer on your side to hold the at-fault party responsible for the damage they caused.
How to Prepare a Claim After a Catastrophic Injury
Personal injury is the broad category of law that involves physical, mental, or emotional injuries resulting from someone’s negligence, recklessness, or willful action. Catastrophic injuries fall under the same umbrella. Injured victims have the right to claim compensation by filing an insurance claim.
One of the first steps you should take is hiring a Monroe, NC catastrophic injury lawyer from DeMayo Law Offices. This type of case is complicated, and most insurance companies will search for any reason to deny your claim. When you hire us to help, we’ll protect your rights and ensure fair treatment.
We’ll take care of every legal aspect of your case so you can focus on your medical treatment. We’ll investigate the situation that led to your injury and collect the following evidence:
- Car repair estimates and bills from a car accident
- Accident or police reports
- Medical records, prescriptions, and out of pocket expenses
- Eyewitness statements
- Copies of insurance policies
- Affidavits from medical experts, friends, family, and other parties with knowledge of your specific situation
- Video surveillance footage
You and your attorney must prove negligence to pursue a personal injury claim. Under the theory of negligence, when someone behaves in a careless way that injures another person, the careless party becomes liable for resulting damages.
There are four elements of negligence you must prove to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for your catastrophic injuries:
- Duty: The negligent party owed you a legal duty of care;
- Breach: They breached their duty;
- Causation: Their actions were the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: You suffered an injury and damages.
Damages You Can Pursue in a Catastrophic Injury Case
If negligence caused your catastrophic injury, you’re entitled to file an insurance claim for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are what they sound like; they compensate accident victims for their losses. They fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are concrete expenses, such as:
- Medical bills, past and future
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Car repair or replacement
- Property damage
- Out of pocket costs
- Prescription medications
Non-economic damages are losses that are difficult to quantify, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Psychological injuries, such as PTSD
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or disability
Since calculating non-economic damages is challenging, the insurance company will consider various factors related to the incident and catastrophic injury you sustained to decide how much money they’re willing to pay in a settlement. The factors they will review include:
- The type of injury you sustained and which body part is affected
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- The long-term effects of your injury
- If you have a permanent disability or impairment
- The impact on your ability to maintain a job
- The role you play in your family, such as providing care, financial stability, or household services
- Your quality of life after the incident that led to your injury
The Insurance Company Isn’t on Your Side
Liability insurance should cover an injured individual’s damages. Whether you got hurt in a car accident or on someone else’s property, liability insurance is the most likely source of your financial compensation.
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t want to pay you. They’ll try to take advantage if you haven’t sought legal representation or intimidate you into accepting a low settlement amount. To ensure you don’t give up your rights to the maximum compensation available, review the lists of dos and don’ts below.
- Hire a Monroe, NC catastrophic injury lawyer to help you file a claim.
- Keep detailed records of the hours you were out of work and the wages you lost.
- Be honest with your doctors about the injury you sustained and how it affects your daily life.
- Keep a copy of all records, billing statements, receipts, emails, invoices, and other documentation related to your case.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and continue treatment until they release you from care.
- Write down information about the incident that led to your catastrophic injury, such as the date and time it happened, where it happened, witness contact information, and other details you remember.
- Provide doctors with your health insurance information to avoid any medical bills from going to collections while you’re waiting to settle your case.
- Don’t sign forms the liability insurance company sends you.
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement without speaking with your Monroe, NC catastrophic injury lawyer first.
- Don’t admit any amount of fault for the incident that caused your injury.
- Don’t settle with the insurance claim before finishing your treatment.
- Don’t talk about the details of your case with anyone except your lawyer.
You Might Be Eligible for Punitive Damages in a Lawsuit
Some victims that suffer from catastrophic injuries file lawsuits against the negligent party. In a lawsuit, you can pursue punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages that compensate an injured party for their losses, punitive damages punish the other person’s negligent and careless actions.
There’s a three-year statute of limitations in North Carolina you must follow if you choose to file a lawsuit. The deadline is strict, and if you miss it, you’ll likely lose your rights to a financial judgment. The three-year statute begins on the date the catastrophic injury occurred. Contact an attorney to make sure you meet all necessary deadlines.
Speak to an Experienced Monroe, NC Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
You deserve compensation for the suffering you endured. At DeMayo Law Offices, we believe in holding people accountable for their negligent actions. When you hire us, our Monroe, NC catastrophic injury attorneys will advocate for your rights. We’ll work hard to help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
We offer a free consultation to prospective clients. There’s no risk meeting with us for legal advice or any obligation to hire us. You can find out the options available after your catastrophic injury in a no-pressure forum. We take cases on contingency, so you never have to pay us any upfront fees. We won’t get paid unless we win your case.
If you sustained a catastrophic injury and need help with your claim or lawsuit, call us at (704) 291-9200.