No one anticipates suffering a catastrophic injury and the lasting impact it will have on their lives. In Hammond, Indiana, this type of severe injury could occur anywhere — at work, on the road, on a privately-owned property, on a public sidewalk, or even at home.
Unfortunately, you possess little control over when a significant injury could change your life forever. However, if you were hurt as the result of another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Nothing can give you back what you’ve lost, but a financial settlement can help alleviate stress so that you can focus on your recovery.
A Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can help you pursue justice for your pain and suffering, and ensure that you don’t battle the at-fault party and insurance companies on your own.
What you need to know about catastrophic injury claims
Catastrophic injuries can alter a person’s life forever. In Indiana, if you’ve been impacted by a catastrophic injury that was caused by someone else, you need assurance that you can find justice.
It’s vital to understand what a catastrophic injury is, and how a Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- What is a catastrophic injury?
- How a Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can help
- Common accidents that cause catastrophic injury
- Types of catastrophic injury covered by a Hammond attorney
- How a Hammond catastrophic injury lawyer can determine damages
- Proving negligence after an accident causes a catastrophic injury
- How to file a catastrophic injury lawsuit in Hammond, Indiana
- Should you accept a settlement offer after a catastrophic injury?
- Get a Consultation with a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Hammond
What is a catastrophic injury?
The legal definition of a catastrophic injury pertains to any injury that directly results in permanently altering an individual’s capability to work and live. Typically, these injuries are the result of sudden accidents and can transform a victim’s life forever.
Although you may eventually recover from some forms of catastrophic injury, most of these injuries are permanent. If you file a personal injury claim with an insurance company, you may find that the insurer is reluctant to pay out the total amount you’re owed.
The good news is that a Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can battle an insurance company for you.
How a Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can help
After a catastrophic injury, the last thing you may want to do is deal with paperwork and ever-growing medical bills — and you shouldn’t have to contend with these issues on your own.
You can file an insurance claim and a personal injury lawsuit on your own. However, a Hammond lawyer can guide you through the legal process, ensure that you ask for valid compensation, and support your pursuit of justice.
If you choose to retain a Hammond attorney at Yosha Law, we can help in the following ways:
- Collect evidence:
We’ll investigate the scene of your accident and take photo and video documentation to gather forensic evidence. We will also collect any other pertinent evidence to help strengthen your claim.
This may include a medical assessment, an incident report from a private establishment, a workplace injury report, a police report, and any evidence that points to gross negligence from another party.
- Estimate damages:
We’ll work with you to calculate and discern the damages you should claim for your catastrophic injury. This may include present and future quantifiable and immeasurable losses you’ve suffered.
- Explore the merits of your case:
We’ll listen to your story and help you to process through your experience. We‘ll explain the merits of your case so you can make an informed decision about your next step.
- Obtain eyewitness and expert testimony:
We’ll interview any witnesses to your accident and anyone who can speak to the negative impact of your catastrophic injury. These witnesses may include loved ones, employers, friends, and neighbors.
We’ll also retain forensic experts who can speak to the cause of your accident and the catastrophic injuries you suffered as a result. These witnesses may include medical experts, law enforcement and first responders, and accident reconstructionists.
- Represent you in negotiation or mediation meetings:
A Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can act as your representative in any settlement negotiations with insurance companies and at-fault parties.
Common accidents that cause catastrophic injury
Although life-altering injuries can occur in any circumstances, our lawyers in Hammond see common accidents that frequently result in catastrophic injury. Some of these accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises gross negligence (Premises liability)
- Slip and falls
- Sports accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
Types of catastrophic injury covered by a Hammond attorney
Catastrophic injuries can take many forms, and any might be covered by a Hammond catastrophic attorney lawyer. Each injury can be debilitating and traumatizing, and it’s important to ensure you seek compensation for any catastrophic injury you suffer at the hands of another.
However, there are many life-changing injuries that are more common than others.
Some of the catastrophic injuries that our attorneys see frequently include:
- Birth injuries
- Chronic pain
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Internal organ injuries
- Nerve damage
- Severe bone fractures/ shattered bones/crushed bones
- Permanent hearing loss
- Permanent vision loss
- Spinal cord injuries
- Third-degree burns
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
How a Hammond catastrophic injury lawyer can determine damages
Damages refer to the legal categories in place to allow you to recoup the losses that you’ve suffered. Generally, awarded damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. However, on rare occasions, punitive damages are determined by the courts.
Economic damages (also known as special damages) refer to quantifiable costs with a set monetary value. Non-economic damages (also known as general damages) include the immeasurable losses you might face as a result of your catastrophic injury. Punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) may be awarded by a judge or jury as punishment for a defendant.
In Indiana, 75% of any awarded punitive damages are automatically allocated to the Violent Crimes Victim Compensation Fund, and the remaining 25% goes to the plaintiff.
Examples of damages awarded in a catastrophic injury claim
A personal injury attorney can examine the costs you’ve incurred and the losses you’ve suffered to help determine what damages you should ask for in a catastrophic injury claim. Often, the compensatory award you seek will include both economic and non-economic damages.
Along with the present impact of your trauma, a catastrophic injury can often result in life-long medical assistance and assisted living needs. A Hammond lawyer will factor these costs into any damages you claim in your case.
Some examples of the damages you might seek include:
- Emotional distress:
Catastrophic injury can often result in debilitating emotional trauma. If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of your injury, you might have a valid non-economic damage claim.
- Loss of quality of life:
As a result of your catastrophic injuries, if you can no longer enjoy the life you once knew, and must alter the way you live your daily life, your attorney might advise you to claim this non-economic damage.
- Loss of income:
If your injuries prohibit you from working in your previous job, or limit your work ability, you’ve lost out on income you would have earned otherwise. A catastrophic injury lawyer in Hammond may advise you to claim this damage.
- Lost wages:
Lost wages differ from loss of income, and are considered an economic loss, and include any work time you’ve missed. Any bonuses, tips, promotions, or paid time off are included in lost wages.
- Medical expenses:
All present and future costs related to your catastrophic injury might be covered, including doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, prescriptions, surgical procedures, and treatments.
- Pain and suffering:
Pain and suffering damages encompass any emotional, mental, and physical anguish you’ve experienced as a result of your catastrophic injury.
- Property repair costs:
If your property was damaged or destroyed during your accident, you might ask for damages to cover the costs of repair or replacement.
- Wrongful death:
Tragically, catastrophic injuries could result in wrongful death. If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of a catastrophic injury, your Hammond attorney might suggest that you seek damages to help you to heal from your painful loss.
Proving negligence after an accident causes a catastrophic injury
A Hammond catastrophic attorney who takes on your case will initially focus on how to prove the negligence of another party. A lawyer will have to show that the at fault party had a duty of care that they neglected, and that breach of duty directly led to the causation of your catastrophic injury. This is the foundation for the damages you ask for in your claim.
What is gross negligence?
Gross negligence is a bit trickier to prove, but is legally defined as an extreme departure from the standard of ordinary care. Often, gross negligence is cited in catastrophic injury cases that center on premise liability.
For example, imagine a restaurant owner was repeatedly cited for an unsafe, dimly-lit stairwell and failed to make the necessary repairs. You visit the restaurant for a family celebration and fall down the stairs, shatter your leg, and suffer a traumatic brain injury. A Hammond catastrophic injury attorney may use gross negligence as the foundation of your lawsuit.
How to file a catastrophic injury lawsuit in Hammond, Indiana
As you discern whether to proceed with a catastrophic injury lawsuit, you shouldn’t have to worry about paperwork deadlines or other legal red tape. A lawyer can help ensure that you file your claim within Indiana’s statute of limitations.
Per Indiana code § 34-11-2-4, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit.
Should you accept a settlement offer after a catastrophic injury?
It may also seem tempting to accept a quick settlement offer from the at fault party in your case, but by doing so without calculating your damages, your future bills and losses may not be covered.
Although 95% of personal injury lawsuits are settled before they ever go to court, negotiations between representative attorneys are vital steps to ensure you receive what you’re owed.
Get a Consultation with a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Hammond
In an instant, a catastrophic injury can change your life forever. Due to the negligent actions of another party, you may be left picking up the pieces of your shattered life. You deserve justice, and shouldn’t have to walk the path of healing alone.
A Hammond catastrophic injury attorney can walk beside you and help you navigate the legal journey to the compensation you deserve. At Yosha Law, our clients are a part of our extended family, and we are passionate about fighting for their justice.
Although monetary compensation cannot make up for the suffering you’ve endured, it can help alleviate the financial stress your injury has caused. Take the first step toward recovery and connect with us today for an obligation-free consultation.