At some point in many peoples’ lives, they will experience a personal injury. However, they are fortunate in that they will make a full, albeit painful recovery. Even so, situations do arise where personal injuries become permanent. These incidents can leave you with the necessity to seek continual medical care and will impact your ability to earn a living.
It can be difficult to understand how these events can impact a person’s life until they occur. In some situations, they will require a person to seek help with their daily activities and be dependent upon others for financial support. Universally, a person’s life will never be the same. Because of this, the parties at fault for these incidents must provide appropriate compensation to bring comfort and financial aid to injured parties.
An Indianapolis catastrophic injury lawyer is here to help with this process. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate how a catastrophic injury has impacted your life and form demand packages that seek out appropriate payments. A lawyer will fight to demonstrate that another party was solely responsible for the incident that resulted in your injuries.
What Does it Mean for an Injury to be Catastrophic?
Describing an injury as being catastrophic has little impact on liability for an accident. There is no such definition under state law. Understanding what makes an injury catastrophic is essential to being able to pursue a case for its full value.
An injury is catastrophic when it will have a permanent impact on a person’s future. These injuries are permanent and will require medical attention for the foreseeable future. Additionally, they will limit a person’s ability to earn a living and fully enjoy life. Incidents that result in catastrophic injuries will often demand significant compensation for not just past losses but also estimated future costs. An Indianapolis catastrophic injury attorney could help to provide more information about the concept of these losses and work to form demand packages that take these facts into account.
Common Examples of Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury is one that will have a permanent impact on a person’s life. As a result, these are traumatic events that will require extensive medical care that could be necessary to save a person’s life. In many scenarios, this life-saving care could last for years or the rest of an individual’s life.
A catastrophic injury may reduce a person’s functionality in a body part. This may include situations involving the loss that body part in the incident itself or when doctors perform an amputation while under their care. Typical examples can include losses of feet, hands, legs, or arms.
Catastrophic injuries may also involve damage to a person’s nervous system. The brain and the spinal cord form the central nervous system that the body uses for both voluntary and involuntary acts. Any damage to these body parts could result in paralysis to limbs or internal organs. The most severe examples could see a person left with loss of cognitive ability, losing function in their limbs, or even being left in a coma.
Another common type of catastrophic injury that can result from an accident is burns. Burns on their own and in isolated locations are not necessarily catastrophic. However, the most severe versions of these injuries, known as 3rd-degree burns can require extensive medical care or even necessitate amputation of the affected areas. If these burns cover a substantial part of a person’s body, it is fair to classify these injuries as catastrophic. An Indianapolis catastrophic injury lawyer could help determine the next steps to take following a severe accident.
Incidents that May Lead to Catastrophic Injuries
The concept of a catastrophic injury describes the extent of a person’s losses, not how those losses occurred. It follows that a catastrophic injury can occur at almost any time and under a variety of circumstances. Almost any incident that can result in a minor physical injury has the potential to inflict catastrophic losses. Since the law states that an at-fault party is liable for any resulting damage, proving fault for an incident is essential in any catastrophic injury case.
Many catastrophic injuries are the result of car crashes. Even at low speeds, these incidents can result in brain damage, amputations, or third-degree burns. Another major source of these losses is premises liability cases. These describe situations where a landowner allows an injury to occur on their property.
Failure to Keep Visitors Safe
Catastrophic injuries could also occur because of a failure of a landowner to keep a visitor safe. The state’s laws concerning premises liability require property owners to provide a certain level of care to people who enter their land. If they fail to provide this protection and an injury occurs, those property owners and their insurance companies are liable to provide all necessary compensation.
The Dangers of Medical Negligence
Medical malpractice can also result in catastrophic injuries. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty to provide competent care to their patients. An Indianapolis catastrophic injury lawyer could review the facts of the incident and build a case.
Hazardous Products Could Cause Serious Injuries
Another common source of catastrophic injuries involves defective products. For example, a car may crash not because of a driver’s inattentiveness or reckless behavior, but instead because of a faulty component. It is easy to imagine how a catastrophic injury may be the result of failing brakes or a defective tire. Similar concepts apply to consumer products, safety equipment, and even medications. To prove a case based on a defective product, it is often a requirement to show that a product was defective and that an alternative design would have prevented the injury at hand.
Identifying Parties that May Share Fault or Liability
The law says that all parties that are at fault for an incident that results in a catastrophic injury must provide compensation to the victims. However, it is the responsibility of an injured individual to correctly select these parties, known as defendants.
In some situations, identifying the proper defendant is easy. For example, all drivers who cause accidents while behind the wheel are responsible for their actions. At the same time, their insurance companies will provide some level of coverage to mitigate the direct liability of their drivers. In these cases, it is important to evaluate the level of insurance protection to obtain proper compensation from all parties.
However, choosing the correct defendant in other cases can be more complex. For example, in situations where a catastrophic injury results from an assault it may be possible to hold both an attacker and a property owner liable for the incident. This is because the property owner may have a duty to keep visitors safe from all potential harm, even that which results from an intentional act of violence. An Indianapolis catastrophic injury attorney could help to evaluate the facts that led to an injury and determine which parties may be liable for an individual’s losses.
The Statute of Limitations
An attorney could also help to pursue a case on time. Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 creates the state’s statute of limitations. This is a law that controls how long after an injury a person has to bring a case to court. Under this statute, there is a time limit of two years for most personal injury cases.
Catastrophic Injuries Demand a Swift and Powerful Response
The law says that all parties are responsible for their actions. This includes providing compensation to others who suffer injuries because of their negligence or carelessness. When these injuries are permanent and will affect your foreseeable future, they are considered to be catastrophic.
People who have suffered these injuries deserve compensation for all of their damages. This requires selecting the proper defendants, demonstrating how those defendants were responsible for the incident, and measuring how the incident has impacted your life. This may become all the more difficult when you are dealing with life-altering injuries and focusing on getting your life back on track.
Fortunately, an Indianapolis catastrophic injury lawyer may be able to help. Whether your injury was the product of a car accident, medical malpractice, or any other source, an attorney can work to explain your rights, gather information concerning the incident, and demand full payments from at-fault parties. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.