Have you recently been diagnosed with an injury that will have a substantial impact on your life for the foreseeable future? Did your injuries occur in an accident or incident due to another party’s negligent actions? Are you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what your next steps should be? If so, you are not alone. A reputable Georgia catastrophic injury attorney at T. Madden & Associates is here to help you figure out how to overcome the odds and get through these trying times.
You do not need to absorb the costs and wind up in financial ruin while struggling to cope with the emotional trauma and physical ramifications of your injuries. With our team fighting for your rights, you can start to move forward. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and ensure they are brought to justice so you can access maximum compensation for your damages. Contact our team for a free consultation today and learn more about your legal options, the value of your claim, and what’s next for your case.
Which Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?
You may be unsure whether your injuries are considered catastrophic. In some ways, this can be subjective. The impact these injuries have on your life determines whether they are catastrophic. With that in mind, here are some of the most common injuries to be considered catastrophic:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Severe brain injuries that result in cognitive impairment, memory loss, motor dysfunction, and emotional disturbances.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord, leading to paralysis, loss of sensation, and limited mobility.
- Amputations: The complete loss or removal of a limb or extremity, such as arms, legs, hands, or feet.
- Severe Burns: Extensive burns that cause disfigurement, scarring, and potential nerve damage.
- Multiple Fractures: Multiple fractures in different parts of the body lead to long-term disabilities and chronic pain.
- Organ Damage: Severe damage or loss of functionality of vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, or kidneys.
- Internal Organ Injuries: Catastrophic injuries to internal organs, such as the liver, spleen, or intestines, resulting from trauma.
- Severe Neck and Back Injuries: Including herniated discs, spinal fractures, and damage to the cervical or lumbar region.
- Severe Eye Injuries: Permanent vision loss or severe impairment due to trauma or accidents.
- Severe Orthopedic Injuries: Complex fractures, joint dislocations, or ligament damage requiring extensive surgical intervention are catastrophic injuries.
These are only a few examples of injuries that are considered catastrophic. If you have suffered another injury we did not include in the list above, you may still have the right to compensation for your damages. Contact our catastrophic injury attorneys to review the specific details of your case and determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim.
Grounds for a Catastrophic Injury Claim
It is not unusual for victims of catastrophic injuries to be unsure whether they have the right to pursue legal action. The last thing anyone suffering from a catastrophic injury needs is to be accused of filing a lawsuit frivolously. However, the best way to find out whether you have the right to compensation is to contact a Georgia catastrophic injury attorney for help.
If you are lying in your hospital bed wondering whether you should reach out to a legal advocate, consider how substantially your injuries have impacted your life and whether someone else is to blame. If another party is or could be responsible for your injuries or resulting damages, it is worth your time to contact a professional for legal guidance and support.
Common Accidents That Lead to Catastrophic Injury
Nearly any type of accident has the potential to result in catastrophic injury under the worst conditions. However, our catastrophic injury attorneys have seen some accidents and incidents more often than others, including:
Motorcycle accidents are some of the most common types of motor vehicle wrecks that cause life-threatening and debilitating injuries. Bikers do not have the surrounding protection other motorists do, leaving them at a significantly greater risk for spinal cord injuries, road rash burns, and severe traumatic brain injury.
Commercial Truck Wrecks
Colliding with a tractor-trailer is sure to cause devastating injuries. Big rigs are massive, and nearly any vehicle that crashes into them is likely to be crushed. Organ failure and internal bleeding from seatbelt injuries, catastrophic traumatic brain injuries, and loss of limbs are common in commercial truck accidents.
Georgia is one of the top 10 states for motor vehicle crashes across the country. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, with more than 1600 fatalities, Georgia is the fourth highest state for car accident fatalities in the nation. Distracted, drunk, drowsy, aggressive, drugged, and reckless driving are some leading causes of collisions involving catastrophic injury.
Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability accidents include any type of catastrophic injuries that occur on someone else’s property. Some of the most common types of premises liability accidents known for causing a catastrophic injury include:
- Slip and fall accident
- Dog bites and attacks
- Swimming pool accidents, including drownings
- Trampoline accidents
- Hotel accidents
- Building code violations and fires
- Ceiling collapse accidents
You should be able to trust your healthcare providers implicitly with your medical care. Unfortunately, far too many mistakes get made, leading to medical malpractice and insurance claims. Some of the most prevalent types of medical malpractice that can cause a catastrophic injury include:
- Surgical mistakes
- Birth injuries
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication mistakes
- Failure to diagnose or treat
Some industries are known for being more dangerous to work and than others. If you were involved in any of the following work accidents, you may have the right to compensation through a catastrophic injury claim and your worker’s compensation insurance provider:
- Construction accidents
- Factory accidents
- Manufacturing accidents
- Work-related car accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or substances
Georgia Catastrophic Injury FAQ
After suffering a catastrophic injury, moving forward with an insurance claim or bringing your case to court can seem impossible. You may have many questions regarding the claims process, the value of your damages, and more. In the hopes of helping you feel more confident in pursuing your case, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding catastrophic injuries in Georgia below. If you have additional questions that we do not cover here, be sure to contact our Georgia catastrophic injury law firm to discuss the specific circumstances of your case.
What are the damages for catastrophic injuries?
When you have suffered a catastrophic injury, the damages you recover can include compensation for how you have been affected by the injuries you sustained. This includes a combination of economic and non-economic damages, collectively known as compensatory damages. Economic damages include financial losses, whereas non-economic damages include all other losses. Non-economic damages do not have a financial value, so they must be quantified accordingly by your catastrophic injury lawyer. Examples of potentially recoverable economic damages for a catastrophic injury include:
- The income you lost from taking time off work
- Your loss of paid time off, sick time, or vacation pay
- Current and future healthcare costs and medical expenses
- Costs of your medical devices and equipment
- Loss of employer-provided health insurance if you lose your job
- Loss of potential future earnings
- Other wage employee benefit-related losses
- Costs of replacing or repairing your vehicle
- Other personal property damages
- Damage to your credit score or report
- Costs of hiring professionals for home maintenance or childcare
Examples of potentially recoverable non-economic damages after suffering a catastrophic injury include:
- Chronic pain
- Embarrassing scars
- Disfiguring injuries or permanent disability
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of spousal intimacy
- Fear and anxiety
- Emotional trauma and mental anguish
It should also be noted that you could potentially be awarded punitive damages in your case. However, this will be based on whether the defendant’s actions were intentional or malicious. Generally, exemplary damages are awarded when the Georgia civil courts find the defendant’s actions reprehensible or punishable. They may award punitive damages to deter similar conduct in the future. Although punitive damages are awarded rarely in personal injury claims, they can dramatically increase the total value of your settlement.
How long does it take to settle a catastrophic injury case in Georgia?
The amount of time it takes to settle a Georgia catastrophic injury case can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your claim. Some of the factors that could have the greatest impact include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether multiple parties share the blame
- If you file a claim with the insurance company
- Whether the insurer delays the processing of your claim
- Your medical treatment and care
- If the at-fault party has insurance coverage
Some people suffering from catastrophic injuries may be able to avoid going to trial by settling with the insurance company. However, since insurance settlements often do not meet the needs of catastrophic injury victims, going to trial is often necessary to maximize the financial compensation awarded.
If you can settle with the insurance company without going to court, it is possible your case could be resolved in several weeks or months. However, if your case goes to trial, it could be a year or more before your settlement funds arrive. Although this may take longer, ultimately, going to trial may be the best way to get the most out of your claim and ensure you receive fair compensation.
What if my catastrophic injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence?
If your catastrophic injuries occurred due to another party’s negligent actions, you may have the right to compensation for your damages. The civil court system in Georgia is fault-based, so you can file a catastrophic injury lawsuit against them to recover your damages in full. In some instances, you can file a claim with their insurance company if the liable party has insurance coverage. Your catastrophic injury lawyer can analyze the specific circumstances of your case to determine which legal options are most likely to yield a favorable outcome.
Can I still pursue a catastrophic injury claim if I had a pre-existing condition?
Absolutely. If you suffered a catastrophic injury but also had a pre-existing condition, it is likely your pre-existing condition could have been worsened by the accident you were involved in. However, do not be surprised if the liable party or insurance company attempts to escape their financial obligations by arguing you should not be compensated due to your pre-existing condition. They may attempt to reduce your settlement or argue the accident did not cause your injuries, but your pre-existing condition did. You can protect yourself by having your catastrophic injury lawyer advocate for your rights every step of the way.
How does a Georgia catastrophic injury attorney prove the extent of my injuries?
To prove the extent of your injuries, your catastrophic injury lawyer will gather powerful evidence to support your case. Most notably, we will introduce compelling medical records that can detail your prognosis, physician’s treatment plan, expert opinions, and medical history to prove how substantially your injuries have and will continue to affect your life.
We can also introduce personal journal entries and statements from friends and family that attest to your state of mind, the emotional trauma you have experienced, and how significantly your injuries have impacted your ability to live your life as normally as possible.
Get Help From a Respected Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Georgia Today
There is no reason you should have to struggle financially on top of your catastrophic injuries and psychological distress. If another party’s reckless or negligent actions are the cause of your injuries, you can make them pay. While you focus on recuperating from your injuries, your dedicated catastrophic injury lawyer at T. Madden & Associates can begin building a compelling case against those responsible. When you are ready to regain control of your life, contact our Georgia catastrophic injury attorneys for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. You can reach us through our online contact form or by phone to schedule yours as soon as today.