Fort Lauderdale Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Fighting for Fair Compensation for the Seriously Injured
The consequences of a catastrophic injury can reach far into your future and deeply affect you and your family. You will likely need extensive, long-term medical care and possibly assistance or accommodations to complete tasks associated with daily living. If your injuries are due to the negligent actions of another person or entity, you have the right to bring a legal claim against them for the damages you’ve suffered. Unfortunately, due to the high dollar amounts associated with catastrophic injury claims, insurance companies spend a lot of time and resources fighting them. You need a skilled lawyer who will fight just as vigorously for you. Kurzman Law Group, P.A. can provide the strong representation you need. We will work to recover full compensation for your losses, which can offer you and your family a brighter, more hopeful future. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to discuss your legal options: 954-466-3220.
How is a Catastrophic Injury Defined?
While several types of injuries can be described as severe, many of these injuries, such as broken bones or deep cuts, will heal within a reasonable amount of time with proper treatment. Catastrophic injuries are severe injuries that significantly impact the victim’s functioning for a prolonged time and require a considerable amount of ongoing treatment. The details of the injuries can vary, but what they have in common is the life-altering harm they cause. Not every catastrophic injury is permanent, but they all present long-lasting challenges for the victim and their family. The sufferers may be unable to work or even complete basic daily tasks. Some common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Amputations or loss of limb function
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Severe or widespread burns
- Chronic organ damage
- Sudden vision or hearing loss stemming from an accident
What Incidents Can Cause a Catastrophic Injury?
When people think of severe, long-lasting injuries, violent car crashes, and horrific incidents often come to mind. Unfortunately, the truth is even more frightening because any accident, no matter how mundane, has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. Even something as common as tripping on a loose rug can cause you to fall and strike your head on a hard surface, which may result in brain damage or neck injuries that could lead to paralysis. However, it is true that as the magnitude of the impacts involved in an accident increases, so does your chance of experiencing a catastrophic injury. Some of the accidents most commonly associated with catastrophic injuries include:
- Auto accidents, such as being struck by a drunk driver.
- Premises liability accidents.
- Bus and commercial vehicle accidents.
- Motorcycle wrecks.
- Pedestrian accidents.
- Bicycle accidents.
- Defective product accidents.
- Workplace accidents
- Heavy equipment incidents.
- Medical malpractice.
- Construction accident involving being struck by falling objects.
- Nursing home abuse or negligence.
- Dog bite accidents
How Does a Catastrophic Injury Change Your Life?
By definition, a catastrophic injury is one that profoundly alters your life and ability to function. Victims can go from being healthy, active adults before the accident to being bedridden and requiring assistance with basic tasks such as eating, showering, or getting dressed. The challenges an individual faces will vary based on their specific injuries, but their lives will be different than they were prior to the accident. Relationships with spouses, children, and other family members can change as the person who experienced the catastrophic injury may shift from being a provider to receiving help from their loved ones. This change can be challenging for all involved.
In almost all cases, the catastrophic injury victim cannot continue working. This can be a significant blow to individuals who have invested years of their life into their profession. It may also cause financial distress as your income dwindles. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, worker’s compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) benefits may reimburse you for a portion of your lost income, but these benefits only last for a short time.
Victims of devastating injuries often struggle with mental health impacts as they cope with chronic pain, frustration, depression, PTSD, and other challenges. Addressing this mental trauma and emotional distress through therapy and other coping strategies can be critical to the victim’s well-being. Unfortunately, necessary treatments for your mental and physical health can be expensive, and it can be stressful to watch bills accumulate when your income has been drastically reduced. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer understands these challenges and will fight aggressively to recover the compensation you need to put your mind at ease and protect your future.
How is Liability Determined for a Catastrophic Injury?
In most situations, individuals have a responsibility to act in a reasonable manner that does not cause harm to others. Some professionals, such as doctors and bus drivers, have an even greater responsibility to care for those entrusting them with their health and safety. If someone acts negligently and causes a catastrophic injury, they could be liable for damages. The at-fault party could be a driver, a medical professional, a coworker, a property owner, or a government entity. There may also be a combination of negligent parties contributing to your catastrophic injury.
Proving negligence in a catastrophic injury claim requires the same proof as any other personal injury case. It involves establishing that these five statements are verifiably true:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care.
- The violation of the duty of care directly caused your injuries.
- The defendant should have foreseen that their actions could cause harm.
- Your injuries have caused a significant financial loss.
Catastrophic injury claims are complex personal injury cases that require a thorough knowledge of state laws and strong investigation and negotiation skills. Identifying liable parties responsible for the damages and gathering proof of their gross negligence is key to the success of your claim. A catastrophic injury will often prevent you from working again, so it is crucial to ensure that you receive full compensation for your damages.
What is Florida’s Statute of Limitations on Catastrophic Injuries?
The statute of limitations specifies the length of time a victim has to bring legal action against those liable for their injuries. This time limit ensures that cases are recent enough for evidence and witnesses to be available. It also prevents the court system from getting bogged down with old cases that could take a very long time to handle and may be impossible to try fairly because all the data is outdated.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, including a catastrophic injury lawsuit, is four years from the date of the injury. One major exception to this rule occurs when the injuries involve medical malpractice. In those cases, the victim only has two years from the date of the injury or two years from when the injury was discovered. While this may seem like a long time, it can pass by quickly when you and your family are dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic injury. It is best to contact a catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that they have ample time to investigate and build a robust case that will bring you the maximum settlement amount.
Missing the filing deadline will almost certainly result in the court refusing to hear your case. However, some rare situations will “toll” or pause the statute of limitations countdown. If you have concerns about whether you are still eligible to file a catastrophic injury claim, contact our knowledgeable lawyers at Kurzman Law Group, P.A. for a free case evaluation today.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Catastrophic Injury Case?
One of the crucial tasks performed by your lawyer is determining the impact your injuries have had on your life and carefully using that information to value your claim. The stakes are high in a catastrophic injury case because, by definition, your injuries are severe and long-term. Victims often face immense costs for medical treatment with little idea of how they will pay. The financial stressors can be overwhelming.
The insurance company may use this to its advantage by offering a quick settlement that is convenient for paying your current expenses but is much less than your claim is worth. Accepting a lowball settlement can set you up for future challenges and prevent you from seeking further compensation for your injuries. To protect your legal rights for financial recovery, consult a catastrophic injury lawyer before signing any settlement agreement.
A skilled personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will consider both economic and non-economic damages when establishing a fair settlement amount for your losses. Economic damages account for the monetary losses you’ve suffered, which may include:
- Current medical expenses and hospital bills.
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity due to permanent disability.
- Property replacement or repair.
- Counseling expenses.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation bills.
- Costs for ongoing medical care.
- In-home services or nursing expenses.
- Accessibility upgrades to your home and vehicles.
The impact of your injuries on your everyday life can be extensive. Your quality of life may be diminished by limited mobility, sensory deprivation, or loss of independence. Chronic pain and discomfort are also prevalent for catastrophic injury survivors. Non-economic damages attempt to place a monetary value on these non-financial losses, including:
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of life’s enjoyment.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
An additional type of compensation, known as punitive damages, may be awarded by the court if the defendant caused your injuries through malicious or intentional acts or attempted to cover up their negligent behavior.
What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for You?
After a catastrophic injury, you need to focus all your energy on healing and spending time with your loved ones. You shouldn’t have to waste precious time arguing with insurance companies who are not concerned with your best interests. The capable lawyers at Kurzman Law Group, P.A. can handle all aspects of your case and help you recover a full settlement for the injuries you’ve suffered. Your catastrophic injury claim is too important to leave to chance. Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with a skilled personal injury lawyer who will fight to secure the compensation you and your family deserve: 954-466-3220.