St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, you may feel like you’ve run out of options. Severe injuries often lead to exorbitant medical bills and require years of therapy or rehabilitation. A personal injury settlement can help you or your loved ones live their best life possible by providing the financial resources for accommodations, therapy, and continued treatment.
What’s a Catastrophic Injury?
The term “catastrophic” is subjective, but it often involves long-term or permanent disability and/or disfigurement. There’s no official legal definition for catastrophic injury, but it often involves a difficult recovery and long-term, even lifelong, medical treatment. Victims of a catastrophic injury may also be unable to return to their line of work or any other livelihood at all.
A judge may deem an injury as catastrophic if any of the following apply:
- The victim is unable to perform basic life functions with ease, requiring some level of assistance from another person.
- The victim’s injuries have a long-term or permanent effect on their livelihood and quality of life.
Examples of “catastrophic injuries” may include injuries to the spinal cord, traumatic brain injury, amputation injuries, severe burns, and total or partial paralysis.
Damages in a Catastrophic Injury Case
Victims of a catastrophic injury may receive compensation for their injuries if they’re the result of someone else’s legal fault. A personal injury settlement provides damages for:
- Economic harm. These damages include lost wages, a loss in earning capacity, and the ongoing course of treatment. In the case of permanently disabling injury, economic damages may also provide funds for handicap accommodations or the cost of live-in assistance.
- General harm. These provide recompense for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress associated with the experience.
- Punitive measures. In some cases, judges allow a plaintiff to pursue punitive damages. These apply to cases of gross misconduct and “make an example” of the defendant, discouraging that behavior in the future.
When measuring harm, your attorney will look at how much you need to pay for all your expenses and make up for all of the pain and the diminished quality of life you experienced as a result of your injuries. Damages in a catastrophic injury case are usually much higher than those involving less severe injuries.
Are There Limits on Damages?
Each state sets limits a victim of personal injury may pursue, even those affected by catastrophic injury. While there aren’t limits on compensation for economic damages, most states limit the amount victims can pursue for pain and suffering. In Florida, for example, the cap for punitive damages is $500,000, or three times the amount of your economic damages, whichever is greater.
In certain cases, Florida laws may entitle you to unlimited general damages. For more information on limits on damages in your personal injury case, talk to an attorney at our office.
Your Next Steps: Talking to a Catastrophic Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have severe or permanently disabling injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence, a personal injury settlement will help you pay for your medical expenses and ongoing costs of care. At Williams Law, P.A., we’re committed to helping you protect your best interests and live your most comfortable life. That’s why we offer our personal injury legal services on a contingency-fee basis. This means you’ll only owe a fee if we win a court judgement or settlement in your case.
The process begins with a free initial consultation. Let us review the specifics of your case and help you decide on your next best steps. Contact us to schedule your case evaluation today; our experienced team can help you recover damages for catastrophic injuries.