Get Compensation for Your Traumatic Injuries

Traumatic Injuries 2

Car accidents can do more than ding your vehicle. If you’re only dealing with car damage, consider yourself lucky. Yes, you’ll have repair bills but at least you’re not dealing with injuries. Unfortunately, vehicle accidents often result in injuries ranging from minor to life-altering. A catastrophic injury can decrease your quality of life, affecting everything from your ability to work to enjoying simple pleasures.

An auto insurance policy can cover some of your expenses, but rarely all of the costs associated with a car wreck. Your health insurance may also kick in and take care of some of your medical bills. However, you’ll probably still be on the hook for other accident-related expenses. What about the decrease in your quality of life? Can you receive compensation for this devastating loss?

Definition of a Catastrophic Injury

You may consider any injury impacting your life to be catastrophic. For instance, a broken bone may seem catastrophic since your freedom of movement is temporarily restricted.

Federal law is a little more specific in its definition of a catastrophic injury. The government defines a catastrophic injury as one that has immediate and permanent consequences that prevent an individual from performing meaningful work.

In simple terms, a permanent and serious injury is considered catastrophic under federal guidelines, which includes:

  • The loss of permanent impairment of a body part. Losing an arm is an example.
  • Permanent and severe disfigurement. Chemical burns and scarring fall under these guidelines.
  • The risk of death. The injury is severe enough to threaten your life

Death is also considered a catastrophic injury; so if an individual dies from their injuries, their surviving loved ones can take steps to receive compensation for their loss.

Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Remember, what one person considers catastrophic may not seem so severe to another person. However, there are some injuries everyone agrees can negatively impact your quality of life:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. This type of injury is typically caused by a blow to the head. Slamming your head into the steering wheel or seat back can result in this type of injury.
  • Severe burns. Third and fourth-degree burns over a large portion of the body are classified as catastrophic injuries.
  • The loss of body function and movement due to a spinal cord injury is both traumatic and catastrophic. Full recovery is uncommon and the injury often requires a lifetime of care.

Traumatic orthopedic injuries are typically classified as catastrophic when multiple surgeries or even amputations of the affected limb are required.

Possible Long-Term Effects of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can have a permanent effect on an individual’s life. While some of the effects can seem like minor inconveniences, like taking medication daily, other effects have a more serious effect on a person’s life, like requiring a wheelchair for mobility.

Some of the common long-term effects of severe injuries can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Permanent disability like the loss of function to a bodily system or limb
  • The injury is preventing the individual from securing meaningful employment
  • Lifelong care and/or assistance is necessary
  • Medications are a part of the person’s daily schedule
  • Permanent scarring and other types of disfigurement
  • Assistance devices necessary for mobility like wheelchairs and walkers

A catastrophic injury can also alter a person’s mental well-being, and they may experience mood and even personality changes. Traumatic brain injuries can cause memory loss, either temporarily or permanently.

Proving Fault in a Catastrophic Car Accident

Since Arizona is an at-fault state, the driver who caused the collision must pay the victims’ full damages for any injuries and property damage. But, you need to be able to back up your claim before you can send a bill to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Put another way, you will need to present evidence in addition to proving that the other motorist caused the collision.

Not only is proof required if your personal injury claim ends up in civil court, but insurance companies will also request supporting evidence. You’ll need to provide evidence before the insurer even starts processing your accident claim.

Since you’re suffering from catastrophic injuries, there’s probably very little you can do beyond focusing on your recovery—but don’t worry! This is when an experienced personal injury attorney comes in.

Even if you’re unable to discuss your case with an attorney, your loved ones can act on your behalf. So, what should you expect from a qualified accident attorney?

Gather Evidence

One of the first things your attorney will do is begin collecting evidence. Your attorney understands bills are piling up and you’re relying on compensation from the insurance company to stay afloat.

Along with collecting a copy of the accident report, and you can usually get a copy of the report about a week after the accident. Your attorney can contact your local police department of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The accident report is also something the insurance companies will want a copy of. In the report, you can typically find details about the accident that include who the authorities consider the at fault driver.

Collecting evidence can also mean talking to any witnesses, if applicable. Since your injuries probably prevented you from exchanging contact info at the accident scene, your attorney can get the necessary information from the report.

Calculating Your Damages

Before your attorney begins negotiating with the insurance company, you’ll take the time to calculate your damages. This can include things like medical expenses, property damage repair/replacement costs, along with lost current and future wages.

If modifications are necessary to your home to allow for mobility devices, these costs can also be included, and don’t forget about non-economic damages. You can also claim pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life on top of this. After calculating your damages, the total amount is then submitted to the insurance company.

Negotiations Begin

Chances are the insurance company will deny the first damage amount—this is normal, so don’t panic. Your attorney will then enter into a negotiation stage, and if an acceptable number isn’t reached, your case heads to civil court.

You Can Receive Compensation for Your Catastrophic Injuries

Working with an attorney is indeed the most effective strategy to guarantee that you receive proper compensation for your catastrophic injuries. By entrusting your claim to an experienced personal injury attorney, you ensure that an expert is advocating for your best interests.

This not only maximizes your chances of a favorable outcome but also allows you to concentrate exclusively on your recovery, secure in the knowledge that your legal affairs are being handled with professional diligence and care.

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Luca Jacob

Luca Jacob, a Legal Analyst with a Juris Doctor degree, offers expertise in corporate law, intellectual property, and legal policy analysis. His legal practice and policy work background provide a sharp perspective on legal complexities, making him a valuable resource for understanding diverse legal issues.
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