If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, you don’t need any more condolences—you need a catastrophic injury lawyer who can help you get answers.
Questions like: “What is considered a catastrophic injury?”, “How will I pay for medical care?” and “How will I provide for my family?” shouldn’t be solely your burden. The parties responsible for your catastrophic injury need to be held responsible, and only an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can help you with the compensation you deserve.
If you’re considering legal action following a catastrophic injury, contact personal injury attorney Mark Thiessen at Thiessen Law Firm. He and his team will stop at nothing to help you and your family attain the maximum compensation for the case.
In legal terminology, a catastrophic injury refers to an injury that leaves its victim with permanent disabilities and/or unable to work for an extended period of years or more. Catastrophic personal injuries are not determined by the amount of pain they cause. Rather, a catastrophic injury is determined by its impact on your ability to work and maintain a job. Common catastrophic injury examples include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Amputation or loss of limb(s)
- Organ damage/failure
- Paralysis (partial or full)
- Severe disfigurement
Some of the most common scenarios for successful catastrophic injury lawsuits include:
- Jobsite accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle/car accidents
- Injuries caused by defective products
Because these types of injuries often leave victims unable to work and provide for their family, it is logical for the person to sue and win compensation for their financial wellbeing. In fact, the state of Texas allows victims of a catastrophic injury to sue for both economic and non-economic damages.
In other words, you and your catastrophic injury lawyer will be seeking much higher damages to cover the loss of income, cost of medical care, and damage to your quality of life.
However, in order to successfully sue for full damages, the injury needs to have occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. This means that you and your personal injury lawyer will need to prove both the extent of your injuries and the fault of the defendant in court.
Texas is a comparative fault state, meaning that the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive varies depending on whether or not you possess any fault for the catastrophic injury. For instance, if you walked into a roped-off portion of a store and slipped while there, the store owner could argue that you are partially at fault for your injury. Responsibility for the injury is blurred, which could impact your ability to receive a full payout.
You can’t put a price tag on your own quality of life, but there are certain limitations on the damages you can receive for a catastrophic injury. The state of Texas allows victims of a catastrophic injury to seek compensation for two types of damages:
- Compensatory: Damages associated with the economic impact of your injury
- Punitive: Damages the defendant is ordered to pay as punishment for their negligence
Texas places no cap on compensatory damages in catastrophic injury cases. However, punitive damages cannot be more than 2x the amount received in compensatory damages and cannot exceed $750,000. For example, if you won $250,000 in compensatory damages, you could not seek more than $500,000 in punitive damages. In medical malpractice cases, the maximum punitive damages you can seek shrinks to $250,000.
Additionally, you can expect the defendant’s lawyer to challenge your compensatory damages. There are recognized “reasonable” costs for certain medical expenses and procedures. For example, if your physical therapy is costing you $1,500 a month but the industry average is only $1,000 per month, the defendant may be able to reach a lower settlement based on those findings.
When suing an individual, you may also be limited by their insurance coverage. If their policy caps out at $200,000, then that may be all you’ll be able to get—even if your compensatory damages amount to much more.
As you can see, what is considered as a catastrophic injury case and what will go ignored can often depend on the experience of your lawyer. No only that, but because catastrophic injury cases involve high payouts, the standards for proving your case are high.
By the following precautions, you and your catastrophic injury lawyer have a much better chance of winning the full compensation you deserve.
- Keep track of your paperwork. Between the various surgeries, doctor’s appointments, consultations, meetings with insurance companies, etc. you’re going to receive a lot of paperwork. Keep in mind to organize it all, and make sure your lawyer has access to all of these files as they relate to your injury case.
- Document your experience. Either by yourself or with the help of a loved one, do your best to document the accident as you remember it as soon as you are able to. Memories shift and stories change—logging your experience early on could protect you from harmful inconsistencies in court.
- Don’t agree to any insurance settlement without your lawyer. The insurance company of the responsible party is on their client’s side, not yours. Before you agree to any payout, consult your lawyer and don’t sign anything until you’ve had a chance to review it with your legal team.
- Don’t rush to file your case. As bad is it may seem right now, the full extent of your injuries may not have revealed itself until weeks or months later. If you rush to sue immediately, you may miss out on damages and expenses that have yet to appear.
- But don’t wait forever to file, either. In Texas, there is a statute of limitations of two years on catastrophic injury cases, meaning that you have two full years from the date of the injury to file your claim. If you are suing the government for your catastrophic injury, the statute of limitations reduces to six months.
A catastrophic injury changes your life in a flash, and the damage done can never truly be repaid. But that doesn’t mean that the party responsible should get away with paying less than you deserve.
As your dedicated catastrophic injury lawyer, Mark Thiessen and the team at the Thiessen Law Firm are here to fight for your needs and assist your case at every step of the way. We know you never wanted to make this phone call, so we take every possible step to ensure a simple process for you and your family.
Whether you’ve just been injured and don’t know what to do, or you considering getting a getting a second opinion attorney on your case, the Thiessen Law Firm is here to help. Call us at (713) 999-3959 or contact us online and schedule a free case evaluation today.