Catastrophic injuries can have a lasting impact on your life. When someone else’s negligence or misconduct is the cause of your injuries, you should not be stuck covering the costs. Make the responsible party pay for their negligent actions. Contact a catastrophic injury attorney’s team at Brown & Barron for a free consultation.
Below, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding catastrophic injury insurance and tort claims. If you have additional questions that were not answered here, do not hesitate to contact our office so we can further discuss your specific questions and concerns.
What Types of Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?
You may believe that catastrophic injuries are only those that leave you paralyzed or unable to use most of your abilities, but this is not entirely the case. Catastrophic injuries can include other injuries that leave you with life-changing impacts. With that in mind, some of the more common types of catastrophic injuries seen in Maryland injury cases include:
- Third-degree burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Facial injuries
- Loss of eyesight or hearing
- Nerve damage
- Crush injury
- Loss of limbs
These are just a few of the more common types of catastrophic injuries you may have suffered. If you faced another type of injury that was not listed above, you may still have the right to financial compensation. Our team can help you explore your legal options further.
How Do I Know If I Have Grounds for a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
It can be difficult to determine whether you have the right to pursue a catastrophic injury claim. One of the best ways to know if you have grounds for an injury case is to get a case review from a lawyer’s office. However, if your injuries have had a significant impact on your life financially, emotionally, or physically, you may have the right to pursue legal action.
If you hope to obtain compensation for your damages, you will need to be able to show that someone else’s negligence or misconduct was the cause of your catastrophic injury. If you are unsure whether someone else is responsible for your injuries or suspect someone else of liability but are not sure where to turn for help, you can reach out to our office to find out whether you have grounds for a civil claim.
Will I Have to Bring My Case to Court?
After suffering a catastrophic injury, the last thing on your mind may be bringing your case to court. Unfortunately, it may not always be possible to settle your claim outside of court with the insurance company. Insurance companies are profit-focused. They lose money every time they pay out on a claim.
If you hope to get the most out of your claim, you may need to bring a civil lawsuit against the liable party to recover maximum compensation. Even in situations where we begin your case through out-of-court negotiations, the other party may not agree to a fair offer. Then, we may file a lawsuit to show the other party that we intend to seek the highest compensation available—and aren’t afraid to present the facts before a jury.
After reviewing the individual details of your case, your attorney can better advise you on how to proceed.
What Types of Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injuries?
Under the worst conditions, virtually any type of accident can cause a catastrophic injury. We can help you with catastrophic injuries that result from the following types of incidents:
If you suffered a catastrophic injury in another type of accident, and someone else is responsible for your injuries, you may have the right to financial compensation. You can contact our office and find out whether we can help you with your type of catastrophic injury claim.
What Should I Expect From the Catastrophic Injury Claims Process?
The process for recovering compensation following a catastrophic injury can vary considerably depending on the type of accident you were involved in, who is liable, and other factors. However, in general, personal injury claims processes involve the following:
- Getting a free case review
- Investigating the cause of the accident
- Gathering evidence
- Establishing liability
- Calculating the value of your claim
- Filing a claim with the insurance company
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Filing a civil claim against the liable party
- Fighting for maximum compensation in court
Should I Give the Insurance Company a Statement?
No. It is never a good idea to give the insurance company a statement. Insurance adjusters may look for opportunities to reduce the amount of compensation they are required to pay out on your claim. When you give the insurance adjuster a recorded statement, it gives them a chance to manipulate your words and use them against you.
Generally, this happens when the insurance adjuster is attempting to place unwarranted blame on you. They may attempt to claim that you were more at fault for your injuries than you truly were, and they may use this strategy to lower or eliminate your potential settlement amount.
You can have your attorney provide the insurance company with the facts of the case and the information they will need to file your claim. A catastrophic injury attorney from our team can also handle the negotiations process on your behalf. We will never let you settle for less than your claim is worth, and we will ensure that the insurance company is not able to place any unwarranted fault on you.
What Is My Catastrophic Injury Claim Worth?
One of the best ways to find out how much your catastrophic injury claim is worth is by contacting a lawyer’s team for help. When you have suffered a catastrophic injury, your entire life could be affected by the challenges. You may face emotional, physical, and financial losses. To ensure that every loss is accounted for, your attorney will consider damages of two separate categories. These include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages consist of your monetary losses. These can be quantified with financial records, bank statements, contracts, receipts, bills, and other financial documents. Some of the more commonly awarded types of economic damages in catastrophic injury claims include:
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Hospital bills
- Costs of prescription medications
- Ongoing medical treatment and care
- Costs of medical equipment
- Unexpected child care expenses
Additionally, you also have the right to recover non-economic damages. Non-economic damages do not have a monetary value. This is because they can affect every person’s life differently, and include all of the ways your life has been affected by your injuries.
With that being said, some of the more frequently awarded types of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Skin scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
How Long do I Have to Get My Claim Filed?
Under Maryland law, your catastrophic injury claim must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. However, the exact date that the statute of limitations will expire in your case can vary widely depending on the type of catastrophic injury claim you’re filing. For example, if you were filing a Maryland personal injury lawsuit, you will have three years to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
However, if you were filing a medical malpractice claim for a catastrophic injury, the statute of limitations would be extended to five years from the date of the incident. Although this seems like more than enough time to get started on your case, catastrophic injury claims are known for having evidence that is time-sensitive.
The sooner your attorney can access this evidence, the stronger your case will be. It is important to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations expires, as failure to meet this important deadline will result in the dismissal of your case. By having a strong legal advocate on your side, you can reduce your risk of the statute of limitations having an adverse impact on your case.
What Should I Do After Suffering a Catastrophic Injury?
After you have been involved in an accident or incident and suffered a catastrophic injury, you may be feeling scared, confused, and unsure of what to do next. Here is a general idea of the steps you should take immediately after and in the weeks to follow a catastrophic injury:
- Obtain a medical evaluation: With a catastrophic injury, you will likely get immediate emergency care. This is crucial for your health and for documenting your injuries.
- Continue to get all the care you need: Once you seek medical help, follow your doctors’ orders. If they advise physical therapy or taking certain medications, do so. An insurance company may try to dispute your case if there are gaps in your treatment history.
- Hang onto evidence: If you pay for medical devices, transportation, or other injury-related items out of pocket, hang onto these receipts as evidence.
- Consider a free case review: The more information you have about your legal options, the better able you will be to make important decisions for your case. You can contact our team to understand more about your next steps.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer?
Many catastrophic injury victims are hesitant to contact a lawyer’s team for help. This is because, after everything you have been through, you may not be able to afford the cost of hiring an attorney. Fortunately, our catastrophic injury lawyers are often able to work with you on contingency. This means you will not be expected to pay any out-of-pocket costs.
In fact, you will not be expected to pay your attorney anything unless or until we win your case. You will not have to pay from your savings in order to get started. You can learn more about what to expect from your contingency agreement when you get a free case review.
Who Is Liable for My Catastrophic Injuries?
It is difficult to say who is responsible for causing your catastrophic injuries. The type of accident you were involved in will determine liability. For example, if you or a loved one was hurt in a medical malpractice case, your attorney will investigate one or more of the following parties for liability:
- A doctor
- A hospital
- A negligent medical device maker
- Other parties
In another scenario, you or your loved one could have been harmed in a nursing home accident. In this case, we could determine if a negligent nursing home or product maker was responsible for the injury.
By carefully examining the details of your case, your catastrophic injury lawyer can give you a better idea of who may be responsible for your injuries and compensating you for your damages.
What Evidence Can Help Support My Case?
The burden of proof in catastrophic injury claims is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means the evidence must clearly show that the defendant is more than likely responsible for causing your injuries. With that in mind, your attorney will be responsible for demonstrating negligence based on the four following elements:
- Duty of care: The liable party had a duty to show you a reasonable level of care in the situation.
- Breach of duty: They failed to meet this duty of care.
- Causation: Their actions or inactions were directly responsible for your injury.
- Damages: You suffered physical, financial, and/or non-financial losses as a result.
To prove these elements, your lawyer will introduce a wide variety of evidence that can be used to support your case, some of which might include:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the accident scene
- Medical records
- Video of the accident or incident
- Safety inspection reports
- Police or crash reports
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Forensic evidence
- Reports from accident reconstructionists
Your catastrophic injury attorney’s thorough investigation into the cause of your accident will help uncover the evidence needed to prove liability in your case.
Reach Out to Brown & Barron for a Catastrophic Injury Attorney’s Help
When a catastrophic injury has turned your life upside down, you can take action to bring the liable party to justice. One of our catastrophic injury attorneys at Brown & Barron can handle every step of your case. Take advantage of your no-cost, risk-free consultation when you call our office.