A catastrophic injury could cause significant physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Often, individuals may be unable to perform daily functions and activities without help. The costs of daily medical care could also devastate a family.
If you or a loved one were catastrophically injured due to the reckless actions of another, you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages. With the guidance and support of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you can rest assured that your case is handled. A Rolla catastrophic injury lawyer could review your situation and help you design a plan to move forward toward recovery. Speak to our seasoned legal team at the A.W. Law Firm to discuss your legal rights and options.
A catastrophic injury is one that permanently damages someone in a way that prevents them from being able to enjoy life and earn wages the way they did before. Injuries are considered catastrophic when they are long term and permanently impact body parts and bodily functions. Injuries to the spine, brain, and losses of limbs all would fall under the category of a catastrophic injury.
When seeking recovery, injured claimants may need to negotiate with insurance companies before and during the litigation process. Missouri is a fault state, which means that plaintiffs have the right insurance claims with their own insurance carrier, as well as with the responsible party’s insurance company. Plaintiffs may also file personal injury cases without needing to meet a serious injury or monetary threshold, which is required in no-fault insurance states.
If a plaintiff seeks personal injury damages in court based in tort, they must file their case within five years of the date of the injury according to Missouri Revised Statutes §516.120. If plaintiffs use negligence as a cause of action, they must prove the following four elements:
The defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care to prevent an unreasonable risk of harm at the time of the accident. If the defendant failed to uphold that duty, they are said to be in breach. If the defendant’s breach of duty causes the plaintiff’s injuries, they may be liable for negligence.
The courts distinguish catastrophic injuries because of their effect on potential damages. As opposed to minor injuries, catastrophic injuries gain the attention of insurance companies and courts because of the significant amount of damages that could be at stake. A defendant could be looking at a very high amount of damages if held liable.
Catastrophic injury plaintiffs in Rolla could seek property, economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages. Property damages would cover damage to the car in an automobile accident, for example. Economic damages relate to medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages compensate victims for loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of consortium, permanent disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Courts often look at similar jury awards to assess how much a plaintiff’s non-economic damages are worth.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded, only when the defendant’s conduct rises above negligence, and the court feels it is necessary to punish the defendant.
Seeking the help you need is a crucial part of healing and moving forward. A compassionate Rolla catastrophic injury lawyer could be an integral part of your recovery efforts. Tackling the obstacles of negotiation and litigation could be more manageable with a professional in your corner, fighting for you each day. Call the A.W. Smith Law Firm to start exploring your opportunities. Schedule a consultation today.