While enduring a personal injury caused by a crime or another party’s negligence is never easy, most such injuries eventually heal. You may need weeks or even months of medical treatment, but by the end of the process, you may return to full health.
A small percentage of personal injuries may never fully heal. These are known as catastrophic injuries, and injuries with this categorization typically have a permanent effect on a person’s health and quality of life.
Hiring a personal injury attorney may be important for any personal injury case, but it might be critical to consult a Cook County catastrophic injury lawyer when you are facing a catastrophic injury. A well-practiced attorney may be able to not only help you and your family pursue compensation for not just the costs of continuing medical treatment, but could also work to secure lost earning potential and mental anguish. En Español.
What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?
Illinois state law provides no exact definition of when an injury becomes catastrophic. While the classification of an injury as “catastrophic” carries no legal weight in a personal injury claim, it may be important to recognize when an injury may effectively be catastrophic to understand the gravity of such a situation.
While the Illinois state legislature has declined to specifically define this term, the State Supreme Court has ruled on the topic. The case of Krohe v. City of Bloomington, 204 Ill. 2d 392 (2003) states that a catastrophic injury could be any injuries that potentially require permanent medical care. It follows that a catastrophic injury is a permanent one from which a plaintiff may never fully recover.
The question of whether an injury is catastrophic is typically not connected to any specific injury. It examines the effect of that injury upon a person’s future health. Anyone who has further questions about how this term applies to civil cases or whether their injury might be catastrophic could find answers and professional assistance in a Cook County catastrophic injury attorney.
Common Examples of Debilitating Injuries
A catastrophic injury may happen at almost any time and under almost any circumstances. Perhaps the most common source of these injuries is car crashes since the forces at play in a car accident are immense and may affect even the strongest and healthiest person. Catastrophic injuries that may result from auto wrecks could include:
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries causing paralysis
- Brain injuries causing loss of motor or cognitive function
Beyond the nature of the injury itself, catastrophic injury cases may proceed similarly to any other that alleges a personal injury. A plaintiff must still be able to connect their injuries to the intentional act or negligence of another party to hold that defendant or their insurance company legally liable for injuries and losses like medical costs, loss of future earning potential, and loss of quality of life.
No matter how severe their injury may be, plaintiffs must satisfy the Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury cases. ILCS 735 5/12-901 states that plaintiffs have only two years from the date of their injury to file a claim. While catastrophic injury cases may be complex, a Cook County catastrophic injury lawyer could help a plaintiff act quickly to protect their right to file.
Recovering Damages with a Cook County Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Whether it occurs in an accident or due to someone else’s criminal action, a catastrophic injury may permanently affect the life of the injured person. Any claim brought against a defendant for these losses typically needs to be carefully researched and diligently pursued.
An experienced and tenacious Cook County catastrophic injury lawyer could help you hold at-fault parties responsible for their actions by working to gather the vital evidence that proves defendant fault, applying those facts to the relevant Illinois laws, and accurately measuring your losses to demand maximum compensation for them. Call today to schedule a consultation.