By definition, a catastrophic injury can be a devastating and irrevocably life-altering event. In a single instant, the course of your life may change in ways you never could have foreseen. If you have experienced a catastrophic injury, it is important to have the assistance you will need to weather the aftermath and recover for the harm someone else has done to you, which means you may benefit from speaking with a DuPage County catastrophic injury lawyer about your options. A dedicated personal injury attorney could help you take stock of your damages and determine who you might be able to hold legally liable for the short and long-term consequences of your injury.
Illinois state law does not provide a precise definition for a catastrophic injury. An injury that would be considered ‘catastrophic,’ however, is normally one that involves long-lasting and serious harm. These injuries can happen in many different ways such as a car accident, truck collision, and medical malpractice incidents.
Common results from catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain damage, a coma, extreme burns, deafness, blindness, paralysis, broken bones, and many others. The common thread of catastrophic injuries is that they result in a traumatic and irreversible change to the victim’s life. In some instances, the severity of a person’s injuries may be fatal and the individual’s family could be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Due to the severity of catastrophic injuries in comparison to other types of personal injuries, a series of unforeseen effects result from them that can drastically change someone’s life. Medical bills for catastrophic injuries are often far more expensive and long-lasting, and necessary rehabilitation can last a lifetime.
Beyond the medical costs associated with catastrophic injuries, other effects can include loss of wages and earning capacity, severe emotional and psychological stress, and loss of enjoyment in certain activities. No one should have to struggle with these effects alone, especially if they are due to someone else’s careless actions or inaction. A DuPage County catastrophic injury attorney could help with meeting the demands and challenges those experience such a condition may face.
Personal injury claims in DuPage County have a statute of limitations set at two years, as per 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-202. Though this normally means that catastrophic injury victims must file their claims within two years of when they sustained the injury in question, sometimes symptoms or even injuries as a whole may not present until much later. In this case, the statute of limitations period would begin on the date the injured party discovers—or reasonably should have discovered—their injury.
The state of Illinois also recognizes what is known as “contributory fault” in personal injury claims. Specifically, according to 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the plaintiff may share legal responsibility with the defendant for the injury they sustained. Though the court may decrease a plaintiff’s total damage award in proportion to their degree of fault, the plaintiff may still be awarded some compensation so long as they do not bear 51 percent or more of the total fault.
When adjudicating personal injury claims, courts normally weigh issues such as whether or not the defendant breached a duty of care they owed to the plaintiff, if the defendant’s actions directly caused the plaintiff’s injury, and whether the plaintiff’s damages are compensable. An experienced DuPage County catastrophic injury lawyer could assist with measuring the strength of a personal injury claim and various other aspects of the filing process.
The financial and personal costs from a catastrophic injury can be incredibly high and last a lifetime. However, though the life you once lived may be changed forever, there is no need to go through this experience alone.
If you have experienced a crippling or debilitating long-term injury due to a negligent act by another person, a DuPage County catastrophic injury lawyer could help you seek civil compensation. The process of filing a personal injury claim can be complex and difficult to accomplish, but your attorney could help guide you through the process. Call today to get started on your case.