Catastrophic injuries may result from all types of accidents, including those arising from motor vehicle accidents, falls, animal attacks, and defective products. When these types of injuries occur, the various impacts on victims can be stressful, costly, and life-altering in many ways. If the negligence of others led to your injuries, you may wish to consult a Will County catastrophic injury lawyer for advice.
Determining your eligibility for a potential catastrophic injury claim may be easier if you speak with a skilled attorney. Doing so may give you a chance to recover at least some of the costs of the injuries that you have suffered due to those who acted in a careless manner.
Potential Benefits of a Catastrophic Injury Attorney
To prove entitlement to damages in the typical catastrophic injury claim, a catastrophic injury victim must establish all the elements of legal negligence. These elements include the fact that the defendant(s) owed the victim a duty of reasonable care, that they violated that duty, and that their action(s) directly caused physical injury to the victim. However, the process of proving fault for an accident may not always be straightforward.
A Will County catastrophic injury lawyer may be able to assist in collecting and analyzing evidence to prove negligence by another person. Viewing pictures and video footage of the accident scene, interviewing and drafting written statements for eyewitnesses to the accident, reviewing the medical records of injury victims, and consulting with experts and other professionals may all be necessary steps to establishing negligence in a personal injury case.
Classifying Injuries as Catastrophic
While there is no set definition of catastrophic injury, most of the injuries that fall within this category result in a permanent impairment to limbs or bodily functions. Common characteristics of catastrophic injuries include extended periods of rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and continual medical treatment, often resulting from traumatic brain injuries, amputation, or spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis.
The term “catastrophic” applies not only to the nature of the injury, but also to the impact it has on the life of the injury victim. The injuries may have a calamitous effect on a victim’s ability to work, walk, drive, or live independently. Worse still, the long-term effects of catastrophic injuries can be devastating not only to injury victims, but also to their family members, relationships, and former way of life.
Measuring Damages in Catastrophic Injury Claims
The damages recoverable in a catastrophic injury claim depend on the severity, duration, and extent of the injuries. Some of the potential damages that a Will County catastrophic injury lawyer could help a plaintiff pursue include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Personal care costs
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Even individuals who may be partially at fault for the accident that led to their injuries may be able to recover damages in some circumstances. Pursuant to 735 ILCS § 5/2-1116, victims of catastrophic injuries may still be able to pursue damages from other parties who are at fault, as long as their own percentage of fault for the accident is less than 51 percent.
Another aspect of comparative negligence for Will County catastrophic injury cases involves the computation of damages. Individuals who are partially at fault for the accident that led to their injuries may only seek a reduced amount of damages from the other at-fault party or parties. For example, individuals who bear 40 percent of the responsibility for their accident would be able to recover only up to 60 percent of their total damages.
Contact a Will County Catastrophic Injury Attorney Today
When you sustain catastrophic injuries in an accident, the last thing on your mind may be a lawsuit against the party who negligently caused the accident. However, since the costs of your medical treatment alone can be extremely significant in a catastrophic injury case, you owe it to yourself and your family to explore the possibility of a personal injury claim.
A Will County catastrophic injury lawyer may be able to give you the advice that you need about any potential claims. However, there are strict time limitations that apply to catastrophic injury actions and all personal injury actions in the state of Illinois, so time may be of the essence in yours. Call today to explore your options and start working to preserve any potential claims for damages stemming from your catastrophic injuries.