Anytime someone is injured as a result of the negligence of another, the injured party can pursue financial compensation in court. Not all personal injury cases are alike — some are more serious than others. The most severe types of injuries usually warrant the filing of a catastrophic injury lawsuit.
There are a few differences that set catastrophic injury cases apart from run-of-the-mill personal injury cases. Understanding these differences will allow you to more fully pursue your catastrophic injury case in court.
1. Scope of Damages
All personal injury lawsuits involve damages, but the scope of the damages involved in a catastrophic lawsuit are much broader than those in other personal injury cases.
A catastrophic injury case usually results from significant economic loss. This loss can come in the form of money spent on current medical bills, the expected cost of future medical care, and the loss of funds by family members attempting to help support the injured individual.
The non-economic damages in a catastrophic injury case can also be greater. Plaintiffs in these cases almost always suffer from psychological injuries, loss of companionship, and severe emotional and physical pain.
2. Long-Term Effects
Another key difference between personal injury cases and catastrophic injury cases is the effect the injury will have on the plaintiff on a long-term basis. Personal injury cases typically involve injuries that can be treated with medical care over a period of time, allowing the injured party to return to his or her social and professional engagements.
Catastrophic injuries have a permanent effect on a person's quality of life. The injury cannot be healed by medical professionals, and the injured party is unable to return to life as it was before the accident. Physical disfigurement, loss of sensory function, and permanent disability affect those who experience a catastrophic injury.
3. Greater Legal Challenges
Both personal injury and catastrophic injury cases involve the injured party and an insurance company. Insurance companies want to keep payouts to a minimum, so they are more likely to dedicate resources to fighting against a catastrophic injury case where the amount of money at stake is greater.
A lot of personal injury cases are settled out of court, while many catastrophic injury cases go to trial. Expert witnesses and industry professionals will be called on to testify, and you will need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your interests during the trial.
To learn more, contact personal injury attorneys in your area.