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When a catastrophic injury happens, it brings a wave of unforeseen difficulties for both the victim and their loved ones. With so much at stake, you’ll want a highly qualified legal professional on your side who provides aggressive legal representation and fights fiercely for their clients.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, we recognize the immense impact that catastrophic injuries have on the lives of victims and their families. Our team of Texas personal injury lawyers is dedicated to advocating for your rights and pursuing fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.
- A catastrophic injury refers to a personal injury that causes permanent or long-term disabilities and significantly impacts the victim’s life.
- Victims of catastrophic injury may pursue compensation for the damages they endured as a result of their injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
- A Texas catastrophic injury lawyer can provide victims with the legal support necessary to pursue maximum compensation from the negligent party.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is a severe personal injury that causes long-term or permanent disabilities and significantly impacts the victim’s life. Injuries of this severity often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. Compared with minor injuries, catastrophic injuries typically result in a higher level of compensation because of the severity of the harm.
A few common catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) may result in partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and loss of bodily functions. SCIs often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and assistive devices that help the victim regain as much independence as possible.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when sudden head trauma causes damage to the brain. These injuries may cause cognitive impairments, memory loss, personality changes, and difficulties with motor skills. Depending on the severity of the injury, people may need ongoing medical care, therapy, and assistance with daily living activities.
- Loss of Limbs: Losing a limb in an accident has a profound impact. Amputations cause physical limitations, mobility issues, and the need for prosthetics or assistive devices. Amputations not only affect a person’s physical abilities but also impact their emotional well-being and quality of life.
- Paralysis: Paralysis is a devastating consequence of some catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries. It causes complete or partial loss of sensation and movement in certain parts of the body, resulting in a significant loss of independence.
- Third-Degree Burns: Catastrophic injuries also involve severe burns, particularly third-degree burns that damage multiple layers of the skin and underlying tissues. These burns can cause permanent scarring, disfigurement, and significant physical and emotional pain.
What Is the Difference Between Catastrophic and Non-Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries differ from non-catastrophic injuries in their severity and long-term impact on the victim’s independence and ability to work and earn money.
Non-catastrophic injuries may cause temporary pain, financial strain, or inconvenience. Catastrophic injuries typically end in permanent disabilities that require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care. Survivors of catastrophic injuries may face a multitude of challenges that impact their physical, emotional, and financial well-being in profound ways.
How Do Catastrophic Injuries Happen?
Catastrophic injuries occur in various circumstances, often stemming from another party’s negligence or wrongful actions.
Common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Auto Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving trucks, big rigs, and semi-trucks, are a leading cause of catastrophic injuries. These accidents can result in severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and loss of limbs.
- Workplace Accidents: Texas workers reported 178,900 total nonfatal workplace injuries in 2021, many of which were severe. Slip and falls are among the most common cause of workplace injuries. In 2020, the CDC reported that slip, trip, and fall incidents accounted for 18 percent of nonfatal work injuries resulting in missed workdays.
- Birth Injuries: Catastrophic injuries may also occur during childbirth. Negligence or medical malpractice during pregnancy, labor, or delivery may cause injuries to the mother or the baby, such as brain damage, nerve injuries, or paralysis.
- Sports Accidents: Participating in sports and recreational activities carries inherent risks: Accidents may lead to catastrophic injuries. This includes injuries sustained during contact sports, high-impact activities, and even recreational activities like skiing or horseback riding.
- Defective Products: Whether it’s a faulty car part, a malfunctioning machine at work, or a defective medical device, defective products can cause serious harm. Manufacturers and sellers may be held liable for these injuries through product liability claims.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Texas Catastrophic Injury?
After a range of Texas catastrophic events, there are three types of damages you may recover. Affected parties could recover economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive/exemplary damages.
Economic damages are the financial losses you suffered due to the injury, including medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical costs. These damages compensate for the actual monetary impact the injury had on your life.
Non-economic damages, focus on the intangible losses you experienced and include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages, though not easily quantifiable, are equally vital when pursuing complete and equitable compensation for your injuries. Legal experts who understand what’s possible under Texas laws can help secure the best outcome.
How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Texas?
In Texas, the calculation of pain and suffering damages in a catastrophic injury case varies depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
For the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve, work with a respected catastrophic injury lawyer knowledgeable of Texas laws.
Punitive/exemplary damages are another type of damages the court may award. These damages go beyond compensating for losses and aim to punish the responsible party for their egregious conduct.
The specific damages recoverable depend on the circumstances of your case and injuries. Consult a skilled Texas catastrophic injury lawyer with a track record of impressive results to help ensure full and fair compensation.
Who May Be Liable for a Catastrophic Injury in Texas?
In Texas, multiple parties may have liability for a catastrophic injury. Under the 51% rule and Texas’ modified comparative negligence system, called “proportionate responsibility,” liability for the injury hinges on each party’s degree of fault.
This means that multiple parties may be responsible for the injury, depending on their level of negligence or wrongdoing. For example, in a drunk driving crash that causes another driver to become paralyzed, the drunk driver will likely be considered at fault, but so too could the bar that over-served the drunk driver under “Dram Shop” liability. In another case, a truck driver may cause a crash by falling asleep at the wheel, but their employer may also be considered at fault if they failed to give their driver adequate rest breaks.
A severe injury attorney skilled in investigating, researching, and filing claims ensures responsible parties face accountability for their negligence.
FAQs: Finding Experts in Catastrophic Injury Law
1. What Should I Expect from My Catastrophic Injury Attorney?
Upon hiring a catastrophic injury attorney, you gain an advocate and guide throughout the legal process. They advise you on your rights, help you navigate the complex legal system, and may be able to help connect you to resources for healing.
Your attorney also gathers evidence and negotiates with insurance companies. If necessary, they might file an injury lawsuit and represent you in court. With a catastrophic liability attorney’s expertise and dedication, you can trust they will fight for the compensation you deserve and provide compassionate support every step of the way.
2. Will My Catastrophic Injury Case Go To Trial?
Whether your catastrophic injury case ends in trial depends on several factors. Many personal injury cases, including catastrophic injury cases, settle before going to trial. A mutually agreed-upon settlement helps both parties avoid the time and stress associated with a trial.
However, having a trial-practiced lawyer on your side is crucial, just in case your case does end up in front of a jury. Even if your case ultimately settles, having a catastrophic injury lawyer skilled in trial advocacy ensures you have the best possible representation and increases your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
3. How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer?
You may have concerns about the costs of retaining high-quality legal representation for a catastrophic injury. Many personal injury attorneys, including our Texas catastrophic injury lawyers, work on a contingency basis.
This means they only get paid if they win your case and secure a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. The fees are typically a percentage of the compensation you receive. This allows individuals with catastrophic injuries to access high-quality legal representation without the burden of upfront costs.
4. What is the Statute of Limitations in Texas for Catastrophic Injury Cases?
In Texas, injured victims have a limited time frame (generally two years from the date of the accident or injury) to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time limit is referred to as the statute of limitations. If you do not file a lawsuit within this window, you may lose your right to compensation for your injuries.
Speak with a catastrophic injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to understand the applicable statute of limitations and any potential exceptions that may apply to your case.
There are some exceptions to Texas’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. One exception is if the victim has a mental illness or the tortfeasor flees the state. Additionally, underage victims may have two years after turning 18 (the age of majority) to file a lawsuit. Exceptions may vary case to case, so it is important to consult an experienced Texas catastrophic injury lawyer for additional guidance.
The legal muscle you need to win
Talk With a Texas Catastrophic Injury Lawyer for Free
If you or someone you care about suffered a life-changing injury in Texas, you need the guidance of an adept catastrophic injury attorney.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, our team of compassionate attorneys will listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. Our attorneys empathize with the difficulties catastrophic injury victims experience and are dedicated to advocating for their legal rights.
Take the first step towards justice by contacting DFW Injury Lawyers today for a free legal consultation.