Experiencing a catastrophic injury can change your life forever, with devastating consequences that can permanently impact your ability to work, care for yourself and pursue the activities you once enjoyed. When another person causes this type of injury by his or her negligence, you can seek legal compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages with the help of MDK Law Group, your catastrophic injury lawyers in the Phoenix area. Call (623) 225-5635 to schedule your free case evaluation today.
When you contact our law firm for a free consultation after a catastrophic injury, our specialized catastrophic injury lawyers in Arizona will determine whether third-party negligence played a role in your accident. Negligence means that a person did not act with the expected duty of care based on the circumstances. In an Arizona personal injury case involving a car accident, for example, another driver may have behaved negligently by speeding, driving recklessly, or using controlled substances.
What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are typically defined as any physical injury or illness that is regarded as extremely serious that can affect multiple aspects of a person’s physical and cognitive abilities. In some cases, individuals are able to make a full recovery after sustaining a catastrophic injury, but often, victims are left with lifelong disabilities and the need for continued care.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Some of the main types of catastrophic injuries that our Arizona catastrophic injury lawyers help clients with are as follows:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The Mayo Clinic states that traumatic brain injuries typically result from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, or as a result of penetrating trauma that occurs to the skull. Our brain injury attorneys in Glendale, Arizona have handled cases in which moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries result in significant disabilities for victims, including cognitive disabilities and physical disabilities.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Around 18,000 spinal cord injuries occur each year across the country, according to data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Since 2015, the main causes of spinal cord injuries have included vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence, sports injuries, and medical or surgical errors. Our team of Glendale, AZ spinal cord injury lawyers have seen these types of injuries result in significant bodily harm, including partial or complete paralysis.
Amputation injuries result in a person losing a part of their body, and this can lead to major disabilities depending on where the amputation occurs. Minor amputations of fingers or toes may only result in limited disabilities, but amputations of arms or legs will require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation and prosthetics.
Burn injuries are classified by severity, and third- or fourth-degree burns typically result in significant pain and suffering and life changes for victims. These injuries require not only extensive medical treatment but also physical therapy and rehabilitation. Often, individuals who sustain severe burns will experience significant scarring and disfigurement.
Proving Negligence After a Catastrophic Injury
Determining negligence after a catastrophic injury occurs can be challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. If the incident was caused by the negligence of another party, you and your experienced catastrophic attorney in Arizona will have to prove this.
The first step is gathering as much evidence as possible. This may be done at the scene of the incident, but an investigation will certainly continue in the days and weeks that follow the incident. The goal is to prove that the four typical elements of negligence are in place so that the claim is successful:
- Duty. It is crucial to show that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. This study will vary depending on the circumstances related to the injury. For example, any person that gets behind the wheel of a vehicle owes a duty of care to others, and this includes operating the vehicle safely. Property owners owe a duty of care to any person who has a right to be on the premises.
- Breach. A breach of duty of care must be shown in order for a case to move forward. It must be proven that the defendant somehow breached the duty that they owed the plaintiff, but this breach will look different depending on the circumstances. Drivers can breach their duty of care by operating impaired or while distracted. Medical professionals can breach their duty of care if they fail to obtain a patient medical history before working with a patient.
- Causation. After establishing that a breach of duty occurred, an attorney will need to show that the breach is what caused the injury.
- Damages. Finally, it needs to be established that the plaintiff suffered some sort of monetary loss as a result of the injury they sustained.
We strongly encourage working with a skilled catastrophic injury lawyer who can help go through these steps of proving negligence. Catastrophic injury claims are not always cut and dry, meaning the other party could try and shift some or all of the liability onto the injury victim or some other party involved. An Arizona catastrophic injury attorney will use the evidence they gather and paint a clear picture for an insurance carrier or a personal injury jury.
How a Phoenix Catastrophic Injury Attorney Can Help
In Arizona, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in court for up to two years after an auto accident or injury involving negligence. Phoenix courts dismiss personal injury claims submitted after this statute of limitations. Seeking a free consultation from an Arizona catastrophic injury lawyer can help you make the right choices about moving forward with your significant injuries.
Determining Fault in a Phoenix Accident
Some clients believe they cannot file a claim because they had some role in causing the accident. However, Arizona uses a pure comparative negligence standard for personal injury cases. If you successfully sue for personal injury and the judge or jury decides you share some fault, they will assign a fault percentage and reduce your damages by that amount. Our team of Arizona car accident lawyers specialize in catastrophic injuries and can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf if you decide not to file a legal claim in court.
Reviewing Your Options for Compensation
Arizona uses a fault system for auto accident injuries. That means if you experience devastating injuries in a collision fully or partially caused by someone else, you can either:
File a claim with your own insurance company, which will then pursue compensation from the responsible driver’s policy
File a claim directly with the responsible driver’s policy
Seek legal compensation in court
You can also decide to sue if you start the process of working with the insurance company but the adjuster offers a settlement that does not cover the full extent of your accident injuries. You may also want to file a lawsuit if the responsible driver does not have enough insurance to settle your case. Arizona only requires drivers to have $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $30,000 per accident. The cost of significant injuries can easily exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What Compensation Is Available For a Phoenix Catastrophic Injury Claim?
Any individuals who sustained injuries caused by the negligent actions of others in Arizona should be able to recover compensation for their losses. After a catastrophic injury claim caused by another party, there may be various types of compensation available. Our catastrophic injury lawyers in Arizona strive to recover both economic and non-economic damages for injury victims in Phoenix and throughout Arizona.
- Economic damages. These types of losses are often referred to as special damages. Economic damages are relatively calculable after a catastrophic injury occurs. By gathering bills and receipts, an attorney can adequately calculate the following:
- All medical bills caused by the injury
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- The need for medical devices or in-home medical care
- Lost wages if a person cannot work
- Property damage expenses
- Non-economic damages. These types of losses are a bit harder to calculate because they do not necessarily revolve around documentable expenses. Even though there may not be bills or receipts related to the following, there is a way to adequately place a price tag on these losses:
- Physical pain and suffering losses
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship for a spouse and family members
There is no set amount of compensation paid for a catastrophic injury claim in Phoenix. Rather, there are several factors that will be examined that can help determine the adequate amount a person should receive. This includes the injury severity, whether or not there was any shared fault, how long it takes to recover, whether or not a person has sustained any type of disability, and the victim’s ability to continue working at the same level they could before the injury occurred.
Find an Arizona Catastrophic Injury Attorney To Fight for You
Because every injury case is different, you need a legal team who will gather the facts after an auto accident or catastrophic accident and help you get the medical treatment and financial compensation you need to put your life back together. Our team of Arizona personal injury lawyers strive to help accident victims reach the optimal possible level of health and well-being while serving as legal representation to remove the stress of dealing with insurance companies, liens, and medical collectors.