What Makes Catastrophic Injury Claims Unique

February 22, 2024

Modern cars boast an array of cutting-edge safety features and design elements that do an incredible job of protecting the occupants of the vehicle in the event of an accident. Despite these features, however, injuries are common. In some cases, the driver or passengers can suffer severe injuries such as the following: 

If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, it is important to work with an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer. They will understand the challenges you are facing and how to build a strong case so that you can get the compensation you need to rebuild your life. 

Catastrophic Injury Cases Involve Complex Damages 

Many accidents result in relatively minor injuries where the victim may be out of work for only a handful of days plus a few hours in order to receive follow-up treatment. While those victims are entitled to compensation for their lost income, accident victims who suffer catastrophic injuries may be unable to work for weeks, months, or even years. In some situations, people who suffer catastrophic injuries may not be able to work ever again. 

Whether you are facing a temporary disability or a permanent disability, being unable to work for an extended period of time presents a potential financial crisis. With less serious injuries, calculating your lost income is relatively straightforward – it’s a simple function of determining how much income you lost. In a catastrophic injury case, however, you are entitled to the income you have already lost as well as any future lost income as a result of your accident. 

You may also be entitled to compensation for the following: 

  • Lost earning capacity. If you are able to return to work but only part-time or in a lower-paying role, you may be entitled to the difference between what you could have earned and what you will actually earn. Lost earning capacity will consider factors such as your career path and advancement opportunities and how long you could have reasonably expected to work. 
  • Lost benefits. You may also be entitled to compensation for any benefits you would have reasonably expected to earn such as contributions to retirement accounts, health insurance coverage, and other non-monetary benefits. 

The more serious your injuries, the more complex this calculation can become. Many catastrophic injury cases require the advice of an economic expert who can evaluate and calculate your lost income and earning capacity. A catastrophic injury lawyer will know what evidence you need to prove your case. 

Getting Fair Compensation Is Even More Important in Catastrophic Injury Claims

Thankfully, most accidents result in injuries that will fully heal over a few weeks or months. Catastrophic injuries, however, can take far longer to heal, and making a full recovery isn’t always possible. Catastrophic injuries can result in the following temporary or permanent complications: 

  • Paralysis
  • Cognitive impairment due to brain injury 
  • Loss of sensation due to nerve damage
  • Loss of hearing, sight, or speech
  • Disfigurement
  • Mobility limitations such as being confined to a wheelchair or bed
  • Sleep loss
  • Incontinence

These issues can not only impact your ability to work, but they can also affect your daily life. You may be unable to leave the hospital or may require daily in-home care. You may be facing extensive treatment, multiple surgeries, and months of rehabilitative care. If you suffer either a partial or total permanent disability, you are facing a lifetime of challenges. As a result, it is critical that you get the compensation you need to cover your current and future expenses. 

Along the way, you will likely experience tremendous physical pain and emotional anguish. It is common for people who suffer catastrophic injuries to experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. Under the law, you are entitled to be made whole. This means that you are entitled to compensation for both your economic and non-economic losses. Getting fair compensation for your non-economic damages is critical for restoring your quality of life. A skilled catastrophic injury lawyer will be able to recover compensation for the following:

  • Your pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of quality of life

Unfortunately, non-economic damages are one of the most difficult elements of an injury claim. Courts will consider a variety of factors to determine what amount should be awarded. You need someone who understands this analysis and can advocate for the compensation you need. 

Catastrophic Injury Cases Present Complex Insurance Issues

Most people have some kind of insurance, even if it’s only their PIP coverage. The first issue is that most serious injuries will far exceed the coverage provided by PIP. Health insurance may then provide coverage, but the victim will be responsible for any deductibles and copays. You would also be responsible for any deductibles and copays. And of course, your health insurance will not cover your lost wages or your non-economic losses. 

Some people are fortunate in that they have disability insurance, either provided by their employer or that they purchased on their own. Victims who do not have disability insurance may qualify for SSDI. However, it is rare that these types of insurance cover all of their lost income. 

The bottom line is that you may be facing significant out-of-pocket losses even if you have health and disability insurance. Furthermore, these policies or SSDI can impact your claim in unexpected ways. Sorting out what to submit to which carrier can be overwhelming. A knowledgeable catastrophic injury lawyer can help you navigate this process. 

Contact The Grife Law Firm to Speak with a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today   

At The Grife Law Firm, we believe that catastrophic injury cases are not just another injury claim. We know that getting the right result is vital to your future, so we work tirelessly to recover fair compensation for you. If you have suffered a serious injury in a car accident or any other type of accident, we’re with you every step of the way – call us today at 561-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.