If you suffered severe injuries in an accident, what steps can you take to seek compensation for your medical expenses, emotional trauma, reduced quality of life, and other losses? Catastrophic injury claims often require victims to file a case in court to pursue reimbursement of the full value of their claims. Having an experienced catastrophic injury attorney on your side to guide you through the complex claim process and represent your interests as a victim is essential.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
While a car accident or workplace injury sometimes causes broken bones or bruises, severe injuries can also happen. A catastrophic injury is a severe injury that leads to permanent losses, including:
- Nerve damage that causes permanent pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations
- Severe burns that cause permanent scarring and nerve damage
- Permanent loss of vision or hearing in one or both eyes or ears
- Deformity of the face or limbs
- Limb amputation
- Spinal cord injury leading to paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries that cause permanent disability
- Occupational illnesses such as mesothelioma, other types of cancer, or heart conditions
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim
If you suffer a catastrophic injury in an accident, what steps should you take? After an injury, you should:
- Seek medical treatment. Seeing a doctor who can treat your injuries takes top priority. Many injuries can worsen over time if not treated immediately, increasing your risk of developing permanent damage to affected body systems.
- File an insurance claim. Texas is an at-fault insurance claim state, meaning that you would file your claim through the negligent party’s insurance policy in most cases.
- Contact an experienced catastrophic injury attorney. Insurance companies often try to deny or devalue legitimate claims, especially in high-value cases for severe injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence for your claim, interact with the insurance adjuster on your behalf, and help you pursue appropriate compensation for your losses.
- Determine if your injuries qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. The circumstances of your injury could affect how you pursue your claim. For example, if your catastrophic injury occurred at work and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you would qualify to cover all of your medical expenses plus up to two-thirds of your lost wages (up to the weekly benefit cap).
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit
If your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage, or you were involved in another type of accident, you may need to pursue a settlement in court through a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can appeal an insurance claim denial, gather evidence for your lawsuit, send a demand letter to settle with the insurance company if they submit a lowball offer, and more.
If you must go to court against the party that caused your injury, you will file the lawsuit. You have two years from the date of your accident to start the filing process.
After you file, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will share evidence and documents in the discovery process. At this point, the defendant may offer a settlement to cover your medical expenses and other economic and noneconomic damages.
You can choose to accept the settlement offer or continue with the lawsuit if your lawyer thinks you have a better chance of securing more compensation through the trial process.
Contact an Experienced Texas or New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer
Catastrophic injury claims are complex areas of personal injury law. Contact our firm at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. Call us at 800.433.2408 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a catastrophic injury attorney at one of our offices in Lubbock or Odessa, TX or Albuquerque or Hobbs, NM.