Car accidents are among the most dangerous events that can occur in today’s world. They can happen to you when least expected, often for no reason other than another driver’s negligent behavior. Seeking a fair settlement is especially important in cases involving catastrophic injuries. If you are facing a life-altering disability, a catastrophic injury lawyer in Houston, TX can help you fight for the compensation you need.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
In a car accident, many different degrees of injury are possible. While some people may walk away completely unharmed, others suffer serious conditions that can affect them for the rest of their lives. The size of motor vehicles, the high speeds at which they travel, and the amount of focus and skill needed to drive them safely can be a recipe for disaster when they are not handled responsibly. The most common car accident injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Burns and road rash
- Head and neck injuries
- Brain trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
An injury can be defined as “catastrophic” when it has the potential to affect the victim’s life long-term. Some catastrophic injuries cause permanent disability, while others resolve after years of intense treatment. If medical experts predict that your injuries will limit your ability to work in the coming years, interact with your close family members in meaningful ways, or find enjoyment in life, you most likely have grounds for a catastrophic injury settlement.
What Types of Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injuries?
Depending on the speed at which the vehicles are traveling and the nature of the impact, any car crash has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries, even if the cars involved are small and everyone inside is wearing his or her seatbelt. Motorcyclists are at special risk because they are largely unprotected. Collisions with semi-trucks can also be especially dangerous due to the force generated by large vehicles.
What Kind of Settlement Can You Get for a Catastrophic Injury in Texas?
In Texas, there is usually no limit to the amount of compensatory damages you can collect after a car accident. Accordingly, you have the right to demand enough money to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, trauma, and emotional distress, even if your losses add up to millions of dollars.
The payout generally comes in the form of a personal injury settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Given the high value of catastrophic injury claims, there are a few things you should know before you take action:
You May Be Eligible for Past and Future Losses
Any time another driver injures you on the road, you are entitled to full compensation for your losses. Regarding minor injuries, the damages you experience may only amount to a few doctor’s appointments and some time away from your job. Catastrophic injuries are different because they can continue to affect your life long after they occur.
If you have suffered in injury that will impact your ability to earn a living, you may be eligible for lost or reduced earning capacity. Similarly, you may be able to collect compensation for future medical treatments, even if they are expected to continue for the rest of your life.
You Can Recover Compensation for Noneconomic Damages
Noneconomic damages are intangible losses that do not have a price tag attached. Examples include any physical pain you experience as a result of the injury or any treatments required to help you recover, the stress that might accompany being unable to keep up with your normal schedule or fulfill your family responsibilities, and the loss associated with giving up enjoyable leisure activities.
Noneconomic losses tend to be considerable where catastrophic injuries are concerned. A catastrophic injury lawyer can help you demonstrate the severity of your condition to recover as much compensation as possible.
Scaring, Burn Marks, and Disfigurement Can Warrant Additional Compensation
Given today’s advanced medical procedures, most people can expect to recover from a car accident without experiencing any dramatic changes in their appearance. However, catastrophic injuries tend to be the most difficult to treat and the most likely to cause disfigurement. If you suffered any permanent changes to the way you look, you may be able to argue for additional compensation.
Your Relatives May Be Able to File Loss of Consortium Claims
Catastrophic injuries affect whole families in addition to individuals. If you are no longer able to provide the love and support your immediate family members depend on you for, your spouse and/or children may be able to claim loss of consortium.
How to Pursue a Catastrophic Injury Settlement
If you intend to file a claim for catastrophic injuries, you should have a conversation with a lawyer from a reputable law firm who can offer solid legal advice. Your claim may be highly valuable, and you will want to go into the process of seeking compensation with a clear plan of action.
Expect the Insurance Company to Fight Back
Considering that you may need a lifetime of medical treatments, the insurance company will be highly incentivized to disprove the validity of your claim. They may try to argue that you played a role in causing the accident or that your injuries are not as serious as they seem. Your lawyer’s first priority will be to fight the insurance company on any counterarguments they bring up.
Know That You May Need to Seek Additional Sources of Compensation
Auto insurance policy limits generally allocate $30,000 for individual personal injury and $60,000 for all of the personal injuries that result from one accident. If you suffered a catastrophic injury, there is a strong chance that your damages will exceed $30,000. Your lawyer can help you find other sources of compensation, such as the at-fault driver’s assets or your own Personal Injury Protection plan.
Focus on Gathering Evidence
The key to success in a catastrophic injury case is being able to present ample evidence showing the validity of your claim. Permissible sources of evidence include photos and videos, witness statements, and testimonies from experts. If you were incapacitated after the accident, you may not have had the chance to take photos and videos. In that case, your lawyer can help you locate surveillance footage or documentation done by bystanders.
Your lawyer may also call on an accident reconstruction expert to help determine fault. Proving the catastrophic nature of your injuries can often be done with the input of a physician or another expert medical witness. Having a qualified attorney on your side is the best way to ensure that all available evidence is uncovered and prepared according to legal standards.
Request a Free Consultation With a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Houston, TX
At our law firm, our attorneys strive to support injured individuals without adding extra stressors in the form of up-front legal fees. Your initial consultation with us will be free of charge, and we can work on a contingency fee basis if you decide to pursue your claim with our input. To schedule a consultation, call 713-597-3873.
Get a Settlement That Is Proportionate to Your Losses
The amount of compensation you receive can have a significant impact on the quality of life you experience after a catastrophic injury. To meet with a compassionate lawyer in Houston, TX who will help you with your case, contact Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC.