As the weather warms up, a colleague invites you to a networking event. Soon after, you follow the grill smoke to a towering home tucked in the north Georgia hills. On the spacious outdoor deck colleagues, old and new, are scattered about. While making your rounds, you are interrupted by an abrupt jarring under your feet – crack! Part of the deck separates from the home and chaos erupts. As the smoke clears, the pieces of collapsed deck are seen crumbled on the ground. Several people are seriously injured and have clearly suffered broken bones. Sound scary? That actually happened and will happen again.
A sudden accident like a deck collapse, or an serious automobile or construction site accident with similar injuries, could result in you incurring significant medical expenses, a loss of ability to work or enjoy life as you knew it before the catastrophic event. If you or someone you know has been catastrophically injured as a result of the negligent or reckless conduct of another person, a member of the Dermer Appel Ruder legal team could help you get the wheels in motion to properly evaluate your potential catastrophic injury claim.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is one that results in life-altering injury and often debilitating suffering. This may include spinal cord injuries, a traumatic brain injury and second and third-degree burns that lead to scarring or disfigurement. Other examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Head, neck, and face injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Amputations or loss of limbs
- Total vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of ability to work
- Wrongful death
Why Catastrophic Injury Cases Require More Resources
Catastrophic injuries can be taxing emotionally, as well as financially for the entire family. Life-altering injuries come with mounting medical bills, and understanding financial responsibility can be an extensive process. Untangling the complex web of liabilities and legalities after your accident will only add fuel to the fire. Identifying the proper resources for your situation could help you and your family avoid the compounding weight of legal conundrums.
A catastrophic injury claim, in general, requires extensive investigation and often requires the hiring of expert witnesses, such as an engineer to evaluate why the deck collapsed or an accident reconstruction expert to determine how the crash occurred and who is responsible for causing the accident. This evidence must be evaluated promptly before it is discarded. Gathering this information in a prompt fashion is important to a successful claim. Proving fault in catastrophic injury cases is just part of the battle. Establishing the severity of your injury also requires extensive evidence, facts, and arguments to fully understand a claimant’s injuries and the impact the injury may have on the victim’s quality of life. It is entirely likely that you, as the plaintiff, could face a lifetime of trips to doctor’s offices, physical therapists, occupational therapists, attorneys’ offices, and possibly even the psychiatrist to get the treatment you need, solidify your case and get you the most value for your damages.
How To File a Catastrophic Injury Claim
While contemplating whether or not someone else could be legally responsible for your catastrophic injury claim, there are three critical steps you should take to ensure a comprehensive understanding of your rights and your claim’s eligibility.
Step 1: Determine if the injury is covered by an insurance policy
Take the deck collapse example above. While recovering, consider who owns the property. Does the property owner have liability coverage?
Step 2: Discuss with a Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Often even determining who is at fault is a task. Whether that person or company has insurance available to compensate you for your injury may also be tricky to determine. If you get stuck or have difficulty uncovering insurance information for the property or person in question, the next step is to select the right personal injury law firm to represent you. The attorneys at Dermer Appel Ruder have the resources to discover the information you need to identify the responsible party and whether they have insurance. Dermer Appel Ruder offers its potential clients an initial consultation free of charge.
Step 3: Establish whether or not to file a lawsuit
Though the vast majority of personal injury cases are either settled before trial or resolved before filing a civil lawsuit, extenuating circumstances do exist for catastrophic injuries that may require additional legal actions recommended by your counsel.
How a Gwinnett County Catastrophic Injury Attorney Can Help
When faced with a catastrophic injury, the last thing you and your family need to worry about is what legal hurdles you need to clear to pursue a lawsuit. There are various rules that govern claims, including placing proper parties on notice in a timely fashion, gathering and preserving evidence, dealing with hospital’s sending collection letters, and filing a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations for injury claims. These legal issues are what personal injury attorneys are trained to understand. Demer Appel Ruder’s team of talented lawyers has eight decades of experience in navigating the complexities of catastrophic injury claims, investigating serious injury claims, negotiating with insurance companies and fighting on behalf of those who have been wrongly injured due to the negligence or recklessness of others.