Victims of catastrophic injuries can face long-lasting or permanent disability, surgery after surgery, grueling physical therapy, round-the-clock care, chronic pain, or a reduced lifespan. These injuries usually occur without warning, and can severely impact the lives of victims and their family members. The ongoing medical needs, disability, and debilitating pain can take an emotional and financial toll on everyone involved.
A Durham catastrophic injury lawyer with Johnson & Groninger PLLC can help if you’ve suffered this type of injury due to an incident that wasn’t your fault. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please call (919) 240-4054 or contact us online.
How to tell if your injury is catastrophic
The only way to know for sure if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury is to see a doctor as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to get medical assistance.
The text below is intended for general informational purposes only. Please do not diagnose yourself with a catastrophic injury before seeing a doctor.
It’s a life-altering injury
Catastrophic injuries can make it nearly impossible to perform even the most basic of everyday tasks, much less be able to return to work.
The injury has long-term effects
In addition to the physical debilitation and pain a catastrophic injury can cause, victims may also experience severe psychological issues. These can include anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems.
Common types of catastrophic injury
When a human skull hits a hard surface or is penetrated by a sharp object, the impact can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), a type of injury that is unfortunately prevalent in North Carolina. A TBI can leave a victim dependent on around-the-clock care and can result in behavioral changes.
Spinal cord injury
Someone who suffers a serious spinal cord injury (SCI), such as in a sports-related tackle or fall may never be able to walk again, finding themselves confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their life. Some SCIs are so severe that victims permanently lose function of their arms, legs, and other parts of their bodies.
Burns can be catastrophic as well, requiring excruciatingly painful treatment. Severe burns can result in permanent disfigurement as well as loss of function in the affected area.
When an incident leads to amputation, the victim will immediately lose their quality of life in most instances since they can no longer pursue the activities they love. A person’s professional and social life may also deteriorate as a result of losing one or more limbs.
Steps to take after being severely injured
Even though you’ve been severely hurt, if you can do the following, you could increase the chances of getting the full and fair compensation you deserve.
1. Seek immediate medical attention
The sooner you get medical help, the better the chances you’ll be able to minimize the damage. Getting medical help will also establish that the incident caused your injury.
2. Document and gather evidence of the incident
It might be asking a lot, but if you can take photos of the scene that could also help strengthen your case considerably. Only do this, of course, if you can do so safely.
3. Consult an experienced attorney
Speak with a skilled Durham personal injury lawyer as soon as you’re in a safe place. You’ll need to get legal help quickly so your attorney can investigate the incident before key evidence disappears.
4. Follow up with your doctor
Once you’ve received emergency treatment, make sure you speak with your primary doctor. They’ll help put together the best long-term plan possible for dealing with your injury.
Don’t miss the deadline to file your claim
In most instances, personal injury victims have three years to take legal action in the state of North Carolina. If this deadline expires, you’ll be responsible for paying all of your accident-related expenses.
Possible damages you can claim
If you do take action, you’ll do so to recover compensation for the losses (known as “damages”) stemming from the incident. The following are examples of damages you can recover.
These are losses that are easy to prove because they’re tangible. For example, you can produce bills to prove your medical expenses, and pay stubs to prove your lost wages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are subjective. It takes a skilled Durham catastrophic injury lawyer to prove pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
Seeking full compensation for your life-changing injury
Our skilled catastrophic injury lawyers can help secure compensation for you that can improve your quality of life and provide for years (or a lifetime) of care. We do this by consulting with physicians, psychologists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, economists, and other experts to develop a life care plan.
A life care plan can project medical costs, lost income potential, and other financial impacts that can occur as a result of your injury. It can also address damages for any lost quality of life, loss of companionship and family contributions, and pain and suffering.
We can also explore workers’ compensation and disability programs, and all sources of insurance coverage to obtain the maximum compensation through a negotiated settlement or at trial.
How to find the right lawyer for your needs
Skip the online and TV ads – the best way to choose a skilled catastrophic injury lawyer is to check their reviews. Reading what former clients have to say about the attorneys you’re considering will provide a better understanding of what you can expect.
Once you’ve filtered a law firm through their reviews, schedule multiple consultations if possible. Once you’ve done that, you can confidently select the lawyer who gives you the most confidence in their communication and involvement.
We’ll fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation
Since you’ve been so badly hurt, there will likely be a great deal of money at stake. A skilled attorney with Johnson & Groninger PLLC is ready to defeat the opposition, no matter how formidable it may be.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
There are several parties that might have played a role in contributing to your injury. The following are just a few.
Your employer may be liable for failing to make sure your workplace was safe.
A negligent driver may have caused a car accident leading to a catastrophic injury.
Please see: Durham man wins $2 million suit against city
Property owners or managers
The owner or manager of a property has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe. Depending on the specific type of property, this duty could apply to residents, visitors, customers, and workers. Reckless or negligent owners and managers can be held liable for severe injuries that occur on their property.
How our attorneys prove liability
The attorneys with Johnson & Groninger PLLC conduct exhaustive investigations into incidents that result in catastrophic injuries. We’ll dive deep to get the evidence needed to help you obtain maximum compensation.
Catastrophic injury lawsuit process
The following is a brief look at some of the major components of a catastrophic injury lawsuit.
1. Initial consultation
The consultation is your first conversation with your Durham catastrophic injury lawyer. You’ll learn the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and then decide if you want to move forward with that attorney.
2. File court documents
Once you hire a legal representative, they’ll file paperwork that spells out how the accident occurred and the compensation they will seek on your behalf. Your lawyer will send demand letters to all liable parties. If necessary, they’ll also file court motions or requests.
This is part of the lawsuit involving the demand and exchange of evidence. It helps both sides determine the strengths of their prospective cases, as well as their weaknesses.
4. Pretrial motions and hearings
Both sides will make these requests to the court. The defendant’s insurance company, for example, may make a motion to have the case thrown out.
5. Settlement negotiations
Neither side will want to go to trial because of the time and expense. As a result, they’ll negotiate a settlement that’s fair for everyone involved. Most cases settle and don’t have to go to trial.
If the sides can’t settle the case, they’ll go to court. They’ll argue their case in front of a jury, which will then issue a verdict. Both sides will have to honor that decision.
7. Collect judgment or settlement
The defendant’s insurer will pay the settlement amount or the jury’s compensation award if you’re successful. You’ll receive the remaining funds after your attorney takes out their fees.
8. Post-trial motions and appeals
The losing side might choose to appeal the verdict or file a motion to ask the court to rule differently from the jury. The judge will have the sole discretion to grant or deny any motions or appeals. In most cases, however, the evidence would have to be overwhelming for any post-trial action to be granted.
Why it’s important to visit the doctor
As stated earlier, you need to get medical help immediately. If you don’t, your injury could become even worse. Also, the insurance company could claim you’re not that badly hurt if you don’t see a doctor as soon as possible.
Cost of hiring a catastrophic injury lawyer in Durham
You won’t have to pay anything out of pocket when you choose Johnson & Groninger PLLC. We won’t receive a dime unless your case is successful.
Why hire Johnson & Groninger?
Every Durham catastrophic injury lawyer with Johnson & Groninger PLLC is passionate about helping our clients achieve justice. We’ll provide you with aggressive, expert legal representation and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our Durham catastrophic injury lawyers are here to help
If you or one of your family members has experienced a catastrophic injury, we will help to protect your rights during this difficult time and ensure you get the care you need. We can assist you with navigating the legal system to the degree that you desire. Please don’t hesitate to call a Durham catastrophic injury lawyer with Johnson & Groninger PLLC at (919) 240-4054 or contact us online.