A devastating injury can impact you for years after an accident. This can be frustrating, especially if the incident was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions. When another person’s misconduct causes you to suffer harm, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses.
If you or a family member suffered a life-altering injury, consult a Phenix City catastrophic injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney at Bence Law Firm, LLC could explain your legal options in greater detail and help you choose the best course of action for you and your family during an initial consultation.
Defining a Catastrophic Injury
An injury is considered “catastrophic” if it permanently alters your life in some fundamental way. Accidents are generally considered catastrophic if they cause any of the following issues:
If an injury prevents you from working or continuing your education, it can also be deemed catastrophic. For example, if you suffer a severe spinal cord injury that prevents you from holding a job in your field of work, you likely have a valid legal claim against the responsible party. A Phenix City severe injury attorney could evaluate the accident’s impact on you and your family to help you pursue fair financial recovery.
Recoverable Damages in Life-Altering Injury Cases
Damages should reimburse all your out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. In addition to past and future medical expenses, you may seek restitution for the following:
- Property damage
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Cost of rehabilitation and long-term care
- Cost of accessibility equipment
Damages can also compensate for the non-economic losses associated with a severe injury, such as:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support and companionship
In rare cases when the injured person—the plaintiff—can prove a negligent party—the defendant—acted with malice or intention to harm, Alabama Code §6-11-20 allows the plaintiff to seek punitive damages. This is a way the court may punish an at-fault party for especially egregious behavior. However, physical injuries are subject to a cap of three times compensatory damages or $1,500,000, whichever amount is larger.
Note that an intention to harm could be implied if the defendant behaved with disregard for the safety of others. A proactive Phenix City catastrophic injury attorney could evaluate whether a request for punitive damages is appropriate in a particular case.
Proving Negligence Caused an Accident
In any personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused their injury through negligence. Legally, negligence refers to a lack of reasonable caution that causes harm to another party.
Proving negligence requires the plaintiff to show how the defendant failed to use appropriate care in the specific circumstance. A violation of a safety law or regulation is an example of negligence. Having notice of a hazard and failing to remediate it may also be considered misconduct. Providing healthcare services that are not on par with the standard of care among similarly credentialed providers in the area is another form of negligence.
In a personal injury case, the defendant will often accuse the plaintiff of acting recklessly or carelessly, contributing to their own injury. Alabama follows the contributory negligence doctrine, which means that a plaintiff whose conduct contributed in any way to their accident or injury cannot collect any damages.
With this in mind, it is critical for a severely injured person to immediately seek assistance from a knowledgeable serious injury lawyer in Phenix City. A practiced attorney could handle all communication with other parties to ensure that the injured person makes no statements that might weaken their case for compensation.
Seek Legal Help from a Phenix City Catastrophic Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a life-altering injury, you need competent legal counsel on as soon as possible. Trying to handle a claim alone could endanger your right to financial recovery.
A Phenix City catastrophic injury lawyer is skilled in negotiating appropriate settlements for people who have suffered severe injuries due to others’ negligence. Call today to get a capable legal professional at Bence Law Firm, LLC on your side.