Getting into an accident is never a pleasant experience, but minor injuries like lacerations, ligament strains, and bone fractures generally heal over time with proper medical care. Unfortunately, severe accidents may lead to equally severe injuries that victims will never fully recover from, leaving them with newfound disabilities or disfigurements that last for the rest of their life.
If you suffered life-changing harm in an accident that someone else is responsible for causing, you may need help from a Columbia catastrophic injury lawyer if you want to pursue comprehensive civil recovery. Catastrophic injury claims must account for both past and future losses, and assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney is often crucial to valuating and seeking fair restitution for all available damages.
Defining Catastrophic Injuries in the Context of Civil Law
While state law does not explicitly differentiate “catastrophic” injuries from other personal injuries in a legal context, an injury is generally understood to be “catastrophic” if it results in permanent harm to the plaintiff and inhibits their ability to hold a job and perform day-to-day tasks. Common injuries that Columbia catastrophic injury attorneys help pursue litigation over include:
Since catastrophic injury victims will never be able to return to their pre-accident condition, their need for financial compensation will not end after a few months of healing and therapy. Accordingly, any ensuing civil claim based on such an injury should seek restitution not only for immediately apparent damages like hospital bills and property damage, but also for various future expenses the victim will have to pay for rehabilitative care and home modifications, as well as for permanent loss of earning capacity and various forms of physical and psychological suffering.
Establishing Liability for Catastrophic Harm
Aside from the potential scope of recoverable damages, catastrophic injury cases are essentially identical to other personal injury cases in terms of legal procedures and relevant statutory restrictions. Regardless of how severe a plaintiff’s injuries are or how extensive their damages, they would still need to prove that the defendant in their case directly caused their damages by violating a duty of care owed to them. In the same vein, any finding that a plaintiff bears partial responsibility for causing their own injuries could lead to a significant reduction in their recoverable damages based on the principle of comparative negligence.
Finally, even though the long-term impact of a catastrophic injury cannot be exactly known for several years following the incident that caused it, the three-year statutory filing deadline set by South Carolina Code of Laws §15-3-530 still applies to catastrophic injury claims. This deadline is one of many reasons why retaining a skilled lawyer can be key to successfully filing suit over a catastrophic injury, as assistance from legal counsel is often necessary to efficiently estimate the value of future damages.
Talk to a Columbia Catastrophic Injury Attorney Today
By nature, catastrophic injuries permanently alter the course of a victim’s life, and often those of their close family members as well. On top of extensive financial, physical, and emotional losses, catastrophic injury victims may need to depend on loved ones for support in various contexts, from covering medical bills to paying rent, to sometimes even dressing and feeding themselves.
Extremely severe injuries may justify high-value civil settlements or court verdicts, but you will likely need help from a legal professional to get the most out of your case. Call a Columbia catastrophic injury lawyer today to discuss your situation and see what may be possible.