An injury that has a permanent impact on a person’s ability to function, work and enjoy a good quality of life is a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries devastate every aspect of an injured person’s existence.
If negligence caused the accident that led to the injuries, the injured person and their family could pursue money damages from the negligent party. Someone who suffered catastrophic injuries due to someone else’s negligence could seek helpful guidance from a Perth Amboy catastrophic injury lawyer about how to seek compensation for their losses.
Life-changing injuries could result from almost any accident. An injury lawyer could investigate the circumstances of an incident to determine whether someone’s carelessness or recklessness contributed to it. Some examples of accidents that often have their root in negligence and could lead to catastrophic injuries include:
Injuries from such accidents could include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, amputation, crushing injuries, and permanent damage to organs or bodily systems. Any of these injuries could require lengthy hospitalization and rehabilitation, and leave a victim unable to support themselves or live independently. Seeking help from an experienced attorney could help a family provide all the care their loved one needs to live the most fulfilling life possible.
Monetary damages provide an injured person enough money to put them in the same financial position they would have experienced but for the injury. When the recipient has sustained a permanent injury, damages could offer funds to support the injured person’s ongoing medical needs and living expenses.
Compensatory damages include special damages, which reimburse easily quantifiable expenses. Special damages could pay for past and future medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation services, in-home support and services, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity.
Damages that compensate for subjective losses are called general damages. These could include sums for physical pain, emotional distress, lost enjoyment of life, disability, disfigurement, and losses that diminish their quality of life.
Family members are sometimes entitled to damages for losses they suffered due to their loved one’s injury. General damages for family members might include loss of consortium, companionship, and support.
Punitive damages punish a grossly negligent party, rather than compensate an injured person for their losses. New Jersey Statute §2A:15-5.12 gives a plaintiff the right to seek punitive damages if the defendant was reckless, grossly negligent, or malicious.
The plaintiff’s attorney must request punitive damages and prove the defendant’s egregious conduct. A punitive damages award cannot exceed five times the plaintiff’s compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
In the months following a serious accident, it could be challenging for an injured person and their family to focus on the future. The intensive work that goes along with recovering from a catastrophic injury could extend for months or even years.
In New Jersey, an injured person has two years from the date of an accident to bring a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injuries. However, the sooner a capable attorney could begin gathering evidence and building a case, the stronger the injured person’s case is likely to be.
If the state or a local government is potentially liable there is a need for urgent action. Injured people must file a Notice of Tort Claim with the responsible government within 90 days of the accident. Failure to file the notice on time could defeat a claim.
Adjusting to a significant, permanent injury is a full-time job. You probably do not have the mental bandwidth to do the long-term planning that negotiating with insurance companies requires.
A family who has experienced a catastrophic injury needs forward-looking, practical advice and support. Schedule a consultation soon after the accident with a Perth Amboy catastrophic injury lawyer to get a committed advocate working for you.