Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Serving Santa Maria
If you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury, the last thing you want to deal with is the California legal system. The phrase “catastrophic injury” is often used to refer to an injury so severe that it impacts the victim’s daily life. There is no particular type of accident that causes a catastrophic injury, but if your injury was caused by the negligence of another person, you might be entitled to compensation.
If you are looking for a compassionate Santa Maria catastrophic injury attorney to help you through this hard time, the experienced team at Frederick Law Firm is here. We have been representing accident victims all along the California central coast for over 30 years and understand what it takes to get you the compensation needed to recover mentally, physically, and financially. Contact us today.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury in California?
In California, a catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that “permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work.” A catastrophic injury can have a number of negative effects on someone’s daily life and impact the victim’s overall quality of life. Here are some types of catastrophic injury claims:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI),
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Third-degree burns,
- Loss of bodily function,
- Scarring or disfigurement,
- Vision damage,
- Internal organ damage,
- Chronic illness,
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Hearing damage, and
- Injuries requiring long-term medical care.
Death also qualifies as a catastrophic injury, and you may be able to file a claim on behalf of a deceased loved one. Your Santa Maria catastrophic injury lawyer can help determine if your injury meets the criteria for being considered catastrophic. They can also gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate on your behalf.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are countless ways that catastrophic injuries can occur. Every situation is unique. Here are some of the more frequent causes of catastrophic injuries:
- Car or truck accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Semi-truck collisions,
- Construction accidents,
- Defective products, and
- Medical malpractice.
If you work in a dangerous industry, there may be more common causes related to what you do. In many cases, catastrophic injuries occur because of the actions or inaction of another person.
Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury
The amount of compensation you can receive depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, your recovery prognosis, and your ability to prove fault. If you have a valid claim for personal injury, you can receive both economic and noneconomic compensation.
This monetary award serves to compensate you for past and future financial losses related to your injury. Anything associated with the costs of a catastrophic injury that can be proven with a bill, invoice, or financial statement, may be recoverable through economic compensation, including:
- Emergency medical treatment,
- Ongoing treatment costs,
- Travel expenses to treatment.
- In-home care,
- Surgery and hospitalization, and
- Loss of current and future wages
Make sure to keep an accurate record of all expenses and lost earnings. This will help your Santa Maria catastrophic injury attorney fight for all of the compensation you are eligible to receive.
Though your injury was likely costly from a financial perspective, there are also associated costs that are not monetary. Unfortunately, there is no good way for the court to rectify what has happened to you other than through a monetary award. Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate injured victims for the emotional and psychological consequences of their injuries. Some harms that could be eligible for noneconomic compensation include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Post-traumatic stress,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of quality of life, and
- Loss of consortium.
Noneconomic damages can be more difficult to assign a value to because they are subjective and vary from person to person. However, you deserve to be fully compensated for what happened to you. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney can help you calculate and fight for your noneconomic damages.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the person responsible for your injury. If the behavior of the person responsible was egregious, the court can opt to impose punitive damages. These funds are not used so much to compensate you as they are to punish the wrongdoer and set an example for others.
Statute of Limitations for a Catastrophic Injury in Santa Maria
In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a civil lawsuit. It is important to start the filing process as soon as you are comfortable doing so. Over time, evidence and witnesses may become more difficult to obtain, and you want to give yourself the best chance of success. Contact your Santa Maria catastrophic injury attorney to get started on your claim today.
Importance of Determining Liability in California
California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. This means that even if you were partially responsible for the accident that caused your catastrophic injury, you can recover some compensation. However, your damages award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if the jury finds you 30% at fault, you can still collect 70% of your damages.
The negligent person you are filing the lawsuit against will undoubtedly try to lay as much of the blame for the accident on you as possible so that they do not have to pay you as much compensation if your claim succeeds. This is one reason why having an experienced Santa Maria catastrophic injury lawyer can have a big impact on how much you are able to recover. You will need to make sure you are prepared to present plenty of solid evidence demonstrating how the accident occurred and who is responsible for your injury.
Choosing a Santa Maria Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Who you choose as your legal representative matters. Catastrophic injuries are life-changing. Accepting a lower settlement than what you deserve can create significant hardship once the funds run out and you are still left with ongoing expenses related to your injury.
At Frederick Law Firm, we provide personalized legal strategies for victims in Santa Maria and surrounding areas. We are committed to serving your best interest and helping you fight for the compensation you need and deserve. If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury, contact us today to schedule a case consultation.