Andre G. Raikhelson
Catastrophic injuries change lives forever. These significant injuries can make it impossible to be whole again or hold a job. Insurance coverage often is insufficient to cover a lifetime of medical and rehabilitation expenses or to alleviate the financial burden a family than faces.
If an accident caused the injury, you may have a legal path leading to compensation. Learn more by contacting an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer who has handled such cases. A skilled catastrophic injury attorney in Boca Raton can build a case to help maximize potential recovery.
DEFINING A CATASTROPHIC INJURY
This type of injury is defined as “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work” (42 USCS § 3796b), which is language adopted from the American Medical Association. Paralysis is a common injury one suffers during a catastrophic accident.
These are the common injuries that can have a catastrophic impact, and they can occur in many different circumstances:
- Head and brain – brain damage, disability
- Back and spinal cord — nerve damage, paralysis
- Extremity — loss of a limb
- Fracture — requiring metal plates and screws
An experienced Florida catastrophic injury lawyer can help an individual recover damages depending on the specific type of injury they have suffered.
For these accident victims, life changes suddenly and dramatically, but before they can receive any monetary compensation, they must prove that the injury was caused by the negligence or omission of another.
States have two versions of negligence law: comparative (sharing fault) and contributory (partly at fault). Florida uses comparative negligence, which limits damages by the percentage of fault that one or both parties have. Each version has the same elements that must be proven to be awarded compensation:
- Duty of care: A reasonable person has a legal obligation in doing any act to foresee that the act could harm others.
- Breach: A person who commits an act that harms another has breached his duty of care obligation.
- Cause in fact: The act of breaching the duty of care obligation is a direct cause of harming another.
- Proximate cause: The act caused harm that could not have been foreseen.
- Damages: The person harmed sustained injury or property damage.
In negligence cases, the defendant has certain defenses available, each seeking to negate one or more of the negligence elements by providing evidence.
The defendant can attempt to prove that they did not owe a duty of care in the circumstances of the case and that they did act with reasonable care.
The defendant can also attempt to prove that the plaintiff’s own actions caused or contributed to the injury, or that the plaintiff committed an act and in so doing assumed the possibility of risk.
If the defense is successful, an award for damages will be dismissed or reduced by the percentage the plaintiff is found at fault. This can be combatted using a Florida catastrophic injury attorney.
BENEFIT OF AN ATTORNEY
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, it is in your best interest to promptly seek a catastrophic injury lawyer in Florida to ensure your legal rights.
A Florida catastrophic injury attorney can assess the strength of your case, advise you on the best course of action to take, prepare your case by conducting legally binding interviews with all parties and witnesses, investigating the facts of the event and other pertinent facts, and negotiating with insurance carriers to achieve a result that is fair and just.