Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Getting into an accident is scary enough. But when you get into an accident that results in severe injuries, your whole world can easily turn upside down. You begin worrying about your future: Can you pay your bills? Will you be able to return to work? Will your life ever return to what it once was before the accident?
If your injuries were the result of someone’s negligence in Mississippi, there are legal options available to you. At Giddens Law Firm, P.A., our Mississippi catastrophic injury lawyer understands the pain and suffering you and your family are currently going through. He will fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you will need to continue the recovery process and secure your future.
The first consultation is always free, and we work on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay a fee until we win your case. Contact our Mississippi personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
According to U.S. Code 42 USC § 3796b, a catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that will “permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.” This means that the injury is so severe that it can leave the victim with permanent damage that prohibits them from working as they did before the accident.
A catastrophic injury can result in a long-term or permanent disability which will severely affect the victim’s life. They may not be able to earn a living and could face extensive medical treatments or long-term care. Some examples of catastrophic injuries include:
Brain and Head Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually caused by a violent blow to the head. Each year, an estimated 1.5 million people in the U.S. sustain a TBI. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brain injury victims could be facing an enormous financial and physical burden.
Long-term effects of a TBI include:
- Speech difficulties
- Visual impairment
- Memory loss
- Balance problems
- Mood swings
- Reduced language skills.
Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, there are about 17,730 new cases of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. each year. Approximately 291,000 people live with such an injury and the number one cause of spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle accidents.
The long-term side effects of a spinal cord injury include
- Muscle spasticity
- Respiratory complications
Severe physical injuries can range from severe burns to amputation. These injuries can result in permanent disfigurement and mental trauma. Not only with the victim must learn a new way to live life, but they will need to rely on medical equipment for help with day-to-day activities.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive After a Catastrophic Injury?
A personal injury claim for a catastrophic injury is necessary so the injury victim can receive the maximum compensation for their injuries. You can receive the following in compensation:
- Medical expenses: This includes both your current bills and any future expenses. Medical expenses can range from ER visits and doctor appointments to long-term care, medical equipment, and physical therapy.
- Loss of earning capacity: Loss of earning capacity refers to the difference between the earnings you should have expected to receive and the earnings you will receive.
- Mental anguish: Catastrophic injuries hurt you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You could be suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders.
- Property damage: Property damage compensation refers to any repair bills or any property that was lost in the accident.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering compensation refers to the physical, mental, and emotional pain that you are dealing with due to the injuries you sustained in the accident.
- Loss of consortium: Sometimes, a catastrophic injury can change a person. They may not enjoy doing the same activities they use to do or find they cannot be intimate with their partner.
- Death benefits: If the catastrophic injuries turn fatal and you lose a loved one, you may be able to get funeral and burial costs.
In some cases, you may also receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their behavior that led to the accident.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for My Personal Injury?
Many times, there could be multiple parties involved in an accident. For example, if you suffered a TBI in a truck accident in Jackson and it was later discovered that the 18-wheeler had a defective part, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the truck driver, the manufacturer of the part, and possible the trucking company for not maintaining the vehicle properly. Therefore, it’s important to speak with a Mississippi personal injury lawyer right away after suffering a catastrophic injury to start the claims process.
To prove who is responsible for your injury, your catastrophic injury lawyer will need to show the following:
- The at-fault party had a responsibility to protect you from harm. Let’s use the truck accident as an example. The truck driver has a duty to keep everyone on the road safe. They are required to follow all the rules of the road and federal regulations meant to protect others from harm.
- The at-fault party failed in their duty of care. According to federal regulations, truck drivers are only allowed on the road for 11 consecutive hours. However, this truck driver had been driving for 15 hours without a break. They began getting extremely tired while behind the wheel, and their reaction time was lowered. When the traffic ahead of them began to slow down, they were unable to stop in time a rear-ended the car in front of them.
- The breach of duty of care caused an injury. The force of the truck hitting the car caused the car driver to lurch forward, hitting their head hard on the steering wheel. This caused a severe concussion and a neck injury.
- The injury resulted in damages. The injured driver is now facing months of physical therapy and will need multiple surgeries to repair the damage to their neck. They will be facing a huge medical debt because of the accident.
If your injuries were the result of a car or truck accident, it’s important to know that Mississippi is an at-fault state. What this means whoever caused the motor vehicle accident, their insurance is responsible for paying your expenses.
What Types of Accidents Result in a Catastrophic Injury?
Not all accidents can result in catastrophic injury. However, there are some common accidents that can be more severe than others, such as:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there were 35,766 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2020. In Mississippi alone there were 687 fatal crashes, resulting in 752 deaths in 2020.
Unfortunately, this number is only rising, not decreasing. The latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 9,560 people had died in traffic fatalities in the first quarter of 2022, a 7 percent increase as compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Slip and Fall Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that the death rate for falls in the United States has increased 30 percent from 2007 to 2016. Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year because of a fall injury; in fact, the CDC further found that one out of every five falls can cause a serious injury such as a head injury.
The National Safety Council has found that in 2021, 11.7 million people had been treated at ERs across the nation for injuries that result from dangerous consumer products. Common products that posed risks include televisions, cleaning products, and even beds. Those who are most likely to receive a severe injury from a dangerous product are young children and older adults.
According to a study done by Johns Hopkins in 2018, more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical errors. It is considered the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 5,333 workers died while on the job in 2019, which is an average of approximately 15 deaths per day. About 20 percent of worker fatalities occurred while on the job on a construction site.
What Do You Do After a Catastrophic Injury?
Your first course of action is to immediately seek medical attention. Not only is this important for your health but you need to learn the extent of your injuries. It’s a good idea to keep a journal so you can record all your doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, surgeries, and lab results. This will come in handy when your personal injury lawyer calculates how much your case is worth.
Try to get as much evidence as you can after the accident. Take photos and videos of the scene. Get contact information from the person responsible for the accident as well as any witnesses.
The insurance company will try and contact you as soon as possible to learn about the accident and your injuries. Remember that you do not have to speak with them. In fact, it’s better that you
don’t talk to anyone until you speak with a catastrophic injury lawyer in Mississippi first. If you do speak with the insurance company, keep your comments brief, stick with the facts of the accident, and do not have your conversation recorded.
Your last step is to contact our Jackson, MS personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. We will go over the facts of the case, explain how much compensation you should be expecting, and start the investigation process. We can negotiate with the insurance company and come up with a settlement that fits your needs. If negotiations break down, then we will represent your interests in court.
How Our MS Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Can Help
For more than two decades, Jackson catastrophic injury lawyer John Giddens has been helping catastrophic injury victims and their families throughout Mississippi with their personal injury claims. Catastrophic injury cases are usually very complex – there may be more than one at-fault party involved and the expenses are usually extremely high. You will need an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer who has the track record and knowledge needed to help you win your case. John Giddens is that personal injury attorney.
It is a fact that having a personal injury lawyer work on your case can only increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that the amount of compensation you receive is more than 3.5 times larger than those who tried to settle the claim without an attorney.
If you were involved in a truck accident, car accident, or any other type of accident in Mississippi that resulted in a catastrophic injury, don’t wait another second. Contact a catastrophic injury lawyer at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Catastrophic Injuries in Mississippi
How Long Do I Have to File a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
There are laws in place that limit how long an injury victim can file a lawsuit. These are called “statutes of limitations.” In Mississippi, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Failure to file the claim within three years and your case will most likely be tossed out of court.
Statutes of limitations are meant to prevent defendants from being unfairly prosecuted. In addition, evidence disappears quickly, even after a few months. That’s why it’s always wise to file a claim as soon as possible to preserve the evidence.
How Much is My Catastrophic Injury Case Worth?
Not all personal injury claims are the same so it can be difficult to calculate how much your claim can be worth. An investigation will be needed to find out what happened and how your injuries will impact your life.
During your free consultation with our personal injury lawyer, we will sit down with you and go over your case’s facts. Once we learn more about your injuries and discover who is responsible for the accident, we can then give you a rough estimate of how much your claim is worth.
What is Considered a Non-Catastrophic Injury?
If your injury does not result in a serious impact on your life, it may not be considered catastrophic. For example, let’s say you get into a car accident. You go to the hospital and you were diagnosed with a back injury. After a few weeks of physical therapy, your back is starting to feel much better. You may still be a little stiff and feel some pain, but you are able to return to many of your daily activities. In a case such as this, your back injury is not catastrophic.
It is important to note that even if your injury is non-catastrophic, that does not mean you won’t have large expenses to deal with. Any time you are injured by someone else’s negligent actions, it’s always best to speak with a personal injury attorney to learn your legal options.
Going back to the example above, let’s say instead of a soft tissue injury, the spinal cord has been severely damaged in a car accident. It affects your movement, and you are in constant pain. You will need several surgeries to repair the damage. This is considered a catastrophic injury.
Can You Recover From a Catastrophic Injury?
Unfortunately, it’s very rare to recover from a catastrophic injury. Although there are treatments you can undergo to relieve some of the pain and suffering you are feeling – such as surgeries or physical therapy – it is unlikely that you will return to the life you had prior to the accident.
That’s why it’s so important to speak with a catastrophic injury lawyer in Jackson right away to make sure your current and future needs are met.
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