What is Considered a Catastrophic Car Accident in Indiana?
If you have ever been in an accident, you know how scary and unsettling it can be, especially if injured. You have to take time away from work and likely have multiple medical appointments, and it can create a general disturbance in your life. Imagine if the injuries were so substantial that they created a severe situation where you now require assistance to do everyday activities. If so, you are the victim of a catastrophic injury.
According to the Indiana General Assembly, a catastrophic injury “means bodily injury so severe that a person’s ability to live independently is significantly impaired for a period of at least one year.” Injuries that cause blindness, intellectual disabilities, paralysis, extensive treatment, significant loss of work, and more are included in this category.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injury
Catastrophic injuries can vary. Below are some common examples.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – TBIs are common in car accidents and can vary in levels of concern, from a concussion that you must be aware of to permanent damage to the brain.
Partial or complete paralysis – if you are no longer able to use a portion of your body and now require assistance to complete daily tasks, whether this be permanent or temporary
Damage to internal organs – some of the less prominent injuries may have caused permanent damage to internal organs, causing you to need assistance with things like breathing correctly or using the bathroom.
Significant injuries to the spine – if you sustained a severe injury to your spine, you may require assistance such as a wheelchair or more
Severe burns – severe burns on the body may limit portions of your body from functioning as it once did, whether temporary or permanent.
What Damages Can I Pursue Following a Catastrophic Injury?
There is a multitude of damages that you can pursue following a catastrophic injury. Some of the most common are listed below.
Medical costs – a severe injury will likely incur several medical appointments, possible surgery, physical or occupational therapy or other types, necessary check-ups to monitor progress, and prosthetics. These costs can quickly add up and can generally be recovered.
Pain and suffering – while a little more challenging to place value on as it’s not tangible, pain and suffering can become debilitating to your livelihood. Mental anguish can lead to PTSD or other psychological issues that can persist long-term. An experienced attorney can help you to calculate these damages and accurately pursue them.
Damages to Consider
Lost wages – following a severe injury, you may miss work for weeks, months, or even years. Recovering these wages is something you can pursue.
Wrongful death – a catastrophic injury can result in the death of a loved one. A family member can choose to pursue damages on their behalf.
There may be other relative damages that you can to pursue to bring you back to a financially whole position following a catastrophic injury. Consult your trusted attorney to determine what other options you may have.
What is Comparative Fault and Why is it Important?
Personal injury cases in Indiana are subject to comparative fault concerning negligence. What this can mean for you is that even if you are partially responsible for the injuries you sustained, you may still be able to recover damages.
Each party involved in the accident will be assigned a percentage of fault. For example, let’s say you were found to be 20% at fault, and the other party was found 80% at fault for the accident that left you with catastrophic injuries. In that case, you could recover 80% of your damages, which is 20% less than your total damages, due to you being found to be 20% at fault.
This calculation is why establishing fault in car accidents is imperative. Proving how much you were at fault or how much the other party was could mean the difference in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages you can recover.
Why Work With Us?
We understand that you have multiple options to choose from when it comes to choosing which legal team to work with. What sets us apart is our team structure and experience. Not only do we have multiple attorneys in our office, but we have full-time investigators as well.
Due to the comparative fault rule that we just discussed, utilizing our investigators to help establish fault has worked incredibly well for us in the past to protect our clients and ensure they get the compensation they deserve. It is extremely important to investigate immediately, and put together the evidence to prove that the other party is at fault. Delay in investigating can cause the loss of witnesses and evidence.
A skill set that we stand behind is negotiation. If you aren’t handling negotiations on a daily basis, you may not know how to work them to the best of your ability to get the results you are striving for. We handle skilled negotiations on behalf of our clients, and if we don’t get the results that we feel are fair for our clients, we will aggressively file suit and go to trial.
We understand how difficult this time in your life can be for you and your loved ones. Let us take over the reins and the stress associated with it and pursue what is rightfully yours. We know that no amount of money can replace a life or fix a catastrophic injury, but we understand the need to become financially whole, as you once were before the unfortunate situation occurred and that is our goal.
Call our office today at (812) 247-8416 to get started. Our team will work with you to discuss your questions and form an effective strategy so you can move forward with your life.