Accidents are a leading cause of serious injury and death in the United States every year. For instance, there were over 41,000 fatal automobile accidents in the United States in 2007 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the immediate aftermath of a serious injury, the injured person will face immense expenses for medical costs and lost income. However, injured parties often underestimate future costs, and accept an offer from an insurance company that does not fully compensate them for their injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in an accident, it is vital to contact a personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney will be able to fully consider all of the issues involved after a catastrophic injury, and will work to make sure that the victim is fully compensated for their injuries. This article will take a closer look at issues and circumstances which parties involved in catastrophic injuries should always consider in achieving a comprehensive settlement.
Future Costs of Medical Care
One area that must be seriously taken into account in settlements involving catastrophic injuries is future health care costs. Health care costs rise every year and an effective settlement will take these rising costs into account. Additionally, in cases involving catastrophic injuries, there are costs related to rehabilitation that are not always readily apparent, such as costs for physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, medication and medical devices or aids, home modifications and many others. Any settlement must try to take into account these future costs in order to fully compensate the victim for their injuries.
Cases involving catastrophic injuries often require professional testimony in order to fully prove damages. Experts such as doctors, economists, psychologists and those involved in life care and long-term medical field must be consulted and hired to testify regarding the future medical needs and other future costs. Juries are usually more inclined to consider and take expert witnesses into consideration when reaching the final decision regarding the total cost of awards.
Finding all Potentially Liable Parties
Usually when a person suffers severe injuries, there is at least one obvious defendant. For instance, if the driver of a car is hit by a truck that was driving negligently, it is clear that the trucking company will be named as a defendant. But there may be other companies that are liable. Perhaps another business overloaded the truck, making it difficult for the truck driver to stop in time.
A personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, aimed at exploring the question of whether more individuals or companies may be liable. If all of the persons or companies involved in this accidental catastrophic injury case are identified and included in the lawsuit, it increases the chances that the victim will be fully compensated for their injuries.
Product Liability Cases
Product liability cases, or scenarios where a defective product either contributed or caused an accident which led to a catastrophic injury, involve significant research and usually the involvement of expert witnesses to fully prove liability and damages. Defective auto parts, such as defective airbags, brakes, or door latches, may often lead to catastrophic injury in an auto accident. The company that produced the defective part which led to or contributed to an accident must also be included as a defendant in the case.
Serious injury cases almost always involve insurance companies. When accidents involve more than one defendant, there is usually more than one insurance company involved. Commonly, personal injury matters involving more than one insurance company involve subrogation issues. For instance, if an injured person’s insurance company covers medical costs, the insurance company has the right to be reimbursed for that coverage from the insurance company of the negligent party.
In conclusion, there are a number of issues that must be addressed following a serious accident. These issues are not always immediately obvious, and a personal injury lawyer can be of great help in sorting through these issues and obtaining full compensation.