When you or someone you love suffers a severe injury, your lives can change in an instant. Not only does the injury victim have to deal with the aftermath of the accident, but loved ones also suffer.
Catastrophic injuries can lead to physical, emotional, and financial strain. If the accident was caused by the negligent or careless act of another party, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation for your losses.
At Schilling & Esposito, our experienced Virginia catastrophic injury attorneys put everything they have into fighting for the rights of accident victims. If you’ve been hurt, we will pursue the responsible parties on your behalf to secure the damages you need and deserve.
What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
Although most personal injuries have the potential to be life-altering, a catastrophic injury always has long-term consequences. These are among the most devastating types of injuries from any kind of accident. In addition to the obvious physical pain and limitations, a catastrophic injury can result in emotional trauma, loss of a profession, and severe financial difficulties.
Broken bones and lacerations will generally heal with time. When it comes to catastrophic injuries, there is damage that never completely heals. A person may require hospitalization, surgery, ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, medication, home care, and modifications, and could face financial hardship due to lost earning capacity. The pain and suffering of catastrophic injury victims can also be debilitating. These injuries can lead to severe depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
The types of injuries that can be considered catastrophic will vary. Many involve damage to the body’s central nervous system, which controls some of your body’s essential functions. Some common types of catastrophic injuries include:
Multiple bone fractures
Hazardous chemical exposure
Catastrophic injuries can occur when there is a trauma to the body, which can happen under a variety of circumstances. The most common causes of catastrophic injuries are motor vehicle accidents. This includes any accident involving multiple cars, large trucks, and motorcycles. It could also involve a motor vehicle that strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Other types of accidents that commonly results in catastrophic injuries include:
Swimming pool accidents
Medical malpractice cases
Injuries caused by defective products
Slip and fall accidents
The responsible parties for these injuries might include another driver, an employer, property owner, product or parts manufacturer, and medical personnel.
Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases
If your accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you can make a claim for damages. The truth is that any victim of a catastrophic accident and injury would gladly trade an unlimited amount of money to be spared the pain, suffering, and disruption that these events create. Since getting your pre-accident life back isn’t possible, the legal system provides relief through filing a personal injury claim.
Catastrophic injury cases generally involve much higher damages than a typical personal injury case. These aren’t financial windfalls because the compensation is justified. When you add up the cost of lifetime medical care, lost earnings, and the pain and suffering you will endure, you deserve an amount that will give you some financial stability in the wake of a tragic and unexpected event.
Don’t Trust Insurance Companies
Because damages in these cases tend to soar, an insurance company will do everything in its power to avoid the term “catastrophic” when describing your case. They will attempt to change your claim to non-catastrophic to limit their exposure. This is just one of the ways that a large company with deep pockets will try to undermine your case.
One thing that many accident victims fail to realize is that Virginia’s personal injury laws may not be on their side. Virginia uses an unfair and inequitable legal standard known as pure contributory negligence. According to the law, if you are found to be partially at fault in the accident, even 1% at fault, you will not be permitted to recover compensation for your losses.
There may be a party that is entirely responsible for causing your injuries, but the insurance companies don’t care. They know that showing that you failed to use some degree of caution or otherwise contributed to your injuries will protect them from having to pay out what they owe.
If you are not represented by an attorney, an insurance company will be quick to contact you with several requests. They’ll ask for a full medical release which lets them dig into your healthcare history. They may also try to get you to agree to a recorded interview and even offer you a lowball settlement.
All of these tactics are meant to cast doubt over your claim and give the insurance company grounds to either deny your case or cast blame in your direction. These are just a few of the reasons that we highly recommend speaking with an experienced Virginia accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak With a Qualified Virginia Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Most personal injury firms promise to fight for the rights of their clients. At Schilling & Esposito our experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys back up our promises with action. We have worked tirelessly to build a reputation as one of Central Virginia’s premier personal injury law firms that advocates for the rights of the injured and their loved ones. At Schilling & Esposito, you will work directly with our attorneys from your first meeting to the final settlement of your case. Our attorneys work diligently to prepare every case for trial, gathering and preserving evidence, researching case law, consulting with experts, among many other tasks involved in your case.
If you or someone you loved has suffered a catastrophic injury, it is vital that you research your legal options. Our team will investigate your case and work on your behalf to hold the responsible parties accountable for your damages.
According to Virginia law, you have just two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. There may be other circumstances that impact the statute of limitations for your case, so we recommend that you pursue the responsible parties without delay.
Contact our Richmond office now at 804-261-1001 or reach out to use online to schedule a free consultation.