Why You May Need A Catastrophic Injury Attorney
If you’ve sustained injuries in a severe accident, then you probably need a catastrophic injury attorney to assist you.
Catastrophic injuries can have long-term, life changing consequences on everything from your career to your relationships. As such, the losses are likely to add up to significant damages and compensation. Given that the stakes are so high, it’s critical that you get the help you need to maximize the results. We encourage you to contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to an injury attorney for a free legal consultation.
That being said, if you’d like to learn more about how an attorney could help you move forward successfully, let’s take a closer look.
Attorneys Handle A Wide Range Of Responsibilities
Attorneys aren’t just there to debate persuasively in the courtroom setting — even though popular media has often focused on that portrayal. In reality, attorneys have a wide range of responsibilities, from start-to-finish:
- Gathering and preserving evidence
- Connecting with eyewitnesses and expert witnesses for testimony
- Navigating court processes, such as hearings
- Ensuring all procedural requirements are met
- Maximizing your likelihood of success at every step of the process
- Handling communications with third-parties
- Potentially negotiating a settlement
- Litigating the case at trial, if necessary
- Securing the proper distribution of compensatory funds
- And more
Third-party Communications Can Undermine Your Claims
Insurers are not your allies — but neither are defendants and other third-parties! While communicating with these parties, you may mistakenly disclose information that could undermine your legal claims. For example, if you “admit” fault in a call with an insurer, they may refuse to pay out a settlement to cover your losses.
That’s where you may need a catastrophic injury attorney. They’ll advocate on your behalf with insurers, defendants, and other third-parties, avoiding any sensitive disclosures that could undermine your case. And if you have to speak directly to someone, they can prepare you for that conversation.
Most Injury Attorneys Offer Free Consultations
Bear in mind that most injury attorneys offer free legal consultations, with no obligation to work with them if you decide against it. This means that there’s really no “risk” to picking up the phone and speaking to an attorney in a free consultation (about your case).
During the consultation, the attorney will speak with you about the accident and your injuries, and will help you understand some of the potential claims you might be able to bring under the law. They will try to calculate the likelihood of success and the value of the claims (at a glance), and will help you figure out what next steps you might have to take to secure compensation.
Given the usefulness of a consultation, we encourage you to at least explore these discussions with an attorney before you decide against pursuing a lawsuit — one of the many reasons why you need a catastrophic injury attorney early on!
Most Plaintiffs’ Injury Attorneys Work On Contingency
Most plaintiff’-side injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, making it rather easy for an injury victim to pursue their legal claims. Here’s how contingency fees work: the client doesn’t pay anything out-of-pocket, or upfront. Instead, the attorney handles all the costs of litigation, from filing fees to expert fees, the resources spent on negotiating with opposition, the time spent on preparing for various hearings. All of that is handled for “free” by the attorney.
In return, the attorney takes a percentage cut of the total compensation recovered for the client, whether it’s through a settlement, a trial award, or some other means. This percentage can vary from attorney-to-attorney, with fees often ranging from 25 percent to 40 percent of the total. Be sure to discuss and potentially negotiate these fees with any attorney that you are looking to hire.
Contingency fees create a win-win dynamic. Why? They incentivize attorneys to work efficiently, and to work to maximize your compensation. The more they earn on your behalf in compensation, the more they get paid.
Damages In A Catastrophic Injury Dispute
In a catastrophic injury dispute, damages tend to be greater than in a standard injury dispute involving less severe outcomes. That being said, all legal damages work in a similar way. They account for the losses that are causally linked to the defendant’s negligence — in this context, losses linked to the accident.
Losses that may be tallied towards your damages total include:
- Wage loss
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more
Something worth noting — even if you have comprehensive medical insurance that covers all your expenses, you’re still entitled to sue for the amount you were billed. In many cases, this can lead to a financial windfall!
What Happens If I’m Partially At-fault For My Own Injury?
If you’re partially at-fault for the injury, then the consequences of your “fault contribution” will vary depending on the legal jurisdiction that applies to the case.
In California, for example, the doctrine of pure comparative fault applies. This means that you can sue and recover compensation even if you are 99 percent at-fault. However, bear in mind that your damages will be reduced by the percentage fault that you contributed. So if you were 99 percent at-fault, and your damages were $100,000, you’d be entitled to recover $1,000, or one percent of the total.
In Maryland, by contrast, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies. This means that you are prevented from recovering compensation if you are partially at-fault — yes, even one percent fault is enough to prevent a recovery. This can be a challenge to overcome in many cases, but that’s why you need a catastrophic injury attorney who has experience handling complex disputes. They may be able to strategically position your arguments so as to avoid the fault being tied to your injury.
What Happens When You Reach A Settlement?
After you reach a settlement, the case will no longer proceed to trial. The funds are distributed by the attorneys to the clients, final statements and documentation is prepared, and the case is essentially closed.
Importantly, after a settlement has been reached, the plaintiff (i.e., the injured party in a catastrophic accident case) no longer has a right to sue on the basis of the same legal claims. So don’t agree to a settlement if you would rather pursue the case all the way through to trial and continue with the lawsuit.
Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 For A Free Legal Consultation
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, then you may need a catastrophic injury attorney to help you make sense of the situation. The consequences of an accident can be overwhelming and frustrating for the first-time plaintiff, especially since they have to navigate a complicated legal system while recovering from injury. That’s one of the things an experienced attorney can help you with.
Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a local injury attorney in our network. They’ll provide a free legal consultation so that you can discuss your case in confidence. They’ll identify potential next steps and — if it makes sense for you and the attorney — may offer to represent you in the legal dispute.
We look forward to assisting you!