While there isn’t a specific legal definition used for the term “catastrophic injury,” it generally refers to a type of injury that has severe long-term impacts to a victim, often causing disability or disfigurement. Most catastrophic injuries have an extremely difficult and lengthy process of recovery, and could lead to the need for lifelong medical treatment. Many victims of catastrophic injuries are unable to return to their jobs and unable to enjoy the same quality of life they had previously.
Because catastrophic injuries are, by their nature, significantly more severe than typical injuries, they are also likely to yield much larger settlements in personal injury cases. Whenever a defendant in a personal injury cases is found to be negligent, he or she is responsible to pay certain damages on a level consistent with the level of injuries suffered by the defendant.
Victims of catastrophic injuries are also more likely to receive non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life. While there are likely to be limits on the amount of non-economic damages that a person can recover in these cases, these limits are usually significantly higher in cases involving catastrophic injuries. Depending on the type of injury or the degree of negligence of the defendant, there may also be exceptions in place to these caps.
However, because the injuries in a catastrophic case are more serious and the potential damages much higher, there is also a much greater burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the full nature of the injuries and the impact they’ll have on his or her life. There must also be a clearly established cause of the accident, stemming from the negligence of the defendant.
For more information on how you can receive compensation after suffering a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence, speak with the New York personal injury attorneys from [ln::firm_name].