The intent behind this article is not to suggest that personal injuries which might not be categorized by some as “catastrophic” will not justify substantial monetary compensation. Instead, this article highlights the long-term effects which might be associated with particularly severe injuries, the importance of having quality and experienced legal representation zealously advocating for redress of these injuries, and the importance of society ensuring that these individuals receive adequate compensation for the severe harms and losses they have sustained, due to the wrongful conduct of another.
It is strongly recommended that you seek specialized legal assistance if you suffer a catastrophic injury, due to the wrongful conduct of another. Some personal injury attorneys have a far greater understanding of more sophisticated catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, electrocution or burn injuries, compared to other attorneys who typically only handle smaller soft tissue injury cases.
A catastrophic personal injury can necessitate a lifetime of medical health care, or repeated reconstructive surgical procedures. It is helpful to have an attorney who understands the often complicated medical treatment procedures, treatment process and recovery. For instance, a severely burned child may require repeated surgeries to allow for proper treatment of this condition, in addition to various aesthetic surgeries. A child with a bone fracture that affects a growth plate may encounter difficult bone-stretching procedures, and may never have normal use of the affected limb. If legal counsel understands the long-term effects associated with an injury, the attorney will be better able to argue for proper compensation.
When an individual suffers a spinal cord injury, the man or woman may face a new life of incapability and dependency. A dynamic person can all of a sudden become an invalid, with injuries that can’t be treated by even the most advanced medical treatment options. While there is always hope of a medical advance which will cure the severe injuries, sometimes this is not a reality. The attorney needs to be adept at properly presenting the tremendous permanent harms that the injured party has sustained.
A parent whose child suffers some sort of brain or spinal cord injury may suddenly find themselves facing the reality that their child will require full-time care the rest of their life. A brain injury could cause a personality change, causing a loved one, parent or child to suddenly seem like someone else. These harms and losses need to be properly documented and persuasively presented by competent legal counsel to those financially responsible for compensating these damages.
One of the actual tragedies of life is a large number people are catastrophically injured, but cannot recover adequately. Legislatures in some parts of the country have added caps on “non-economic” damages, which can be ridiculously low. Fortunately, this has not occurred in Connecticut. Ironically, scientific studies indicate that large jury verdicts tend to be rare, and that the majority of injury victims are generally under compensated. However, the press tends to focus on the occasional excessive verdict, and these rare instances are used by those responsible for causing the catastrophic harm, due to their violations of the safety rules, to justify arguing for limits on recovery for the injured innocent victims. The innocent most vulnerable injury victims then suffer when their harms and losses are never adequately compensated, while the wrongdoers escape without bearing the financial responsibility for the harms they have caused.
Some of the most dangerous drivers on the road often carry the minimum possible amount of insurance that the law allows, or carry no insurance whatsoever. Few people would likely, voluntarily, allow themselves to suffer even a simple fracture of any bone, even for thousands dollars. The level of suffering that results from living an entire life with disfiguring scars (visible or not) or with a spinal cord or brain injury, is inconceivable. Our society needs to make certain that people who endure catastrophic injuries will not effectively lose their right to a reasonably normal life if they are not able to receive proper compensation.
If you or someone you care about face recovery from a catastrophic injury, seek assistance from an attorney who has experience with that type of injury, and who knows how to present your case persuasively so that all of your harms and losses are properly redressed.