Catastrophic injuries are those injuries that cause serious debilitation and lifelong or permanent harm. They can include permanent neurological injuries, brain damage, amputation, stroke, paraplegia, quadriplegia, paralysis, severe burn injuries, blindness, traumatic injuries, deafness, and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Many people do not have enough saved in case of catastrophic injuries, which are typically quite expensive to treat and may leave an accident victim unable to work. You may not be able to earn money or pay for the full range of care you need. If you think you might need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from another person or entity who was at fault, you should call the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers of the Grimes Law Firm. Often insurers offer accident victims less than they should and having a trial lawyer by your side can make a difference.Catastrophic Injuries
Generally, you have two years after you knew or reasonably should have known you sustained an injury to file a lawsuit for damages in court. If the accident victim is a minor she usually has until age 20 to sue. The circumstances under which catastrophic injuries were sustained will determine the appropriate theory under which to bring suit. You could sustain catastrophic injuries as the result of any of the following:
- Truck accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dangerous property conditions
- Medical malpractice
- School accidents.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means car accident victims must first turn to their own insurance coverage for certain economic losses unless they are seriously injured. Catastrophic injuries meet the threshold needed for a car accident victim to sue for damages in court. When representing you, our attorney must usually establish another driver’s negligence by showing it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the defendant departed from this duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The defendant may raise comparative negligence; if successful, your damages would be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault.
In a truck accident case that resulted in catastrophic injuries, there may be multiple accident victims making claims against the truck driver’s insurance. Accordingly, we may need to hire an accident reconstruction expert and hold multiple parties responsible. We would need to pay close attention to all the parties whose conduct may have contributed to the harm you suffered. These could include not only the truck driver, but also the trucking company, a mechanic, a third-party loading company, and others on the road.
When dangerous property conditions on someone else’s property cause your catastrophic injuries, it may be appropriate to bring a premises liability lawsuit. We’ll need to establish that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and made repairs or provided warnings. For instance, if a broken step had existed in front of a store for several months and the store owner saw it every time she went into her store and simply didn’t fix it, and then when you came to the store as a customer, you fell and sustained multiple fractures, we could file a premises liability lawsuit against the store.Damages
If we can establish liability, we may be able to recover compensatory damages on your behalf. These damages may consist of economic and noneconomic losses. The extent and nature of the injuries will determine what damages a jury award. Economic damages could include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Replacement services
- Urgent care
- Physical and vocational rehabilitation
- Reconstructive and revision surgery
- Alterations to your home.
Generally, economic damages include past, present and future concrete losses. For example, if you were paralyzed in a truck accident such that you could no longer work and needed a wheelchair, physical therapy and rehabilitation, you would be able to recover for your future lost income.
Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost earning capacity. These damages can vary dramatically depending not only on the nature of your injuries. They’ll be awarded based on the emotional harm the jury believes would naturally flow from the accident and injuries.
When you suffered class=“heading4catastrophic injuries as a result of a defendant’s egregious misbehavior — usually not the case in run-of-the-mill car accident cases, except when drunk driving is involved — our attorneys may be able to recover punitive damages, which are damages intended to punish and deter.Consult a Seasoned Catastrophic Injury Firm
If you believe you need to pursue damages for catastrophic injuries you sustained due to the fault of another in New Jersey, you should discuss what happened to you with experienced attorney Raymond Grimes. The Grimes Law Firm represent clients in Somerset County and throughout the state and the Tri-State area. Please call us at (908) 371-106 or complete our online form.