Sometimes injuries suffered in an accident are so severe that the consequences they cause end up being permanent and debilitating, which means ensuing civil litigation cannot center around restoring an injured person to his or her pre-accident state like it normally would. Instead, the focus must be on stabilizing the injured party as much as possible and ensuring he or she can live a comfortable life despite his or her new disability or disfigurement.
Assistance from a Cambria County personal injury attorney specifically experienced with cases like this can be absolutely essential to effective recovery after an injury of this severity. With a Cambria County catastrophic injury lawyer’s guidance, you could have better chances of achieving compensation not just for immediate short-term losses, but also for the various negative effects your condition will have on your life in the long term.
“Catastrophic injury” is a colloquial term rather than a legal one, which means there is no specific definition established under Pennsylvania law establishing exact criteria for “catastrophic” injuries compared to less severe personal injuries. An injury is understood to be catastrophic when it is both debilitating and permanent. Catastrophic injuries often cause a substantial loss of physical or cognitive function and are expected to last for the remainder of a person’s life. Catastrophic injuries are the most tragic outcomes of unfortunate accidents, as victims are often left with a complete loss of use of parts of their body. Many victims are unable to work again or even handle their own medical and financial needs. Some victims have to modify their homes, such as installation of ramps or wheelchair lifts.
A Cambria County attorney could provide more information about what constitutes catastrophic harm and how cases of this nature may proceed in unique ways.
One of the most complex elements of most catastrophic injury claims is the necessity of identifying and valuing future damages before they actually occur. Since the two-year filing deadline set by 42 P.S. §5524 applies to most personal injury cases, no matter how serious the injuries are, people who suffer traumatic injuries like paralysis or permanent brain damage cannot wait until every eventual effect of that injury manifests before filing suit. If he or she does, the case may be time-barred and he or she may be ineligible to recover anything at all.
The modified comparative fault system set forth in 42 P.S. §7102 also applies to catastrophic injuries. Plaintiffs who are partly to blame for causing or worsening their own damages will have their recovery reduced by the percentage of their own fault, and a plaintiff will be barred from making any recovery at all if he or she was 51 percent or more responsible for causing the accident. Support from a seasoned lawyer can be crucial to overcoming these and other procedural roadblocks during a catastrophic accident claim in Cambria County.
There is unfortunately no easy path forward after a catastrophic injury, both in coming to terms with the harm you suffered and in terms of pursuing financial compensation from the person who caused that harm. Fortunately, help is available from the dedicated legal professionals at Marcus & Mack who have assisted other people like you through similar legal situations.
A conversation with a Cambria County catastrophic injury lawyer at our firm could set you on course towards the best possible case resolution. Call today to schedule a meeting.
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