Following a catastrophic accident, you could be facing severe physical and emotional trauma. Treatment could lead to serious financial burdens for you and your family. Fortunately, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the negligent party that caused your injuries. The benefits of a Western PA catastrophic injury attorney are unparalleled. A qualified attorney could help you gather the evidence to prove your damages.
A catastrophic injury is a life-alternating injury sustained as a result of an accident. This could include a brain injury that causes balance problems, cognitive problems, impaired abilities to think and reason, and memory problems. These injuries could also include the loss of a limb, paralysis, or permanent disfigurement. When individuals suffer catastrophic injuries, it may be difficult or impossible for them to maintain gainful employment due to their new limitations.
Ultimately, the injured person is the client and is the one entitled to file a claim. In a situation where the injured person cannot communicate because of his or her injuries, an attorney could work with the family to ensure the injured person is adequately represented.
If an injured person previously executed power of attorney, through which a family member or other individual is appointed as an Agent, that Agent then acts as the agent of the victim by making decisions and signing papers on his or her behalf.
On the other hand, if a victim is incapacitated or unable to make or communicate decisions, and he or she did not previously create a power of attorney, the court appoints a guardian to act on behalf of the injured person. The guardian could then handle the logistics for the case on behalf of the victim.
If a catastrophic injury victim is unable to travel, a Western PA attorney may visit him or her in the hospital, rehabilitation facility, or home. If he or she is unable to speak or communicate, the attorney works with the Agent or Guardian to obtain the information needed to handle the case, such as the facts of the accident, the nature of the injuries, and a list of the treating doctors.
One of the unique aspects of a catastrophic injury case is the significant amount of damages at issue. The purpose of the law is to make someone whole, and the only way to do that is through monetary damages. The dollar amount for a catastrophic injury is substantial and may include wage loss as well as current and future medical expenses. If the injured party is unable to work again, the attorney, with assistance from an economist, quantifies the wages the individual would have made over their remaining work-life and seeks to recover those damages
There may also be intangible, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, embarrassment, inconvenience, scarring and disfigurement. Damages for those items are also recoverable.
An attorney could help a victim prepare the case to ensure all damages are accounted for and proven. Despite not being at-fault for the accident, the injured person has the burden of proof, and therefore must have evidence of all the damages. An attorney assists the victim by obtaining all of the necessary documents, including medical reports, wage loss calculations, and the future cost of medical treatment. The attorney would then build all these elements into the case.
In terms of resources, Western PA attorneys must obtain a victim’s medical records and expert reports from treating doctors that describe the nature of the injuries and the treatment. These include the current symptoms and future prognosis of what the injured person will experience going forward.
An economist may prepare a past and future wage loss report calculating the money a victim would have earned had he or she not suffered the traumatic injury. A life care plan expert involved might project the future cost of medical care and treatment based upon the treatment that has been provided to date. An accident reconstructionist may show a jury how the accident occurred and how the injuries were sustained.
The benefits of a Western PA catastrophic injury attorney include assistance in seeking and proving damages from the negligent party responsible for your injuries. A seasoned attorney understands the burden of proof and could gather the required evidence to prove you suffered damages in the accident. Reach out to a Marcus & Mack attorney today and get started on building your claim.
By: Linda B.
Marcus & Mack