What Distinguishes Catastrophic Claims From Other Injury Cases?
When filing an injury claim in a case involving catastrophic injuries, it's important to understand what may make the case special. Let's look at four things that distinguish catastrophic claims from more common personal injury cases.
Many states have regulations in place that install caps on how much can be recovered in certain kinds of claims. The nearly universal exception to these rules is when a claimant or plaintiff can demonstrate that their injuries were catastrophic. Depending on the state you're filing in and the nature of the injuries, this may be the difference between recovering thousands or millions of dollars.
Note, however, that compensation for medical expenses is rarely capped. The distinction is when it comes to other forms of compensation, especially any punitive damages your catastrophic injuries lawyer may want to pursue.
Just as some states have caps on standard injury claims, so do some insurance policies. The same pattern repeats here, with catastrophic injuries almost always being an exception to how an insurance carrier imposes caps. Simply put, no company wants the bad press that would come from capping compensation to someone who has suffered catastrophic injuries.
Although it's not uncommon for injuries to not fully heal, many catastrophic ones never heal at all. That means a claimant often needs to recover significantly more compensation to make up for the fact they may never be able to work ever again. Similarly, they lose elements of lifelong enjoyment of things like their hobbies, relations with a spouse, raising kids and other pursuits.
Likewise, permanent harm often means dealing with lifelong care requirements. While doctors may be able to contain the worst effects of a catastrophic injury, that doesn't mean a person might not need the help of a nurse for the remainder of their life.
The Threat of a Lawsuit
The main point in hiring a catastrophic injuries lawyer is to make it clear you're willing to take the matter to trial. Juries, frankly, aren't kind to defendants who they believe have caused massive harm. Even if the defendant is an individual and not a company, there's a line of argument that can vilify the insurance carrier for not paying up. Due to the history of expensive judgments in catastrophic injuries cases, many insurance companies prefer to wrap up a settlement before a lawsuit lands them in front of jury to explain their actions.