Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas
Most people suffer minor injuries throughout their lives. Anything from fractured bones to a concussion can cause temporary difficulties, but we’re typically able to get back to a sense of normalcy relatively quickly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries. Incidents that lead to such harm are often sudden and severe in nature. They can result in extensive medical bills, lost wages, and a host of other burdens. In many cases, financial ruin is the eventual outcome without an insurance company settlement or court award to help defray expenses. If you’ve found yourself in such a position, a catastrophic injury lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to help.
At High Stakes Injury Law, our personal injury law firm works with clients on a daily basis who have experienced motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and other mishaps. These personal injury cases often involve great loss on the part of the victim, but most of our clients will eventually recover and pick back up where they left off. This isn’t always an option for our catastrophic injury clients. Because of this, they’re often entitled to substantial monetary compensation.
To learn whether you have a valid case and the best way to move forward, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with a Las Vegas catastrophic injury lawyer.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
- Do You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim?
- What Are Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries?
- Who Is At Fault for Your Personal Injury?
- Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
- What Types of Compensation Are Available?
- How Are Catastrophic Injury Claims Handled Differently?
- How Long Will My Case Take?
- Is There a Deadline for Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
- Contact a Las Vegas Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are those which are sudden and result in long-term consequences or life-altering impacts. The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research breaks this physical harm down into three separate categories. They include injuries that result in:
- Permanent functional disability, and
- Serious harm that causes temporary functional disability
This scientific categorization is on par with the definition of catastrophic injuries under personal injury law. Obviously, any of these outcomes are significant in nature and have the potential to change a person’s life forever. Even full recovery doesn’t guarantee a return to normalcy.
For instance, there’s a term in the healthcare field known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This is a level of recovery that a person reaches when further recovery is not likely. Receiving financial compensation for your injuries can definitely help get you to this point, but what if your MMI isn’t equivalent to the physical abilities you once had? After all, a person who suffers a permanent disability such as blindness or amputation can reach a maximum level of improvement without regaining sight or limbs. Even if they no longer require medical treatment, they still have to live with the consequences of their injury. This is why damages in a catastrophic injury claim can be so significant.
Do You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim?
While catastrophic injuries may be more severe than other potential harms, they still fall under the basic umbrella of personal injury law. This means establishing that another party was at fault for your injuries is a necessary step for securing fair compensation. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as saying, “That’s the person who caused my accident, so they should pay for my losses.” Even in cases where fault may seem clear — such as a situation where you sustained a serious injury due to someone rear-ending your vehicle at a stop light, for example — the facts of the case may not be as clear-cut as you would hope. Things get even more complex when there are multiple at-fault parties.
Regardless of the underlying circumstances of your case, though, proving that negligence or other wrongful acts led to personal injuries comes down to the following elements:
- Duty of care: Everyone has a responsibility to avoid dangerous actions that could cause harm to others. Motorists have this duty to other drivers; business owners have a duty to their customers. This isn’t typically a difficult element to prove in court.
- Violation of duty: A party must violate a duty of care in order to be held liable for catastrophic injuries. Motorists running red lights or manufacturers creating dangerous products have violated their duty of care.
- Causation of loss: Only when a violation of duty results in loss will a personal injury case be successful. Running a red light doesn’t make someone liable for damages unless their actions cause harm.
Even if all three of these elements exist in your case, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive compensation. That’s because there are many nuances to the law, and there are even times when those who seek compensation share partial fault for their own injury. This will not necessarily disqualify them from financial recovery, but it can make things more difficult. Regardless of the unique circumstances of your case, you could benefit from catastrophic injury lawyers in Las Vegas who have a proven track record. That’s what you’ll find at High Stakes Injury Law. And since we work on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll pay nothing if we’re unable to recover compensation on your behalf.
What Are Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries?
A catastrophic injury can stem from any type of accident. People have suffered traumatic brain injuries from merely rolling off their beds. An individual could trip over a rug and break their neck. There is no limit to the types of events that can lead to serious injuries, but in most cases, they fall into a few specific categories. The following list is not meant to serve as an exhaustive accounting of all potential incidents that could lead to a catastrophic injury. However, individuals who reach out for our legal assistance regarding severe injuries are most often involved in:
- Car accidents
- Slips and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Boating accidents
- Poisoning and chemical exposure
- Sports accidents
- Animal attacks
- Motorcycle accidents
- Acts of violence
- Pedestrian accidents
Any of these incidents can result in minor harm, but they also have the potential to cause permanent disabilities and other catastrophic injuries. If this occurs, it’s possible that you’re entitled to substantial monetary compensation. Remember, this isn’t about making a quick buck off of someone else. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you’re no doubt facing massive medical bills at a time when you’re likely also dealing with lost income. Unfortunately, this financial burden typically lasts for years when it comes to injuries of this nature. This is why it’s so important to have catastrophic injury attorneys in Las Vegas on your side. You deserve every dime of compensation allowed for under the law.
Who Is At Fault for Your Personal Injury?
We’ve already discussed how liability is determined in a personal injury case. However, it’s important to note that there are often liable parties that severe injury victims wouldn’t expect. That’s because even the most seemingly straightforward cases can have liability on multiple fronts. For instance, imagine that an underage drunk driver negligently crashes their large truck into a victim’s vehicle. That driver would clearly be liable, but what if he had just left a private party where an adult served him alcohol? In such a situation, the individual who provided the alcohol may also face liability for the truck accident.
Similar situations frequently arise with premises liability cases. For instance, a criminal would clearly be to blame if they shot someone during a failed robbery attempt and the victim suffered a spinal cord injury. However, the owner of the property where the shooting occurred could also face liability. Perhaps they failed to provide adequate security or properly light their property in order to deter criminal activity. These situations may not apply to your catastrophic injury case, but they do show just how complex personal injury law can be. This is why it’s ideal to seek out experienced legal assistance to better understand the complexities of your claim.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
All catastrophic injury cases have their own unique set of circumstances. Not only are the accidents that lead to such injuries varied — ranging from auto collisions to workplace accidents — but the consequences of such incidents also differ significantly. Two individuals could experience the same accident and suffer seemingly similar physical harm, yet the two could have very different outcomes. However, most catastrophic injuries typically fall into the same list of categories. While this list is not necessarily exhaustive, it’s indicative of the most common cases a catastrophic injury lawyer in Las Vegas will come across:
- Head and brain injury
- Severe burns
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Amputation or lost limbs
- Birth injuries
- Crush injury
- Loss of senses (e.g., hearing, vision)
- Complete or partial paralysis
- Nerve or neurological damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Chemical burns
Just because your catastrophic injury case doesn’t fall into one of these categories does not mean you aren’t entitled to financial compensation. As discussed earlier, it all comes down to proving liability in your case. This matters much more than the eventual result of your catastrophic accident. However, the extent of your injury and the effect it has on your life will prove integral to your case. This is why it’s so important to work with a legal professional who has experience in these types of cases. You deserve an advocate who knows what you’re up against, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at High Stakes Injury Law.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
The type of damages a catastrophic injury victim is entitled to will depend entirely upon the circumstances of their case. In many instances, they’re entitled to reimbursement for things like lost wages, medical bills, property damage, therapeutic costs, future expenses, and other monetary losses. These are known as special damages and are meant to provide restitution for the substantial costs that come along with a life-altering injury. Victims are also often entitled to compensation for things like physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life. These non-economic damages are known as general damages.
There are also instances when liable parties may have to pay punitive damages. These are not meant to reimburse the victim of a catastrophic injury for chronic pain, lost income, or any other loss that falls under the general and special damages umbrellas. Instead, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their actions. Such court awards are relatively rare and only handed down when the liable party’s actions were willful, malicious, or otherwise seriously egregious. Having a team of seasoned trial lawyers on your side can help you through the legal process of seeking these additional damages.
Types of compensation can also vary depending on where an injury was sustained or its eventual outcome. For instance, anyone injured in a workplace accident may only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some instances where victims can sue if someone else’s negligence (besides their employer’s) led to an accident. Wrongful death cases can also lead to variations in financial recovery — but this is mostly since surviving loved ones can often seek additional compensation related to burial costs and loss of companionship. To fully understand the types of compensation available in your case, you should speak with a Las Vegas catastrophic injury lawyer today.
How Are Catastrophic Injury Claims Handled Differently?
While the laws that govern catastrophic injury claims are no different than any other personal injury claim, their life-changing nature warrants a much higher level of care. The key distinctions separating a catastrophic injury claim include:
- High Damages: Catastrophic injuries often lead to substantially higher economic and non-economic damages, encompassing present and future medical care, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, pain, and suffering.
- Long-Term Impact: These injuries have enduring consequences, affecting not only the victim but their families, necessitating a comprehensive assessment of future medical and financial needs. For this reason, it is critical that settlement negotiations take into account all future costs.
- Complex Legalities: Catastrophic injury cases involve complex legal intricacies, demanding in-depth expertise. Trial lawyers need to understand medical complexities, project long-term care costs, and anticipate the emotional toll on the victims and their loved ones.
- Insurance Challenges: Due to the high stakes, insurance companies often vigorously defend these cases. Experienced legal representation becomes crucial to navigating legal battles and securing rightful compensation.
Successfully handling a catastrophic injury case requires a specialized approach, involving experienced personal injury lawyers who can advocate effectively for the victim’s long-term well-being, addressing both immediate and future needs comprehensively.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Catastrophic injury cases are intricate and time-consuming, often requiring an extended period to ensure a thorough and fair resolution. Due to these complexities, it’s challenging to provide a precise timeframe for any case involving a life-changing injury. The duration of handling such cases can vary significantly based on several factors:
- Complexity of the Case: Catastrophic injury cases involve extensive medical records, expert testimonies, and intricate legal arguments. The complexity of the case can influence the timeline significantly.
- Investigation: Thorough investigations are paramount in catastrophic injury cases. Gathering evidence, consulting specialists, and reconstructing accidents, if applicable, demand time to build a compelling case.
- Negotiations: Negotiating with insurance companies and opposing parties for a fair settlement can be a lengthy process. Both sides often engage in negotiations to reach an agreeable settlement, which can take months or even years.
- Legal Proceedings: If a settlement isn’t reached through negotiations, the case might proceed to trial. Court schedules, discovery processes, and trial dates can extend the timeline considerably.
- Recovery Period: In catastrophic injury cases, the victim’s recovery period significantly impacts the case timeline. Legal proceedings might be delayed until the victim’s condition stabilizes, providing a clear picture of long-term medical needs and associated costs.
It’s essential to work with experienced catastrophic injury attorneys who can diligently navigate the legal process, ensuring thoroughness and persistence in pursuing rightful compensation, even if it takes an extended period to achieve a fair resolution.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
When victims of life-changing accidents are considering a personal injury claim, a deadline is likely the last thing on their minds. After all, the harm they suffered will probably last a significant amount of time — so is it too much to expect that they’ll have sufficient time to file a claim? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Nevada law creates a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. This means you’ll typically have two years to file a case, and if you fail to do so before the deadline, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover anything. As with other areas of the law, however, there are some nuances to our state’s statute of limitations.
For instance, you should discuss timelines with your Las Vegas catastrophic injury attorney if you’re a victim of medical malpractice. That’s because the statute of limitations for these cases can be as little as one year. This can make similar cases very different. For instance, a person could suffer a brain injury due to drowning in a boating accident or due to anesthesia errors at the hospital. Both injuries will probably result from a lack of oxygen to the brain, but the victim would have very different deadlines to file their cases. This and other nuances to the law can obviously make for complex catastrophic injury cases, but a personal injury attorney can help ensure you meet all required legal deadlines.
Contact a Las Vegas Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today
Everyone deserves to go about their day in relative normalcy and return home safely. Unfortunately, this sometimes becomes impossible due to the negligent, reckless, or illegal acts of others. Any physical harm can significantly affect an individual’s life, but catastrophic injuries are particularly devastating. In fact, many people spend years in physical therapy and recovery before they get back to a sense of normalcy — assuming “normal” is even a possibility. If you or a loved one were involved in such an incident, you deserve to receive the maximum compensation allowed by law. Our Las Vegas catastrophic injury attorneys can help.
At High Stakes Injury Law, our legal team is devoted to helping injured clients seek justice. We’ve spent four decades helping locals and visitors alike recover compensation for spinal cord injuries, lost limbs, disfigurement, and other severe injuries that are catastrophic in nature. We can’t guarantee that your life will ever return to what it once was, but we can promise to work diligently on your behalf if you retain our services.
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From A Top-Rated Personal Injury Attorney
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“After being in an accident my friend told me to call High Stakes Injury Law. A lawyer named Brian came to my home to meet with me and started my claim immediately. The legal team was extremely efficient, responded back to me quickly, listened to my concerns, and handled everything with speed and accuracy. Every step of the way was communicated. I received my settlement in 10 months’ time. I highly recommend using Berstein and Poisson. Thank you for helping get my life back on track.”
I Was Injured In An Accident.
What Do I Do Now?
By Scott L. Poisson
Do I Have A Case?
Dealing With The Insurance Company
When a Lawsuit Is Filed
Overcoming Common Defense Themes
Special Considerations in Specific Types of Cases