Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
It is difficult to put into words the wide-ranging impact a catastrophic injury can have on someone’s life and the lives of those close to them. Work, socializing, and daily activities might never be the same for most people who suffer catastrophic injuries. While money cannot always replace all you have lost, seeking compensation from the at-fault party could help give you a sense of financial stability and ensure your medical needs are met.
If someone else’s negligent actions resulted in serious injuries to you or someone close to you, talk to an experienced New Mexico personal injury lawyer today. You may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions and recover valuable compensation for your injuries.
At Parnall Law Firm, we know this is a sensitive and challenging time for you. While we can’t promise that your case will be a slam dunk, we can promise that you will be 100 percent satisfied with how we treat you and your case. With more than $250 million in verdicts and settlements under our belt, we want to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our New Mexico catastrophic injury attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.
What Are Examples of Catastrophic Injuries?
Settling on a single definition of what constitutes a “catastrophic injury” can be challenging. An injury that seems catastrophic to one person may seem minor to someone else, and vice versa, depending on their careers, responsibilities, and lifestyles.
Generally, a catastrophic injury is defined as an injury so severe that it results in some type of permanent damage. Many laws, including at the federal level, also specify that a catastrophic injury renders the victim incapable of maintaining gainful employment. In this context, “gainful employment” is typically understood as stable employment that provides enough income for self-sufficiency.
Certain types of serious injuries are often presumed to be “catastrophic,” absent clear evidence to the contrary. Examples include severe injuries that result in blindness, paraplegia, or quadriplegia.
Types of Serious Injuries in New Mexico
Other examples of serious injuries that may be considered catastrophic due to their potentially life-altering impact include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Loss of hearing
- Extensive burns or disfigurement
No two catastrophic injuries are identical, but these injuries do have several important commonalities aside from their effects on employment. Those who suffer catastrophic injuries nearly always require costly medical care, immediately and in the long term. Many also suffer substantial declines in their quality and enjoyment of life. Victims who are injured through no fault of their own deserve fair compensation for their suffering, and a catastrophic injury claim may help them recover it.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Catastrophic Injury?
The law generally expects us to behave in a way that does not harm others. This legal responsibility can take many forms, such as adhering to the rules of the road while driving, keeping one’s property safe for guests, or following certain professional standards.
Others can get hurt when people or organizations fail to uphold their legal responsibilities. In this case, they may be considered negligent, and liable for the injured party’s losses. Holding someone liable means holding them responsible for their actions and, in the context of a personal injury case, demanding financial compensation for any harm they caused.
Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the events that led to the injury, any of the following parties may be held liable in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit:
- A car or truck driver
- A motorcyclist
- A cyclist or pedestrian
- A property owner
- A social host
- A facility administrator
Proving Someone Else Was Negligent for Your Catastrophic Injuries
To prove that someone else was responsible for your injuries and that they should be responsible for compensating you, you must first prove that the at-fault party was supposed to behave in a certain way and then didn’t. For example, all motorists are required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. If a driver is speeding and causes an accident, their actions may show negligence.
You’ll also have to show that the accident caused your catastrophic injuries and that those injuries resulted in measurable losses. There must be sufficient evidence to support your claim, too. A catastrophic injury attorney in New Mexico can be instrumental in helping you gather the evidence and documentation you need to establish negligence and liability after a catastrophic injury-causing accident.
How Do I Make a Catastrophic Injury Claim in New Mexico?
Before you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit after a catastrophic injury, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a trusted catastrophic injury lawyer in New Mexico. It is ultimately up to you which legal avenue you pursue, but a knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand your options and make an informed decision with your particular goals in mind.
In many cases, injury victims can recover the compensation they are owed by filing claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This may be the case after car accidents, slips and falls, and incidents of medical malpractice.
To begin the process of filing an insurance claim after a catastrophic injury, you should:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to have your catastrophic injuries diagnosed, treated, and included in your medical records.
- Follow your doctor’s care plan and attend all follow-up appointments.
- Gather evidence and information for your claim, including photos of the accident scene, insurance information from the other party, and eyewitness statements.
- Keep track of medical bills, healthcare records, pay stubs, bank records, and any other documentation of your injury-related expenses or financial losses.
- Watch what you say to the other party and the insurance company after the accident, as anything you say could be used against you.
- Avoid posting or sharing anything on social media while your claim is pending.
- Contact an experienced New Mexico catastrophic injury lawyer for reliable legal guidance.
A seasoned attorney can conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf and collect evidence to support your claim, then turn this information into a compelling argument to take to the negotiating table. Your lawyer can also communicate and negotiate with other parties on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, your attorney may suggest proceeding with a personal injury lawsuit as the next step.
What Is the Average Catastrophic Injury Settlement Amount?
The value of a catastrophic injury claim depends on a variety of factors. Every case is different.
Some factors that can influence the value of a claim include:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Need for prosthetic devices
- Need for adaptive appliances or medical equipment
- Need for household renovations for accessibility
- Need for a personal aide or medical assistance
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It is crucial that you talk to an attorney before you accept any settlement offer. A speedy insurance settlement may not account for your future needs, leaving you in a potentially compromising financial situation. A catastrophic injury lawyer can give you a better idea of the potential value of your claim and help you demand the compensation you are owed.
What Types of Compensation Are Available After a Catastrophic Injury?
Although the value of your claim can vary considerably depending on the circumstances, you can typically expect to recover money for the following types of catastrophic injury-related losses:
- Medical expenses you incur because of your catastrophic injury
- Incidental costs, such as mileage expenses for medical appointments
- Lost wages, benefits, and bonuses from any time you missed at work
- Loss of future earning capacity, if your injuries are permanently disabling
- The intangible costs of your pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
In rare cases, a special type of compensation known as punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are awarded in personal injury lawsuits involving at-fault parties who act with intentional malice or extreme recklessness. Courts sometimes order at-fault parties to pay punitive damages to punish wrongdoing and discourage similar behavior in the future.
How Long Does a Catastrophic Injury Claim Take in New Mexico?
Every personal injury case is different, so there’s no way to tell exactly how long a particular claim will take. Catastrophic injury claims often involve a lengthy recovery and extensive financial costs, so the timeline can be even more unpredictable.
Catastrophic injury claims are more complex cases that may take several months or even years to resolve. The timeline of a case may also depend on who is at fault, whether the case goes to trial and the willingness of all parties involved to settle out of court. A settlement is an agreement between both parties to end the claim before it goes to trial in exchange for a sum of money.
Contact the Catastrophic Injury Lawyers at Parnall Law Firm for Help Today
Have you been catastrophically injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? The catastrophic injury lawyers at Parnall Law Firm have been representing New Mexico accident victims since 1997. Our team will help you explore all your legal options. We will also fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Contact our team online for your free legal consultation today. Remember, when you’re hurt, call Bert.