Birmingham Catastrophic Injury Attorney
What You Need to Know After Suffering from Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries can be life-altering for individuals and their families. Injuries such as brain damage, paralysis, severe burns, loss of vision, or loss of limbs can seriously affect a financial future. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages and losses. Hiring a Birmingham accident lawyer who specializes in catastrophic injury cases is essential.
What is Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is a personal injury that is long-term or permanent. The injuries can keep victims from performing work to support themselves or their families.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
- Spinal cord injuries are injuries resulting in paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia). These injuries may require medical procedures, long-term care, and accommodation such as ramps and lifts in a person's car or house as well as in-home care needs.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are injuries to the head that can cause brain damage resulting in loss of speech, hearing and vision issues, problems with motor skills, and memory problems. People who suffer TBI often need long-term rehabilitation to relearn basic functions. Unfortunately, some TBI are serious enough that victims never fully recover.
- Burn injuries can create long-term damages. While most burn injuries are not fatal, they can cause serious pain and health complications such as facial scarring and loss of limbs. These disfiguring injuries often make painful surgeries and skin grafts necessary. The scarring can cause negative psychological consequences for burn victims.
Who is Liable for Catastrophic Injuries in an Accident in Birmingham?
Catastrophic injuries have many causes. In obvious cases such as where a vehicle driver was driving intoxicated, or where a property owner did not maintain the properties, there are clear liabilities for catastrophic injuries. Most liabilities are straight-forward with negligence where the defendant is fully liable, but there can be also contributory negligence situations where the plaintiff is partially responsible for injuries. An example would be in the situation of a homeowner who was careless with leaving a pool gate open and an intoxicated guest who decided to go swimming. Leaving a pool gate open is negligence on the homeowner's part, but the guest should have had the responsibility to not swim.
Will Insurance Coverage Be Enough?
Whether or not insurance coverage is enough to fully cover your injuries greatly depends on the policy you have purchased. Unfortunately, standard insurance coverage isn’t always enough to cover catastrophic injuries. For example, as a driver, you should be aware of two different types of insurance coverage – standard insurance and uninsured motor accident coverage. In the state of Alabama, the law requires everyone who operates a motor vehicle to have both a minimum of $25,000/person accident coverage (or $50,000 per accident) and $25,000 in property damage coverage. However, not all motorists obey this rule, and many have inadequate insurance coverage as a result. While uninsured motorist insurance will certainly aid in helping to compensate for lack of insurance coverage on the part of the other driver, hiring a personal injury attorney is the only sure-fire way that you’ll be able to successfully maneuver through the complexities surrounding insurance coverage, vehicle accidents, and liability.
How Long Should I Wait to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Alabama?
The personal injury statute of limitations is two years to file a lawsuit. Hiring a catastrophic personal injury attorney as soon as you are able is advisable.
How Much Can I Expect from a Lawsuit?
In Alabama, there are no limits on compensation for personal catastrophic injury cases against private individuals. Your ability to recover compensation may be limited if you have contributory negligence. If a judge decides you have contributory negligence, then your compensation can be smaller or be denied entirely. In the example of the homeowner who leaves the pool gate open and the intoxicated guest, a judge or jury may decide the guest was 25% responsible for contributory negligence and give the guest a lower settlement.
There are also limits to personal injury cases in Alabama if the defendant is a municipality such as a city, town, or county. The limitation in these situations is $100,000. If you've been affected by a life-changing catastrophic injury, don't hesitate to contact the attorneys at Guster Law Firm, LLC at (205) 386-6844.