Alabama Catastrophic Injury Attorneys
The skilled and dedicated personal injury attorneys of McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP represent clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident. Our attorneys have more than 25 years combined legal experience and the resources to pursue the most challenging personal injury cases. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury due to another person’s misconduct or recklessness, you might be eligible for compensation.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is an injury that is both severe and leads to long-term disability and/or disfigurement. This type of injury might involve a difficult recovery process, multiple surgical procedures, and possibly lifetime medical follow-up. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, you might also be prevented from returning to work in your chosen profession or working at all in the future.
Catastrophic injuries are characterized by the severe nature of the damage and its aftermath. If you are injured and will require a long recovery or lifetime medical care, the injury is likely “catastrophic.” Likewise, if your injury affects your livelihood and your way of life, you would receive the same classification. An injury that prevents you from earning a living or taking care of your family would be considered catastrophic.
Catastrophic injuries also consider the consequences for your family and loved ones. Several of these injuries can put serious stress on a marriage or a family. Someone who was once independent and possibly even the primary breadwinner could now require medical care and assistance for the rest of their lives.
Injuries That Might be Considered Catastrophic
A wide variety of injuries can qualify as catastrophic injuries, depending on their severity and long-term effects. Some of the most common injuries that are characterized as catastrophic include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Loss of limbs
- Serious burns
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Disfigurement and severe scarring
Types of Catastrophic Injury Accidents
A catastrophic injury can occur in just about any type of accident. The most common are:
- Car Accidents – As many as 50 millionpeople are injured or disabled each year in car accidents, and more than 40,000 are injured each year in Alabama.
- Defective Products – Sometimes a defective product can cause a tragic accident. Whether it is a defective auto part, children’s toy, or piece of medical equipment, inadequately designed and manufactured products can be dangerous hazards that lead to catastrophic injuries.
The Difference Between a Severe Injury and a Catastrophic Injury
When you’ve sustained an injury in one of these situations, you should always consult an attorney to discuss your next steps. Often, an insurance company will try to get you to settle too soon, before you have a chance to consult with an attorney or gather the necessary evidence to support your case. Settling too soon will most often lead to settling for too little.
There is a distinct difference between a severe injury and a catastrophic injury, and this is something that may not be evident in the first weeks or months of your case. It’s possible that you could be at the beginning of a very long recovery process and could need lifetime medical care. If an insurance company tries to settle with you on the basis of a “severe injury,” you would be selling yourself short, and this isn’t something that you can’t go back and fix with the courts later.
The damages in a catastrophic injury case are much greater than those in other cases. A knowledgeable and qualified attorney will make sure that you get the proper medical care and that the parties have a thorough understanding of your case’s true value.
Measuring Loss in Catastrophic Injuries Cases
In a personal injury case, the injured party is entitled to damages for losses stemming from the accident and its impact. A catastrophic injury case, however, will generally entitle the injured party to much higher damages. This is just one of the reasons why proper representation is so important.
In Alabama, there is no limit on compensatory damages. This means that the court can award whatever it feels is appropriate to compensate you for:
- medical care (past and future)
- lost wages (past and future)
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- loss of consortium
There is a limit on punitive damages in Alabama, however. If you wish to punish the other party with financial damages, your attorney will need to prove that the other party acted with “deliberate and conscious malice.” In other words, you need to show that they injured you on purpose. If this can be proved, there is an award limit of $1,500,000 or three times compensatory damages, whichever is larger.
Preserving Catastrophic Injury Evidence
A catastrophic injury is a life-changing event both for you and your loved ones. As you concentrate on recovering from your injuries, our office will get to work preserving evidence, speaking to witnesses, consulting with experts and dealing with the insurance companies.
Alabama is one of the few states in the country that still uses the contributory negligence rule. This means that if a court decides that you are at all responsible for the accident that created your injuries, you won’t be able to recover any damages.
For this reason alone, if you feel that you’ve been injured due to someone else’s carelessness, it is especially important that you enlist the services of an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney.
Why Hire McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP For Your Alabama Catastrophic Injury Case
Finding the right legal representation for a catastrophic injury case is especially critical. The costs of long-term care and time away from work can accumulate quickly. When you require results in your case, you need the services of a highly skilled personal injury attorney.
Call McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP at 334-262-1911 or contact the firm online to schedule a free personal injury consultation. We represent clients throughout Alabama, including Montgomery, Autauga, and Elmore counties.