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Who Can Be Held Liable for a Catastrophic Injury?

Posted on Wed Jun 17, 2020, on Estate Planning

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Catastrophic Injury? If you or someone you know has been involved in a catastrophic accident, it can not only be devastating physically and emotionally but financially, as well. It is common to want the responsible party to be accountable for the injuries. However, who is liable may not be a straightforward answer. It may be necessary to contact a personal injury attorney to recover the full amount of damages due to the injured party.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is one that occurs suddenly and leaves the victim with permanent, debilitating injuries. The injured person may not recover fully, live independently, or provide for themselves ever again. Most people think of traumatic brain injuries when they hear the term catastrophic injury, but it can also include injuries such as:

  • Extensive or severe burns
  • Disfigurement or loss of limbs
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Injuries to the spinal cord 
  • Loss of sight
  • Paralysis

Aside from the ones described above, any injury that requires a lengthy recovery, multiple surgeries, or an irreversible physical or cognitive change is considered catastrophic. Who Can Be Held Liable for a Catastrophic Injury?

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Catastrophic Injury?

Determining liability and recovering damages can significantly affect the level of care available to the injured. In general, there are two levels of damages. Economic damages reimburse the injured for all current and future medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages are for injuries like pain and suffering and emotional trauma.

If you have received a catastrophic injury, the liability may be shared by multiple parties. For instance, if a drunk driver caused the accident, the person or business that overserved the impaired driver may also be held liable. If the at-fault driver was impaired while driving a company vehicle, their employer might even share some liability. If you were injured on private property, the property owner might be at fault.

Manufacturers may also be held liable in some cases. The devastating and sometimes lethal injuries caused by Takata airbags spawned class-action lawsuits against the product’s makers. Phillip Morris tobacco company was held liable in 2002 for injuries and deaths from cigarette use. In 1998, Dow Corning was successfully sued for defective breast implants.

How Do I Get Help?

The chain of liability may not always be apparent to those unfamiliar with personal or catastrophic injury law. If you or a family member has been a victim of a catastrophic injury, reach out to a personal injury attorney in your state. They can help you determine who can be legally responsible for the injury and help you recover damages. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Melbourne, FL, like Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC, to have your questions answered. Who Can Be Held Liable for a Catastrophic Injury

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