Catastrophic Injury Attorneys in Houston Can Help You Get Justice
Any personal injury attorney will tell you that accidents can happen at any time. Texas emergency rooms see millions of patients every year, and oftentimes, the people they see have experienced severe injuries that require extensive treatment. However, most accident victims are able to recover over time. This isn’t typically the case when a catastrophic injury occurs. Such injuries cause permanent losses—such as the loss of mobility or of one of the human senses. When an accident leads to such severe harm, it’s important to seek out a catastrophic injury lawyer in Houston who can advocate for you or your loved one.
It’s an unfortunate reality, but a momentary instance of negligence on the part of another party can lead to a permanent disability or long-term harm for victims. Thanks to Texas law, though, you don’t have to face this new world on your own. A caring Houston personal injury attorney could aid you in demanding compensation for your losses and holding any liable parties accountable for their actions. Reach out to the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown today and let us help you figure out the best possible outcome in your case.
What is Catastrophic Harm?
For a catastrophic injury case to be successful, some form of catastrophic harm must have occurred. The state of Texas uses Public Health and Welfare § 3796b to define catastrophic harm as damages caused by negligence or a violation of a duty of care by the responsible party that was preventable. Catastrophic injury cases fall under personal injury law, but the damage that occurs and potential compensatory damages typically far exceed a traditional personal injury claim.
Because of this, you can usually expect extensive pushback from an insurance company. If their policyholder is found to be responsible for such an injury, they could end up paying for a lifetime of damages. This is not something they want to do, so they’ll often offer a quick settlement amount that may barely put a dent in the overall losses you’ll eventually experience. Their goal is to settle your case before the full severity of an injury becomes apparent—and before you have time to contact a Houston catastrophic injury lawyer.
Don’t fall into this trap. Never speak with an insurance company after you suffer catastrophic injuries before contacting an experienced law firm. Doing so can leave you facing detrimental financial outcomes while dealing with life-threatening and permanent damage. Reach out to a personal injury attorney the moment you have a chance. This decision could literally determine the trajectory of the remainder of your life.
Catastrophic Injuries and Standard Losses
People who suffer from severe harm often have opportunities to pursue greater compensation than those who suffer from standard damages. Standard injuries do not have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to live a comfortable life after a recovery period. This doesn’t mean such personal injuries can’t be severe—they very much can. For instance, you could suffer a back injury that causes pain preventing you from working—thus leading to lost wages on top of medical bills—for two years after an accident. What makes such an injury standard is the fact that you’re eventually able to return to a normal life.
The outcome of a catastrophic injury is very different. It’s unlikely that accident victims will ever be able to return to the life they once had. This could mean anything from never being able to walk again to suffering disfigurement that cannot heal. Damages that are frequently categorized as catastrophic include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Third-degree burns
- Spinal cord injury
- Injuries that require amputations
- Facial injuries and scarring
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Harm to an infant
Any of these can lead to a catastrophic injury claim, and such injuries are different than standard harm in more than just name. During a personal injury lawsuit, a judge or jury will typically decide how much compensation will help a person get back to normal. This can include money to cover physical therapy, counseling sessions, and reimbursement for lost wages. All of these things will be considered with catastrophic injuries as well, but the judge and jury realize there is no “back to normal” for the victim. This typically means court awards include much higher damages paid out.
While most personal injury cases get settled outside of court, there’s an increased likelihood that accidents involving spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic harm could go to trial. A fair settlement offer from the insurance company is less likely considering the extent of the damage caused to the victim. Houston catastrophic injury lawyers can certainly still get a fair settlement, but it’s important to have a trial attorney on your side just in case your claim ends up in the courtroom.
Liability in Severe Accidents in Houston
People who have suffered significant losses after an accident might feel as though they have lost control of their lives. While even a fair settlement or court award may not give you your life back, it can help you better cope with your new life. In order to secure fair compensation following catastrophic injuries, though, liability must first be assessed. Texas law allows accident victims to receive monetary value for the harm caused, but this is only when the at-fault party’s negligence is established.
To do this, three factors must be proven in Texas courts:
- Duty of care: It must be proven that a duty of care existed when catastrophic injuries occurred. Such a duty will vary by case. For instance, a doctor has a duty of medical care that says they must follow best practices. Similarly, property owners have a duty of care to keep a safe property.
- Violation of duty of care: It must be proven that the duty of care was violated. A Houston catastrophic injury attorney can prove invaluable in this process. A violation of care could be anything from a doctor not monitoring patients during anesthesia to property owners failing to repair broken stairs.
- Harm caused by violation: It must be proven that failing to uphold a duty of care is what leads to catastrophic injuries. For instance, a property owner failing to repair steps would not matter if a victim wasn’t injured because of the broken stairs. There must be a direct causal relationship for liability to exist.
Houston catastrophic injury attorneys see such accidents every day. Even the most seemingly mundane accidents can lead to life-changing injuries. Considering there are over 17,000 new spinal cord injuries yearly in the U.S., it’s clear that catastrophic injuries are far from uncommon. Even if you think you may have contributed to your accident in some way, you should still contact a Houston personal injury lawyer. Texas is a comparative negligence state, so it’s possible to recover damages even if you were partially responsible for the incident.
Don’t wait to reach out for help. The Texas statute of limitations bars catastrophic injury claims after two years, and procrastination will interfere with your lawyer’s ability to seek compensation on your behalf.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury, you may wonder whether you need an attorney at all. This can be a difficult decision to make—particularly if you think it’s clear who the at-fault party is. Unfortunately, you’re still doing yourself a disservice by not contacting an attorney to handle your personal injury case. Even though it may not seem like justice, statistics show that having legal representation increases the odds that a victim that suffered a catastrophic injury will receive fair compensation.
This is true for a variety of reasons. To start, a catastrophic injury attorney has extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. Adjusters can’t mislead a legal professional into thinking you should get less than you deserve. Additionally, a lawyer has extensive resources that can help prove your case. The average person doesn’t have access to private investigators, expert testimony, legal research teams, and other resources. The average person also typically doesn’t have experience arguing Texas law in the courtroom, but a trial attorney does.
Simply having a Houston catastrophic injury lawyer on your side can greatly increase your odds of success, but that is far from where the benefits end. In fact, the most important advantage of having a team of personal injury attorneys on your side is simply being able to focus on healing. You have a lot to contend with in the years to come—whether you’re the injured person or you lost a loved one in a wrongful death case—and you shouldn’t have to deal with insurers and complex legal processes on your own. With an experienced attorney on your side, you won’t have to.
Get Help From a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Houston Today
Recovering from a catastrophic injury is going to feel frustrating and devastating in your life. The medical expenses alone can create tremendous hardships, but medical bills often pale in comparison to the personal losses suffered. A single moment that leads to a car accident, animal attack, workplace injury, or another traumatic accident can change your life forever. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these difficulties on your own. If another party’s negligence led to your accident, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
At the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown, we’ve had many people who suffered catastrophic injuries—and their loved ones—come through our doors. We know how detrimental such an accident can be, and we’re ready to help ensure you receive justice. Our law firm can help classify your accident, identify all liable parties, and assist you with filing a claim to recover compensation. Don’t waste time and risk the loss of evidence or letting the statute of limitations expire. Contact us by calling (713) 714-6206 today for a free consultation, and let a catastrophic injury lawyer in Houston help you get justice.