A personal injury occurs whenever one party causes harm to another party through some form of negligence or illegal misconduct. The victim in this situation has the right to seek compensation for the damages the at-fault party caused, including both economic and non-economic damages. While most victims of personal injuries in Orange County are able to eventually fully recover from their injuries, this is unfortunately not the case for every victim. A personal injury qualifies as catastrophic when it causes permanent or fatal harm to the victim.
Types of catastrophic injury claims in Orange County
When you need to bring a personal injury claim in Orange County for a catastrophic injury, it is vital to choose an attorney who has solid experience handling cases similar to yours. At The Bertch Firm, our team can help with various types of catastrophic injury claims, including:
- Wrongful death claims – Unfortunately, some victims of significant accidents do not survive. A wrongful death claim functionally replaces a personal injury claim if the victim dies due to the actions of another party. The victim’s family receives the proceeds from a successful wrongful death suit.
- Amputation injuries – The loss of an arm or leg is a life-changing injury that not only imposes a host of physical complications on the victim but also severe psychological distress. The victim of this type of injury has the right to seek compensation for their immediate and future damages resulting from the incident, including loss of their ability to work and support themselves and their family.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A traumatic brain injury can be difficult to treat and the long term effects of such injuries are often unpredictable. Some brain injuries appear to recover completely, while others leave victims profoundly disabled A brain injury can have a delayed effect in terms of the symptoms it causes.
- Spinal cord injuries – Any spinal cord injury can cause permanent paralysis. Whenever the spinal cord suffers a complete injury that severs the cord, this impairs the brain’s connection to the nervous system below the injury site. The spinal cord does not self-repair like the rest of the body, so this injury is often permanent.
- Degloving injuries – These brutal injuries involve the skin becoming detached from the underlying tissue. These shearing injuries often occur from vehicle accidents and other highly traumatic incidents. They usually require extensive reconstruction surgery and have a high chance of resulting in permanent disfigurement and disabilities.
- Internal organ injuries – Injuries to organs such as the eyes, eardrums, heart, liver, spleen or lungs. These injuries can potentially result in permanent loss of vision or hearing or impose permanent medical complications that disrupt respiratory or cardiovascular functions.
- Burn injuries – A burn is not only incredibly painful, but it also can cause permanent harm. Victims may suffer disfigurement over large regions of the body, suffer nerve damage and reduced mobility, and experience a wide range of psychological effects from these injuries.
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – This is a complex medical condition that can arise from various possible causes and is very difficult to treat. CRPS is typically characterized by inflammation and nerve damage in a region of the body that causes pain and discomfort, often interfering with the victim’s ability to work and live independently.
- Orthopedic injuries – This is an injury to the musculoskeletal system, such as a severe soft tissue injury or bone fracture. While some victims of orthopedic injuries make full recoveries, others are not as fortunate and experience a host of long-term or permanent complications from their injuries.
Successfully securing a settlement for any catastrophic injury claim in Orange County requires proof that the defendant directly caused the injury. Catastrophic injuries may occur from motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, violent crime, and a host of other possible causes. Your Orange County catastrophic injury attorney can assist you in gathering the evidence needed to firmly establish liability for the injury you suffered and then guide you through the process of collecting compensation for your damages.
Recovering maximum compensation for a catastrophic injury in Orange County
The primary goal of any personal injury claim is for the victim to recover maximum compensation for the losses caused by the defendant’s actions, including compensation for medical expenses and long-term medical care when they will require ongoing rehabilitative care. Many victims of catastrophic injuries develop permanent disabilities that require in-home care and assistance with daily tasks for the rest of their lives. It is common for them to be unable to work and earn income as well. The defendant is also liable for these lost wages and lost future earning capacity.
Beyond economic damages, the victim may also seek compensation for their pain and suffering. There is no limit to the amount a plaintiff can claim in most personal injury cases, so this could be a significant portion of your recovery if you have suffered a life-changing catastrophic injury.
The right attorney is an invaluable asset for any type of catastrophic injury claim in Orange County. Even if you think the fault for your damages is perfectly clear, the reality is that any claim can escalate into a significant legal battle that you may not be able to successfully navigate on your own. When you choose The Bertch Firm to represent your case, you can approach your proceedings with peace of mind due to our contingency fee policy; we only collect a fee for our services if and when we win your case, and you owe nothing if we are unsuccessful with your claim. Contact The Bertch Firm today to set up a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we can offer for your catastrophic injury case in Orange County.
What damages am I entitled to recover as a result of my catastrophic injury accident?
In California, a responsible party is required to provide compensation to an injured person for all harm that was caused by their negligence or wrongdoing. This includes medical bills, loss of earnings and earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, disfigurement, grief, anxiety, and humiliation. It also includes property damage, loss of use (rental car expenses) and diminution in value (loss of value of your vehicle as a result of an accident). Under limited circumstances, it may also include punitive damages to punish the defendant for their negligence or wrongdoing, if the evidence establishes that the defendant acted intentionally, recklessly or with malice, fraud or oppression. See Civil Code §3294. In order to recover damages, you will need to make a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible party. An experienced attorney at The Bertch Firm possesses the knowledge, training, skill and experience to pursue justice for you and secure maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered.
How much is my catastrophic injury case worth?
Every case is unique and must be evaluated in light of the specific circumstances giving rise to your injury. The value of your case depends on many factors including the liability of the defendant, any comparative fault of your own in causing your injuries, and the nature and extent of all of the harm suffered by you as a result of the incident, including damages for bodily injury, loss of earnings and earning capacity, property damage, general damages (e.g. pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, anxiety, inconvenience, grief, humiliation, and disfigurement) and punitive damages.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a catastrophic injury accident?
In California, the statute of limitations for all personal injury claims, including catastrophic injury accidents, is two years from the date the incident occurred. This is known as the statute of limitations. (See Code of Civil Procedure §§335-349.4) Code of Civil Procedure §§335-335.1 states that “the periods prescribed for the commencement of actions other than for the recovery of real property, are…[w]ithin two years: an action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.”
However, there may be exceptions to this rule which shorten or extend the time for you to file a lawsuit. In most cases, a lawsuit cannot be brought if more than two years has passed since the date of the incident. In limited situations, the time to file a lawsuit may be longer than two years. For example, if the claimant is a minor, they must file a lawsuit within two years of their eighteenth birthday. In other situations, the time to file a lawsuit may be shorter than two years. For example, if your injury occurs as a result of wrongdoing or negligence of a public or government entity, you must submit a claim to the appropriate government entity within six months, even if the claimant is a minor. We strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney at your earliest opportunity to ensure your rights to bring a lawsuit to recover damages for the harm you have suffered are protected.
The Bertch Firm Difference
Personalized attention for your catastrophic injury accident claim
At The Bertch Firm, each case is overseen and prosecuted by a licensed attorney, not a paralegal or case manager. The Bertch Firm has experience with many different types of accidents, including catastrophic injury accidents. An experienced attorney can help you gather and preserve crucial evidence for your catastrophic injury accident claim. Contact The Bertch Firm today and experience The Bertch Firm difference when you hire us to represent you for your injury claim.
Contact The Bertch Firm today
For further information about your catastrophic injury accident claim
The Bertch Firm has represented many people who have been injured as a result of catastrophic injury accidents. For further information about your potential case as a result of a catastrophic injury accident, contact an attorney at The Bertch Firm today for a free consultation.