Catastrophic Injury Accident Lawyer in Ocala, Florida
When you are involved in an accident, your life can change instantly. Your best hope when you are seriously injured is that you can eventually make a full recovery from your injuries. However, some injuries are so serious that they are permanent. As an accident victim, you will lose some function or use of part of your body permanently.
If someone else was to blame for the accident that permanently injured you, they should have to pay for your losses in a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. First, you need to contact an experienced attorney who will work to get you the compensation that you need for the rest of your life.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our injured clients. If you need to discuss your legal options after a catastrophic injury, reach out today for a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries in Ocala
Catastrophic injuries can happen as a result of any serious accident, including:
- Car accidents at dangerous intersections like SW 27th Avenue and SW College Road
- Medical malpractice at HCA Florida Ocala Hospital
- Slip and falls in Publix or another store
- Fires on the job
- Swimming pool accidents at Ocala Aquatics or private pools
- Premises liability injuries at Paddock Mall
- Motorcycle accidents on I-75
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
All it takes is one moment of impact to change the course of the rest of your life.
Catastrophic Injuries Often Happen Because Someone Did Something Wrong
In all of these cases, the injury was preventable and did not have to happen had someone done what they should have. That is part of the injustice of catastrophic injuries – you would not have suffered such drastic life changes had someone else done the right thing.
While money will not undo what happened, it is all that you can do to hold someone else responsible for what they did to you. Your catastrophic injury lawsuit or claim may be your only chance to get money for the rest of your life. You may no longer work or bring in income, and the person responsible for the accident will have to compensate for your damages and lost wages.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury is essentially the same as any permanent injury that takes away some of your function or the use of a limb.
Here are some examples of catastrophic injuries:
- Spinal cord injuries – Sudden trauma to the spinal cord or compression can cause permanent injury that can cost an accident victim some or all of the use of their limbs and body. SCI victims can suffer a complete or incomplete injury.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A blow to the head or violent movement of the brain can cause serious injury to a region of the brain that controls a vital function. The brain does not recover from injuries like other body parts, even after surgery or rehabilitation. TBI victims may lose the ability to speak, concentrate or control their movement.
- Organ damage – Internal injuries from the impact of an accident can seriously damage an organ. For example, an accident victim can suffer a ruptured spleen or a lacerated kidney.
- Burns – Serious burns require many skin grafts and years of treatments, and the burn victim can still have permanent scarring and disfigurement from their injuries.
- Amputations – Some serious accidents can lead to limb loss, permanently costing you function and causing disability. For example, losing a leg can keep you from working again.
Before you seek compensation for a catastrophic injury, you might need to reach the point of maximum medical improvement. At this point, you have made as much improvement as possible, given your injuries and all the potential treatments. Once you reach this point, you may find that certain things may no longer be possible because you will not be the same, including working and some hobbies.
You Must Prove Negligence to Get Critical Financial Compensation
To get compensation for a catastrophic injury, you must prove that someone else was responsible for the accident. Demonstrating liability is the first part of the legal process. The legal standard that you must meet is called negligence.
When someone was negligent, the party failed to exercise the due care necessary under the circumstances. They are often careless, but negligence can also mean other actions that fall short of what is reasonable under the circumstances.
From your standpoint, there is not much that you can do besides contact an attorney. When dealing with a catastrophic injury, your ability to do anything is limited. Your role should get medical help and follow what the doctor says.
The insurance company will review your medical records, and they may penalize you if they think you are not getting the medical care necessary to treat your injuries. The Catch-22 is that they are also trying to get out of paying for that medical care in full.
In addition, you should also document everything that you have experienced since the accident. Your description and documentation of your experience can be helpful when you are seeking compensation.
If you cannot document things, you should have a family member do it for you. The insurance company will do everything they can to take you out of the picture and replace you with facts and figures that have nothing to do with your situation.
Medical Costs Are Extremely High in Catastrophic Injuries
Since a catastrophic injury is most often permanent, you likely need medical care far into the future. One trap that some catastrophic injury victims fall into is that they do not anticipate how much their medical care will cost in the future. Once you receive a settlement, the health insurance company does not have to pay for your medical costs – the defendant must cover them.
If you do not take the time to fully think through your situation, you might not seek enough money to cover other vital things, such as the lost wages you can no longer earn. Once you sign a settlement agreement, you cannot go back for more money – it is the end of your legal right to compensation.
Valuing your claim is one of the many reasons why you need to see an attorney at the outset of your claim. When you have such a serious injury, you just know that the defendant will owe you a lot of money. However, you may not fully anticipate all the costs of your injury.
- The lifetime cost of treatment for a traumatic brain injury can be between $85,000 to $3 million, with in-hospital costs alone reaching $400,000
- Treatment of spinal cord injuries can reach $5 million, depending on the injury’s severity and the accident victim’s age.
- Any serious injury can involve tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs, including surgery and rehabilitation. Your initial costs are just part of what you will have to pay.
- The costs of medical care increase even faster than the rate of inflation, which is already higher these days.
Pain and Suffering Are Also Large Parts of Your Damages
Catastrophic injuries will stay with you years into the future, but the time to get the money you need is now. Never take the task of estimating your damages lightly. Instead, it takes precision and a great deal of effort from someone familiar with catastrophic injuries and the principles of financial compensation.
Medical costs are a large part of your catastrophic injury damages, but they are far from the only part. Another major part of your damages is pain and suffering.
Living with a severe and permanent injury can cause many effects on you, including:
- Depression that comes from knowing that you may never be the same physically again
- The physical pain that can be constant
- The loss of enjoyment of the life that you had before someone else’s negligence injured you
- The permanent scarring and disfigurement from your injuries
- The humiliation and shame that you may feel from your current condition
Do not underestimate how much you can recover in pain and suffering damages because the insurance company will definitely underestimate them. The adjuster may minimize the severity of your injury or dispute your claimed damages. The insurance company does not live your life, and their so-called objective formulas do not displace or negate your personal experience. You need a lawyer to tell your story and what you have experienced since the accident.
How a Catastrophic Injury Attorney Helps You
A catastrophic injury is a situation where you should never try to engage in the legal process yourself. You do not need to handle these details while dealing with a life-changing injury, nor should you try. All you need to do is call an experienced attorney, who will do all the work. You will make legal decisions in consultation with your lawyer.
Once you hire a lawyer after your initial consultation, your attorney can:
- Get to the bottom of what happened to figure out who should be responsible (naming all possible defendants, so there are more potential insurance policies and assets to pay what may be a large settlement)
- Gather all necessary evidence because you need to prove someone’s liability to deserve financial compensation
- Review your situation and consult experts to learn the exact value of your case, which you will use as a starting point in settlement negotiations or a lawsuit
Once your attorney does the legwork, you will be in a position to seek compensation. In most personal injury cases, an insurance company is involved, whether an auto or business insurance company. Regardless of what they insure, all these companies operate using the same principles – profits above all else, even if it affects an injured claimant.
How to Get Compensation for Severe Injuries
To obtain financial compensation after a catastrophic injury, you may:
- File a claim directly with the insurance company and negotiate a settlement agreement
- File a lawsuit in court, which will either lead to a trial or a settlement agreement (you will still be dealing with the insurance company, which has a legal obligation to defend the policyholder)
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, you need to know that you have an aggressive and experienced lawyer on your side. There is too much on the line to spare and effort and resources. Otherwise, you will come to regret it in the future when you run out of money. Insurance policies exist for this exact reason – to cover all your damages up to the policy limit.
Valuing Your Catastrophic Injury Case Is Critical
Your lawyer will know the value of your case and will advise you to reject any offer that does not fairly pay you for your injuries. Catastrophic injury claims can be worth millions of dollars due to the nature and extent of your injuries. While a large settlement offer may seem appealing, everything is relative in a catastrophic injury case.
In many cases, a $1 million check can drastically underpay you for your damages. From the insurance company’s standpoint, they will gladly pay you $1 million if your claim is worth $2 million. For them, this is good business. For you, it is a critical mistake that our lawyers will not make.
Contact an Ocala Catastrophic Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, never wait to act. Medical costs may be piling up while key evidence may be disappearing. The attorneys at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. have extensive experience in catastrophic injury cases. For us, every case is a high-stakes matter because you are our client, and your future is on the line. To learn how we can help you, contact us online or call us today at (352) 377-9000 for your free initial consultation.
1521 S Pine Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471
My experience was more than great, from the moment I acquired about their services to the moment my case was finalized and settled, there was steady communication, and I was consistently in the loop. They explain things to you in a way that you can understand and ensure that you are involved in the decision making. Everyone is super kind and stays in contact with you even after settling. They truly care about your well being and I will definitely keep them at the top of the list for any other cases.