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California Catastrophic Accident Injury Attorneys

California Catastrophic Injury Accident Attorney

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Catastrophic injuries are distinct from minor injuries in that they often cause long-term disability. Victims who suffer catastrophic injuries must often contend with multiple surgeries, lengthy hospitalizations, and severe pain. Essentially, a catastrophic injury may cause a victim to lose the ability to support their family members. Sometimes those who suffer catastrophic injuries suffer from depression and anxiety due to the psychological distress caused by the accident.

Reaching out to a catastrophic injury accident attorney in California can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. Common catastrophic injury accidents include the following:

  • Sporting event accidents
  • Manufacturing incidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Pool accidents
  • Automobile accidents

Negligence or reckless conduct are the two primary causes of catastrophic injury accidents in the State of California. Individuals who suffer injuries during these accidents often need to establish the four elements of negligence–duty, breach, causation, and damages–to recover financial compensation for their injuries.

Common Catastrophic Injuries in California

Prospective clients often want to know which types of injuries constitute catastrophic injuries in the State of California. Numerous accidents and medical conditions may be considered catastrophic depending on the facts and circumstances associated with the case. Three of the most common catastrophic injuries are traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and severe burns. The following are some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries which occur in California:

  • Explosions
  • Defective products
  • Medication errors
  • Organ damage and/or failure
  • Industrial workplace accidents
  • Domestic violence
  • Chemical burns
  • Fire burns
  • Amputation
  • Chemical exposure
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents

Some catastrophic injuries will heal and victims can regain normal functionality. However, other victims will experience catastrophic injuries and suffer temporary or permanent disability. Many victims do not know the extent of their injuries until they see a medical specialist after the accident. Also, many victims can suffer blindness and deafness due to their injuries. A catastrophic personal injury attorney can help you with every aspect of your civil case.

The Types of Damages Accident Victims May Claim In Products Liability Cases

Individual victims often claim general damages and special damages in a wrongful death case. Punitive damages are sometimes claimed if the defendant engaged in malicious, willful, or wanton conduct. These categories of damages make it easier for the trier of fact to assign fault and determine the amount of damages appropriate in a specific case.

Special damages are quantifiable and can be substantiated by documentary evidence such as medical bills, automobile repair bills, and lost earnings. General damages, however, are more subjective and depend on the degree of pain, suffering, and loss experienced by the plaintiff.

Punitive damages are reserved for cases in which the defendant acted maliciously or wantonly. Essentially, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and to deter the defendant from committing the same egregious conduct in the future.

Prospective clients sometimes have difficulty ascertaining what these different types of damages mean relative to their injuries. Retaining a catastrophic injury attorney in California is one of the best ways to know which types of damages will be relevant to your case.

Defining “Catastrophic” Injuries in the State of California

No exact definition of catastrophic injury exists under California law. However, catastrophic injuries are distinguished by their severity and the degree of harm suffered by the accident victim. Oftentimes catastrophic injuries occur in industrial environments such as factories and warehouses. Automobile accidents are often common causes of catastrophic injuries in California. A catastrophic accident attorney will understand how best to determine if your case is a catastrophic injury case.

The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Actions in California

Personal injury actions in California have a two-year statute of limitations period. Accident victims have two years from the date of the injury to file a civil lawsuit. Some exceptions will toll the statute of limitations, but most victims will lose their ability to seek financial compensation for their injuries if they do not bring a civil lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations period.

The statute of limitations period exists to prevent a party from bringing a civil lawsuit decades after the injury occurred. During this time evidence may be destroyed or become lost, and therefore it can be difficult to determine which parties may be liable for an accident victim’s injuries. Therefore, plaintiffs cannot rest on their rights, and they must be vigilant about bringing their claims before the statute of limitations period expires.

Gathering Evidence For Your Catastrophic Injury Case

Catastrophic injury attorneys understand how important evidence is to any personal injury case. The documentary evidence which may be relevant to your case includes the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Photographs of injuries
  • Video recordings of the accident scene
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Expert witness reports

The evidence which will be important to your case needs to be assessed and organized at an early stage of your catastrophic injury case. An attorney will understand how to request documents and other forms of evidence. It may be necessary to subpoena non-parties to provide information about the accident. Numerous sources of information need to be analyzed so that your legal rights can be enforced.

Demand Letters and Catastrophic Injury Cases

One of the most important components of a catastrophic injury case is the demand letter. Attorneys draft demand letters and include a computation of damages and a statement regarding which parties should be liable for your injuries. Oftentimes an insurance adjuster will respond to a demand letter and the negotiation process begins. You need to work with your attorney and provide them with all the relevant information they need to draft a comprehensive and effective demand letter.

Most insurance claim adjusters will be trained to present low settlement offers at the beginning of a case. However, a California attorney who specializes in catastrophic injury cases understands the value of your case, and you will not have to walk away with a low settlement that does not compensate you for your injuries or the pain and suffering you endured.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Settlement negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are the three primary forms of alternative dispute resolution. It is necessary to speak with your attorney about the benefits of alternative dispute resolution. Trials can be time-consuming and financially burdensome. Therefore, it is possible that you can obtain a higher settlement amount by engaging in mediation or arbitration.

Mediation takes place in a neutral environment and the mediator goes between the parties and attempts to help the parties reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Arbitration may be either binding or non-binding, and many contracts contain arbitration clauses. You should review any relevant arbitration clauses with your attorney.