West Palm Beach Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Horrific accidents cause catastrophic injuries such as paralysis, brain damage, and other life-changing injuries that can devastate a family’s financial well-being. When injuries like that happen, it is in the best interest of the patient and the family to promptly arrange for a consultation with a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer. Distinguished personal injury lawyers will handle a catastrophic injury case on a contingency basis, in which the attorney’s fee is taken from the monetary award when the case wins, but the lawyer does not charge a fee if the case is lost.
Catastrophic Injuries Defined
Florida law defines a catastrophic injury as a “permanent impairment” that prevents a person from performing productively, keeping them from gainful employment. Spinal cord and nerve injuries rob the patient of strength, sensation, and control of body functions below the point where the injury occurred.
Traumatic brain injury difficulty areas include:
- Slower brain processing speed
- Speech and language
- Blurred vision
Other severe injuries include amputations, blindness, and burns over much of the body. For any of these injuries, an individual or loved one should contact a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer to help them seek damages.
These injuries fall under Florida’s comparative negligence standard, which reduces the amount of monetary damages from an accident by the amount of fault a person bears. For example, a person who is 60 percent at fault may only claim 40 percent of the incurred damages. The Florida legislature reasons that a person who has any fault should be made responsible.
Negligence has elements that must be proven.
- Duty of care: The law obligates a reasonable person to act in a sensible manner toward others and not cause harm
- Breach: An action, or failing to take an action, that violates duty of care
- Cause in fact: A West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer would prove, “but for” the breach, the accident would not have happened
- Proximate cause: The act, or failure to act, resulted in a foreseeable, direct, and uninterrupted consequence
- Damages: An actual monetary loss did occur
The injured party may claim the following damages:
- Expenses for medical and therapeutic treatment and related equipment
- Loss of current and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Punitive damages may also be claimed if the negligent act or failure to act was egregious.
Navigating the Legal Process
Entering the legal system begins with hiring a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer, who is well-versed in this area of law. The lawyer will begin with “discovery,” which is gathering the physical evidence of the accident scene, and may decide the accident needs to be reconstructed for a jury. Testimonial evidence is obtained by conducting interviews under oath with all the parties involved and witnesses.
The highly technical treatment therapies and equipment involved may require the testimony of a medical “expert witness” to help prove the case and weaken the opposing side’s arguments. The attorney also will anticipate the opposition’s defensive strategy and prepare to refute it. During the legal process, motions may be made on a variety of contested positions and they require a response in a timely manner. Many personal injury cases are settled between the parties instead of going to court. If that happens, West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyers will aggressively negotiate a settlement that is fair and satisfactory to the client.