Liability for a Catastrophic Injury in a Personal Injury Case

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on June 25, 2020 and updated on March 7, 2022.

person in a wheelchairWhile any kind of injury can be painful, certain kinds of injuries can lead to greater physical, emotional and financial hardships for accident victims. These are often defined as catastrophic injuries.

To obtain compensation for a catastrophic injury, you would need to determine who was legally at fault for the accident or incident that led to you being harmed. While it may seem simple enough, these cases can be quite complicated. This is why it is important to seek legal representation as soon as you can.

Our licensed lawyers further explain when an injury is considered catastrophic, proving liability, and the possible damages available if a case is won. We welcome the opportunity to review your situation to determine whether you are eligible for compensation in a free legal consultation with zero obligations.

What Qualifies as a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury can be defined in many different ways. It can often involve an injury that causes:

  • Permanent severe functional disability
  • Irreversible damage to the central nervous system
  • Serious trauma to the head, neck or spine not accompanied by a permanent disability
  • An incapacitation
  • The inability to perform any gainful work
  • A short period of suffering followed by death

Some of the most common examples of catastrophic injuries sustained by accident victims include:

  • Multiple bone fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns resulting in scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs or amputations
  • Internal injuries
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Organ damage
  • Neurological disorders

A catastrophic injury could also lead to permanent impairment, paralysis or other life-threatening disabilities that need extensive, life-term medical care and treatment that could be quite costly.

Catastrophic Injuries in Maryland

Catastrophic injuries can happen for many reasons, but most are due to negligence. Accidents or incidents where these injuries commonly happen may include, but are not limited to:

  • Motor vehicle collisions – Driving while distracted, drowsy or impaired can result in catastrophic injuries since many of these collisions involve speeding and an inability to break before impact.
  • Pedestrian-related accidents – When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the injuries sustained are often devastating for a pedestrian who is no match for a vehicle that could weigh several tons.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Maryland property owners have a duty to maintain their premises safe and hazard free. When a hazard is not fixed, it can cause serious harm. A slip and fall caused by a greasy spill can lead to a guest or visitor hitting their head and having irreversible brain damage.
  • Medical malpractice – Patients trust that their health care provider will deliver adequate care, but some of the most catastrophic injuries are caused by malpractice. This can happen when a doctor operates on the wrong patient or body part or fails to diagnose a dangerous condition.
  • Workplace accidents – Catastrophic injuries also commonly occur within the workplace, especially in the construction industry, where objects could fall and hit or crush a worker below. Operating heavy machinery that is defective could also result in a crushed limb or amputation.

Proving Liability for a Catastrophic Injury

Proving liability for a catastrophic injury means showing that another person’s negligence resulted in you being injured. This can be accomplished by establishing the following:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the other side to prevent you from harm
  • That duty was breached in a way that a reasonable person would not have done
  • The breach in care caused your injury that would not have otherwise happened
  • You suffered damages due to the injury, such as medical bills and loss of income

If you have a viable case, a Maryland personal injury attorney from our firm is prepared help gather the evidence needed. This could include medical records and doctor’s notes to help prove who is at fault and how his or her negligent actions has resulted in a catastrophic injury that has changed your daily life.

Damages Potentially Awarded in Injury Cases

The extent of an injury, medical treatment required, and anticipated recovery time are all significant factors involved when assessing the value of a case. Generally, victims of catastrophic injuries in Maryland may be able to recover more compensation than in other personal injury cases, such as:

  • Costs for medical treatment, imaging tests, surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Loss of wages from being unable to work or loss of earning capacity if unable to work at all
  • Expenses for counseling related to the emotional trauma of coping with a severe injury
  • Costs for home renovations to accommodate medical devices and equipment
  • Loss of companionship and support from a spouse, partner or loved one

We Fight for Victims of Negligence

If you have sustained a catastrophic injury, reach out to our lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl for legal help today. An initial consultation with us will allow you the opportunity to learn about your potential legal options and allow us to answer any questions you may have. Our services are provided at no up front cost to you. We only receive payment if we help you obtain compensation.

We are here to help. Gives us a call at 410-244-7005.