Anyone who sustains a life-changing catastrophic injury will face a fortune in medical and related expenses. But if the injury was caused by the fault of another, then taking legal action to cover expenses is necessary. A Camden County catastrophic injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and help you decide what legal step to take next. Speak with a distinguished personal injury attorney and know that you are in capable hands.
Catastrophic Injury Defined
A catastrophic injury can take many forms, but the legal definition broadly is an injury that is permanent and prevents the ability to work in any gainful employment.
The American Medical Association defines catastrophic injury as a severe injury to the brain, spinal cord, or spine, with accompanying paralysis. Losing an arm or leg, extensive burn injuries with disfigurement, and loss of sight and hearing also classify as catastrophic.
Catastrophic injuries can happen in automotive wrecks, workplace and sporting accidents, explosions, gunshot wounds and other violent acts, states the Mayo Clinic.
Negligence is defined in law as behaving in a manner that causes harm or property damage to another person or an entity.
New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence standard does not allow individuals who are 51 percent at fault in causing a harmful event or property damage to recover any damages.
Those who are 50 percent and less at fault may only claim damages limited to the percentage of fault. For example, if a person is 30 percent at fault, only 30 percent of damages may be claimed.
Modified comparative negligence is comprised of five elements. A Camden County catastrophic injury lawyer must prove each of them by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Duty of care: A person has a legal obligation to behave in a cautious and watchful manner toward others and the public, and as much caution as a prudent person would use in the same situation to avoid causing harm or property damage
- Breach: An act, or an omission, that violates duty of care
- Cause in fact: The breach caused the injury
- Proximate cause: A particular and foreseeable event happened
- Damages: An actual financial loss occurred
Although some states place a limit on how much money damages can reach, New Jersey does not place a cap on proven damages.
Economic and non-economic damages include:
- Medical care and hospitalization
- Therapeutic treatment and equipment
- Loss of present and future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive, if the negligent act was willful or egregious
Statute of Limitations
New Jersey law requires a personal injury lawsuit to be filed with the court within two years of the event or its discovery. The statute of limitations for minor children does not begin until their 18th birthday. Failing to adhere to this law can bar a person from ever filing a lawsuit in the matter at issue.
It is best to contact a Camden County catastrophic injury lawyer promptly to ensure the statute of limitations is not violated. The lawyer could begin investigating while memories of the event are fresh and evidence is not lost, damaged, or concealed.
Contacting a Camden County Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Your attorney can evaluate the circumstances of the injury during a free, no-obligation consultation to determine the strength of the case. A Camden County catastrophic injury lawyer could also explain New Jersey’s applicable law, the available damages, the legal process involved, and will answer questions.
If a lawyer is hired, attorney fees will be paid from a portion of the monetary award the lawyer achieves. There are no upfront lawyer fees, and if the case is not won, the attorney waives the fee.