How are Lawsuits for Long-Term Personal Injuries Different?
North Carolina Lawyers Explain Catastrophic Injury Claims and Compensation
An accident caused by someone’s negligent or reckless conduct can have a tremendous impact on every area of your life. Depending on the type of injury you sustained, you may end up requiring long-term care and physical rehabilitation, and the ramifications of your injury may last for years after the actual accident. Long-term or catastrophic injuries may affect the rest of a person’s life, potentially costing millions of dollars in medical bills alone. Such injuries may also affect your ability to earn a living and prevent you from participating in the activities you once enjoyed. These types of personal injury claims are often complex, as victims may seek compensation for past and future damages. In most cases, an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential to ensuring you obtain fair compensation and a secure future after a catastrophic accident.
The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP have experience with the complexities of claims involving catastrophic injuries. In one case, we represented an undocumented worker who sustained a serious disabling brain injury. After mediation, we obtained a settlement of $2.475 million, providing for his future needs. If you or a loved one is facing ongoing disability, then contact us today. We can determine the full impact of your injuries by working with experts and will provide aggressive representation so you get a fair verdict or settlement.
What are Common Long-Term Injuries?
According to research conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the types of injuries that are most likely to have a long-term impact include:
- Head injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Brain trauma can cause permanent paralysis, personality changes and cognitive impairment. Victims may require around-the-clock medical care and supervision, or extensive rehabilitative therapy.
- Neck injuries, including whiplash, fractures and injuries to the upper spine. These injuries may cause chronic pain and can require months to heal. Depending on the extent of the damage, quadriplegia may result. This can cause difficulties eating and/or breathing in addition to paralysis.
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries and other forms of muscle, tendon, and ligament strains. Damage to the spinal cord is often irreversible, causing full or partial paralysis below the site of the injury.
Any of these injuries can result in lasting disability with lifetime consequences, and they are common grounds for long-term disability lawsuits. In addition, long-term injury lawsuits may include compensation for scarring and/or disfigurement. These injuries can have a tremendous impact on the sufferer’s emotional health and wellbeing.
According to the NIH, accidental traumatic injuries are also the leading cause of death in the United States for people under the age of 44. Long-term personal injuries, such as those caused by car accidents, slip and fall accidents, on-the-job injuries, medical malpractice or product liability cases, can do serious damage to the various body systems, organs, and tissues – damage that can cause wrongful death.
What Compensation May Be Available for Catastrophic Personal Injuries?
If you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury in an accident, then the best way to get the compensation you deserve may be an injury lawsuit. Under the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or persons responsible for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, you may seek damages for:
- Medical expenses, including compensation for ongoing care and physical rehabilitation.
- Lost wages as the result of your injury. This may include any future lost wages or loss of employment.
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish associated with your injury and recovery.
- Financial compensation for scars and disfigurement.
- Compensation for the loss or partial loss of use of a body part or body function.
- Compensation for permanent injuries or disabilities that resulted from the accident.
- Additional noneconomic damages, such as loss of consortium/companionship and loss of enjoyment of life.
In addition to the above, you may also be entitled to punitive damages as well. Under Chapter 1D of the North Carolina General Statutes, punitive damages are meant to punish particularly wrongful or negligent conduct and deter others from doing the same. Punitive damages are awarded over and above the actual damages you receive for your medical bills and expenses. In North Carolina, punitive damages have a cap of $250,000 or three times the compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
Injuries that have lasting or permanent consequences may entitle the sufferer to damages beyond a normal insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, an insurance company is a business, and like any business, its main object is making money and increasing profits. Companies often accomplish this goal is by undervaluing or denying claims. Therefore, you should speak to an experienced team of North Carolina personal injury lawyers before you file a claim.
Catastrophic Injury? Contact Our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has suffered long-term personal injuries in an accident as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, then reach out to Riddle & Brantley, LLP today. Our experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyers have the resources and legal experience necessary to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.
We aggressively defend our client’s rights and best interests, while holding responsible parties accountable. We have offices throughout North Carolina, in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Jacksonville and Kinston. Additionally, we can travel to meet you wherever is convenient. Call (800) 525-7111 or contact one of our offices online to schedule a free initial consultation.