A catastrophic accident is life-changing for everyone involved. Victims are often left dealing with long-term injuries or grieving the loss of a loved one.
South Carolina civil law is on your side if you sustained a devastating injury or lost someone you love in an accident because of someone else’s negligence or malicious intent. A Columbia catastrophic injury attorney at Shealey Law Firm can help you recover compensation for your losses and begin restoring your life.
How Can a Catastrophic Injury Attorney Help You?
Injury attorneys practice tort law, which allows the court to impose liability on any party that committed an act or omission that results in harm to another. A catastrophic injury lawyer builds your case and presents evidence to the insurance company and court to prove your right to compensation for your claim.
Unfortunately, after a catastrophic injury, the medical expenses can add up quickly during the time you are unable to work. Some ways an attorney can help you get the compensation you need as soon as possible include:
- Gathering the evidence necessary to prove negligence
- Negotiating with the insurance company to come to a settlement and avoid the lengthy and costly trial process
- Investigating the accident and aftermath to collect documentation proving your claims
- Completing and filing all the necessary paperwork with the insurer and the court
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and drafting questions for depositions
Most importantly, your attorney protects you from violations of your rights and offers a safe space to turn to for answers during the legal process. Additionally, if you have concerns about the price of obtaining legal counsel, our catastrophic injury attorneys work on contingency. We charge no upfront fees for these services and only receive payment if you obtain compensation for your claim.
What Are the Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?
What qualifies as a catastrophic injury? Severity is the indicator. Injuries resulting in paralysis, permanent disability, organ trauma, loss of limbs or sensory impairment are considered catastrophic. If your injuries result in a need for ongoing medical care, job retraining, in-home medical assistance or the use of medical devices or prosthetics, South Carolina tort law recognizes those injuries as severe. These injuries are deserving of compensation for the physical and emotional pain they caused.
Examples of catastrophic injuries
Specific examples of common injuries resulting from catastrophic accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, ranging from concussions to objects penetrating the skull
- Spinal cord injuries, including stretching and severing the spinal cord
- Crushing and amputation injuries
- Severe burns, which are often life-threatening and require extensive medical intervention
- Internal bleeding and compound breaks or fractures
When these injuries result from a negligent party, a catastrophic injury lawyer will investigate the cause to determine who is liable for your losses.
Common Catastrophic Accidents
A catastrophic injury can occur virtually any time and anywhere. Sometimes the cause is out of anyone’s control. However, the most common causes are the result of someone else’s negligence:
- Car, motorcycle and semi-truck accidents
- Falls from high levels
- Dog maulings
- Dangerous or defective products
- Maritime or offshore accidents
You deserve the maximum available compensation for your injuries after a devastating accident, and that means finding adequate evidence to prove the other party’s actions were the catalyst. Another benefit of hiring a catastrophic injury attorney is their experience with similar cases and access to experts who can assist in the investigation.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Catastrophic Accident Case?
Every personal injury case has unique circumstances, and severe accidents are often more complex. An attorney will address the challenges confidently, knowing where to look for fault and provide evidence supporting each of the following elements of negligence.
The other party owed you a duty of care
Did the person who caused your accident have a responsibility to ensure you were reasonably safe when the accident occurred? For example, every driver on the road owes a duty of care to fellow drivers, meaning they commit to abiding by traffic laws to keep others safe.
They breached that duty of care
Did the person do something that would violate that duty? For example, speeding, driving under the influence or ignoring traffic signals would constitute a breach of duty.
Their violation resulted in your accident
Did their actions directly result in the accident that caused your injury? For example, if a truck driver ran a red light, hitting a vehicle with the right of way, the truck driver’s traffic violation caused the accident.
The accident resulted in your injuries and damages
Did you suffer injuries and resulting damages due to the accident? If so, you should speak with an experienced catastrophic injury attorney to determine if you have a case.
When Should You File a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
Even though the impact of a catastrophic accident can last a lifetime, the statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit for a personal injury in South Carolina is only three years, starting with the day the incident occurred.
In the event of a wrongful death, the deceased spouse or children can file a suit up to three years after their loved one’s death. Next in line to file are parents, and then surviving heirs.
The purpose of personal injury law is to provide victims of negligence with the opportunity to hold the at-fault party accountable. Use it to your advantage. In the case of a catastrophic incident, there is no time too soon to take action and get the compensation you need to recover.
Contact an Experienced Catastrophic Injury Attorney Today
The stakes are high in the aftermath of a catastrophic injury. The severity of these accidents leaves victims with devastating financial and emotional burdens while trying to heal and potentially adjust to a new way of life.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury or lost a loved one in a severe accident, trust that our experienced attorneys will fight passionately to protect your right to compensation. Contact Shealey Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina and schedule your free case evaluation to speak with a catastrophic injury attorney today.