Struggling daily with a permanent, disabling injury is profoundly life-changing. If your family is overwhelmed after an accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries, we can investigate your accident, deal with complex laws, and push insurance companies for maximum payments.
An experienced Michigan catastrophic injury attorney can help you get the resources you desperately need for long-term medical bills, equipment, home changes, and income gaps. Call us at 248-900-9000 or contact us online to learn more about how we can protect your future.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries Our Michigan Lawyers Help With
Some of the common types of catastrophic injuries that can result from accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Head trauma can cause permanent cognitive, behavioral, and communicative impairments.
- Spinal cord injuries: A severed or damaged spinal cord will have various degrees of paralysis and loss of function.
- Amputation of limbs: You may need prosthetic replacements after the severance of arms, legs, feet, or hands.
- Severe burns: Disfiguring second- and third-degree burns over large areas of skin can cause intense scarring and pain, and burns can even limit mobility and daily tasks.
- Internal organ damage: Any harm to major organs like your kidneys, liver, or intestines may cause organ failure and require transplants.
- Severe fractures: Broken hips, pelvis, legs, or ribs that do not properly heal can inhibit mobility and cause lifelong pain.
- Vision loss: Detached retinas, optical nerve damage, or eye ruptures can cause permanent blindness.
- Permanent disabilities: The above injuries and other conditions can lead to lifelong disabilities. You may require assisted living if you cannot independently perform basic self-care tasks
The severity of these serious injuries warrants substantial compensation to fund medical and quality of life needs for victims and families over the victim’s lifespan. Don’t settle for less than you are entitled to for a quick payout from insurance; you may not end up with enough compensation to cover your costs long-term.
Can You Recover From a Catastrophic Injury?
The effects of a catastrophic injury are life-altering. Recovery is extremely challenging, but it can be possible in some cases with a profound commitment to rehabilitation. However, to get the treatments and care you need to recover, you need to be able to cover the costs.
Catastrophic injuries like severe traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord paralysis, or amputation of limbs cannot be undone. However, therapies may help victims regain some mobility and adapt to using assistive equipment, but often with sustained impairment and no hope of full reversal. In many cases, the need for assistance or accommodation remains indefinite.
After a devastating injury, healing may happen gradually, but you will still experience permanent and profound changes from life as you knew it before the accident. A Michigan personal injury lawyer can offer you the legal support to get the compensation you need to reclaim your life.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Michigan Catastrophic Injury Claim?
Our Michigan catastrophic injury lawyers must prove that your injuries are the result of the other party’s actions and that this party is now liable for your losses. The damages in each claim will be unique and based on the specific circumstances of your accident and type of injuries. However, there are some damages that are typically claimed in these cases:
You may be entitled to compensation for all previous and ongoing future medical treatment costs associated with permanent disability. This includes surgeries, therapies, specialists, medications, in-home nursing care, mobility equipment, and home accessibility renovation expenses.
If you were employed at the time of your accident, you may have missed a significant amount of work or lost the ability to work altogether. In addition to that, you may never be able to work again in your chosen profession – or at all. Your inability to work also means you’re missing out on any benefits associated with your employment, like retirement or pension benefits. We will make sure to account for these and other losses related to your employment or income.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are compensation you can get for your physical discomfort, emotional trauma or distress, depression, and the loss of enjoyment and fulfilling experiences that were available to you before the accident. These are known as non-economic damages because there is no exact dollar amount associated with this harm.
There are many additional expenses that you may incur if you’re suffering from a catastrophic injury. This can include everything from the cost of household and childcare assistance, medical transportation, vocational rehabilitation, and other associated losses.
Our Michigan catastrophic injury lawyers can work with doctors, financial experts, and life care planners to fully quantify both economic and non-economic damages over your lifespan.
Who Is Liable When an Accident Results in a Catastrophic Injury?
Several parties may potentially share liability when negligence results in catastrophic accident injuries with major lifelong implications:
- Vehicle operators: Drivers, pilots, boat captains, and other parties can be liable for disability-causing collisions. Reckless or negligent behaviors like drunk or distracted driving are directly responsible for accidents, and we can hold them liable for your losses.
- Property owners: Homeowners, businesses, and government entities can be liable if they did not fix property hazards or provide adequate warning of foreseeable dangers on their properties.
- Employers: Although many people are covered by workers’ compensation, businesses may also be liable for catastrophic injuries in very specific situations where workers’ compensation does not apply.
Michigan catastrophic injury lawyers identify all liable parties in an accident. By making sure you file a claim against anyone who shares responsibility for your accident, we can make sure we seek the maximum possible compensation.
PIP Coverage May Not Be Enough to Cover Your Catastrophic Injury Costs If You Were in a Car Accident
Vehicle accidents are common causes of catastrophic injuries. If your injuries are the result of driver negligence, you should note that Michigan has “no-fault” car insurance rules. After an accident, even if another party caused the accident, your own PIP coverage will cover medical costs and lost wages up to the policy limits. However, this will often fall short of the amount you’ll need to cover the costs involved in a catastrophic injury.
To make sure your lifetime needs are covered, you may need to file a lawsuit against the negligent party to make up the difference. An attorney compares how you lived before and after the accident to show how seriously your injuries have impacted your life.
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in a Michigan Catastrophic Injury Claim?
If your catastrophic injuries were caused by an act of negligence, you can sue for pain and suffering compensation. For most personal injury cases, there are no damage caps on pain and suffering compensation in Michigan.
In addition to pain and suffering compensation, there are other non-economic damages you may be able to claim, including emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. In cases where catastrophic injury is involved, the victim’s estimated life expectancy will be used to help establish the amount of pain and suffering compensation.
How to Prove Liability in a Catastrophic Injury Case
At the simplest level, most of the other parties owe you and other people a basic “duty of care.” This obligates them to act responsibly and comply with policies, protocols, laws, and ethical codes promoting safety – not taking undue risks endangering people foreseeably at risk of harm if said duty fails. For example, someone driving a car has a duty of care to other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the road. An action like drunk driving violates this duty.
Injury lawyers meticulously gather evidence like police reports, worksite audits, or witness accounts to demonstrate that the other party did something, or failed to do something, that led to your accident and your harm.
How Long Do You Have to File a Catastrophic Injury Claim in Michigan?
According to Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805, people who have suffered catastrophic injuries in Michigan accidents must take legal action fast to protect their rights to fight back. State law gives just three years total to sue negligent parties after catastrophic incidents.
Waiting too long from the accident date erases chances for injury victims to claim money damages in court. The three years go by faster than you may realize when you are struggling to adapt to your new normal.
If you’re thinking about seeking damages, it’s a good idea to call a Michigan catastrophic injury lawyer as soon as you can before time runs out.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement for a Catastrophic Injury in Michigan?
There is no set timeline for when catastrophic injury lawsuits reach settlements in Michigan. Several contributing factors determine the overall case length for these extremely severe, permanently disabling injuries, including:
- Treatment duration to initially stabilize health – Advanced cases addressing permanent lifelong needs can take a while as it takes time to recover and stabilize.
- Contributory negligence arguments – Because payout totals for catastrophic injury claims commonly exceed millions, defense litigation teams fight long and hard to attribute any shared blame possibly reducing liability.
- Level of liability disputes – Similarly, attorneys fight extensively through discovery processes to prove negligence by the other parties directly caused incidents. These disputes add delays if unable to settle before trial schedules.
Due to the profound, urgent economic needs the victims of catastrophic injuries and their loved ones face, your attorney will work to resolve your claim or lawsuit as quickly as possible.
Get a Free Consultation With a Michigan Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Contact the team at Christensen Law to learn more about how our Michigan catastrophic injury attorneys can help you get the compensation you need after an accident that was caused by negligence.