If you suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident, you may be facing a challenging recovery period and medical needs that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries occur every day in Alabama. Car accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and other incidents can leave people with permanent, life-altering injuries.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, contact the Alabama catastrophic injury lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. Our Huntsville personal injury attorneys have been helping accident victims since 1966 and have recovered more than $125 million in compensation for our clients. Get a free initial consultation by calling one of our offices, using our live chat service, or using our contact form.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
- 1.1 Types of Catastrophic Injuries
- 1.2 Types of Catastrophic Injury Accidents
- 1.3 Can I Get Compensation for My Catastrophic Injury in Huntsville?
- 1.4 Difference Between Catastrophic Injury Cases and Other Personal Injury Cases
- 1.5 What to Do After a Catastrophic Injury in Huntsville
- 1.6 Catastrophic Injury Statute of Limitations in Alabama
- 2 Contact a Huntsville Catastrophic Injury Attorney
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is a severe injury that happens suddenly and has serious long-term consequences for the accident victim. A catastrophic injury is not necessarily permanent, but it may take months or years to heal. Many victims of catastrophic injuries never fully recover. The physical, emotional, and financial impacts of the injury are the main factors considered when deciding whether or not an injury is “catastrophic.”
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
The most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – Damage to the brain can profoundly impact an accident victim, leading to personality changes, memory problems, impaired mobility, and the inability to live independently.
- Spinal cord injuries – A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis, spasticity, loss of bodily functions, pain, numbness, difficulty breathing, and premature death.
- Partial or total paralysis – Often the result of a TBI or spinal cord injury, partial or total paralysis irrevocably alters a person’s life. Being partially or entirely unable to move can affect an individual’s independence, ability to work, physical health, and emotional wellbeing.
- Loss of limbs – The loss of a hand, foot, arm or leg will severely limit the activities an accident victim can participate in. Even in cases where the victim can obtain a prosthesis, it’s rare for them to regain full functionality in the limb they’ve lost.
- Serious burns – Burns often cause severe scarring, which can be permanent. Though skin grafts can repair some of the damage, burn victims often experience intense psychological harm and may need repeated surgeries over time.
- Internal organ damage – Damage to or loss of an internal organ can be fatal. In cases where the trauma isn’t fatal, it may still severely limit the victim’s ability to enjoy everyday life, as they will likely need ongoing medical care.
- Loss of hearing or sight – Partial or complete loss of hearing or sight can be devastating. While people without sight or hearing often adjust to life without these senses, they’ve suffered a major loss that can affect their ability to earn a living and perform daily tasks.
- Disfigurement and severe scarring – Whether from burns, bone fractures, or another injury, disfigurement and scarring can have a significant psychological impact on someone’s life. They may experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as long-term health issues stemming from their injuries.
Types of Catastrophic Injury Accidents
Here are some of the most common accidents that result in catastrophic injuries:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Premises liability injuries
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Sports injuries
- Construction accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Physical violence (e.g., assaults, shootings, stabbings)
Can I Get Compensation for My Catastrophic Injury in Huntsville?
In cases where a catastrophic injury results from someone else’s negligence, Alabama law allows accident victims to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. This allows the victim to recover compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional harm they’ve suffered.
In Alabama, you could potentially recover compensation for losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and reduced capacity to work
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
Difference Between Catastrophic Injury Cases and Other Personal Injury Cases
The key difference between catastrophic injury cases and other personal injury claims is that the stakes are higher. You may be living with irreparable damage to your body. You may not be able to work again, and you undoubtedly have expensive medical bills.
This makes it all the more vital to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. If you don’t, you may find yourself in dire financial straits in addition to everything else you’ve lost.
What to Do After a Catastrophic Injury in Huntsville
Here’s what to do if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury:
- Get medical treatment immediately. Most people with catastrophic injuries receive emergency medical treatment. Rapid medical treatment can sometimes mitigate the worst effects of a catastrophic injury. Follow your doctor’s orders carefully to give yourself the best possible chance of a full recovery.
- Save evidence you may have from the accident scene. Photos, video footage, witness statements, and the police accident report can help bolster your claim for maximum compensation.
- Keep all receipts, records, and accident-related documentation. This information will be necessary for any future legal claim you wish to file.
- Don’t make any statements about the accident until you’ve spoken to a personal injury lawyer. Negotiating a claim will mean talking to the insurance company, but an experienced attorney can take care of those discussions for you.
Catastrophic Injury Statute of Limitations in Alabama
Alabama’s statute of limitations on most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. If you miss the deadline, you could forfeit your right to obtain any compensation forever.
Though two years sounds like a long time, there’s good reason to get an attorney working on your catastrophic injury claim sooner. Building a compelling personal injury case takes time. The more time your lawyer has to investigate, the stronger your case will be.
Contact a Huntsville Catastrophic Injury Attorney
With so much at stake following a catastrophic injury accident, it’s essential to get help from a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Reach out to the attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. today. For 55 years, we’ve been defending the rights of injured people throughout North Alabama. We can help you, too.
Calling or visit our contact page for a free consultation with a trusted catastrophic injury lawyer now.