Serving Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast
Accidents happen all the time, and most of them result in minor injuries or no injuries at all. Sometimes, those involved in accidents suffer moderate to severe injuries that require medical treatment and some rehabilitation time before the injured party is back to normal. In the worst cases, accidents can cause serious and catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
For those who suffer a catastrophic injury, it can be a life-altering experience. After the victim is released from the hospital, there is a much more extensive recovery time that could last months or even years. In many cases, catastrophic injuries are permanent and debilitating, which may suddenly thrust loved ones into a caregiving role that they are not prepared for. When this type of injury happens because of the negligence or reckless actions of another party, victims deserve to be fully compensated.
At Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC, we have extensive experience successfully representing clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of personal injury law, and we have a proven track record with even the most complex cases. We work closely with our clients to thoroughly investigate the cause of their injury, and to explore every potential legal avenue toward obtaining full and fair compensation.
When someone suffers a catastrophic injury, insurance companies often employ various tactics to downplay the injury, diminish the value of the claim, or even deny the claim altogether. We routinely go up against large insurance companies, and we do not allow them to push our clients around. We handle the negotiations with the insurer and other complex legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery. And if the insurance company is not willing to agree to a reasonable settlement, we are not afraid to aggressively pursue full damages through litigation.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are several types of incidents that can result in a catastrophic injury, such as:
- Traffic-Related Accidents: Various types of vehicle collisions are among the most common causes of severe and catastrophic injuries. Examples include auto accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. The impact of a vehicle collision, particularly one that occurs at a high speed, can leave those involved in serious condition. The dangers are increased with certain types of collisions, such as head-on crashes, rollover accidents, and collisions involving large commercial trucks.
- Premises Liability Accidents: Property owners and caretakers have an obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is safe and free of hazards and/or that invited visitors are adequately warned of any dangerous conditions that exist. When these parties fail in their duty of reasonable care, accidents resulting in severe injuries can occur. Examples may include slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, animal attacks, elevator and escalator accidents, fires and explosions, and assaults that occur due to negligent security.
- Medical Malpractice: We all have to visit medical professionals from time to time, and when we go see a doctor, we have the right to expect competent care. When a health professional fails to adhere to even minimal standards of care, this can result in permanent and debilitating injuries. Examples include permanent birth injuries, surgical errors, failure to diagnose a potentially serious condition until it is too late to properly treat it, misdiagnoses, medication errors, and many others.
- Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse: Our nation’s nursing homes are in the midst of a major crisis. Aging demographics, staffing shortages, industry consolidation, and other factors have resulted in a culture of substandard care in a growing number of nursing facilities. Seniors are among the most vulnerable in our society, and when our honored elders are mistreated by having their needs neglected or even being physically or sexually abused, they are much more susceptible to sustaining severe injuries and fatalities.
- Defective Products: Countless new products hit the market each year, and unfortunately, many of them are rushed through the approval process without being properly vetted. This is especially true with drugs that pharmaceutical companies bring on the market with minimal testing, only to find out later that these drugs have severe, and in some cases, fatal side effects. When a catastrophic injury is caused by a defective product, the injured party may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the product.
Recovering Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries
There are several injuries that can be classified as “catastrophic”, these may include:
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Amputations/loss of limbs;
- Severe fractures;
- Severe burn injuries/disfigurement;
- Blindness and deafness;
- Wrongful death.
As mentioned previously, catastrophic injuries can have devastating effects for both the victim and their loved ones. These cases also tend to be far more complicated than a typical accident injury case. The projected costs can easily exceed six or even seven figures, and it is important to work with a seasoned attorney who knows how to properly evaluate the claim and recover just compensation for their clients.
Damages for catastrophic injury cases should include both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are those that can be quantified, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Hospitalization costs, cost for surgeries and other treatments, rehabilitation expenses, and the costs for ongoing medical care. If your medical provider believes you’ll need future diagnostic scans, surgeries, or medication adjustments, the expected costs of those treatments may be added to your settlement.
- Loss of Earnings/Earning Capacity: Lost wages for time missed from work to treat the injury, as well as loss of earning capacity if the injury is permanent and debilitating and renders the victim unable to return to their previous job or in many cases, not participate in any type of gainful activity at all.
- Funeral and Burial Costs: In the case of a wrongful death, the victim’s loved ones should be compensated for funeral and burial expenses.
Non-economic losses are intangibles that are more difficult to quantify. Examples may include:
- Physical Pain and Suffering: The excruciating physical pain the victim has to endure because of the injury.
- Psychological Distress: Anxiety and distress due to the reality of having to live with the debilitating condition for potentially the rest of the victim’s life.
- Diminished Quality of Life: Loss of the ability to participate in various activities the victim once enjoyed.
- Loss of Consortium: Losses the victim’s loved ones sustained because of the injury, such as loss of companionship and loss of the ability to engage in an intimate relationship. A lot depends on how serious your injury is and how much it affects your ability to participate in day-to-day life with your family. This type of compensation also accounts for your inability to help with domestic needs, such as cleaning your house, doing the laundry, or caring for your children. It allows you to hire an outside service provider to meet those needs.
In cases in which the actions or omissions of the responsible party that resulted in the injury were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and help deter them and others from engaging in similar behaviors in the future.
In Mississippi, non-economic damages are capped at $500,000 for medical malpractice claims, and one million dollars for all other personal injury claims. Punitive damages are also capped based on the net worth of the defendant.
Figuring out liability is a key component of any personal injury case, and at Reeves & Mestayer, we put an enormous amount of research and effort into creating a solid connection between the other party’s actions and your injuries. To determine liability, we will investigate and analyze as much evidence as possible. Valuable types of evidence include:
- Photographic and video evidence. This includes dash cam footage, cell phone footage, security camera footage, and witnesses’ recordings.
- Medical records. Medical records do an excellent job of painting a picture of a victim’s injuries, the scope of required treatment, and the likely prognosis for their injuries. This also helps to create a direct connection between an accident and the subsequent injuries.
- Witness testimony. Testimony from people who witnessed the accident can provide insight into what happened before, during, and after the accident.
- Expert witness testimony. Information from medical doctors, accident reconstruction specialists, rehabilitative specialists, and others with specialized knowledge can add credence to different theories and establish liability.
- Before-and-after comparisons. A before-and-after comparison demonstrates the multitude of ways a victim’s life changes before and after an accident, making it easier to assess losses and how much an accident is worth.
You Aren’t Alone After a Serious or Catastrophic Injury
There’s a lot to do after you sustain a serious injury. Between emergency medical care, police reports, and other concerns, hiring an attorney may be low on your list of priorities. However, this is one of the first things you should do after an accident that threatens your life or independence.
The costs associated with a serious injury can be more than you’d ever imagine. Emergency medical care, on its own, is often so expensive that it forces people to declare bankruptcy. However, for those suffering serious injuries, it doesn’t stop with emergency care.
Victims may spend weeks or months in intensive care, and beyond that, they often need rehabilitative care to relearn basic tasks and activities. For victims who work, a serious injury often means a sudden and unexpected end to a much-needed career. Without the victim’s income, their family may struggle to make ends meet.
There’s a lot at stake after a serious injury. You simply cannot expect an insurance company to offer a fair settlement that fully compensates you or your loved one for all of these losses. Even a settlement that seems high is likely to run dry before the medical bills have even finished landing in your mailbox.
With the help of an attorney, you can focus on healing or help your loved one recuperate. They will advocate for you legally by building your case and fighting the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve. They will take into account the severity of your injuries and the care you may need going forward to ensure that you are treated fairly.
Speak with a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Mississippi Catastrophic Injuries Attorney
At Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC, we understand that a serious injury or fatality takes an enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and seamless as possible. We handle everything from start to finish, we are highly responsive throughout the process, providing frequent case updates and fully addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
If you or someone close to you suffered a catastrophic injury, call us today at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977 for a free consultation. You may also send us a message through our online contact form.