You’re driving the Loop 101 between Broadway Road and Apache Boulevard, one of the busiest stretches of the Phoenix interstate, when another car slams into your vehicle. The next thing you know, you wake up in the hospital, and the doctor explains you suffered catastrophic injuries. Situations like this happen every day in Arizona. As a victim, you deserve compensation, and an Arizona catastrophic injury lawyer can help.
Defining a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
A lawyer who argues catastrophic injury claims is a type of personal injury lawyer; however, they argue cases involving more severe and life-altering injuries than most PI cases involve. These attorneys typically work with medical experts and private investigators and may use researchers and other legal professionals to develop a strategic defense and argument.
Understanding Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury is a life-altering injury that occurs suddenly, generally because of an accident. The body suffers severe and irreparable damage, with permanent and lasting effects. Typically, these types of injuries affect the patient’s quality of life, potentially affecting their ability to work and provide for themselves or others.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
People often use the term “catastrophic” to describe injuries that do not technically qualify. Unfortunately, defining the qualities that make a catastrophic injury lawyer necessary is challenging because there is no universal legal definition.
However, common attributes exist for diagnosing and labeling catastrophic injuries. The attributes include:
- Severe injury to the spine, brain, or spinal cord
- Fractures to the skull or spine
- Loss of limb
- Severe burns or disfigurement
- Permanent or long-term disability
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There is no single cause of catastrophic injuries. Any number of accidents and activities can cause severe physical damage. For example, many people may not associate cheerleading with catastrophic risks, yet our Phoenix slip and fall attorneys know how serious falls and other related accidents can alter a person’s life. The most common causes of such injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Medical mistakes
- Construction accidents
- Slip and falls
- Sports and other recreational activities
Acknowledging the Role of a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer is a legal representative and advocate. Their job is to present a case with clarity and evidence to receive a settlement or favorable judgment on their client’s behalf. If they do their job well, the claimants will receive compensation for their injuries, allowing them to pay off medical debt or improve their quality of life.
During the initial consultation, which is free for most law firms, the lawyer will gather fundamental information about the claim, explain the legal process, and honestly assess the case. Through this interview, the personal injury lawyer will determine if a client’s case has the evidence and value to take to court.
Most personal injury lawyers need to evaluate the value and credibility of the claim because they receive payment only if they win a favorable outcome. Personal injury claims typically use a contingency agreement, which favors low-risk clients.
If a catastrophic injury lawyer chooses your case, they begin case preparation. During this stage, the lawyer collects evidence, consults experts, and interviews witnesses. Their job at this point is to verify your claim and find as much supporting information as possible. With witness testimony, proof, and expert input, your lawyer will develop your argument and the defense of your claim.
Insurance Company Negotiations
Most injury claims do not go immediately to trial; first there are settlement talks or negotiations. Settlement negotiations are part of the mediation process — lawyers from both sides meet to discuss favorable terms, including compensation, to keep the suit out of court. Litigation is expensive and often not convenient for either party.
Lawyers have the training to be skilled negotiators. It will also serve you to remember this if you need to argue a claim with your insurer.
Representation in Court
If settlement negotiations fail, the suit will move to trial. As well as negotiation, a qualified personal injury lawyer in Phoenix should have litigation experience. While most injury claims settle outside of a courtroom, many go to trial. When looking for a lawyer, question them about their trial experience.
Understanding the Benefits of Hiring a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Personal and catastrophic injury claims are civil matters, meaning the lawsuit is between two people, businesses, or organizations. It is not a criminal case. Depending on the claim’s specifics, some people may think they can argue the claim alone, but in especially catastrophic injury cases, this is a mistake.
A catastrophic claim typically includes higher stakes than the average personal injury claim. Most people are not qualified to argue such cases, and hurt their chances of success when taking a DIY approach to law. An experienced personal injury lawyer offers many advantages.
A catastrophic injury lawyer in Phoenix can help clients receive the maximum compensation for their injuries. The lawyer understands how a claim fits into the existing legal structure, and they know of previous and similar cases. Insurance companies do not have as much room for negotiation when arguing with an experienced legal professional.
Also, your lawyer knows the tricks and tactics other legal teams use and may have experience with the insurance company you are suing. Their experience means they are better prepared to advocate on your behalf.
Access to Resources
If you work with a law firm, you get access to the lawyer handling your claim and their team. Legal teams typically include researchers, field experts, private investigators, and other attorneys. You also have access to your lawyer’s experience, knowledge, and connections.
Ultimately, you should work with a lawyer because they provide legal protection, helping you avoid costly mistakes. They can talk to insurers and medical experts for you, advocating on your behalf and ensuring you don’t provide too much off-the-cuff dialogue to insurance investigators, potentially hurting your claim.
Choosing the Right Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
The right catastrophic injury lawyer has experience in settlement negotiations and litigation. These legal professionals are not afraid of courtroom battles and welcome expert advice. Finally, they take a particular interest in your claim and show a genuine investment in the outcome. If you are ready to get the compensation you deserve after experiencing a catastrophic injury, contact Sargon Law Group.