A catastrophic injury can change your life forever. In many instances, these injuries can lead to permanent disabilities that require ongoing medical treatments and lifelong care. When a catastrophic injury prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time, it can create additional financial burdens on you and your family. It is important to have someone on your side to help you through this difficult time. This is where an Austin catastrophic injury lawyer is needed.
Why Choose Shaw Cowart’s Catastrophic Injury Attorneys in Austin?
If your accident was caused by the negligent actions of another, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Contact an Austin personal injury lawyer
to learn more. Our catastrophic injury attorneys in Austin have extensive experience handling complex catastrophic injury cases, and we understand the medical issues associated with these claims. We will fight aggressively to help you maximize the value of your compensation.
You can learn about your legal rights and options by speaking with our lawyers in person. Please call 512-499-8900 to schedule your no-obligation complimentary consultation and catastrophic injury case review. We serve clients in the Austin, Texas area.
What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury Case?
A catastrophic injury may not have a straightforward legal definition. However, they do have a generally accepted medical definition and specification.
The medical field defines catastrophic injuries as a term to indicate any severe injury that leads to permanent or long-term functional disabilities or disfigurement. This may stem from injuries to the spine, spinal cord, brain, limb loss, or severe burns.
Legally, catastrophic injuries require more compensation than many other forms of personal injury. This is because the threshold for higher damages is present. A catastrophic injury case may occur if you:
- Have been permanently disabled from an accidental injury for which someone else is liable.
- Require special accommodations or lifelong care for your injury.
- Have completely lost your ability to earn an income in your profession.
- Have been severely scarred or disfigured.
Our Austin pedestrian accident attorneys note that catastrophic injury cases are differentiated from standard personal injury cases in that you have experienced more suffering and will be impacted by your injury for the rest of your life. Therefore, you are entitled to more compensation to account for lost wages, medical care, and other issues.
A common cause of catastrophic injuries comes from car accidents. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact an Austin car accident attorney today. Some other causes include:
- Workplace accidents
- Slip-and-Fall accidents
- Sports and recreational activity
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
Who Can File A Catastrophic Injury Case In Austin?
Victims of serious physical injury caused by someone else’s negligence can file a catastrophic injury case. A caveat to this is the fact that children in the state of Texas are not allowed to take legal action in personal injury cases. This means, due to Texas Rule 44, minors (and others who lack legal capacity such as the criminally insane or mentally incompetent) can have “next friends” bring cases on their behalf.
The state of Texas defines Next Friends as any of the following:
- Parent or Guardian
- Aunt or Uncle
- Close family friend
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Catastrophic Injury Cases in Texas?
The statute of limitations sets a number of years in which a claim must be filed. It is not a long amount of time. In Texas, the statute of limitations in all personal injury cases is two years starting from the injury-causing accident or the discovery of the injury.
The variable part of a catastrophic injury case is that sometimes, the clock starts ticking on a case from the date of injury. In other scenarios, the deadline may begin from the date of discovery of an injury.
It’s always a good idea to contact an Austin catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible to increase your chances of recovering compensation, as many of the specifics can vary. Contact us in order to find out how exactly the statute applies to your case.
How Is Compensation For A Catastrophic Injury Case in Austin Determined?
Compensation is determined based on the economic and non-economic damages in your case. The former may include expenses such as:
- Medical bills
- Future healthcare costs
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Assisted living facility or in-home nursing costs
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Equipment and medical device expenses
A straightforward way of understanding economic damages is that these will compensate victims for losses with a direct financial impact on their lives.
Non-economic damages can’t be as easily attached to a dollar amount, but our attorneys know how to determine what you deserve when you experience the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish and distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium
Non-economic damages are capped in Texas only in medical malpractice cases as a result of the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act of 2003 (otherwise known as House Bill 4). Victims can recover only $250,000 per medical provider and $250,000 per healthcare facility or hospital. The cap on all of these non-economic damages combined in medical malpractice cases is $750,000 across all defendants. Ask an Austin medical malpractice attorney for more information!
Suppose it is determined that a victim’s catastrophic injuries occurred due to the third party’s gross negligence, malice, or fraud. In that case, victims may be able to recover punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages). Punitive damages have a different purpose than the other damage types as they are meant to deter others from replicating similar behaviors and punish the third party for their actions.
In Texas, this damage type has a cap and cannot exceed more than two times the total combined amount of economic and non-economic damages.
While Texas has a statute that clarifies the amount of punitive damages an individual could receive in their catastrophic injury case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that punitive damages that are disproportionally larger than economic and non-economic damages are unconstitutional due to the Due Process clause.
All of these damages are considered when negotiating a settlement or pursuing a favorable verdict. Although it’s impossible to give an exact prediction, our attorneys are very experienced with injury cases and have a good idea of what a case may be worth, even though compensation can never be guaranteed.
How Much is My Austin Catastrophic Injury Case Worth?
Every catastrophic injury case in Austin is calculated individually. Our team from our bicycle accident attorneys in Austin to our drunk driving lawyers knows that the “worth” of your case is determined by various economic and non-economic damages. For example, the wages you will lose due to your injury and also the amount of emotional suffering you have or will endure.
Why Do I Need an Austin Attorney for a Catastrophic Injury Case?
Personal injury cases may involve insurance settlements. The issue here is that insurance companies have interests that do not include the long-term needs of the defendant. It is not uncommon for an insurance company to offer a settlement that seems fair but isn’t. It is also not uncommon for companies to find loopholes that will allow them to negate the suggested claims.
You need an Austin injury attorney to represent you in your catastrophic injury case because this is the way to ensure that you have someone fighting for your best interests and nothing else.
What Should I Expect from My Case Consultation with Shaw Cowart LLP?
Your consultation with an Austin catastrophic injury attorney is extremely important. The conversation that you have with your lawyer allows them to gain a thorough understanding of your accident, how it occurred, and the extent and nature of your injuries. Your attorney will also ask about the medical treatment you have received and will need in the future, based on your medical records.
You should bring all pertinent documentation to your consultation with your attorney, including police reports, medical records, and photos. This will help fill in any gaps and will provide your attorney with all the relevant data they will need to review to assess your case.
We expect that you will have questions about the legal process and how to move forward, or even if you should move forward with litigation. Your consultation will include space to get the answers you need.
How Long Does A Catastrophic Injury Case Take?
Injury cases can take several months, but more often a year or several years to resolve. The more complex and devastating the case, the more likely it is to take longer to get victims the restitution they deserve.
That’s because our Austin catastrophic injury lawyers are working for the best possible outcome for their clients. We know it’s important to our clients to resolve these cases as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life. We balance that against getting the results our clients need and deserve. You can rely on us to keep you informed of the progress of your case and of options to resolve it as they arise.
What Should I Bring To The Case Consultation?
Mostly bring your story. We want to hear from you and listen to your full account, including the many ways this injury has affected your personal life and your financial well-being. We are able to work tirelessly for our clients when we know all of the ways the injury has changed their life.
It’s also a good idea to jot down and bring a list of any questions or concerns you have. The consultation is a great opportunity to address those issues so you can make a decision about what you want to do next.
You may want to bring recent medical bills, doctors’ communications, police reports, or other information that you think may be useful to your claim and show the responsible party’s fault. Don’t worry if you don’t have these now. We will help you find what you need if those documents exist.
What Evidence Is Needed To Support An Austin Catastrophic Injury Case?
Keeping extensive records is key to ensuring a successful settlement or jury verdict in your catastrophic injury case. While each case is unique, the most relevant documentation will only aid in successfully bringing your case to court long-term.
Examples of good documentation are any of the following:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Medical testimony
- Accident reconstruction expert testimony
- Settlement offers
- Communication from the insurance company
We’ll make sure you know what to hold onto and what we can help you access.
We Are Committed to Helping You Recover from Life-Altering Catastrophic Injuries
Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients who have suffered catastrophic, life-altering injuries. Some of the cases we handle involve:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Cerebral palsy
- Spinal cord injury
- Fractured vertebrae or herniated disks
- Major orthopedic injuries
- Stroke or heart attack
- Organ failure
- Eye injury
- Severe burns or facial scarring
- Fatal injuries
We Ensure That Justice Is Served for our Clients
We meticulously document future care needs, personal hardships, monetary losses, and all the ways that a preventable injury has changed your life for the worse. By evaluating the total impact the injury has had on you and your family, we are able to maximize the value of your compensation. This is crucial to ensuring that you are able to secure the ongoing medical care and economic security required after a catastrophic injury.
We also help victims with brain injuries and permanent disabilities connect with the best doctors, surgeons, and support organizations. Our goal is to help you receive the high-quality treatment necessary to recover while we focus our energy on securing the compensation you deserve.
Damages in a Catastrophic Injury Case
Depending on the unique circumstances associated with your injury, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses related to your injury
- Ongoing rehabilitation and daily care
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Our lawyers know the tactics used by insurance companies to unfairly reduce your compensation. By carefully preparing your case and evaluating every aspect of your injury, we can help demonstrate the total extent of your damages.
How Our Austin Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Can Help
Shaw Cowart LLP has successfully represented catastrophic injury victims, holding major corporations and their insurers accountable for their negligent actions. Our attorneys have recovered compensation from:
- Trucking firms
- Oil companies
- Construction contractors
- Property owners
- Doctors and hospitals
- Manufacturers of defective products and dangerous drugs
Our Austin lawyers are litigation specialists, and we prepare every case as if it will go to trial. While we always strive to settle your case when appropriate, we won’t hesitate to pursue your compensation in court if a settlement isn’t in your best interests. This extensive preparation, combined with our decades of litigation experience, provides you with the edge you need at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
Contact our Austin Catastrophic Injury Lawyers
At Shaw Cowart LLP, we’ve witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by catastrophic injuries. We understand the financial and emotional toll these injuries take on your family, and we’re committed to helping you obtain the resources you need as you recover.
If any of the following are relevant to your situation, you should contact us about a claim:
- Expensive medical bills
- Loss of income and wages from being unable to work
- Future diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Specialized care and equipment necessary to live with the injury
You probably have a claim if someone else caused your injury. Our experienced attorneys will review the details to make that determination.
Please contact Shaw Cowart LLP using the form on this page or call 512-499-8900 today to schedule your complimentary consultation and catastrophic injury case review. We serve clients in the Austin, Texas area.