Gainesville Catastrophic Injury Lawyers
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim in Florida
Some injuries are so severe and life-changing, they are considered “catastrophic.” Catastrophic injuries nearly always lead to extensive and extremely costly medical treatment, as well as permanent disabilities and impairments. Many catastrophic injury victims are unable to return to work for months or years, and some will never be able to obtain gainful employment again.
At Schackow & Mercadante, we understand the immense hardships severely injured victims and their families face. Our Gainesville catastrophic injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you fight for fair compensation for your losses, including your medical expenses, future care costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. We also believe that the responsible party should be held accountable for their negligent or wrongful conduct, which is why we work tirelessly to pursue the best possible outcome for our clients—even when it means going to trial.
If you or someone you love suffered a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another, call Schackow & Mercadante at (352) 261-6767 or contact us online for a free consultation.
There is no set definition of a catastrophic injury. Generally speaking, however, any injury that results in significant and/or permanent disfigurement, disability, or impairment of a bodily function, system, organ, or member is considered catastrophic.
Some examples of injuries that are typically classified as catastrophic include:
If you or someone you love suffered a life-changing injury that caused significant impairment, disfigurement, or disability, you or your loved one has likely suffered a catastrophic injury.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries arise from all types of accidents and traumatic events.
Some of the most common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
Sadly, most catastrophic injuries are the result of completely avoidable incidents that occur only because someone else was negligent or acted wrongfully. When this is the case, injured victims or their loved ones have the right to take legal action. By filing a catastrophic injury claim, you can seek financial compensation for your damages, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning ability, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
How Catastrophic Injury Claims Differ from Standard Personal Injury Cases
Although catastrophic injury claims are similar to standard personal injury claims in many ways, they also have several key differences. Generally speaking, catastrophic injury cases tend to be much more complex than other claims involving less serious injuries. Additionally, liable parties may defend these types of claims more aggressively, often due to the high value of the plaintiff’s damages.
Compared to standard personal injury claims, catastrophic injury cases often involve:
- More Severe and Complex Injuries: The effect of catastrophic injuries is far greater than other, less serious injuries. Additionally, these types of injuries tend to be more complex, leading to an array of complications and secondary injuries. The recovery time for catastrophic injuries is often much longer than that of less serious injuries, which may affect the statute of limitations, or the amount of time the victim has to file a lawsuit.
- Higher-Value Damages: The cost of treating catastrophic injuries is often much greater than the cost of treating other types of injuries. In addition to emergency care, victims will often require ongoing or even lifelong treatment. Many will lose weeks, months, or years’ worth of wages and income due to being unable to work, and others will never be able to earn a living for themselves or their families again.
- Greater Resistance from Defendants: Due to the generally high value of catastrophic injury damages, insurance companies and other liable parties aggressively defend against these types of claims. They are often unwilling to settle for a fair amount, meaning many catastrophic injury claims end up in litigation or even go to trial. This can impact the amount of time and effort it takes to resolve a case.
- Varying Statutes of Limitations: In most standard cases, a plaintiff has two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, when an injury cannot be discovered right away, the statute of limitations may be deferred from the date on which the injury was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered. Sometimes, this occurs with catastrophic injuries that are not immediately diagnosed.
- Exceptions to Certain Rules: A catastrophic injury may open the door for the plaintiff to file a lawsuit directly against a liable party when they would otherwise be unable to do so. This is the case with motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious injuries (as defined by the state). Normally, an accident victim would only be able to recover compensation through their own insurance coverage, but a serious injury allows them to step outside the no-fault system.
Simply put, catastrophic injury claims are not like standard personal injury cases. You need an attorney with experience handling cases involving severe bodily injuries like yours, someone who knows the law and can effectively advocate for you throughout the legal process.
At Schackow & Mercadante, our Gainesville catastrophic injury lawyers have over 126 years of combined legal experience. For decades, we have been representing the severely injured and their families throughout North Central Florida, aggressively seeking the maximum compensation they are owed. We do not back down from a challenge and are prepared to do everything possible to secure a favorable settlement on your behalf.
Sometimes, however, catastrophic injury claims cannot be settled. When this is the case, our team is ready to fight for you in court.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team, call (352) 261-6767 or contact us online using our secure request form.
“I met with Marie Banks to go over Car Accident Preparedness. She was awesome and so full of knowledge. Patient with all my questions and I left her office feeling good about the insurance I had and felt prepared if an accident were to happen. She treated me like family. Thank you! 10 out of 10 would definitely recommend.”
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