What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries include brain damage, spine or back injuries, severe burns, and the loss of a limb or other body part. This type of injury is almost always accompanied by physical pain and emotional trauma.
A variety of accidents and incidents can result in life-threatening or permanent injuries, including:
Medical malpractice can also cause catastrophic injury. Each year, thousands of people are seriously harmed because of medical malpractice issues, such as hospital errors, pharmaceutical errors, and surgical errors.
Understanding Catastrophic Injury Lawsuits
When seeking compensation for damages, this is an attempt to measure in dollars the extent of harm you have suffered. As a victim of a severe injury, you will likely require extensive medical treatment and therapy. Loss of income is almost always a result, and there may be a need for specialized care and costly in-home medical equipment. In the case of a child or birth injury (such as cerebral palsy), the long-term losses and emotional impact are often immeasurable.
The attorneys at Tawwater Law Firm devote their practice to ensuring that victims of negligence receive proper compensation for their injuries and losses. Each client’s case is treated as a priority as we work to determine liability and secure evidence.
If the injury was caused by the negligent actions of another party, the victims are often entitled to reimbursement for tangible losses, which include expenses related to the accident. If the evidence shows there was a blatant disregard for safety through willful negligence or reckless behavior, there may be a chance to ask for additional compensation for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other intangibles.
Some catastrophic injury victims may also be entitled to punitive, or exemplary damages. These are typically awarded in a lawsuit as both a punishment and an example designed to discourage the defendant and others from repeating the conduct that resulted in the original lawsuit.
The Independent Medical Examination
As part of your personal injury lawsuit, you may be required to obtain medical evidence validating your claim of disability and injury. This is most often completed through an independent medical examination. If you have more than one health issue as a result of your injury, you may need to see multiple specialists. The medical expert performing the examination will be hired and paid for by the defendant.
You will not be responsible for the cost of these examinations. You are also not required to follow any of the medical advice provided by these doctors. Although independent medical examiners will maintain ethical and truthful standards, it is important to be aware that they are likely to review the evidence in favor of their client, the defendant.
During your independent medical exam, the physician will conduct an interview, review your medical history, and perform a medical examination.
If you are being represented by legal counsel, the independent medical examination will be scheduled based on an agreement from both parties. Without legal representation, the defense could seek a court order requiring you to attend the examination. The date of the appointment, as well as the name and specialty of the doctor, would be included in a letter sent to you.
On the day of your independent medical examination, we suggest arriving to your appointment early. You should bring requested medical records or imaging studies, and be honest, helpful, and polite throughout the evaluation, which helps create a favorable impression. At the exam, you will need to provide the physician with all relevant information related to your case and to your injury.
During your appointment, the physician will conduct an interview, review your medical history, and perform a medical examination. Additionally, the doctor will look at a variety of factors, including:
- General appearance, including how you move and stand
- Signs of deception
- Evaluation of the injury, both subjective and objective observations
The physician may also ask about other medical issues, such as ailments or injuries, that happened before or after the injury. This information will be used to determine if these conditions could have been contributing factors to the current injury, or if your injuries have exacerbated since the incident. A report will be created after your medical examination. If you believe that the report is unfair or biased, our attorneys will handle it.
Prior to your appointment, you will meet with us to determine what you should discuss during the examination. It is important to keep in mind that this appointment is not designed to be an additional medical opinion, but rather a way to gather information for litigation purposes.
We Will Work for You
The attorneys at Tawwater Law Firm devote their practice to ensuring that victims of negligence receive proper compensation for their injuries and losses. Each client’s case is treated as a priority as we work to determine liability and secure evidence. You can rest assured that you will benefit from the best efforts of our experienced, dedicated personal injury attorneys, whether your case settles or goes to trial.
Learn More Today
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you will not need to worry about legal bills while coping with your catastrophic injury. The attorneys at Tawwater Law Firm earn their fees when you receive a monetary settlement or jury award, and we can handle clients from all over the state of Oklahoma. Contact us today at (405) 607-1400 or schedule your free initial consultation online to learn more.