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A catastrophic injury is a life-altering event generating emotional trauma and devastating financial adversity but is simply described in federal law as a permanent injury. After a catastrophic injury, a family needs to know their legal options to provide the victim with necessary care after the injury and for the remainder of life. 

Anyone interested in seeking damages for the harm they have suffered after a traumatic experience should speak with a New Bern catastrophic injury lawyer. It may be critical to the outcome of your case to speak with a compassionate personal injury attorney right away.

What Are Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries prevent the harmed person from doing profitable work. People who are paralyzed, sustained brain, head, neck, spine injuries, and internal organ damage fall into this classification. Amputations, loss of sight or hearing, severe burns, disfiguration, and bone fractures in multiple locations may also fall into this category. 

Brain damage may change the way a person acts, feels, moves, and thinks, depending upon what part of the brain suffered from a blunt injury and how severe the injury is, according to the Brain Injury Association. 

Common Causes of Traumatic Accidents

Catastrophic injuries are a result of many situations, including: 

  • Accidents involving motorcycles, cars, trucks, and boats 
  • Medical mistakes 
  • Playing sports 
  • Dog attacks 
  • Workplace accident 
  • Military service 
  • Violent crimes  

How is Fault Determined?

As a New Bern catastrophic injury lawyer knows, the party at fault, whether an individual, a company or a government entity, is decided by North Carolina’s negligence doctrine. This doctrine also determines how much compensation will be allowed.  That is because the state uses a modified comparative negligence standard. If the injured person did not have any fault, they may receive full compensation. If the harmed individual shared fault, compensation will be proportional. But if the injured person was 51 percent at fault, they will not receive any compensation. The court or a jury decides the level of fault based on the evidence presented. 

What is the Role of Negligence?

Negligence is the failure of an individual in exercising due care in situations that require caution. Negligence has certain criteria that an individual must meet in civil court by a preponderance of the evidence. The injured party must prove that the offending party had a duty of care to act in a reasonable manner when doing something that foreseeably could cause harm or property damage to someone else. 

Acting in an unreasonable manner is a breach of the legally required duty and foreseeability that resulted in the cause of the event, followed by the proximate, or legal cause, of the harm itself. Financial damages must have occurred or there is no basis for a civil lawsuit. 

Types of Damages in New Bern

A person may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. A catastrophic injury lawsuit allows for compensation to pay for medical treatments, surgeries, hospitalization, long-term care, therapy treatments, and equipment if necessary. A lawsuit may also claim income and wages a person is now unable to earn. 

The law also allows damages such as pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. In medical malpractice cases the amount of damages is capped under North Carolina law to $500,000. If the negligent act was horrendous, punitive damages may apply to punish the wrong-doer. North Carolina law caps punitive damages at $250,000. 

Seeking Help from a Catastrophic Injury Attorney

Catastrophic injuries are generally life-altering events. A person may be left with different abilities or a different quality of life. If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover compensation. case must be filed within three years of the event. To learn the legal rights involved, it could be critical to discuss your case with a New Bern catastrophic injury lawyer right away.