Suffering any kind of injury can have a destructive impact on your life. But catastrophic injuries are easily the very worst. These are injuries that aren’t just bad; they’re catastrophic. While the American Medical Association defines catastrophic injuries based on what is injured, our legal system defines them based on the effect they have on the injured.
Legally, an injury is considered to be catastrophic when it results in the injured being permanently prevented from performing any gainful work. This could be due to any number of physical causes, such as brain damage that causes cognitive impairment or a spinal cord injury that restricts or prevents physical mobility.
Accidents that cause catastrophic injuries are often terrifying, and they can leave scars on the mind just as surely as they do on the body. It isn’t uncommon for PTSD to result from an extreme accident like this. Counseling can make PTSD easier to live with, but it can be expensive. Thankfully, as we’ll see, counseling for PTSD after a catastrophic injury is a qualified medical expense for recovering damages. To learn more, we will look at qualified medical expenses, as well as what is required to win a catastrophic injury lawsuit so you can recover damages.
What Is a Qualified Medical Expense?
Most of the medical expenses that one faces following a catastrophic injury will be qualified medical expenses. Basically, these are medical expenses that you can seek to recover as damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
For most people, the medical expenses they accrue following a catastrophic accident are rather typical. The first thing you should do when you are in an accident is to seek medical assistance. There is a cost to this, especially if you end up needing a lot of treatment. This is a qualified medical expense.
It is also a qualified medical expense to get counseling for PTSD you suffered as a result of your accident. If recovering damages required you to prove your PTSD, it could be quite difficult. Showing that you were in counseling for PTSD can be used as evidence of the condition. Note, however, that PTSD is not a catastrophic injury but a side-effect of a catastrophic injury. Proving PTSD is still significant, but it isn’t the central hinge required to recover damages. We’ll talk more about what is required in a moment.
It is important to note that some medical expenses would not be qualified. For example, you may believe that the best thing for your condition is to seek reiki healing. While you may consider it important, it will not be considered a qualified medical expense, so you could not include it in the damages you seek to have reimbursed.
What Medical Expenses Can You Recover as Damages?
There are a number of damages that you can recover through a catastrophic injury lawsuit. They range from medical expenses to property damage and lost wages. Which damages you try to recover through a personal injury lawsuit will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the nature of your injuries.
Medical expenses are among the most commonly recovered damages since injuries form the base of personal injury law. Yet medical expenses can come in a number of different forms. You may require an ambulance to get you to the hospital and then surgery to save your life. Recovering may require you to use a wheelchair or to attend physical therapy. You may need to pay for a variety of medications or medical appliances. Counseling for PTSD is included in this category.
The accident may have also resulted in you suffering property damage. This is extremely common since nearly every car accident lawsuit involves some property damage. A smashed-up car is an example of property damage. Whether or not you have any property damage to get reimbursed will depend on what type of accident you were in.
You can also seek to recover lost wages. These are calculated based on how long you will be missing work to recover or whether or not you can ever return to working again at all with your new injuries.
How Do You Win a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit?
In order to win a catastrophic injury lawsuit, you need to first identify who is liable for your injury. If nobody is liable, then you have no lawsuit on your hands. For example, if you were racing your car when you crashed it, you would be the liable party and, therefore, not be able to win any kind of lawsuit.
The liable party will have caused the accident through their negligent, reckless, or careless behavior. With a car accident, this could mean that they were speeding, that they were driving while distracted, they simply weren’t paying attention, or that they were driving while intoxicated. These are just a few examples; there are many others.
It must be shown that you suffered damages because of an accident. That accident must be shown to be the fault of the party in question. Then it must be shown that the actions that caused the accident were negligent, careless, or reckless. Each of these points must be proven. If the opposition successfully argues that your injuries were from another cause, for example, then they may be able to weasel their way out of compensating you. Each of these points is important if you are to win a catastrophic injury lawsuit.
When Should I Reach Out to an Attorney?
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, then reaching out to an experienced personal injury attorney is recommended. It may be that the circumstances of your injury don’t leave room to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. But if that option is available, you should take it. After all, your injuries weren’t your fault, so why should you be made to pay for them?
When you work with us, we don’t charge you a cent unless we win the case. That way, you don’t waste any money by seeking the compensation you deserve.