If you have suffered a serious injury in California, then you may have done your research and discovered the legal term “catastrophic injury.” If you have questions about what that means or what your options are, keep reading for basic answers or call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 562-222-0146 for a free legal consultation about your specific case.
What Exactly is a Catastrophic Injury in California?
Put simply, a catastrophic injury refers to an injury in which a person is permanently injured or suffers a long-term loss of the use of either a limb or organ. This can include spinal cord injuries, amputations, paralysis, an injury that leads to blindness or deafness, brain injuries, loss of use of a limb, chronic lung damage, or severe, disfiguring burns.
What is Responsible for Catastrophic Injuries?
Due to the way California personal injury laws work, there could be more than one party liable for these injuries. In addition to the person that is directly negligent, there may be an employer, insurer, or another party who is responsible for compensating for damages.
For example, consider a case in which a person slips and falls while working. Their employer could be liable. The owner of the property could be liable, if a different person. It may be that the accident was the result of faulty equipment at work, which could again be the fault of the employer or of the tool designer and/or manufacturer.
Can I Still Be Eligible for Compensation if I Was Partially at Fault?
If you were in the state of California when the accident occurred, then yes. This is because California is a comparative fault state. You are entitled to recover compensation for the percentage of your damages that the defendant was responsible for. This is true even if you were more than 50% at fault. The jury will determine your percentage of fault if the case is litigated. If it is handled in a settlement, then the percentage of fault is one factor that will be negotiated.
Is There a Deadline by Which I Must File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Yes. In most cases, you have two years to file from the date of the accident. If the defendant is a government agency, then you have only six months to take action. If the damage was only to property with no injuries, then you may have up to three years to file. The key is to talk to an attorney as soon as you can to ensure you do not miss your chance.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury and want justice, you can contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 562-222-0146 today for a free legal consultation. We can review the case and determine what your likely legal options are. Call now and we can get started immediately.