Liability Involved with Catastrophic Injuries

Before you can get compensated for a catastrophic injury, you need to determine who was legally at fault for the incident that caused your injury. This may seem like a simple task, but many cases can quickly become complicated. Some cases are simpler than others though. Perhaps, a distracted driver veers out of his or her lane and strikes another car head on. The victim in the other car suffers from a severe spinal cord injury and becomes paralyzed as a result. That kind of case is pretty cut and dry, but there may be different insurance companies involved. Determining without a doubt that the other driver was distracted or behaving carelessly or negligently behind the wheel could be another story all together.

Determining Who is At Fault

The first step in any catastrophic injury case is determining who is at fault. In the distracted driving example, it’s pretty clear who was at fault, but what if you’re injured by a defective product? Who is at fault then? Did you suffer a catastrophic injury while undergoing a medical procedure in the hospital? If a crime or traffic accident caused your injury, law enforcement agencies may be involved in initial investigative efforts. In many cases, it will be necessary to have additional in-depth investigations to determine definitively who is at fault for your catastrophic injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help get the ball rolling on these additional important investigations. In more complicated cases, more than one person may be found to be at fault for the accident that caused a catastrophic injury.

Catastrophic Injuries Due to Negligence

Nobody should ever suffer from a catastrophic injury due to somebody else’s negligence. Basically, if a person owes a certain duty of care to the general public, employees, clients or consumers, and he or she breaches that duty and it results in an injury, that’s negligence. This applies to car accidents where a variety of factors may be involved. Medical errors are also a form of negligence. Manufacturers owe a duty to their consumers and the general public to produce safe products. It may also be necessary to determine who the owner is of a dangerous or poorly maintained property.

Proving Liability in a Catastrophic Injury Case

A few different factors have to be proved in order to prove liability in a catastrophic injury case. It’s one thing to have a basic understanding of why your loved one was injured and who was at fault, but in the eyes of the law, it’s a little more complicated.

Factors Needed to Prove Liability
  • Was a duty of care owed to the victim?
  • Was that duty breached?
  • Did the breach of care cause the catastrophic injury?
  • Did the victim suffer damages?
Strict Liability

Strict liability typically applies regardless of whether or not any type of specific duty was owed or breached. Many states now have a strict liability rule where dog bites are concerned. This means that no matter what prior history exists, if you get bit by somebody’s dog, you can hold them strictly liable for any damage caused. Mississippi and a few other states still subscribe to the outdated “one-bite” rule. This basically means that a dog gets a free pass the first time it bites a victim.

What is a Breach of Warranty?

Breach of warranties typically apply to defective and dangerous products. Manufacturers and sellers may be held liable for unsafe products, because the items they produce and sell must be safe for consumers. If their products are dangerous or defective, that’s negligent, and can potentially cause severe and catastrophic injuries.

Medical Malpractice and Liability in the Hospital

Each year, 440,000 people are killed due to medical errors. This is nearly the equivalent of two jumbo jets crashing each day. Very little data exists on how many catastrophic injuries are actually caused by medical malpractice each year, but the numbers are likely staggering. Birth injuries are also a concern for families hoping to welcome healthy happy babies into the world. Where medical malpractice is concerned, the stakes are high. Sadly, there is still a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases.

When to Contact a Lawyer

If your loved one has suffered from a catastrophic injury, you need to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Because additional investigative efforts may be necessary to definitively determine who is liable for the injury, the sooner you speak with an attorney the better. The experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC have helped people all over Mississippi recover compensation for their catastrophic injuries.

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