Palm Beach Florida Catastrophic Personal Injury Attorney
Catastrophic injuries typically result in permanent, life-changing disability, long-term medical conditions, and decreased lifespan expectancy. Catastrophic injuries often cause significant suffering and prevent victims from returning to the lives they led before the accident.
Catastrophic injuries may arise from many accident scenarios, including automobile, truck, and motorcycle accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence, your current and future medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, home modification expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, wrongful death, physical and mental pain and suffering may all be compensable.
Examples of Parties That May Be Held Liable for Negligence in a Catastrophic Injury Case:
- A drunk driver
- A truck company who required a driver to continue driving without sufficient rest
- The manufacturer of a defective truck or car part
Non-Economic Damages In Florida
Under Florida Statutes §627.737(2), a Plaintiff may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease in the event that the injury or disease consists in whole or in part of:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Special Considerations for Automobile Accident Claims
Common causes of car accidents include distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving, and weather conditions. Depending on how your car responded during an accident, an underlying car safety issue may have been a factor in your injuries. For example, if your car rolled over, it may have been a result of poor vehicle design. Other related product liability issues that may come to light in automobile crash cases include crashworthiness, seat belt defects, roof crushing, defective tires, defective car seats, defective seat backs, defective brakes, defective airbags, and defective accelerator pedals. Products may be defective due to poor design or poor manufacture.
In 2012, automakers recalled as many vehicles as they sold (14.5 million sold versus 14.3 million recalled) (Forbes). That’s significant for two reasons: 1) it says something about the auto industry’s regard for safety that so many vehicles have to be recalled; and 2) it highlights how many unsafe vehicles are on the road. Many recalled vehicles are never repaired (Los Angeles Times), and there are many defective and faulty parts that haven’t yet been subject to recall. If you’ve been injured in your car, it’s critical to preserve it because it is your best piece of evidence in a product liability claim.
Special Considerations for Truck Accident Claims
In 2011, 98% of the deaths in vehicle crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle were the occupants in the passenger vehicle (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Simply by virtue of the disparity in size and weight between a truck and a car, occupants in a passenger vehicle bear the brunt of the damage in a truck accident. Truck accidents commonly result in catastrophic injuries. According to the Department of Transportation, 3,757 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2011.
Truck accidents are unique in terms of the applicable statutes (interstate trucking is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) and other regulations that automobiles are not subject to. Truck accidents are also unique with respect to the number of potentially-liable parties, which may include the driver, the trucking company, a contractor, or a manufacturer, and others.
Truck accident claims will be vigorously fought by the truck’s insurer almost from the moment of impact. These insurance companies (and their lawyers) play to win, so it’s critical to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect your interests and preserve your available options.
Special Considerations for Motorcycle Accident Claims
Motorcyclists face greater risk of injury than automobile drivers. Without a layer of metal to shield them, they are far more vulnerable than anyone else on the road. While motorcyclists are willing to assume a degree of risk inherent in their mode of transportation, they don’t have to accept blame for other drivers’ negligence that results in a catastrophic injury. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a speeding, recklessness, or drunk driver, you need an attorney with experience in motorcycle accident claims.
Motorcycle Injury Cases Can Be More Complex For a Few Reasons:
1) They often result in catastrophic injury.
2) Insurance coverage for lost work and medical expenses is more difficult to obtain in motorcycle injury cases.
3) Public perception is that motorcyclists are more likely to be at fault, and that will work against you unless you have an attorney with the skills and experience to prosecute your claim.
The Law Offices of Craig R. Zobel Handles Catastrophic Injury Claims Involving Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles
Mr. Zobel has handed catastrophic injury cases arising from truck, automobile, and motorcycle accidents for over 25 years. He is a member of select organizations that work together and share information concerning claims against manufacturers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Our firm has the experience necessary to successfully pursue your claim against aggressive truck insurers and deep-pocked automakers. If your accident has resulted from negligence on the part of a manufacturer, we have the experience to pursue a product liability case on your behalf. We know that in the case of catastrophic injury or death, the recovery must often cover a lifetime of future medical needs and lost income. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.