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The Catastrophic Injury Blog

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P: 828-252-2852

Catastrophic Personal Injury Compensation

As your personal injury lawyer, David Gantt will thoroughly pursue the compensation you are entitled to receive. We handle your catastrophic injury claim with compassion and responsiveness to your concerns.

Contact our law firm to learn how we can help. We offer free consultations, and attorneys’ fees are contingent upon our recovering compensation for you.

The American Medical Association defines a catastrophic injury as a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, which can include fractures to the skull or spine. Catastrophic injuries can also include the loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burn injuries, disfigurement, emotional distress (such as post-traumatic stress disorder) and injuries that result in significant scarring. Persons who have sustained catastrophic injuries may require multiple reconstructive surgeries and substantial medical treatment; suffer permanent disability, impairment or disfigurement along with significant suffering; and may endure a lifetime of medical care or their life expectancy may be substantially shortened. These types of injuries are often caused by a motor vehicle, motorcycle, boat, or product liability accident.

These types of injuries can devastate a family both financially and emotionally due to the need for long term personal assistance, 24-hour care and modifications to your home. Victims of personal injury are entitled to financial compensation for their past and future medical expenses, personal care, loss of income and other financial losses, and pain and suffering. Rehabilitation for catastrophic injuries may require a large team of caregivers such as a neurologist, neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, neuro-psychologist, vocational expert, life-care planner, orthopedic surgeon and physical, occupational and speech therapists. In most cases, the lives of the injured person’s family are completely disrupted as they focus their energies on securing proper medical care.

Cases involving catastrophic injuries are often complex and require the retention of expert witnesses. Medical experts can testify to the severity and permanency of an injury. Accident reconstructionists are able to illustrate the moments leading up to an accident to determine whom was at fault. Other types of experts often utilized in personal injury cases are life care planners, economists, vocational rehabilitation experts or engineers.

Our catastrophic injury attorneys work with families who are experiencing the pain, confusion, and devastation from a serious and permanent injury. Choosing to pursue a claim is something that most of our clients never imagined they would one day face. We will walk you through the litigation process to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. We take pride is helping our clients seek justice and compensation for medical expenses, loss of income and long-term care and rehabilitation.

If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, please contact us for a free consultation.

P: 828-252-2852

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FREQUENTLY ASKED PERSONAL INJURY QUESTIONS

Q. If I make a settlement in a personal injury arising out of a work injury, do I have to pay the workers’ compensation insurance back for money they have already paid me?

A. Sometimes. NC law is very complicated on these obligations. A Superior Court Judge can be asked to set what, if any, lien is due the workers’ compensation insurance carrier when a settlement is proposed on a civil lawsuit over the same accident. Once the Superior Court Judge sets the amount of the lien that is due, the NC Industrial Commission will issue an ORDER concerning disbursement of future workers’ compensation payments. You should consult a specialist in workers’ compensation law to avoid potential liens and pay back requirements.

What if the insurance company will not make a reasonable offer to settle?

There is no fixed formula for deciding what a claim is worth. What is "reasonable" depends on who is evaluating the claim. Insurance companies have a lot more experience evaluating and anticipating what a claim might be worth than you do. It is extremely important that you select a lawyer that has experience and is knowledgeable of the value of similar claims in you area. Valuations of cases vary from county to county and city to city. Consultation with local counsel is critical.

How can I pay my bills while I am out of work?

You should consider all possible sources of insurance such as health and disability. Depending on your condition, you may become eligible for Med Pay, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Worker's Compensation (if wreck occurred while on the job). Ask your agent and lawyer for more details. It is unethical for lawyers to lend you money while your case is pending. However, lawyers can often help you handle the financial crunch by promising the health care providers to pay their fees out of the settlement or jury verdict.

Does it matter whether I am at fault or not in causing the accident?

Yes. North Carolina is one of the few states in the country that continues to follow the "Contributory Negligence" doctrine of liability. This harsh law means that even if the cause of the accident is in a very small part your responsibility, you may not be able to recover any damages against someone who is almost totally responsible for the wreck. The law has been used for years by insurance companies to successfully lower the value of claims in North Carolina. It is extremely doubtful that the General Assembly will change this very unfair and unreasonable law in the near future. For this reason, you should not give any statements to insurance companies, adjusters, or other third parties until you have had a chance to...

Should I go to the hospital if I don't have pain?

Most health care providers recommend that you go to the Emergency Room to make sure you don't have hidden or delayed injuries. Even if you don't go to the Emergency Room for a check up, you should schedule a doctor appointment to be certain you have no injuries.

How do I handle myself at the scene?

You must stop and help anyone who is injured at the scene. Take precautions to make sure other cars are warned of the wreck. North Carolina Law requires you to call the most convenient law enforcement. Get the officer involved as soon as possible so this trained professional can objectively prepare critical reports and make important observations. You are only required under North Carolina law to disclose your name, address, registration number and driver's license. While you do not have to give a full statement to the officer, you should give a brief statement of what happened. You should not make any other detailed comments to anyone until you have consulted your lawyer. Photograph your car and your injuries as soon as possible. DO NOT SIGN...

CATASTROPHIC INJURY VIDEO LIBRARY

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found.
Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Short Personal Injury Overview

Personal Injury Overview

Personal Injury Detailed Overview

Personal Injury Detailed Overview

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases