Catastrophic personal injury claims are those that involve life-altering injuries or disabilities. These injuries can have significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences, and often require ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and support.

In England and Wales, catastrophic personal injury claims are typically handled through the civil justice system, and the compensation awarded can be substantial. In this article, we explore the process of making a catastrophic personal injury claim in England and Wales, the types of injuries that may qualify, and the factors that can affect the amount of compensation awarded.

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Have you suffered serious harm through no fault of your own? Or has your loved one? Contact us now at Ashmans Solicitors. Our personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.

What is a catastrophic injury?

A catastrophic injury is a severe and debilitating injury that has a significant and long-lasting impact on the victim’s quality of life. Catastrophic injuries typically result in permanent disability or disfigurement, and have a profound impact on the victim’s ability to perform daily activities or work.

Examples of catastrophic injuries include spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, severe traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns.

Types of catastrophic personal injuries

Catastrophic personal injuries can result from a wide range of accidents, including road traffic accidents, workplace accidents, medical negligence, and sporting accidents. Some of the most common types of catastrophic personal injuries include:

  • Brain injuries: These can result from a blow to the head, a fall, a car accident, or a medical mistake. Brain injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s cognitive and physical abilities, and can lead to a range of symptoms, including memory loss, mood swings, and difficulty with speech and movement.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These typically result from a fall, a car accident, or a workplace accident. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis and can also affect a person’s ability to control their bladder and bowel functions.
  • Amputations: These often result from a workplace accident, a car accident, or a medical mistake. Amputations can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to perform daily activities and can also result in emotional trauma.
  • Burns: These often result from a fire, a chemical spill, or a workplace accident. Burns can result in scarring and disfigurement, as well as physical and emotional pain.
  • Multiple injuries: Multiple injuries can include a combination of the above injuries and can have a significant impact on a person’s overall physical and emotional health.

Finding a solicitor for a catastrophic personal injury claim

The process of making a catastrophic personal injury claim can be complex. It is essential to work with an experienced personal injury solicitor who can guide you through the process and help you to understand your legal rights and options.

At Ashmans, we have a team of reputable personal injury solicitors. We will work with you to gather evidence and build a case that demonstrates the severity of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.

If a catastrophic injury has resulted in cognitive impairment, the injured person’s spouse, child, parent or family member can make a claim on their behalf. We work with family members to secure compensation for their loved one.

Claiming for a catastrophic personal injury

To build a strong case, our personal injury solicitors will instruct medical experts, financial experts, and other specialists to assess the extent of your injuries and the long-term impact that they will have on your life. This evidence will be used to demonstrate the financial and emotional losses that you have suffered because of your injury.

Once the evidence has been gathered, we will begin negotiations with the insurance company or the defendant’s legal team. The goal of these negotiations is to reach a settlement that compensates you for your losses without the need for a trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, we have the expertise needed to take your case to court.

In court, a judge will review the evidence and decide the amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive. This compensation may include damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses that you have suffered because of your catastrophic injury.

However, in many cases, personal injury claims are settled out of court.

Factors that affect the amount of compensation

When someone suffers a catastrophic personal injury, it can have a significant impact on their life and the lives of their loved ones. The compensation received because of a catastrophic personal injury claim in England and Wales can help to mitigate some of the financial and emotional losses associated with these injuries.

The amount of compensation that an individual may receive in a catastrophic personal injury claim can be influenced by a range of factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury

The severity of the injury is one of the most important factors in determining the amount of compensation that an individual may receive in a catastrophic personal injury claim. Injuries that result in long-term or permanent disability or disfigurement are generally associated with higher compensation awards. This is because these injuries can have a significant impact on the individual’s ability to work, care for themselves, and participate in normal daily activities.

  • The extent of financial losses

The financial losses that are associated with the injury are also an important factor in the compensation award. In a catastrophic personal injury case, these losses can be substantial and may include medical expenses, lost income, and ongoing care costs. Our solicitors understand how to calculate these losses and present them effectively in court.

  • The age and life expectancy of the injured person

Age and life expectancy can also impact the amount of compensation you may receive. Younger individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries may require more compensation because their injuries will have a greater impact on their lifetime earnings potential.

  • Quality of evidence

The quality of evidence presented by your legal team can also influence the compensation award. Evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions can be used to demonstrate the severity of the injury and the impact that it has had on the individual’s life. At Ashmans Solicitors, we work with leading counsel, medical experts and financial experts to secure the best possible evidence.

What can you claim compensation for?

In a catastrophic personal injury claim in England and Wales, compensation can be awarded for a wide range of losses and expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses: This can include the cost of hospital stays, surgery, medication, and ongoing medical treatment.
  • Rehabilitation expenses: This can include the cost of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation services necessary to help the injured person recover as much as possible.
  • Loss of income: If the injury has resulted in the inability to work, you can claim compensation for lost income. This can include past and future lost earnings, as well as lost benefits and bonuses.
  • Loss of future earning capacity: If the injury has permanently impaired your ability to work or earn a living, you are entitled to compensation for the loss of future earning capacity.
  • Home and vehicle modifications: If you require modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability, you can claim compensation for these expenses.
  • Care and support: If you require ongoing care or support, you can claim compensation for the cost of this care. This can include professional caregivers or family members who provide care.
  • Pain and suffering: As with all personal injury claims, you are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured because of their injury. Compensation is also awarded for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Travel expenses: You can claim compensation for travel expenses associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation, or other necessary appointments.

It is important to note that the specific losses and expenses that can be claimed will depend on the circumstances of the case. Our experienced personal injury solicitors can help identify all the losses and expenses that should be included in your claim.

Time limits in catastrophic personal injury claims

In England and Wales, the time limit for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident, or the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge is the day you became aware of your injury or illness. You cannot bring legal proceedings once the three year time limit has expired, so it is vital to instruct a solicitor as soon as possible. This is particularly important in catastrophic injury claims, which are typically more complex and therefore require more time.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If the injured person does not have mental capacity (whether because of their injury or otherwise), then there is no time limit.

Also, children under the age of 18 have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim.

Find out more: Personal Injury Claims time limit

Start your claim today

If you would like to talk to a solicitor about your claim, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors for a free initial enquiry.

Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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