A non-catastrophic injury is one that you are expected to fully recover from. Injuries that result in long-term, debilitating symptoms and that you may not ever completely recover from are considered catastrophic.
Whether or not your injuries are catastrophic, if you or a loved one has suffered harm due to the negligence or fault of another party in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation. However, Texas personal injury law is complicated, so regardless of the type of case, having a personal injury lawyer on your side may help.
A personal injury lawyer may help:
- Evaluate your case and injuries
- Determine what your case may be worth
- Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Take your case to court if necessary
The sooner you get legal advice, the better because Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, after which your case may not be heard. Laws regarding personal injury may be found in Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003.
The Differences Between Non-Catastrophic and Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries are the most debilitating. They may leave you permanently disabled with a major loss in quality of life, and may require multiple surgeries and hospitalizations and the need for lifetime care and rehabilitation. They can also cause death.
Some common injuries often considered catastrophic include:
- Brain and spinal cord injuries that may lead to paralysis or the inability to care for oneself
- Severe burns, which may be disfiguring
- Amputation or loss of a limb
- Organ damage
- Neurological disorders
A non-catastrophic injury can also be severe, but you should expect to recover and not need care for the rest of your life. These injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Bruises, cuts, tears, and lacerations
- Less serious burns that will heal
- Head injuries such as concussions
Common causes of both types of injuries are:
- Vehicle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Accidents in the workplace
For a free legal consultation, call 800-777-7777
Damages You May Receive for Non-Catastrophic Injuries
In Texas, you may receive a compensation award, called damages, from liable parties through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. In general, insurance is the first source for compensation. However, insurance companies are out for profit and try to pay out as little as possible, or policies may not be adequate to cover losses. Your personal injury lawyer may negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement, but if an agreement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit for damages.
In Texas, you may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages cover both economic and non-economic damages, as follows:
Economic damages are for monetary losses and costs, including:
- Medical and rehabilitative expenses
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are for damages that do not have a specific dollar value, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium and enjoyment of life
Punitive damages, designed to punish defendants who acted in an especially reckless and egregious manner to discourage such behavior from recurring, may also be awarded in rare cases.
Due to the seriousness and high long-term costs of catastrophic injuries, damage awards in these cases are likely to be higher than for non-catastrophic injuries. However, damages for non-catastrophic injuries may be easier to win, since they require lower payouts from insurance or personal assets of defendants.
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 33.001, if you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, you may still collect compensation, as long as you are found less than 50 percent at fault. Your damage award will be in proportion to the amount of fault of the other parties.
Proving Negligence for Injuries
For both catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries, the burden of proof is on you and your lawyer to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused your injuries.
Proving negligence means:
- The defendant had a duty of care not to cause you harm
- The defendant breached or failed this duty by doing something or failing to do something
- This breach caused you injury
- You suffered damages as a result
Proving fault involves doing research and gathering evidence. Your personal injury lawyers may do this by:
- Investigating the accident scene and looking for evidence such as surveillance videos
- Interviewing witnesses and first responders
- Getting police and medical reports
- Consulting with experts to reconstruct accidents and provide testimony
Click to contact our Personal Injury Lawyers today
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in Texas, call in the strong arm—the personal injury lawyers at Loncar Lyon Jenkins. Whether your injury was catastrophic or non-catastrophic, we will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 800-777-7777 today for a free, confidential case evaluation. We work on a contingency basis, so there is no fee unless we win a settlement.