Catastrophic injuries could happen in many ways. The common element among all catastrophic injuries is the dramatic effect they have on the victim and their families. These impose a significant physical and financial cost that families must bear, both now and in the future. If someone else is responsible for a catastrophic injury, they should have to pay for the accident. Your family will need every penny you can get in a settlement or jury verdict, so you will need an attorney to fight for top dollar.

All it takes is an instant for these injuries to happen, and that is what usually occurs. You could leave your home and be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The result is that you and your family face a lifetime of challenges. In this situation, your first call should be to the Tucson catastrophic injury attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers.

Common Types of Life-Threatening Injuries

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Tucson is a relatively safe place, though many risks of accidents and injuries lurk throughout the city.

Some involve:

Catastrophic injuries could happen when you are traveling or at work. They could even happen when you are at leisure. The point is that you can never predict what could occur from minute to minute.

Here are some examples of catastrophic injuries from accidents:

Different Types of Catastrophic Injuries

They are called catastrophic injuries because of the effect that they have on your life.

Here are some things that could be a catastrophic injury:

Time Limit for Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim in Tucson

Tucson Metro Chamber awards_logo2The statute of limitations is the time limit for filing a personal injury case. Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542, personal injury lawsuits should generally be filed within two years of the date of the accident. There may be certain exceptions for cases involving minors or defendants who leave the state before a lawsuit is filed.

Cases that are not filed before the deadline could be rejected by the court, meaning the injured person may not be able to collect damages. A local attorney could keep track of important dates and file the injured party’s catastrophic accident claim promptly.

How Catastrophic Injuries May Affect You

Personal injuries affect different people in different ways. What may be a minor injury to someone may be a catastrophic injury to another. For example, if you are a physical laborer, a back injury could prove catastrophic because it could prevent you from ever working again. A preexisting condition that your accident aggravates could also prove catastrophic. This accident implies large damages, and two different plaintiffs could have two completely different case valuations based on their own situations, even if they suffer the same injuries.

Recovering Damages in an Accident Case

ASLA awards_logo3Monetary damages in personal injury lawsuits are meant to compensate victims for economic and non-economic losses. The amount of money awarded in damages is decided by a jury.

Injured parties could recover compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic losses are subjective and do not have a dollar amount. These damages may include pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost future wages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants who acted outrageously or with the intention of harming the plaintiff. These types of damages may not be awarded in personal injury lawsuits against government entities or employees who were performing their job at the time of the accident.

There are no caps for economic, non-economic, or punitive damages in this state. A skilled lawyer could assess the injured party’s case to determine the amount of damages to pursue in a catastrophic injury case.

Why You Need an Attorney in Place Quickly

After the accident, your attorney may need to work fast. This could happen at the same time as the accident victim may still be in the hospital. You need a lawyer who can get to the bottom of the case and gather the evidence before it disappears. You cannot assemble a case from scratch when you wait too long to get started.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Tucson Catastrophic Injury Case

By definition, catastrophic injuries mean that the victim becomes incapacitated and loses the use of a body part or function. Most victims are not in any shape or capacity to handle their own legal process following this type of injury. Their families similarly have their plates full and lack the bandwidth to deal with gathering evidence and handling the insurance company. Even if they had the time, they likely do not have adequate knowledge of the process to handle a claim or lawsuit.

The lawyer would investigate your case and help you understand the legal options that would put you in the best position to receive financial compensation. Not only do you need a partner, but given the situation, you need an experienced professional to come in and move your case forward. The personal injury process seems daunting, and it can be when you are alone. At Zanes Law Injury Lawyers, we make sure that you are never alone.

Why Catastrophic Injuries May Get Higher Settlements or Awards

Catastrophic injuries imply that the victim could receive a higher settlement or damages award. These certainly get the insurance company’s attention because they may need to write a check for the policy maximum. You should never try to negotiate a large settlement on your own. The difference between $500,000 and $1 million is very large, especially when you are talking about what you need in the future. You may think that you are getting a large amount of money today, but it is far less than you will need.

Several major components make up your catastrophic injury claim.

They are:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income

What One May Experience After a Tucson Catastrophic Injury

Two parties may reach completely different positions on the elements of a claim. For example, pain and suffering will be one of the largest parts of a damages award. This pays you back for your experience. Physical pain is but one of the effects of a catastrophic injury.

Other things that you may experience could include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other psychological effects of the accident
  • Discomfort

By definition, pain and suffering is a very subjective measure. It is hard for a claims adjuster to put themselves in your shoes when they are deciding what to offer you for pain and suffering. They try to be objective in assigning a multiple to your medical bills to come up with a total. The rule of thumb is that the insurance company will try to make this offer as low as possible.

How to Prove Your Pain and Suffering

It is up to you to prove pain and suffering to either the insurance company or a jury.

Some evidence that you would need includes:

  • A log or journal of your daily experience since the accident. If you are unable to keep it yourself, try to dictate this to your family
  • Your medical bills that could show the treatment that you received
  • Treatment notes and the diagnosis from your doctor
  • The activities that you enjoyed before that you can no longer do after the accident

Make Sure to Get Enough Money to Pay for All Injuries

The thing to remember is that you only have one opportunity to settle your catastrophic injury claim. When you accept a settlement, you sign a release agreement. This releases the insurance company from any further liability for your injuries. If you have accepted a settlement that is for far too little, you may have bills in the future that you cannot pay.

This is why it is critical to know the value of your claim and not rush into a settlement agreement, regardless of what the insurance company says. They may try to hurry you or play hardball in the negotiations. This is not in your best interests. Your lawyer could help put the brakes on this by letting you know when the insurance company’s offer does not come close to fair value.

They could say “no,” and force the insurance company to come back with something better. If not, they could file a lawsuit on your behalf. The most important thing is to have an accurate understanding of the value of your claim.

How to Establish and Prove the Value of a Tucson Catastrophic Injury Claim

Establishing the value of a catastrophic injury claim is not something that you can do immediately. It requires detailed knowledge of how these claims work and the ability to collaborate with experts to establish different elements.

For example:

  • Medical experts can establish and testify about the level of care you will need to care for these injuries.
  • Career experts could lend their opinion about what the injured victim could have made throughout their career if they can’t work again or if their earnings decrease. They could also testify about the trajectory their career could have taken.
  • Economic experts could testify about the rate of inflation and how it would impact earnings. Health care inflation is also very important because it affects a large part of the claim as prices go up faster than normal prices.

As you can see, getting the “right” amount of compensation is not something that should be left to chance. You could be setting your family up for long-term problems if you settle too cheaply, even if you need the money now. This is why you need an attorney who is a fighter, and we fit that bill at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers. Insurance companies grudgingly respect attorneys who know the right buttons to push and will take advantage of weaker ones.

The Insurance Company May Have an Incentive to Settle Your Case

Remember that the insurance company does not want your case to go to a jury. Filing a lawsuit is the leverage that you have in settlement negotiations. Plaintiffs who have suffered catastrophic injuries look sympathetic to the jury, and if you can prove that someone else was negligent, the jury could make them pay. This is a nightmare scenario for the insurance company and the defendant. At some point, they may get more serious about a settlement, but you should not run to accept the first offer.

Your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit during the process. This does not guarantee that you will get embroiled in a process that lasts for years. However, it is a way of turning up the pressure on the other side to offer you more money. Very few personal injury cases go to a jury, and for good reason. Neither party has an interest in going there. The plaintiff wants their money more quickly, and the insurance company does not want the jury to hear the case because those with catastrophic injuries make for very sympathetic plaintiffs.

How to Prove Your Case if it Goes to Court

If you do end up in court, your case will be decided the same way as any other personal injury case. You will need to prove that the other party was negligent in your case. What is negligence depends entirely on the circumstances.

Here is the general rule for each catastrophic injury case:

  • Duty of care – you must show that the other party owed you a duty to act reasonably
  • Breach of the duty of care – you should prove that the defendant breached the duty by acting unreasonably
  • Injury – you must prove an injury (this is usually not an issue in catastrophic injury cases)
  • Causation – you would not have been injured “but for” the actions of the other party

Examples of Negligence that Could Cause Catastrophic Injuries

Negligence is a factual issue. You must prove what the defendant did and compare it to what a reasonable person would have done under the circumstances.

Here are some examples of things that could constitute negligence:

  • Doug Zanes

    Doug Zanes, Tucson Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

    Running a red light and t-boning a car in the intersection

  • Not having enough security in an establishment in the face of known threats, and a patron is the victim of a brutal attack
  • The failure to properly maintain a truck and the vehicle suffers a tire blowout that causes a major crash
  • Manufacturing a defective product that causes serious and lasting injuries to consumers
  • Failing to see in a blind spot and running a motorcyclist off the road
  • Neglecting an elderly nursing home resident and causing them to develop a life-threatening bedsore infection

No matter what type of negligence led to your injuries, our firm is ready to stand up for your right to a full financial recovery.

Speak With Our Tucson Catastrophic Injury Attorneys Today

We know you have a lot on your plate following a life-changing injury, and our Tucson Catastrophic Injury Lawyers regularly helps clients in your position. If you want legal representation you can trust, look no further than Zanes Law Injury Lawyers. We do not back down to insurance companies or in court, and you can rest assured that we are fighting for your rights. Contact us online or call our office today at (520) 777-7777 for a free consultation—we have many convenient locations around Arizona and we can come to meet with you if you cannot get to us.


Tucson Office
4580 E Grant Rd #101
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 777-7777

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