Catastrophic Injuries: Settle or File Suit?

June 8, 2021

An injury that adversely and severely affects your lifestyle, income and survival is called a “catastrophic injury.” Examples include brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation due to an accident, organ damage, severe burns, loss of eyesight, multiple fractures and or serious nervous system disorders.

A catastrophic accident has grave impact on the victim and has a long lasting, severe consequences for the spouse or family of the victim. These injuries can affect the ability to work, to marry and have children, to care for others, or communicate, or live a normal life.

Basically, the victim is facing a new way of living due to the injuries sustained. The medical care for a catastrophic injury may continue for weeks, months or even a lifetime. It is vital that you consider the many ramifications and the importance of choosing the most effective legal path to ensure adequate compensation is recovered. The best way to address a case of catastrophic injury may be either pursuing a fair settlement or by filing a lawsuit. Various factors will affect this important decision.

The Costs of a Catastrophic Injury
Different types of injuries bring various financial costs. Severe burns with complications can run over $10 million. Without complications, the cost may reach as high as $1.5 million.
Paralysis may result in $1 million in the first year. Annual costs after the first year may run between $50,000 and $200,000.
Other costs may include a special vehicle, construction modifications at home, special medical equipment, medications, and skilled nursing care.

Settlement or Lawsuit?
A settlement occurs when a defendant agrees with some or all the claims made by the plaintiff and does not wish to fight the claim in civil court. After negotiations with a skilled attorney the defendant then agrees to an amount to pay in a lump sum, with payments over time or in whatever fashion has been agreed by the parties.

A lawsuit is a case where the claims of the plaintiff against the defendant are brought to court to be argued and a resolution can be achieved. The attorney for the plaintiff represents the plaintiff and, if skilled at what he does, can obtain a resolution in favor of the injured person. In this case the jury will decide for or against the defendant for each claim. It will then decide what the compensation to the plaintiff will be.

Settle or Sue?
Deciding whether to settle the complaints or sue and go to court is a decision that should be made in consultation with a talented and experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can negotiate a fair offer from the defendant resulting in the plaintiff receiving compensation faster than when a case is brought to court for resolution.
If a fair offer is not forthcoming, the case can be brought to civil court. It is not uncommon for a defendant to settle before going to trial or during the trial. But the decision to sue is done knowing that one must understand that additional time is needed to prepare a case, file documents and motions, and hear the case in court.

Meet with Us.
Our founding attorney at Panzer Law, Gil Panzer, has established a South Florida law firm committed to helping the injured achieve justice and full compensation. In a case of catastrophic injury, the amount of monetary compensation is of critical importance to the heath, wellbeing, and quality of life of the injured person. If a fair settlement cannot be negotiated, it may be in your best interests to file a lawsuit.

As filing a lawsuit may be the final way to pressure the responsible party to present a fair settlement offer, it may be a good option. However, any case in the hands of a jury can have an uncertain outcome. In many cases, a jury award is far higher than a settlement offer, but also comes with higher cost, and may take several years or longer to resolve. We will thoroughly discuss your options and are focused on taking the legal avenue that will be most beneficial for a seriously injured family member.