High-energy activities or large physical objects coming into contact with humans can lead to catastrophic accidents. Some parts of the human body are more vulnerable or susceptible to injury than others. For example, a strike in the head can often be fatal or life-impairing, whereas a strike to a long bone may shatter the bone and cause problems, but likely heal.
If I Am Too Severely Injured To Handle My Personal Injury Case, Can I Have An Advocate Or A Family Member Step In And Work With My Lawyer On My Behalf?
If someone is too injured to handle their personal injury case, they can have an advocate or family member work with their lawyers on their behalf. A medical advocate can help coordinate and decide what's most important for the individual, as well as bring important matters to the attention of the lawyers and experts involved in the case. In some cases, people will be temporarily unable to collect all of the important information due to pain or the effects of medication. If someone is unable to make decisions, a conservator may be appointed for a limited period of time to assist in a very formal way by exercising the authority to sign documents and provide consent. Oftentimes, the conservator will be a family member or a friend, in which case they wouldn't actually have the legal indicia or support to provide consent, sign documents, and make decisions. In both instances, having a lawyer will lead to better outcomes.
Is The Statute Of Limitations For Catastrophic Injury Lawsuits Different From Personal Injury Lawsuits?
In some instances there is a formal probate court appointment in a catastrophic injury case, an additional period of time will be added to the statute of limitations. This is referred to as a tolling period, when the running of the statute doesn't count against the person because they are unable to act due to hospitalization, the inability to speak, or the inability to take account of their legal rights. A tolling period may not always be available so it is important not to assume that any extra time will be provided before the loss of valuable rights occurs. Different types of injuries are subject to different statutes of limitations due to the causes of the injuries. For example, a product liability case involving negligence might have a different statute of limitations than an auto accident case involving negligence.
There are also some statutes that deal with injuries that result in death. In Connecticut, there is a specific statute of limitations that applies when rights must be asserted in the case of death, and these cases are treated differently than negligence cases in which the person is alive. Every case needs to be reviewed by capable counsel as early as possible so that a firm decision can be made as to when the statute of limitations is actually going to run.
In some instances, a lawsuit can be brought regardless of the type of injury and without having enough legal or factual support to file it. If someone waits until days before a statute is about to run out, then it may be virtually impossible to have the matter reviewed by a similar healthcare provider and to have a proper opinion obtained in order for the filing to occur on time. This is another reason why it shouldn't be left to individuals to figure out statutes of limitations and time sequences. In all cases, there can be exceptions and unusual circumstances that render a statute of limitations inapplicable to a particular case.
For more information on Injuries Sustained In Catastrophic Accidents, a free & confidential consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (860) 322-5302 today.