In this article, we will examine what is called a Catastrophic Injury as well as another little understood topic called Class Action LawSuit. Here we will discuss the breakdown of these two types of cases without a lot of medical technical talk. If you or someone you know has been injured, it is vital to reach out to an attorney as well as medical providers. This blog is not intended to advise you on medical or legal issues.
“What did that surgeon do??? THIS is catastrophic!”
What are we talking about when we say catastrophic? This is a large word for a terrible injury. It is a wound or bad effect which is expected to have lasting problems in victim’s lives. Sometimes the injuries are difficult for doctors to put into a category or measure exactly. The injury is determined to be catastrophic by a court and includes a level of severity such that the injured person must have ongoing help.
Malingering is like over stressing an emotional or physical scar to make it sound bigger in order to gain sympathy or other benefits. There are sometimes claims that brag catastrophe in order to get a settlement. These are not very common, and will mostly be obvious with review of the evidence.
Catastrophic Injuries are costly for families, and differ from Class Action. The main difference is class action involves large numbers of people. The two concepts overlap, as we will discuss.
Imagine there were forty people at a beach when some bad chemical is dumped that turns their skin red for life. Pretend the forty people start a case. That group is the class, and the court order is the action. A Class Action case is a group of forty or more people with the same claim of injury related to the negligence of the same organization. The company accused of being responsible is the defendant, and the victims who suffer similar problems are joining together as plaintiffs.
How do these cases differ from other types of cases?
Lawsuits generally have one claimant, who want to hold someone else responsible for actions which caused their problem, such as an injury or loss of money. The claimant hires an attorney to help them file a suit. Sometimes, a plaintiff will represent them self, but attorneys are trained to assist. The attorney gathers records for review and creates a complaint. The business or person which the class is attempting to hold responsible is served with a letter that the class are sueing, and the needed paperwork is filed at the court house.
The defendent answers the claim with either a settlement to reach an agreement, or denies the accusation and works to disprove it. If the claim settles, then the awarded amount is divided amongst the Plaintiffs and they all agree not to file a private suit.
Lawyers and Consultants
Attorneys work to defend clients on both sides of the arguments. With the large amount of records for these cases, lawyers outsource to Consultants, such as legal nurses to organize and prepare for court.
Regardless of the type of case, 5 things must be proven in order to have the basics for a case. Catastrophic and Class Action claims also adhere to this rule.
1) Duty: This means that the negligent party had an obligation to provide a job, product or service.
2) Breach of Duty: This means the failure to provide and do the job up to standard.
3) Damages: This is the money it cost because of the negligence. Pain and suffering are part of damages, and this is estimated.
4) Causation: This means the lack of duty that was supposed to be peovided caused the damage.
Overlap of Catastrophic Injury and Class Action
Examples to Illustrate:
*Traumatic Brain Injury
*Lethal drug overdose
Class Action Examples
*undiclosed medication side effect
Catastrophic AND class action:
*Tobacco (a smoking 206 Billion Dollars)
*Breast implants manufacture defects
If you or someone you know has the issues described, it is important to seek medical attention and get help from an attorney.
When lawyer is overloaded by countless records, they can subcontract with co-counsel or affiliate with a legal nurse consultant. It is important to get an attorney who has the best outcome in mind and works for their client. While interviewing possible attorneys, you may pose the question of how often they work with legal nurse consultants. This is a good indication of their dedication to client outcomes. Only a registered nurse can testify regarding the nursing standard of care, and only a registered nurse can assess records for red flags that signify breach or problem which relates to the prudent care plan within the nursing process. Prudent means they follow what should be done by responsible nurses in the given situation.