Catastrophic Injury Attorneys Serving New Jersey
U.S. law defines a catastrophic injury as one that “permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work.” Catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, are sudden events that dramatically alter the mental or physical capacity of a person.
Catastrophic injuries can be caused by car accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, or a number of other events. By definition, catastrophic injuries often require long-term medical care, prolonged absence from work (or inability to work altogether), huge medical bills, and serious mental or emotional effects.
Calculating the full cost of a catastrophic injury is a large undertaking, and it often requires the help of many professionals. The skilled attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi work with doctors, physical therapists, and vocational counselors on a daily basis to help assess our clients’ injuries. Our attorneys have decades’ worth of experience working with insurance companies in personal injury cases, and that expertise will help ensure you receive just compensation for your claim. Our vast resources and experience allow us to focus on you and your needs, giving your claim the best chance of success.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s recklessness, carelessness, or misconduct, you could be eligible for compensation. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential consultation with Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
A number of injuries can qualify as catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Broken bones
In some cases, the life-changing injury from an accident is not apparent immediately. For example, a traumatic brain injury may take several weeks—or even months—to show its severity after the initial incident.
Catastrophic injuries can come from a wide variety of situations. Car accidents are one of the most significant causes of catastrophic injuries, accounting for approximately 2.36 million injuries and 33,500 fatalities in 2012. Whether caused by a distracted driver, driving under the influence, negligent driving, or defective car parts, a motor vehicle accident can result in a number of catastrophic injuries.
Workplace accidents can also contribute to catastrophic injuries, particularly on construction sites, where the chance of being injured on the job is nearly three times higher than average. More than 800 construction workers were killed on the job in 2013, and construction accidents make up nearly 20 percent of all work-related fatalities. Falls are the No. 1 cause of construction accidents, most of which could be prevented by complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fall protection regulations. The pressure to keep costs low and keep projects on schedule causes supervisors, contractors, and engineers to cut corners and neglect important safety requirements, leading to serious and catastrophic injuries.
If your catastrophic injury was work-related, you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This no-fault program is designed to compensate injured workers for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as provide death benefits to the workers’ dependents. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the workers’ compensation and ensure you are receiving fair compensation, as well as help you pursue a civil case against a negligent third party.
Mr. Michael Maggiano is an outstanding attorney who uses his many years of experience and wisdom to put forth a solid representation of his client. In my particular case, Mr. Maggiano showed compassion, caring, and commitment in order to bring about a successful resolution involving a local municipality. My case seemed to be unique in that it’s not often that there is a successful pursuit of justice when a municipality is involved. I was lucky to find Mr. Maggiano through the recommendation of other outstanding attorneys, and he certainly measured up to every expectation. Mr. Maggiano’s thoroughness and drive to seek a justifiable agreement in my favor cannot be under-stated; he met with me and my husband day or night, weekend or weekday; he always gladly returned calls and emails promptly. The devotion Mr. Maggiano and his staff displayed to us made us feel that we were his sole priority; simply stated he makes you feel special. While being reassuring and kind, Mr. Maggiano leaves no stone unturned in his research, preparation, and presentation. His vast knowledge works to his client’s advantage, and he is revered by fellow attorneys and judges in New Jersey and New York.
In addition, the staff at Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi always represented the highest caliber of professionalism. Office staff, legal assistants, and the firm’s attorneys were always diligent while being respectful, polite, and caring. It is without hesitation that I give Mr. Maggiano my highest praise and recommendation.
In my Book Chris gets 10+ stars. An Incredibly Talented Attorney. I cannot begin to express my sincere appreciation for all that Chris DiGirolamo has done for me. He took on a most challenging Title59 Immunity Case, against all odds. He always leveled with me as to the complex nature of the case, but with a positive and professional attitude. He was aided in this case, by a fantastic Paralegal, Marisol Suarez. Marisol made a difficult time much easier with her courtesy, humor, and always being responsive. Chris made you feel at all times that he was fighting for you as he would fight for a member of his family. It would not be a trite statement to say that watching him prepare my case was like watching a Maestro conduct a Philharmonic Orchestra. He always kept you informed as to the latest developments in a case that took 3 1/2 years to settle. Chris was able to achieve a settlement that both of us were happy with especially considering the very complex set of circumstances. Simply put, Chris is an Incredible Attorney who is empathetic yet tough and most important ” A Good Guy.”
The Office of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have been so helpful in my case that I just wanted to stress to anyone needing an attorney who has been in an accident that this office is the best. From the beginning of my case I was treated as number one. Mr. Maggiano and staff always kept me informed of the entire process of my case. I even had a driver, Juan, from their office, take me to my medical appointments because I no longer have an automobile. It just made me feel so much more relaxed. This is a law firm makes you feel right at home as soon as you come in. There were many times that I had questions and I would speak to Mariel, Mr. Maggianos’s paralegal and she would always be there to help
What Can You Win in a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
There are two types of compensation in New Jersey personal injury cases: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The vast majority of personal injury cases deal with compensatory damages. This includes compensation for:
- Medical treatment, including the cost of ambulatory services, hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation. This includes reimbursement for treatment you have already received as well as compensation for future estimated medical costs, which are both significant in the case of a catastrophic injury.
- Income, including lost wages due to the injury and money the victim would have made in the future if not for the accident (i.e. decreased future earning capacity).
- Property damage, including damage to your vehicle, personal items, or clothing due to the accident.
- Pain and suffering, meaning the physical pain and discomfort caused by the accident.
- Emotional distress, which is essentially the mental pain and suffering caused by the accident. Emotional distress can include fear, loss of sleep, and anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment or consortium, including inability to enjoy day-to-day activities, inability to pursue hobbies, inability to enjoy recreational activities, loss of companionship, and inability to maintain an intimate relationship with your spouse
There is no limit on compensatory damages in New Jersey. Therefore, so long as you can prove the extent of your injuries, you are eligible to recover the full amount.
Punitive damages are awarded only in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly careless or egregious, or if the defendant caused the accident intentionally. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for his or her outrageous conduct and act as a deterrent to similar actions in the future. In the state of New Jersey, punitive damages are limited to $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages (whichever is greater).
Why Hire Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi?
A catastrophic injury is a life-changing event. Holding the guilty party (or parties) accountable requires a great deal of commitment, resources, and experience. Without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, your outcome is often at the mercy of insurance companies, employers, and opposing attorneys. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have a reputation for excellence and persistence in the courts of New York and New Jersey, causing competing lawyers and claims adjusters to take your claim seriously.
It is important to prepare for every case as if it is going to trial; with Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, you can rest assured your case will be trial-ready. Many attorneys claim to be “trial attorneys” but do not have the experience or skills to put that title to use. As certified civil trial attorneys, we are board-certified specialists in trial advocacy. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, and senior partner Michael Maggiano is a past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of New Jersey. We are proud to have achieved a number of significant verdicts and settlements for our clients—both in and out of court.
Many of your immediate concerns after a catastrophic injury are financial: medical bills, lost wages, and insurance claims to pay for the treatment of your injuries. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will discuss the details of your situation with you and explain the full range of options available to you. Successful negotiation with the parties at fault requires commitment, diligence, experience, and tenacity, and we are more than ready to handle your unique case. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation.
Verdicts and Settlements
$425,000 - Labor Law
Settlement under the New York Labor Law for a fall from a ladder by worker who suffered severe back injury.
$800,000 - Workplace Safety
To an electrician who suffered flash burns when he plugged in a meter to read the electric usage of a shopping mall tenant.
$1,478,000 - Tractor Trailer Accident
To a 41 year old police officer injured off duty in his own parked car when a tractor trailer hit the officer’s open driver’s side door, forcing the car up onto the sidewalk.