Generally, a catastrophic injury is an injury that permanently alters the victim’s life. A catastrophic injury victim is usually unable to return to the same quality of life they experienced prior to the accident. Catastrophic injuries include, but are not limited to, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, organ damage, severe burns, or loss of a body part. If your catastrophic injury resulted from the negligent act of another party, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your losses.

Will you tell me how strong my case is before I decide to file?

Our attorneys will perform a free and confidential evaluation of your case. If we determine, based on our evaluation, that your case is strong enough to succeed, we will ask you to provide us with access to your medical records, work history and other necessary information.

How much money will it cost me to file?

It will not cost you any money out of pocket to file a lawsuit. Just like other lawyers who handle personal injury lawsuits, we work on a contingency fee basis. You will pay us nothing for our services unless we obtain a recovery for you.

When you first call or visit our office, our legal team will provide you with a free and confidential case evaluation. We will keep track of any fees or expenses incurred in the process of pursuing your case. After the case has been settled, we will deduct the expenses and legal fees from the money recovered on your behalf. The remaining funds go directly to you and your family. You and your family receive two-thirds of any money recovered; our firm receives one third. (Sometimes clients are referred to us by other lawyers. When this happens, we may share our fees with the referring lawyer. This arrangement will not reduce your share of the total recovery.)
If you choose to retain Lipsitz & Ponterio to prosecute your catastrophic injury claim, one of our attorneys will walk you through our retainer agreement and how we calculate our legal fees.

What information or documentation will I need in order to file a lawsuit?

Medical records, work history and any evidence related to your claim are needed in order to file a lawsuit.

How much money will I get if my lawsuit is successful?

This depends on a variety of factors, including the specific catastrophic injury you sustained. Damages in catastrophic injury cases often include compensatory damages and pain and suffering, involving medical expenses, loss of income, loss of quality of life, and emotional damages. Each client’s case is different. For example, someone may suffer a catastrophic birth injury and the newborn child will require a long-term care plan. The compensation sought in this type of claim would cover the entire span of the victim’s life starting at birth. In other cases, such as when a person suffers a catastrophic injury as a result of a mistake during surgery, or as a result of a car accident, the damages will factor in the victim’s age, career, familial situation and other factors specific to his or her life prior to the injury.

Sometimes we are able to settle cases out of court, but it may be necessary to go to trial in order to achieve a fair result. Review our client testimonials.

How long do I have to file a catastrophic injury claim?

The statute of limitations in New York State differs depending on the type of injury. For negligence resulting in personal injury, an action must be commenced within three years of the date of your injury or the claim is barred. If the catastrophic injury resulted from medical malpractice then you must file a lawsuit within 2 years and 6 months from date of malpractice, or from the end of continuous treatment rendered by the party or entity you intend to sue. If a person has died as a result of the catastrophic injury, an action for wrongful death, if one is filed, must be filed within two years of the date of death or the claim will be barred. The identity of the defendant and the particular facts and circumstances related to your claim may change the statute of limitations that applies to your case.

Applying the statute of limitations to the facts of a particular case requires the exercise of professional judgement by a licensed attorney. If you have a question about the application of the statute of limitations to your case, please call our office.