A Florida man, Robert Montanile, who was seriously injured when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit his car, is continuing his legal battle before the Supreme Court. As a result of the accident in 2008, Montanile sustained severe back and neck injuries, and needed expensive lumbar spinal fusion surgery. He sued the drunk driver and prevailed, winning $500,000. Further trouble arose after he spent much of the money on care for himself and his daughter, who was also injured, in addition to attorney’s fees. His health insurer is now seeking to force him to reimburse them for funds disbursed during his recovery, in the amount of $120,000. ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the federal law that sets nationwide standards for pension and health plans, suggests that insurers get first dibs on any settlement money awarded during a lawsuit. Currently, there is disagreement about how to interpret ERISA between federal appeals courts, a state of affairs that has pressed the Supreme Court to weigh in.
Catastrophic Injury Law
Any injury that has serious, long-term effects, or prevents a survivor from performing gainful work can be considered a catastrophic injury, regardless of which part or parts of the body are affected. Commonly, injuries to the head, neck, and spinal cord can rise to the level of a catastrophic injury. The burden of facing these debilitating injuries, for both survivors and their families, can be extremely stressful.
If a serious or catastrophic injury was the result of someone else’s negligent or intentional act, the survivor would be able to advance a personal injury claim. The success of a claim will have a huge impact on the resources that a victim of a catastrophic injury will have at their disposal after the accident, including high-quality medical care and other support systems.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you present your case and recover for your lost wages, lost future wages, and medical bills. Although there is no limit to the amount of economic damages that an injured party may receive, Florida law places a cap on the amount that can be recovered for “non-economic damages,” which can include mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses that are difficult to measure.
If a loved one suffered a fatal injury at the hands of a medical practitioner, the cap on non-economic damages does not apply. Last year, Florida’s highest court struck down part of the medical malpractice law that prevented the families of wrongfully deceased patients from recovering the full amounts that they deserved. However, Florida law on this issue remains complicated, and you should consult a knowledgeable attorney to understand how the law may view your family’s situation.
Seek Legal Help with Your Catastrophic Injury
The attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks have years of experience representing clients facing catastrophic injuries in Tallahassee since 1983. We have succeeded in obtaining numerous settlements and verdicts in civil trials. We have the empathy and experience to make sure that your needs are met while we aggressively pursue your suit, working with your insurance company to ensure that you are covered during the litigation. We will negotiate a settlement or litigate to a verdict if necessary. Call or text a lawyer now at 850-224-3310 or contact Barrett, Fasig & Brooks online for your free initial consultation.