Did You Sustain Catastrophic Injuries in an Accident?
Simple accidents occur daily. Sometimes the consequences aren't that simple, however. Individuals might slip and fall down a single step or a whole flight of stairs, particularly when railings are inadequate or faulty. Reckless drivers cause injuries when they crash into someone else's car. Simple accidents aren't a big problem as long as people leave with only minor bumps and bruises. If you suffer severe or catastrophic injuries, however, you may deal with pain, disabilities, and financial losses for the rest of your life.
Seemingly common accidents in some cases result in long-lasting medical care, recurring medical bills, lost wages, and unexpected disabilities. When another person causes or contributes to your injury, that individual should pay for your damages. However, negligent people or entities do not always step up and take responsibility for their actions. Therefore, it's up to you and a Encino catastrophic injury lawyer to do what's necessary to make them pay.
What are common catastrophic injuries?
Federal law considers any kind of long-term injury preventing an individual from working as catastrophic. Yet, some injuries occur more than others. Some common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Severe burns are not only acutely painful, but they can also be traumatic and produce life-long physical and psychological pain. Burns are categorized as catastrophic when they cover much of the body and require reconstructive surgeries, skin grafts, and in some cases a medically induced coma to heal. Even with medical care, the risk of infection because of wide, deep burns is significant.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by an outside force striking or penetrating the skull. These injuries are generally caused by a violent blow to the head or by an object penetrating the skull. Traumatic brain injuries commonly occur in serious car accidents, slips and falls, and workplace injuries. Brain injuries that are classified as catastrophic often mean that a victim experiences cognitive problems, like loss of memory and ability to concentrate; physical issues, like impaired coordination and balance and loss of motor functioning; hearing problems; vision problems; and behavioral issues, like depression, anxiety, and aggression. In situations with severe brain injuries, victims might experience a coma, a vegetative state, or death.
- Spinal cord injuries can be catastrophic because of how essential the spine is to the human body's operation. A traumatic spinal cord injury can happen because of a sudden blow to the spine during a car crash or slip and fall. A catastrophic spinal cord injury commonly causes long-term loss of strength, feeling, and function below the site of the injury. This may cause temporary paralysis or even lifelong paraplegia or quadriplegia. In these cases, the injured victim will likely need extensive rehabilitation and assistive devices to return to some movement and independence.
- Serious orthopedic injuries such as crushed bones and fractures requiring multiple surgical procedures are also classified as catastrophic. A crushed bone or multiple fractures most often occurs when force or pressure is placed on a body part. Sometimes these types of injuries result from being caught between two heavy objects in a car accident or a workplace accident. Crushed bone injuries are extremely painful, may require multiple surgeries, and run the risk of long-term issues.
- Amputation, meaning the loss of a limb or an extremity, is often a result of a serious accident. An amputation often can not be repaired and may put the individual's life at risk. Amputations are less common than most other catastrophic injuries, but when they do happen it typically means a permanent disability for those whose amputations were a result of an accident.
- Long-term vision or hearing loss clearly creates a significant burden for those who experience these kinds of injuries. For this reason, vision and hearing loss are classified as catastrophic. When an individual no longer has the ability to hear or see, they face a lifetime of hardship, economic problems, pain and suffering, lost income potential, and independence.
What types of damages can I recover?
If the court rules in your favor or you reach a settlement before litigation, you can acquire damages for losses you (or your loved one) have sustained as a result of the catastrophic injury.
Examples of types of damages you can recover include:
- Present and future estimated medical treatment expenses, including ambulance service, emergency room visit, hospitalization, surgery, medication, ongoing treatment, and continued nursing care in a long-term treatment facility
- Lost income and lost earning capacity to compensate catastrophic injury victims that can not go back to work or pursue future employment
- Home modification expenses to make a home more accessible for an individual with a catastrophic injury by adding things like wheelchair ramps, handrails, and constructing a main floor living area for those who can not use stairs
- Costs for replacement services a household must use for tasks and labor the accident victim did before their injuries, such as a lawn care service, snow removal service, childcare, and a cleaning service
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a partner
- Punitive damages in extreme cases of gross negligence or intentional harm
How can an experienced lawyer help my case?
Catastrophic injuries are life-altering events that leave victims financially devastated. Recovering damages for catastrophic injuries is more than getting compensation for negligence, it is an essential source of funding for future expenses related to the injury. Adding insult to injury, insurance companies use every technique in their playbook to protect their bottom line and avoid paying claims.
Catastrophic injury claims are high-value claims that need additional resources and experienced lawyers. Experienced catastrophic injury attorneys do not only submit paperwork, they advocate for you and your loved one every step of the way.
Examples of how catastrophic injury attorneys help their clients include:
- Investigating a case to identify all the facts
- Building a strong case against the other side
- Consulting with experts that help raise value to a case
- Securing valuable witness testimony
- Negotiating with insurance providers
- Bringing a case to court when settlement is not a solution
- Negotiating to lower medical bills when a top settlement offer is received
Catastrophic injuries devastate victims and their families physically, psychologically, and financially. Contact our experienced Encino catastrophic injury attorneys to see if we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
If a negligent person or company causes catastrophic injuries to you or a family member, you have to take immediate steps to protect your legal rights. At Drake Law Firm, we always fight hard to recover damages for our clients, and we 'd like to determine if we can help you.