Victims of catastrophic injuries often feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of their injuries. Knowing that your life will change forever can feel burdensome and painful for both the victim and their family.
If someone else caused you catastrophic injuries, you may seek compensation for your losses and damages. If you call the Doral catastrophic injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we can hear what happened to you, investigate your accident, evaluate your claim, and help you pursue compensation. We've recovered millions for people in your same situation. Call now to see if we can help you, too.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
Injuries can have a wide range of effects and impacts. Doctors base an injury's severity on its impact on the victim's life and how long it will take the victim to recover. Often, people describe injuries as minor, moderate, or severe, but overlapping distinctions and sometimes conflicting opinions can muddy your diagnosis.
A catastrophic injury causes permanent impacts, which change how a person will live after an accident. The lives of catastrophic injury victims change forever. This distinction sets these injuries apart from other, less serious injuries. In the instances of catastrophic level damage to a person, there is no full recovery. While the individual may have survived the accident, they will continue to face challenges and difficulties that stem from their injuries for the remainder of their life.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many types of catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury does not affect every individual in the same way. However, all catastrophic injury victims share the experience of needing to adapt to significant changes in their lives.
Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries - Brain injuries are some of the most difficult injuries to diagnose and recover from. Victims of traumatic brain injuries can suffer from a wide range of symptoms that sometimes develop slowly and may lead to permanent disability. For many sufferers, symptoms change over time and new obstacles and complications can arise unexpectedly. The brain is the center of all of our body's functions and any damage to this critical organ can cause extensive impacts. Cognitive function, behavioral changes, mood disorders, other mental health issues, speech impairments, vision loss, muscular disorders, and other physical disabilities can result.
- Spinal cord injuries - Injuries to the spinal cord can result in partial to complete loss of physical function. Paralysis is the most severe spinal cord injury symptom and is often permanent. Some patients who suffer a spinal cord injury can regain some function through rehabilitation and therapy, but the improvements are often limited and take significant time to achieve. Full recovery from spinal cord injuries is very rare and the damage is often permanent.
- Loss of a limb - There is no full recovery after the loss of a limb, only physical therapy and learning to use equipment to help a victim cope with the loss. The way a person moves and what they can do permanently change due to this loss.
- Loss of sight or hearing - Vision or hearing loss can occur as the result of an accident. Permanent loss of one or both of these vital senses means that the victim will face lifelong changes to their daily life and their abilities.
- Permanent disfigurement - Painful injuries that require multiple surgeries and long-term treatments can disfigure people. Victims of these injuries suffer not only physical pain but also the emotional and mental trauma of dealing with a permanent change in their appearance. Many are left unable to recognize their bodies and struggle with feelings of shame, embarrassment, and/or anger related to their injuries.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Many people think that a catastrophic injury can only occur in serious accidents. However, a catastrophic injury can occur in any accident. The wrong circumstances and factors can combine to create disastrous consequences for a victim. And in many situations, someone else is to blame for causing the accident. Some examples include:
- Motor vehicle collisions - Accidents that involve large trucks, cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists can result in catastrophic injuries. Negligent drivers engaged in reckless behavior are often to blame for these injuries and damage.
- Work-related accidents - Construction sites, warehouses, factories, and other dangerous work locations frequently see severe injuries to workers. A company's failure to protect its workers can cause life-changing injuries that leave a person permanently disabled and unable to work in the future.
- Birth injuries - Anything that goes wrong in the critical periods of prenatal care, childbirth, or postpartum care can result in serious injury that can change the course of the life of a baby or mother. If a medical provider failed to protect you or your child and caused a catastrophic injury, you may seek compensation from the at-fault care provider.
- Medical malpractice - We entrust healthcare professionals with caring for our medical needs through competent diagnosis, treatment, and procedures. If a healthcare professional fails to provide proper care, their patients can be at risk of suffering a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries due to medical malpractice are common after misdiagnosis, surgical errors, improper administration of anesthesia, and improperly dispensed prescriptions.
- Recreational accidents - Without the proper precautions and safety protection, incredibly enjoyable recreational activities can produce catastrophic injuries. If an individual suffers a catastrophic injury during a recreational activity due to someone else's negligence, they may pursue compensation.
- Falls - While some falls are minor, others result in serious injuries. If an individual injures their brain or spine in a fall, they may have suffered a catastrophic injury. Elderly victims or individuals who fall from significant heights are the most likely to suffer these severe and permanent injuries.
Why Does It Matter How Severe My Injury Is?
A catastrophic injury has an extensive impact on the victim's day-to-day life, including their future and their relationships. Catastrophic injuries can leave victims with little to no hope of making a full recovery, which can have a deep effect on their lives. These impacts must be considered in their entirety when the insurance company or court decides how much compensation you receive for your injury claim.
Not all victims suffer the same effects from similar injuries, and the result of each case is unique to the victim and their circumstances. Daily routines, work, hobbies, and relationships all play important roles in how each person lives their life. A catastrophic injury often affects every one of these things permanently. Your attorney should consider all of these impacts when they help you calculate the value of your damages and losses. The severity and type of your injuries will have a significant influence on the compensation that you can seek.
The final settlement amount a catastrophic injury victim can recover is often quite large. The purpose of a claim or lawsuit after a catastrophic injury is to compensate a victim for all of their accident-related losses. When impacts are lifelong and the victim will require lifelong care, those costs can be very high and burdensome on a victim and their family.
Damages for a Catastrophic Injury
Legal damages in a catastrophic injury accident case compensate a victim for both economic and non-economic losses. Due to the nature and aftermath of catastrophic injuries, both types of damages can add up to quite a lot of money.
Catastrophic injury damages can include:
- Medical expenses - Catastrophic injury victims often require long-term hospitalization after an accident, prolonged stays at rehabilitation centers, extensive therapy, and sometimes around-the-clock care for the remainder of their lives. A catastrophic injury claim can include these costs, in combination with emergency medical services, treatment, surgery, and other medical care the victim required immediately after the accident.
- Income loss - A catastrophic injury often means that the victim cannot work at all for some time while they recover as much as they can from the accident. If a victim can return to work at all, they often must work fewer hours, accept lighter duties, or change careers entirely. All of the impacts on the victim's income should be included in a claim, including past lost wages, estimated future lost wages, and lost earning potential.
- Pain and suffering - Often, victims face repeated medical surgeries or procedures that come with painful recovery periods, and, in some cases, victims live with chronic pain from the injuries for the rest of their lives. Victims can include compensation for pain and suffering in their catastrophic injury claim.
- Emotional distress - Victims of catastrophic injuries often suffer emotional trauma and impacts on their mental wellbeing. Although difficult to calculate, these damages are recoverable in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
- Loss of quality of life - Victims of catastrophic injuries often cannot live life to the extent they did in the past. From their basic needs to their hobbies, work, and relationships, victims cannot always enjoy life to its fullest. While it is impossible to make up for these losses, victims can seek monetary compensation for these damages in a catastrophic injury claim.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Catastrophic Injury?
If someone else caused your catastrophic injury, you need an advocate at your side who has handled catastrophic injury cases before and can fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Our catastrophic injury lawyers will take the time to fully understand your situation and gather the evidence you need to pursue a claim. Our attorneys' knowledge, experience, and resources can make all the difference in your case.
If someone else catastrophically injured you or a loved one, contact a Doral catastrophic injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at (305) 930-7688 for a free evaluation to discuss your case and options.
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