High-speed collisions, rollovers, truck accidents, falls from heights, and other tragic accidents can cause life-altering catastrophic injuries. Victims often endure years of expensive medical care, surgeries, and rehabilitation, but are unable to achieve a full recovery. If you, or somebody you love, has sustained a catastrophic injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, pursuing a legal claim is the best way to get financial compensation to help your family cope financially with the tragedy.
Collecting compensation can ease the burden for victims of catastrophic injuries and their families, by providing access to the most modern services and equipment available to support their disabilities. Compensation can help families deprived of a breadwinner maintain their standard of living. Call the Crockett Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with an Orange County personal injury lawyer and learn more.
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What Is A Catastrophic Injury?
The United States Code, 42 USCS § 3796b, defines a catastrophic injury as a traumatic event that permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work. It’s an injury that’s so serious that it causes extreme permanent harm, even after years of surgeries and rehabilitation. When somebody sustains injuries serious enough to cause a deformity or require long-term rehabilitation or care, they have suffered a catastrophic injury.
What Causes Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries are usually caused by accidents with high speeds, heavy impacts, and/or situations where the body is unprotected or not completely protected. For example, pedestrians or cyclists hit by vehicles are much more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries from car accidents than passengers or drivers inside vehicles that are wearing seatbelts. Motorcycle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries to riders, even when they’re wearing helmets, as bodies making contact with the road often sustain 3rd-degree burns, internal injuries, multiple fractures, and spinal injuries.
Construction accidents are another major cause, as falling from heights and crush injuries can be very severe. Some sports, such as bungee jumping and skydiving are obvious causes of catastrophic injuries. Medical mistakes, such as prescribing the wrong medication, leaving instruments inside patients, and misdiagnosis can also have very severe consequences. Sadly, many of these accidents could have been prevented if proper safety protocols and equipment had been utilized.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many types of injuries that have such a huge impact on a family that can be described as catastrophic. Some examples include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
When the brain is impacted in an accident it can result in devastating traumatic brain injuries that impact memory, cognition, speech, continence, and other functions of the body. When the brain loses the ability to control respiration, it’s called “brain death.”
Severe burns can result in disfiguring scarring even with the latest reconstructive surgical techniques. In addition to the cosmetic impairments, third- or fourth-degree burns can cause damage to bones and organs that limits mobility and function.
Spinal Cord Injuries
When the spinal cord is crushed, dislocated, compressed, or fractured, devastating consequences can result. Recovery from the initial impact can be complicated by fluid buildup, swelling, and bleeding, leading to permanent, partial or full paralysis. Some types of spinal fractures can cause immediate irreparable paralysis.
Severe trauma to the limbs can cause loss of function or require amputation. Multiple fractures, especially compound fractures where broken bones break through the skin, can be especially challenging to successfully treat. Burns can cause severe damages to limbs and infections that may require the limb to be amputated.
What Makes Catastrophic Injuries Unique?
Catastrophic injuries are unique due to:
- The astronomical medical costs including the cost of hospitalization, multiple surgeries, and rehabilitation
- The prolonged or permanent need for long term care
- The loss of earnings from a breadwinner and the emotional support of a parent can have a devastating impact on the victim’s family
Catastrophic injuries can generate astronomical medical bills for state-of-the-art treatments that may be the only route towards a more productive and happier life. It’s not unusual for victims of catastrophic injuries to burn through all available insurance, with avalanches of huge medical bills coming in every day.
If the victim was the family’s main provider, the shortfall has the potential to force the entire family into bankruptcy or foreclosure. Very few families have adequate resources to do this on their own. That’s why it’s extremely important to hire an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer in Orange County that can help you collect the amount of compensation that’s needed to support the needs of the victim and their family for many years to come.
Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury
Victims of catastrophic injuries often collect multi-million-dollar settlements or judgments because of the multiple claims available to pursue in such cases. The first type of compensation is for medical costs including rehabilitation, medical devices, prosthetics, and the cost of long-term care. Next, there is compensation “lost wages,” which is often the value of a person’s career, including the money they were likely to make during their entire lifetime, including raises and promotions that would be likely to occur if the victim had continued to work.
Non-economic damages for pain, suffering, and mental anguish can result in large settlements and verdicts due to the devastating impact on the victim’s life. It’s also possible in some cases for family members to assert their own claims for emotional distress and loss of services.
Call Our Orange County Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Today
Our Orange County catastrophic injuries attorneys have the expertise to handle large and complicated matters involving severe injuries with life-altering consequences. We’ll investigate your case, leaving no stone unturned in order to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. Our Orange County injury law firm offers a free consultation to discuss your case and our legal strategy, ensuring that you have a complete understanding of all issues. Please call (800) 900-9393 today to make an appointment.