When it comes to catastrophic injuries, not only are the victims affected by the disfigurement or disability but also the victims’ caregivers. These injuries have a life-altering impact on both the victims and their caregivers since they will need caregiving for the rest of their lives. When your catastrophic injury is a result of negligence on someone else’s part, California laws allow you to sue for damages.
An experienced Santa Ana catastrophic injury lawyer can help you collect the benefits you deserve. Crockett Law Group represents clients in Santa Ana and throughout California. Complete our contact form or call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free consultation with our award-winning personal injury attorneys.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
By definition, a catastrophic injury causes an individual a permanent disability, impairment, or disfigurement that prevents them from doing any meaningful work. More often than not, catastrophic injuries have a direct and proximate consequence.
Most experts will agree that the following types of injuries are classified as catastrophic:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI or a traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is penetrated by an object, subjected to brute force, shaken vigorously, deprived of oxygen, or impacted with rotational force. TBI injuries can affect an individual’s memory, emotions, cognition, thinking, sensations, and more. On top of the risk of causing permanent disability that may need long-term care, TBIs have the potential to be fatal.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spine is responsible for conveying messages from the brain to the rest of the body. When its ability to transmit signals throughout the body is compromised, the result can be catastrophic. One devastating fact about spinal cord injuries is their permanent nature. Spinal cord injuries often cause partial or complete paralysis from the waist down.
An injury that results in limb loss would be life-changing and catastrophic for anyone. A limb amputation injury would be devastating because not even the best prosthetics can replace a severed arm, hand, leg, or foot.
Severe Burn Injury
A severe burn injury can cause long-term disability and mobility issues, and permanent disfigurement. On top of that burn injuries are life-threatening and excruciatingly painful. For this reason, burn injuries are considered catastrophic.
Other types of catastrophic injuries include injuries causing blindness or deafness, disfigurement, injuries involving permanent disability, chronic lung damage (for example, from asbestos), and other brain injuries.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries can result from multiple incidents. Our Santa Ana catastrophic injury lawyers are familiar with the following causes:
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Car accidents;
- Sports accidents;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Commercial truck accidents;
- Defective products;
- Assault; and
- Dangerous premises accidents.
Catastrophic Injury Statistics
Approximately 2.8 million people suffer TBI injuries in the U.S every year, out of which 50,000 die and 282,000 are admitted to hospital. The rest, about 2.5 million are treated and released from the E.R. Almost 30% of all injury-related deaths are associated with TBI. TBI-related injuries kill about 153 people daily in the U.S.
An estimated 291,000 Americans are living with spinal cord injuries. Every year sees about 17,730 new spinal cord injuries.
About 2 million people are living with limb loss in the U.S. Traumatic accidents contribute about 25% of all amputations. About 70% of all amputations involve the upper limbs.
What Are the Long Term Effects of Catastrophic Injuries
Coming to terms with a catastrophic injury can be difficult. Not only do you have to cope with financial impact and career changes but also lifestyle changes. Catastrophic injuries can lead to the following long-term effects.
Financial loss is one of the biggest setbacks of catastrophic injuries. These injuries usually require numerous hospital visits and physical therapy sessions that don’t come cheap. Some of these treatment regimens may last a lifetime resulting in a mountain of medical bills.
Additionally, you might need to modify your home to accommodate wheelchair mobility. Also, since your injury will keep you from working and earning money, it will be difficult to cover your treatment and other needs leaving you in a stressful financial situation that will probably only get worse in the long run.
Going back to live a normal life after a catastrophic injury can be very hard. You will not be able to enjoy everyday activities due to physical or mental pain that can culminate in depression. All in all, a catastrophic injury has the potential to change the quality of life of an individual. This means you will have to adjust to your condition and a new way of life.
Catastrophic injuries come with many physical limitations that may force you out of work. If they don’t cause you to stop working, they might force you to change careers. Sadly, changing careers also means fresh training and, in most cases, reduced income.
Can I Sue for a Catastrophic Injury?
When someone else’s negligence causes an individual to suffer a catastrophic injury, they are well within their right to hold the at-fault party liable. Your best chance at getting compensation for your injuries may be through a catastrophic injury lawsuit.
California’s Comparative Negligence Rules
According to the comparative negligence rules in California, catastrophic injury victims may recover damages even if they shared fault for the accident that caused the injuries.
While injury victims in some jurisdictions are barred from recovering damages if they were partially liable, this is not the case for Santa Ana injury victims. The laws in California allow injury victims to seek compensation even if they held a greater percentage of fault. However, the percentage of liability a party holds determines how the damages awarded will be reduced.
A knowledgeable Santa Ana catastrophic injury lawyer might be able to get you compensation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
When you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you need all the assistance you can get. While the law does not require you to retain an attorney, you need one if
Investigate Your Claim and Gather Evidence
A lawyer with the Crockett Law Group can help investigate your claim on your behalf. Our Santa Ana catastrophic injury attorneys can conduct interviews, subpoena audio or video recordings, analyze insurance company reports, and investigate the backgrounds of persons of interest in the case.
On top of investigations, a Crockett Law Group attorney will help gather much-needed evidence. Your lawyer will also ensure the other party produces all relevant evidence and doesn’t interfere with the accident records.
Negotiate for an Out Of Court Settlement
One of the most crucial responsibilities of a catastrophic injury lawyer is handling settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Negotiating with insurance companies is not child’s play. The insurance company’s legal team will try to use underhand tactics to induce you to admit direct or indirect liability to deny or lessen your claim.
This is why you need an attorney to look out for your interests. Our Santa Ana attorneys are always prepared for these underhand tactics. Having a Crockett Law Group attorney means that your lawyer will negotiate for settlement from insurance companies aggressively.
Represent You If Your Case Goes To Trial
Although most personal injury cases settle before trial, you need a lawyer to represent you in court. If you fail to reach an adequate resolution for your complaints after pretrial settlement talks, our attorneys can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf in a California civil court.
If your case goes to trial we can represent you by making solid arguments, presenting necessary evidence, and examining witnesses. You make a wise choice by having a Santa Ana catastrophic injury lawyer from the Crockett Law Group represent you.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover in a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
Typically, catastrophic injuries cause severe damages, both monetary and non-monetary. Victims of catastrophic injuries can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damage. After a catastrophic injury, you can recover the following damages:
These include damages that are economic or have a monetary value like:
- Medical care and treatment including medical bills, medications, rehabilitation costs, and emotional counseling
- Lost wages, and in some cases loss of future wages
- Home or vehicle modification costs to accommodate handicap equipment.
- Property repair or replacement
- Home or nursing care
These damages do not have an economic value. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to pursue career goals, hobbies, and education opportunities.
- Loss of consortium
A California judge may award punitive damages on top of the basic compensation awards. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for extreme indifference and/or egregious conduct.
Speak With a Santa Ana Catastrophic Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If you or a loved one is catastrophically injured, it might be time to discuss your options with an attorney. At Crockett Law Group in Santa Ana, California, we understand the frustrations of suffering a catastrophic injury. Our experienced attorneys will work diligently to ensure you get compensation for your injuries. Call us at (800) 900-9393 to arrange a meeting to discuss the details of your case. Our initial consultation is free so do not hesitate to get in touch with our Santa Ana office.