Catastrophic injuries have a life-changing impact on accident victims. The injuries, typically involving severe damage to the brain or the spine, are permanent or long-lasting. They are usually disabling.
Catastrophic injury victims often face limitations in their ability to perform physical and mental activities. They may develop related medical problems involving respiratory or heart disease. The secondary results of catastrophic injuries may lead to premature death from pneumonia, pulmonary embolisms, or cardiac arrest.
Catastrophic injuries have many causes, including car accidents, falls, choking, athletic accidents, and violent confrontations. They can be caused by a doctor's carelessness during childbirth or surgery. Defective or unsafe products are also a cause of severe injuries.
When a catastrophic injury is caused by the carelessness of another person or business, California law allows the injury victim to pursue compensation. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer can help victims obtain the funds they need to cope with the lasting impact of their injuries. If you are the victim of a severe injury in Orange County or elsewhere in Southern California, call 800-838-6644 to discuss your case with an experienced catastrophic injury attorney.
Accidents Causing Catastrophic Injuries
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates helps victims who suffer life-changing injuries due to the negligence actions of another person or business. Accidents that produce catastrophic injuries happen in a variety of ways, including:
- Car and Motorcycle Crashes. The head and spine injuries that are classified as catastrophic often result from high speed impacts. A rider who is thrown from a motorcycle or a driver who is involved in a T-bone accident will be at risk of a broken back, a spinal cord injury, or a skull fracture leading to brain damage.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents. People who are on foot or riding a bicycle have no significant protection when they are hit by a car. Bicycle helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures in the event of a bicycle collision with a vehicle, but they cannot help accident victims avoid neck and back trauma or concussions that cause brain injuries.
- Dangerous Property Conditions. A child who is rescued from a neighbor's uncovered swimming pool may have lifelong brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. Tripping hazards and slippery surfaces cause falls that might lead to catastrophic head and back injuries. Businesses and property owners are responsible for failing to correct or warn of dangerous conditions on their property.
- Dangerous Products. Falling from an improperly designed ladder, breathing carbon monoxide released from a poorly vented generator, and toys with small detachable parts upon which infants choke are examples of defective or dangerous products that can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Medical Malpractice. Surgical errors may deprive malpractice victims of the ability to walk. Errors in the administration of medication or anesthesia may produce brain injuries. Malpractice during childbirth is also a significant cause of lifelong disabilities.
- Athletic Injuries. Injuries resulting from contact sports are part of the risk of the game. When those risks are enhanced by coaches or trainers who fail to warm athletes about the risk of concussions or who return players to the game after they suffer from a concussion, serious brain damage that results from a second concussion is the responsibility of the negligent coach or trainer.
Regardless of its nature, any careless act that results in severe harm to another person entitles the injury victim to pursue compensation.
Catastrophic Injury Compensation
The purpose of catastrophic injury compensation is to restore the injury victim to the position he or she occupied before the injury occurred. In the case of catastrophic injuries, money will rarely accomplish that goal, but financial compensation can help improve the quality of an accident victim's life.
Compensation serves to replace the income that a disabled victim would have earned if he or she had never been injured. Compensation also covers medical bills and the costs of services that assist recovery, including speech therapy, physical therapy, and mental health counseling. When the injury victim will not be able to return to former employment, compensation can pay the costs of vocational rehabilitation.
The victim of a catastrophic injury may need to remodel a home to make it wheelchair accessible or to buy a van that can be operated with hand controls. Compensation can help victims with disabilities maintain independence by covering those expenses. Compensation can also pay for home health workers who help victims with their activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed. When it isn't possible for an injury victim to live independently, compensation can pay the cost of living in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home.
Catastrophic injury victims typically experience overwhelming pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Compensation cannot remove that pain, but it can help victims feel that a measure of justice has been done when a settlement or verdict takes account of their suffering. Victims can also use their compensation for pain and suffering to make their lives better in other ways.
When Should I Speak to a Catastrophic Injury Attorney?
Catastrophic injuries are just that: catastrophic. They permanently change victims' lives and the lives of their immediate families. When an organization is negligent and their negligence results in catastrophic injuries, they know they may be forced to pay out a large verdict if the victim shows signs that they'd be able to win at trial.
If the victim does not have a legal team, what does that say to the at-fault organization's team of attorneys? Easy pickings. Without any leverage, they may try to settle with you for a small percentage of what you could receive. Speaking with an attorney about your case would explain this in more detail and give you far more, important information about obtaining compensation for your ordeal.
For those who have suffered catastrophic injuries, we're here to help. Contact Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer Tim Ryan for a free consultation. We will answer your questions and provide you with much-needed information. There is no obligation to retain our services and we do not charge you a penny unless we win your case.