If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in the Los Angeles or Southern California area, contact us today for a free consultation. Below you will find information regarding these injuries along with what you should know about a catastrophic injury lawyer and lawsuits.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is a severe and disabling medical condition. It’s not an exaggerated injury that’s amplified by personal injury attorneys. Catastrophic injuries have been categorized by the American Medical Association as severe injuries to the spine, spinal cord or brain. They usually come suddenly, traumatically and without warning. They almost always result in a severe and permanent condition. Management of these injuries is complicated, and it requires the involvement of doctors, consultants, caregivers, therapists and counselors. Catastrophic injuries can result in:
- A protracted recovery period but no resulting permanent disabilities
- Profound physical and mental disabilities
Causes of catastrophic injuries
Most catastrophic injuries occur from traumatic events. Those can include:
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- Car, truck and motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Swimming pool and trampoline accidents
- Severe workplace injuries
- Slip and falls and trip and falls
- Explosions and severe burns
Other causes might include occupational diseases from exposure to toxic fumes and chemical or medical malpractice. At other times they might be suffered from dangerously defective products. Some examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Brain injuries that cause permanent physical and mental disabilities
- Spinal cord injuries that cause permanent partial or full paralysis
- Loss of sight or hearing
- Amputations requiring prosthetics
- Organ damage when the heart, lungs or liver are damaged
- Severe burns resulting in disfigurement and extensive nerve damage
Damages recoverable for catastrophic injuries
Catastrophic injuries result in seemingly insurmountable medical, rehabilitation and lifetime care expenses. When a catastrophic injury victim is injured through the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, he or she can seek compensation for damages. Those damages can include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- The cost of rehabilitation services
- The cost of a caregiver
- The cost of required home modifications
A high level of experience is required
These types of damages carry immense financial implications, so determining the value of a case is complex. It requires a highly experienced attorney with knowledge of the specific injury who understands that there will be implications over the years that will require adequate resources. A family can’t tackle the issues in a catastrophic injury case alone. The issues and accompanying details are far too complicated. Only a knowledgeable and experienced catastrophic injury lawyer should bring such an action. Here are just a few of the issues that are common to catastrophic injury cases.
This is the legal document that’s filed with the court to commence the action against the party or parties that the victim’s attorney believes are at fault. More than one person or entity can be compelled to pay damages. You want to provide both the court and the defendants with as much information as possible regarding the occurrence that caused the injuries and the damages sought.
This phase of civil litigation ordinarily begins after all of the defendants have filed their answers to the complaint. The attorneys for the parties will seek information from their respective clients about how the accident occurred, what could have been done to prevent it, the injuries suffered, and the victim’s prognosis. Discovery is both written and oral in depositions. Meticulous preparation and attention to detail is required in the discovery phase of a case. A case can be won or lost on discovery alone.
Depending on the type of the accident and the nature and extent of the damages claimed, numerous expert witnesses could be required to testify. Those experts might be:
- Long-term care planners
Most families simply don’t have the resources to retain such experts on their injured family member’s behalf. A successful catastrophic injury lawyer will have them.
If a case isn’t properly prepared in discovery, important issues won’t ever get heard by a jury. Expect the case to be assigned to aggressive and successful insurance defense lawyers. In a catastrophic injury case, the stakes are high. A lay person simply doesn’t have the vast knowledge of the rules of procedure, evidence and trial technique that are necessary to prevail in a courtroom. No insurance company is going to part with millions of dollars without putting up a vigorous defense.
When there’s not enough insurance to cover the injury
The scenario of not enough insurance to cover an injury often comes up in motor vehicle accident cases when some of the worst drivers are riding on little or no insurance. A severely injured person might only be able to recover the low policy limits of the at fault driver along with any uninsured or underinsured insurance proceeds. Even if he or she takes a seven figure jury verdict, it’s likely that the at fault driver will simply go bankrupt. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney has seen these facts in the past. He or she will know how to access every source of recovery and governmental assistance for the victim.
Contact a Los Angeles Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today
A catastrophic injury will turn a family’s life upside down. Any compensation received will help in management of it. Our law firm will investigate and aggressively pursue every possible avenue of recovery for victims and their families. It won’t cost you a penny for a consultation and case evaluation on any severe injury case, and it won’t cost anything to retain us either. There’s no reason not to contact us if you or a family member suffers a severe or catastrophic injury.