Any type of accident can have a detrimental impact on your overall quality of life. A catastrophic injury, on the other hand, is completely life-changing. These types of injuries are rare but affect thousands of people every year.
In fact, research shows that more than 17,000 people sustain a spinal cord injury in the United States every year — and that’s just one type of catastrophic injury. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a catastrophic injury in or near Riverside, CA, let the team at The JLF Firm handle your claim.
What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
The term “catastrophic injury” refers to an injury that will have a permanent impact on the individual and their quality of life. For example, an injury may cause permanent physical disfigurement and scarring or prevent them from enjoying daily life. In addition, a catastrophic injury may also prevent an individual from working, which results in lost wages and earning opportunities.
A catastrophic injury can also impact the victim’s family as well. Many times, if the victim suffered a permanent disability, the family must act as caregivers, as well as incur costs related to ongoing care including medical bills, rehabilitative care, physical therapy, medications/medical devices, special education for a child, travel expenses, in-home nursing care, and more.
Finally, a catastrophic injury can have a detrimental impact on the emotional well-being of the victim. They can suffer anxiety, depression, PTSD, mental anguish, humiliation, lost quality of life, and so much more. The family also experiences non-economic damages including loss of affection, spousal consortium, or parental guidance. These emotional damages often result in higher damage awards for these types of claims.
Types of catastrophic injuries we handle
There is a wide range of life-changing medical conditions that fall under the umbrella of “catastrophic injury”. The most common include brain and spine injuries — but there are other types of injury that are classified as catastrophic, such as severe burns, traumatic amputations, and other injuries that leave the victim with significant, potentially permanent loss of bodily function.
The team at The JLF Firm handles a variety of catastrophic injury cases including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Serious burns
- Paralysis, such as tetraplegia, paraplegia, and triplegia
Many times, medical intervention can save the victim’s life, but may not restore them to full mobility, health, and cognition. When there is a catastrophic injury, both the victim and their families must learn a new way of living including ongoing care, family assistance, and more.
The definition of catastrophic injury is relative, as what is catastrophic for one victim and their family may only cause moderate harm to another. The impact that an injury has on a victim’s overall life determines whether it is a catastrophic injury.
If you’re unsure whether an injury qualifies as catastrophic in the state of California, consult with a catastrophic injury attorney. We understand these injuries and the state laws regarding these claims.
Most Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many different types of accidents that can cause catastrophic, permanent injuries. The attorneys at The JLF Firm represent victims in Riverside and several other locations in California in a variety of catastrophic injury claims including:
- Automobile accidents (car, truck, motorcycle)
- Pedestrian collisions and bicycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Dog attacks
- Defective products
- Acts of violence
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
If someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident that involved a catastrophic injury, you may have grounds to file a claim. In order to prove negligence in an accident, you must prove that there was a breach in the duty of care owed by someone else. If you or your catastrophic injury attorney can prove negligence, you can recover compensation.
Long-Term Effects of Catastrophic Accidents
A catastrophic injury has long-term effects that make it difficult, if not impossible, to resume normal activities. Some of these effects include:
- Physical disability: Including paralysis or the loss of a limb
- Mental incapacity: Such as a TBI or a birth injury that causes brain damage
- Reduced quality of life: Including chronic anxiety and/or depression, PTSD, low-self-esteem
- Employment problems: May make it difficult or impossible to work in the same capacity as prior to the accident, which often results in reduced pay
- Financial struggles: Medical treatment for catastrophic injuries can be expensive
In a catastrophic injury case, the victim or their family can seek financial recovery for these damages. The liable party will be ordered to pay an amount that is appropriate for all damages- both economic and non-economic. While this recovery won’t make up for the injury, it can help the victim and their family deal with the long-term impacts.
Common Damages Awarded in Catastrophic Injury Cases
On average, a victim and their family can incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills alone. This does not account for lost wages, property damage, or other damages. A monetary award won’t change the fact that it happened, but it can make it easier to manage the finances involved.
In addition, it can provide justice by holding the liable party accountable. The damages available for your case depend on your losses and the circumstances of the case. Some of the most common damages awarded include:
- Current and future medical expenses related to the injury, including rehabilitative care
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering including physical suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, reduced ability to enjoy life, emotional distress, psychological trauma, and more
- Property damage, if the accident also damaged your property
- Out-of-pocket costs including legal expenses, travel expenses, property repairs, and more
- Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the victim for negligence, intent to harm, disregard for the safety and well-being of others, malicious intent, and recklessness
Let The JLF Firm Evaluate Your Catastrophic Injury Case
If you or a loved one has been affected by a catastrophic injury due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, let The JLF Firm evaluate your case. We fight for the rights of victims and their families in these and other personal injury situations. We understand the laws that govern these types of injuries and the best way to recover what you deserve.
There is a timeline within which your case must be filed to ensure that you receive compensation. The state of California allows 2 years from the date of the injury to file a claim. Once the statute of limitations expires, you may not be able to recover anything.
Act now to file your catastrophic injury claim. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call. We have several locations in the area.