San Diego Catastrophic Injury Attorneys
Law Firm Representing Victims of Catastrophic Personal Injuries
An injury is considered to be catastrophic when it causes an individual to suffer permanent, life-altering harm. Even though minor injuries can lead to significant pain, lost wages, and medical bills, the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of catastrophic injuries often last for years, if not for the remainder of a person's life. To help a catastrophically injured person receive adequate and proper medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation in addition to compensation for pain and suffering, losses, and various damages, a San Diego injury attorney will gather evidence, witness testimony, and medical documents to ensure that negligent parties are held liable.
Types of Catastrophic Injury
Being involved in an accident that results in injury is never easy; however, a catastrophic injury accident presents many long-term challenges. Some of the most frequently experienced catastrophic injuries include the following:
Though usually caused by heat from either fires or dangerous products, burn injuries are also the result of chemicals, electricity, or radiation. While the majority of burns damage the skin, others are capable of causing severe damage to deeper tissues like muscle, bone, and blood vessels. The most serious consequences of catastrophic burn injuries are disfigurement, disabling scars, amputation, infection, and respiratory distress.
Loss of Limb
Although limb loss can result from infection, diabetes, vascular disease, cancer, and other diseases, trauma is also a major cause. On top of significant pain, the loss of a limb such as an arm or leg can cause tremendous emotional distress as well as mobility, personal care, and livelihood limitations.
Abnormalities on a structural, biochemical, or electrical level within the brain, spinal cord, and/or nerves leading to or from them, may be considered a neurological disorder. Some common types are seizures, paralysis, muscle weakness, lack of coordination, confusion, sensation loss, and distorted levels of consciousness.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A bump, jolt, or blow to the head as well as a penetrating object can cause a mild or severe brain injury. A catastrophic brain trauma often leads to amnesia, behavior changes, or a long period of unconsciousness. A closed brain injury is brought about by movement of the brain within the skull and a penetrating brain injury is brought about by a foreign object entering the skull.
Spinal Cord Injury
Often resulting from direct injury to the cord itself or indirectly from injury to bones, tissues, and/or blood vessels, spinal cord injuries affect the functions of other body parts and systems. Cuts, bleeding, fluid accumulation, and swelling can damage and compress the spinal cord.
Causes of Catastrophic Injury
The above list of catastrophic injuries are most commonly the results of motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle crashes; slip and fall accidents; industrial accidents; and other causes ranging from assault to sports injuries. In many of these types of incidents, another person's negligence or a group's oversight is determined to be the cause. As such, a catastrophic injury victim has legal rights and options in their pursuit of justice and compensation from responsible parties.
Catastrophic Injury FAQs
What Kind of Compensation Can I Seek For My Catastrophic Injuries?
One of the most stressful things about being injured is not knowing where you’re going to get the money to pay your bills. If you’re suffering from a catastrophic injury, it’s likely that you won’t be able to return to work for a while, if at all, and the medical expenses will only continue to pile up as you get the treatment you need to recover. Fortunately, you may be entitled to significant compensation depending on the severity of your injuries and if someone else was at fault. Each case is unique, and restitution will be determined after careful examination of a variety of factors.
There are two types of damages that may be sought in a catastrophic injury case – compensatory and punitive. Compensatory is meant to compensate the injured party for particular expenses or loss and is the most common kind of financial award given in injury cases.
Compensatory compensation usually includes:
- Current and future medical bills
- Costs of assisted living
- Lost earnings
- Loss of future wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages are typically reserved for more serious cases, such as those with a catastrophic injury. They are intended to punish the at-fault party for their negligence that lead to the devastating injuries of someone else. Punitive awards are not based on any calculations but rather whatever the court deems is fair.
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Case?
A: As long as you can prove your injuries were the direct cause of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, there is a good chance there are grounds for you to file a claim. The only way to know for certain if you have a valid case is to get legal counsel. An attorney will be able to review all aspects of the situation to determine if you are in a good position to win your case.
What Happens if I Share Some of the Responsibility?
A: Although you were the one that suffered a catastrophic injury, the case may not be so cut and dry. Sometimes there is found to be shared negligence in an incident, which could cause damages to be reduced. Regardless, even if the cause of your injuries were not 100 percent someone else’s fault it is likely that you will still be entitled to receive restitution. In California, comparative negligence law applies, which means your award will be reduced in proportion to the degree of fault you are considered to have.
The Insurance Company Has Agreed to Settle. What Should I Do?
A: It’s not uncommon for the insurance company of the at-fault party to try and settle a catastrophic injury claim quickly out of court. This is generally an attempt to limit their losses, as they can be expected to have to pay out much more if the case goes to court. It’s always wise to speak with a lawyer before making any decisions to ensure you aren’t being cheated out of the settlement your injuries merit.
Do I Need Legal Representation?
A: It is not technically required for you to have legal representation should you pursue compensation. You have the right to represent yourself, however, this is never recommended in such delicate cases as those concerning catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injury cases can be much more complicated on a legal level and are typically entitled to larger settlements. With so much at stake, it’s best to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to advise you of your options and fight for the amount of compensation you deserve.
Helping You Obtain Rightful Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury in San Diego
At the Jurewitz Law Group, our catastrophic injury lawyers in San Diego go above and beyond for our clients who have suffered debilitating injuries due to another's negligent or reckless behavior. With our many years of experience protecting the rights of catastrophic injury victims in a wide range of accidents, you can focus on healing and rehabilitating while we work to obtain full and just compensation on your behalf. Call our firm today at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020 for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can be of assistance.
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Call the Jurewitz Law Group at (619) 233-5020 and begin your path to recovery with a no-cost consultation today.