Catastrophic injuries, whether spinal, brain, burn, or amputation, are devastating and permanent in nature. They can have an enormous impact on the lives of the victims and their families. Catastrophic injuries often require long periods of hospitalization and specialized medical care (medication, surgery, therapy, accessible homes), often for the rest of the person’s life. The medical costs involved with the treatment of a catastrophic injury can be staggering, and the future earning potential of the victim can be greatly reduced or lost entirely.
What Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?
The legal definition of a catastrophic injury is an injury with "direct and proximate consequences" that "permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work." The effects of these injuries may be long lasting both emotionally and physically.
Common causes of catastrophic injuries:
- auto accidents
- truck accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- cycling accidents
- defective products
- medical malpractice
- sports and recreational activities
- workplace accidents
Catastrophic Injurie Cases We Handle
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury in the United States each year. Of those individuals, about 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million are treated and released from an emergency department. TBIs are often the result of slips and falls, auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, sports-related activities, or violence/assaults. A TBI can include a focal injury (confined to small area) or a diffuse injury (affecting a large area of the brain).
Spinal Cord Injury: According to the National Institute for Health, there are an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 spinal cord injuries every year in the United States. Spinal cord injuries often are the result of auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slips and falls, defective products, sports and recreational activities, or workplace accidents. Spinal cord injuries can include paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia.
Burns: According to the Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation (Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation, May/June 1992), approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported each year in the United States. Approximately 650,000 of the injuries are treated by medical professionals, and 75,000 are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 20,000 have major burns involving at least 25% of their total body surface. Between 8,000 and 12,000 of patients with burns die, and approximately one million will sustain substantial or permanent disabilities resulting from their burn injury. Burns are often the result of heat exposure to fire, steam, tar, or hot liquids. They can also be the result of chemical burns, thermal burns, auto accidents, and defective products.
Amputations: According to the National Institute for Health, in 2007, there were approximately 1.7 million people with limb loss in the United States (excluding fingers and toes). There are more than 185,000 new amputations performed each year in this country. Amputations are often the result of auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice.
What Can People with Catastrophic Injuries Seek Compensation For?
- Lost wages
- Medical bills & expenses
- Property damage
- Pain & suffering
Contact The South Florida Catastrophic Injury Attorneys At Zimmerman & Frachtman
If you or a loved one needs an attorney who understands the physical and emotional pain that victims of brain, spinal, amputation, or burn injuries suffer, and if you would like to learn more about your legal rights.
Catastrophic Injury FAQ
Should I Accept An Offer Provided To Me By An Insurance Company?
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, one of the initial steps you take should be to contact a qualified South Florida catastrophic injury lawyer to assess your case and determine the best course of action. If you accept an offer from an insurance company, you may be giving up your right to file additional claims in the future and, therefore, losing out on funds that would help cover future medical expenses.
Do Catastrophic Injury Claims Differ From Other Types Of Injury Claims?
The short answer is yes – typically, catastrophic claims lead to much more complicated and lengthy legal battles because of the serious nature of the injuries. In addition, compensation and settlements are usually much larger because of the necessary monetary care needs that result from catastrophic injuries. This is why it is so important to consult with a reputable South Florida catastrophic injury law firm to determine the necessary compensation that is required for your specific case.
Who Is Liable For Damages When It Comes To Catastrophic Injury Cases?
If a person or party is found to be responsible for a catastrophic injury, then they can be held accountable for the victim’s losses or injuries. As an example, if someone suffers a catastrophic injury due to a careless driver, then that driver and/or the driver’s company can be held accountable for the victim’s injuries. Another example would be a manufacturer of a defective product that caused serious injury to an individual. Your South Florida catastrophic injury attorney will be able to help assess who the liable persons or parties are within your specific case and seek compensation accordingly.
Is It Possible For The Victim To Be At Fault As Well?
Because catastrophic injury cases are not simple to begin with, there are gray areas where the victim may be found at fault due to negligence. For example, car accidents or slip-and-fall cases are often blurred when it comes to negligence on the victim’s part. If the victim is found to be at fault as well, they may still receive compensation, but a percentage will be deducted accordingly.
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