Catastrophic injuries can leave you seriously disabled, sometimes for the rest of your life. If you’re suffering from a catastrophic injury, it’s understandable if you feel angry, anxious, and depressed.
You’re possibly wondering what might happen to you and your family following your injury. The future seems uncertain now, but it may be possible to seek compensation that could make your troubles a little easier to bear.
Learn more about different types of catastrophic injuries and how to hold negligent parties responsible below.
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury due to the negligence of another, call our catastrophic injury lawyers today at (714) 617-7870 for a free consultation.
What’s Considered a Catastrophic Injury in California?
The law defines catastrophic injuries as those preventing someone from being able to work. Catastrophic injuries include permanent physical or mental impairment, severe head or neck trauma, and death.
Catastrophic injuries happen every day in California. Thousands of people visit the emergency room for car accidents, poisonings, falls, and other severe injuries every year.
Catastrophic Injury Examples
The following are some common types of catastrophic injuries:
- Head injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as concussions, aren’t just a simple bump to the head. You could develop memory problems, confusion, chronic headaches, and even personality changes from a traumatic brain injury.
- Broken bones: Broken bones can take months to heal, even if everything goes perfectly. But when a broken bone doesn’t heal as it should, you may deal with long-lasting pain or end up disabled for the rest of your life.
- Spinal injuries: Spinal damage can leave victims with partial or total disability. They may find it hard or impossible to move around independently.
- Burns and electrocutions: These injuries kill many people each year. Even if you live, you might have scarring and disfigurement, nerve damage, and heart problems.
- Sensory injuries: Losing your sight, hearing, or other senses can be devastating. Without these senses, you might find it hard to work or do things you used to love.
What Causes Catastrophic Injuries?
Nearly any type of accident can cause catastrophic injuries. Car accidents are a leading cause, as are slip-and-fall accidents.
People who play high-impact sports, like football and skateboarding, have a higher risk of accidents than the average person.
Employees might injure themselves on the job, particularly in high-risk fields such as farming, construction, and manufacturing.
Dog or wild animal attacks leave many seriously injured as well. Friendly dogs can attack people even if they’ve never bitten anyone before.
Catastrophic Injuries Can Lead to Serious Financial Struggles
Medical bills from treating catastrophic injuries often total thousands or even millions of dollars. The costs of emergency care, physical therapy, and other treatments add up quickly.
Many people with catastrophic injuries are no longer able to work. They may struggle with paying for housing, bills, food, and many other necessities.
Government benefit programs can help, but these likely won’t cover everything. Such programs also have long waiting lists, meaning approval could take months or longer. Until then, accident victims must find a way to pay for necessities on their own.
Accident victims might need to hire an in-home caregiver to do household chores, cook meals, or provide medical care. This expense only adds to the victim’s financial strain.
Mental Effects of Catastrophic Injuries
Serious accidents can change your life instantly. Victims often struggle with anxiety and depression. Many catastrophic injuries also cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can include symptoms such as the following:
- Flashbacks and nightmares of the event
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Irritability and agitation
- Avoidance of places, activities, and situations that remind the victim of the event
- Emotional numbness
- Trouble maintaining social relationships
- Self-destructive behavior
- Feelings of guilt and shame
Symptoms like these can make it difficult for the accident victim to lead a normal life. For some fortunate people, these symptoms improve over time. For others, though, they may linger for the rest of the person’s life.
Who’s Liable for Your Catastrophic Injuries?
After an accident, it’s normal to demand justice from the person who hurt you. Naturally, you want them to pay for what they’ve done. You probably have two big questions: Can you sue them, and if you do, can you win?
You may have a case if the at-fault party owed you what’s called a “duty of care” and breached their duty to you.
For example, other drivers owe you a duty of care because they’re obligated to obey speed limits, pay attention to road signage, and avoid driving while drunk.
If another driver hits you because they were speeding or talking on the phone, they’ve breached their duty of care to you.
Other parties you can hold liable include:
- Third-party contractors
- Property owners
- Animal owners
- Product manufacturers
What Compensation Is Available for Catastrophic Injuries?
If a court agrees that someone was responsible for your injuries, it may give you money for:
- Your medical bills
- Lost wages if you temporarily or permanently cannot work
- Lost earning capacity if you must transfer to a lower-paying job
- Physical therapy and other rehabilitation costs
The court may also award you non-financial damages for your emotional trauma and lowered quality of life. For instance, if you suffer from embarrassment due to scarring or disfigurement, the court might give you additional compensation.
How Can a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Help You?
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, don’t risk representing yourself in court. Even if you think the other party was clearly to blame for your accident, it can be difficult and time-consuming for the average person to prove liability in a lawsuit.
A catastrophic injury attorney will gather evidence of liability, contact witnesses, and build a case that proves who’s to blame for your accident. With an experienced attorney by your side, you have a better chance of a higher compensation award.
Khalil Law Group Fights for Your Rights in a Catastrophic Injury Case
Khalil Law Group has the experience and knowledge to represent your catastrophic injury case. We handle all types of catastrophic injuries, from slip-and-fall accidents to car crashes and more. Call us at (714) 617-7870 for a free consultation today.