Los Angeles Catastrophic Injuries Lawyer
Thousands of Americans are affected by catastrophic injuries every year. Catastrophic injuries come with many physical, mental, and emotional losses, and they can prevent someone from being able to perform daily activities or obtain gainful employment. When calculating the damages in catastrophic injury cases, it is critical to consider the medical care necessary to treat the injury, the immediate loss of wages, and the future loss of income over your lifetime.
If you have sustained a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim against them to recover damages. Due to the nature of damages in these cases, though, insurance companies will fight very hard to deny, reduce, or delay the fair settlement victims deserve. Our Los Angeles catastrophic injuries lawyer at Personal Injury Legal Group will not let them get away with these tactics, so you recover the full and fair damages you deserve.
What Is Considered A “Catastrophic” Injury?
An injury is considered “catastrophic,” when your ability to live as you had before the accident becomes significantly reduced. Catastrophic accident laws are extremely complicated so it is important to have the representation of a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney. Personal Injury Legal Group provides you with that expert care so you can recoup your losses and secure compensation for whatever your future holds.
There are numerous types of “catastrophic injury” legal standards, such as the following:
- Conditions such as Tetraplegia, Pаrарlеgіа, or Quadriplegia
- Severe loss of mobility in an arm or leg
- Limb amputation
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Whole person physical impairment at or above 55%
- Mental or behavioral impairment at or above 55% of the whole person
- Diminished medical capacity in three or more areas
- Damage to internal organs
- Injury to the spinal cord
What is the Cost of a Catastrophic Injury?
It is extremely difficult to determine how much a catastrophic injury will cost a victim over their lifetime. These injuries vary greatly in their nature and severity, the medical intervention and rehabilitation required, and the impact on the victim’s quality of life.
Quadriplegia, which is a form of paralysis that affects all four limbs, is one of the most common and costliest types of catastrophic injuries. This injury is estimated to cost accident victims $1,102,403 on average during the first year alone. Throughout the victim’s lifetime, that cost can increase to almost $5 million over a person’s lifetime. This is the cost of only medically treating the injury. It does not include lost wages or the negative impact on the victim’s quality of life.
Catastrophic accidents are most often the result of someone’s negligence. Depending on the specifics of an accident, it is possible to have multiple parties who are at-fault such as:
- Employer: Employers who fail to properly train their workers or ensure safe working conditions may be held responsible for damages. It is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney help you assess whether you will have a stronger personal injury claim or worker’s compensation case.
- Doctor/Hospital: If a doctor or hospital worker acts with negligence such as misdiagnosing your injury or administering the wrong amount of anesthesia or medication, the doctor and/or the hospital may be liable.
- Property Owner: When a catastrophic injury occurs at a place of business or someone’s residence, the property owner may be held responsible for the unsafe conditions.
- School: If a student experiences a catastrophic injury during a school sponsored-event, even if the injury happens away from school facilities, the school may be held liable for losses.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many different injuries that are classified as catastrophic. The most common of these include:
- Head and brain injuries: There is no such thing as a minor injury to the brain or head. Even the impact of a concussion, which many people mistakenly think are minor injuries, can remain with an accident victim for many weeks and even months. Other head and brain injuries, such as skull fractures, can leave an accident victim permanently disabled.
- Spinal cord injuries: Paralysis is the most catastrophic injury that can happen to the spinal cord. Depending on the location of the injury, a person may be paralyzed from the waist or neck down.
- Severe burns: Burns are some of the most painful injuries sustained in accidents. They are also very costly and painful to treat. Severe burns can leave victims with permanent scarring and disfigurement, which can result in a lifetime of shame and embarrassment.
- Birth injuries: Cerebral palsy, brachial palsy, facial paralysis, and fractures are just a few types of birth injuries that can be considered catastrophic. Birth injuries often remain with children for the rest of their lives and can greatly impact their ability to find employment or even take care of their own daily tasks.
- Amputations: Amputations will also affect a person for the rest of their life. Many people first think of amputated limbs, but there are other parts of the body that can be amputated, as well, such as fingers and toes. Amputations can occur at the scene of an accident, or limbs and appendages may have to be surgically removed later if they are injured beyond repair.
- Damage to organs: Organs can become lacerated or crushed during an accident, which can have disastrous results for victims. In the future, a victim may need an organ transplant, which will incur even more costs and stress.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many different types of accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries. The most common of these include:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Train accidents
- Slip and falls
- Defective products
- Truck accidents
- Cruise ship accidents
- Sporting accidents
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyer can help after any type of accident to ensure you receive the full settlement that is legally yours.
Secondary Impacts of a Catastrophic Injury
A catastrophic injury will result in a great deal of bodily trauma. In addition to this, catastrophic injuries will affect a person’s welfare, health, and quality of life. Some of the most common secondary impacts of a catastrophic injury are as follows:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Cardiovascular complications, such as deep vein thrombosis
- Heterotopic ossification
- Pulmonary problems
- Pneumonia and other secondary infections
- Mood orders and depression
It is not only the accident victim who suffers after a catastrophic injury. The stress of caring for a person with these types of injuries is extremely difficult on the victim’s family.
Life Care Plans After a Catastrophic Injury
A Life Care Plan is essential to create after a catastrophic injury. A Life Care Plan addresses the specific needs of the patients and will outline the support, services, equipment, and other requirements that reflect the changes in the patient’s condition. Life Care Plans should also include a timeline and budget that address the needs of the patient. A few common items include in Life Care Plans are as follows:
- Transportation requirements, such as a handicap-accessible vehicle
- Renovations to the injured individual’s home, such as wheelchair ramps
- Assistive devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair
- Requirements for nursing or supervisory care
- Home care facilities or services
- Necessary medical supplies, such as medications
- Mental health and counseling requirements
- Therapeutic interventions
It is true that the majority of people who suffer a catastrophic injury will never make a full recovery. However, with careful planning, patience, care, rehabilitation, and time, many individuals can rebuild a quality of life for themselves and their families.
Investigating a Catastrophic Injury Case
Like all personal injury cases, those involving catastrophic injuries must be fully investigated, and important evidence must be collected. Insurance companies will fight catastrophic injury claims aggressively due to the high amounts of damages involved. They may argue that the injury was caused by a pre-existing injury or that you were at fault for the accident that caused the harm.
It is important to note that you can fight back against the claims of the insurance company. Even if you did have a pre-existing injury, for example, you can still claim damages if the accident exacerbated the condition. To claim the full amount of damages you are legally entitled to, you need strong evidence that proves your case. This evidence can include the following:
- Eyewitness statements: Eyewitnesses are innocent bystanders. They have nothing to lose or gain in a personal injury case, and their testimony is taken seriously by the courts. As with many other people, however, witnesses may forget important details over time. It is important to investigate and locate witnesses quickly so their memories are as fresh and accurate as possible.
- Evidence from the accident scene: Often, the best evidence is present at the accident scene. If possible, you should always take photographs of the scene and your injuries after any accident. After sustaining a catastrophic injury, though, this is not always practical. Our Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyer can obtain video footage and photographs of the accident scene from nearby businesses and other surveillance.
- Evidence from vehicles involved: Certain types of vehicles contain a lot of information about them and what they were doing in the moments leading up to a crash. The black box from a commercial truck, for example, may show that the driver was speeding in the moments prior to a crash, indicating that the truck driver was likely negligent and caused the crash. This type of evidence is not always easy for injured individuals to obtain, but a lawyer can obtain it for you quickly and easily.
- Maintenance records: Defective equipment, such as the brakes of a car, can easily cause an accident resulting in catastrophic injuries. Manufacturers must retain logs for the maintenance of their equipment, particularly when it is quite old. These maintenance records can show that equipment was faulty and, therefore, produced defective products.
- Defective products: Of course, when a catastrophic injury was caused by a defective product, the product itself is very important evidence. It is important to retain any product that caused an injury. A lawyer will also conduct non-destructive testing on a defective product to show how it caused someone to sustain a catastrophic injury.
Obtaining the evidence that is necessary to prove your claim is not easy for any accident victim. While you are recovering from a catastrophic injury, you may feel as though it is impossible. Fortunately, our seasoned attorneys will conduct the necessary investigation to determine what evidence is most important and collect it on your behalf.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS
Personal Injury Legal Group offers a trusted legal team experienced in handling the complexities of catastrophic injury cases. Whatever the particulars of your case may be, allow us to help you secure the settlement that you need and deserve. We provide a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced personal injury attorney. And, our services are on a contingency, which means YOU ONLY PAY IF WE WIN YOUR CASE.
We want you to focus on your medical treatment and recovery from losses while we focus on what we do best, which is handling all of your legal matters.
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
Call Our Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles Now
Catastrophic injuries, by their very definition, are the worst a person can suffer. If you have been hurt and someone else’s negligence is to blame, our Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyers at Personal Injury Legal Group will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the maximum damages that are justly yours. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Catastrophic Injuries
What is considered a catastrophic injury in California?
A catastrophic injury is a severe injury that causes permanent disability or significantly impairs an individual’s quality of life. Examples of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, and amputations.
What if I can’t afford to pay for a catastrophic injury attorney?
Many catastrophic injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if you win your case. You should discuss fee arrangements with your attorney during your initial consultation.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the catastrophic injury?
Yes, California follows a comparative fault system, which means that you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the injury, you will want to tell your attorney all this information in your initial consultation.
What if the catastrophic injury occurred while I was working?
If the catastrophic injury occurred while you were working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in addition to other forms of compensation. You should consult with an attorney who has experience with workers’ compensation cases.
Can I file a personal injury claim for a catastrophic injury in California?
Yes, you may be able to file a personal injury claim if your catastrophic injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. This could help you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What if I can’t afford medical treatment for my catastrophic injury?
If you can’t afford medical treatment for your catastrophic injury, there may be options available to you, such as Medi-Cal or Medicare, workers’ compensation, or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
Can I receive compensation for future medical expenses related to my catastrophic injury?
Yes, you may be able to receive compensation for future medical expenses related to your catastrophic injury. This could include ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and other necessary medical care.
What is the average settlement for a catastrophic injury in California?
There is no set average settlement for catastrophic injury cases in California, as each case is unique and dependent on several factors. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, and other factors.
Should I hire an attorney for my catastrophic injury case?
It’s highly recommended that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney for your catastrophic injury case in Los Angeles. An attorney can help protect your rights, navigate the legal system, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
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Personal Injury Legal Group
11601 Wilshire Blvd 5th Floor, West Los Angeles, CA 90025