St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury Attorneys
When you are injured due to the negligence of another person, you can be left with serious, painful, and often life-changing injuries. We can help.
Slips and falls, car and truck accidents, medical malpractice, and many other personal injury accidents can cause minor to severe injuries to the victim. Generally, the more severe an injury is, the more treatment a person is going to require. That means more medical debt and more stress. An experienced attorney can help you receive the compensation that you deserve for your catastrophic injury. We know that you’re going through a hard time, but we’re here to take the wait off of your shoulders.
What is a catastrophic injury and how does it affect your life?
A catastrophic injury can be defined as an injury to the brain, spine, or spinal cord. These injuries often lead to disability or paralysis and can be caused by many different types of accidents, such as car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents, as well as slips and falls. Patients who suffer from these types of injuries often struggle with a lifetime of medical care and mental health issues, making life much harder for them.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can affect multiple different parts of the body depending on where the injury occurred. These injuries affect a person’s motor skills, reflexes, and sensory skills. When the injury occurs higher on the spinal cord, the patient is more likely to experience dysfunction than if the injury were to occur further down. A spinal injury is often referred to as a “complete” injury if full paralysis occurs, and “incomplete” if only partial paralysis occurs.
Back & Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries more commonly occur in accidents that cause twisting of the spine. Whiplash, a common injury from a car accident, is a type of neck injury that one may suffer from. However, these injuries can also occur when one is involved in a slip and fall, especially if they land on their back. Back and neck injuries are also common in workplaces, like on a construction site, as they can occur if someone falls from a significant height.
Birth injury is damage that can occur as a result of physical pressure during the birthing process, usually during transit through the birth canal. A difficult delivery, with the risk of injury to the baby and mother, may occur with extremely large fetuses. Injury is also more likely when the fetus is lying in an abnormal position in the uterus before birth. Some injuries may also be a result of prenatal care negligence. For example, if your doctor fails to run appropriate diagnostic tests to identify medical conditions in the mother and the unborn child that may present risk of birth injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries, often referred to as TBI, can occur when the head is struck by an object or when the head strikes an object. An object piercing the skull may also cause a traumatic brain injury depending on the location and force. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to coma, brain death, and periods of unconsciousness. More mild injuries may only cause a change to one’s mental state and a brief period of unconsciousness, usually at the time of the accident.
Burns are a type of painful wound caused by thermal, electrical, chemical, or exposure to sources of radiation like ultraviolet rays and x-rays. Smoking and open flame are the leading causes of burn injury for older adults. Scalding is the leading cause of burn injury for children. Both infants and the older adults are at the greatest risk for burn injury. Burns that are more severe and extensive need specialized treatment. The age of a burn victim and the percentage of the body's surface area that has been burned are the most important factors affecting the outlook of a burn injury.
Permanent Scarring and Disfigurement
Severe injuries can often cause permanent scarring and disfigurement, which can have a large effect on the way that someone lives their life. Scarring and disfigurement often take a large toll on a person’s mental health and self-esteem and can even lead to the victim withdrawing themselves from the activities they once loved with the people they used to hang out with. This may be because of embarrassment. Scarring and disfigurement can even have an effect on a person’s marriage and their close relationships.
Victims who work in forward facing jobs like acting, modeling, and even sales, may be affected greatly by any changes to their appearance. This could cause them to lose money or even their jobs.
Disability and Permanent Impairments
If an injury permanently impairs your physical condition and/or mental health condition in any way, no matter how minimal, then you have permanent impairment. Once your medical condition has reached a stationary level, at which there is no further treatment available that will improve your condition, your doctor may assess whether you have any permanent disability. This stage is commonly referred to in many states as “maximum medical improvement.” This does not mean the point at which your condition will never improve; it simply means the point at which your condition is stationary and will not improve other than with the passage of time.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are countless possible causes of catastrophic injury. Here are a few examples:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Falls from height
- Sport and recreational activities
- Construction accidents
- Medical mistakes
- Defective medical devices or drugs
No matter what the circumstances that caused catastrophic injuries to you or a loved one, the compassionate, diligent legal teams at Jones Law Group stand ready to help.
What can I receive compensation for after a catastrophic injury?
Those that suffer catastrophic injuries have to undergo extensive treatments to not just heal their wounds but save their lives as well. A catastrophic injury will at the very least come with a very high chance of life-threatening complications if it isn’t a mortal threat to begin with. Due to this severity, the treatment of catastrophic injuries requires more time, resources, and skill than a normal injury. That means more cost as well.
For example, if someone suffers a penetrating brain injury as a result of a truck accident, they will have to be ambulance from the crash site to a hospital. Then they will need emergency surgery to try and save their life which requires expert surgeons, support staff, drugs, equipment, facilities, etc. Then after successful surgery, a patient needs to recover from their injury for a long period of time. That means they will need a bed and room to stay in, food, more drugs, round the clock care and monitoring via nurses and expensive equipment, and regular checkups. After someone gets out of the hospital, their injury may have been treated but they will still have to contend with symptoms and disability caused by their injury which requires therapy and yet more drugs to address. This all adds up to massive medical bills that can utterly drain a person’s finances.
When people are injured catastrophically, the time that they spend getting their injuries treated and recovering can be exceptionally long. All this time is spent not making money through wages earned via their job which can make the financial damages suffered because of an injury even worse. On top of this, catastrophic injuries often affect a person’s ability to work because of disabilities they may develop. They either can have a reduced ability to perform their job or they may be unable to work altogether. These damages are usually a major part of catastrophic injury claims.
A property damage claim might be brought as part of a larger case (a car accident lawsuit where personal injury and vehicle damage are both alleged, for example) or it might form a standalone lawsuit. The claims process begins when you file a property damage claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Unlike personal injury claims, which can take weeks or months, property damage claims are simpler to prove and can be settled much faster. The cost of automobile repairs is a fixed amount.
Pain and Suffering
Catastrophic injuries can cause excruciating pain. People can suffer immensely because of injuries like burns, severe trauma, and internal damage which deserves compensation despite pain not being tangible. Pain and suffering also includes mental anguish which is the psychological pain that comes with physical injuries. People that suffer catastrophic injuries can develop PTSD, depression, anxiety, and a number of other debilitating mental issues as a result of their injury’s effects on their lives. A jury usually determines an amount to pay in compensation for pain and suffering based on arguments presented by your attorney.
Permanent Loss and Disability
Permanent disabilities prevent an individual from being able to work full-time for the rest of their life, referred to as permanent partial disability, while total permanent disability means that the individual will never work again.
In addition to filing a lawsuit because of your permanent loss and disability, you may also be eligible to pursue Social Security disability benefits. These claims are often initially denied, so it’s a good idea to let your injury lawyer handle your Social Security case from the start.
Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury Attorney
At Jones Law Group, we understand that it can be overwhelming trying to effectively navigate legal issues after being subject to a catastrophic injury. Our team of attorneys are here to help you every step of the way. Contact an experienced St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury Attorney today to set up a free consultation and see how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve after your catastrophic injury. We can be reached by calling 727-571-1333, by filling out our online contact form, or by using our Chat feature below.