San Jose Catastrophic Personal Injury Attorney Explains Complex ClaimsA catastrophic injury can be any injury that causes severe, permanent disability that drastically affects your entire life. Usually, these types of injuries result from an extreme impact that occurs with enough force to permanently damage the nervous system, muscles and/or brain. For example, a serious traumatic brain injury can cause loss of mobility, paralysis, memory loss and drastic personality changes. As a result, catastrophic injury victims may be unable to continue working and may require extensive, ongoing medical treatment. Additionally, many need expensive accessibility technology and home renovations as well as constant assistance. Thus, a catastrophic injury can represent millions of dollars in expenses over a lifetime. A personal injury claim can help you recoup these losses and provide for your future while you cope with your situation. Catastrophic injury claims are complex by nature. They require extensive investigation, testimony from medical experts and a lawyer with experience in these areas. At the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia, our team has decades of experience advocating for injury victims throughout Santa Clara County. If your life or the life of a loved one has been severely impacted by an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, then a catastrophic personal injury attorney from our law firm may be able to help.
What Are Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?An injury is “catastrophic” when its effects are permanent and disabling, affecting every aspect of your life. Some common examples of these types of injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Damage to the brain tissue can cause severe, widespread impairment. Paralysis, diminished reasoning capacity, personality changes and other permanent disabilities are possible.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can cause full or partial paralysis below the injury site. Victims may be unable to walk, move their arms, speak or even breathe without assistance.
- Traumatic amputations. Severe impacts may cause loss of limb or such severe injuries that an amputation is necessary. Victims may require prosthetic limbs as well as ongoing physical therapy and accessibility equipment for work.
- Eye injuries. Any eye injury that causes full or partial blindness places severe limitations on a victim’s ability to work and live without assistance.
- Hearing loss. Loss of hearing may result from injury to the head and/or brain.
- Second and third degree burn injuries. Extensive, severe burn injuries typically cause permanent impairment and loss of mobility as well as disfigurement. Additionally, healing from serious burns is usually a long, painful process with a high risk of infection.
- Severe scarring and disfigurement. Disfiguring scars, especially to the face, cause mental suffering and may limit a person’s ability to work and socialize.
What Damages May Be Available in a Catastrophic Injury Claim?Due to the severity of a catastrophic injury, the resulting medical bills and other expenses usually place serious economic strains on the victim and his or her family. Physical pain, emotional trauma and the prospect of being unable to return to normal activities only add to these burdens. If someone else is to blame, then you may be able to recover compensation for these expenses. Your catastrophic personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages that might include, but are not limited to:
- Past and future medical bills. This may include the cost of ongoing therapies, medications and/or treatments.
- Past and future lost earnings. Your attorney may work with economists to determine your full earning potential.
- Permanent disfigurement. You may be able to recover compensation for the pain and emotional effects of permanent disfigurement.
- Permanent disability. If your injury causes permanent disability, then you may be able to recover additional damages.
- Loss of a normal life. You can recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life if your injury keeps you from returning to your favorite activities.
- Loss of consortium. Victims and family members may be able to recover for loss of companionship, support and guidance.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be an important element of damages due to the permanency involved and the extreme diminution in the victim’s quality of life. This element is the determinative factor in what makes every catastrophic injury case unique.