Each year over 145,000 individuals across the country are unintentionally injured, making accidental injuries the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. [source] Worst yet, many of these injuries are entirely preventable and often the result of gross negligence on behalf of the offending party.
Whether you’ve suffered a minor or life-changing unintentional injury at the hands of another individual, you deserve to cover your health care costs and costs associated with emotional distress. Yet time and time again we see victims struggle to receive the care and support they deserve in these trying times. At Green Law Firm. P.C. we are committed to helping our clients get the care they need. We are experts at making sure that the insurance companies and offending parties are held liable for your specific situation.
While we wish that no one would ever have to suffer a catastrophic injury in their lifetime, our firm does everything in its power to give you the emotional and financial resources to recover as best you can. No one should incur a lifetime of debt as the result of someone else’s negligence.
Let’s take a quick look at what a catastrophic injury entails and how to ensure you are taken care of in the unfortunate event you are faced with this difficult life matter.
Put simply, a catastrophic injury is one that goes beyond a minor scrape or bruise and severely impacts the quality of your life either physically or mentally, and often times both. A catastrophic injury is virtually always life changing and is generally determined by answering the following questions.
- Does the injury cause permanent disability?
- Has the injury resulted in a shortened life expectancy?
- Has the injury caused long-term or irreversible conditions that must be monitored medically and indefinitely?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, it is likely considered to be a catastrophic injury.
In addition, many catastrophic injuries can have a severe impact on not only the victim’s quality of life but the finances and well-being of immediate family and friends as well. Due to the severe nature of catastrophic injuries, victims often require numerous intensive surgeries, extended hospital stays, indefinite rehabilitative care, and even full-time assistance from trained medical professionals. As you can imagine, costs for this type of injury add up quickly and cannot usually be paid for out of pocket by most families.
Not only do catastrophic injuries incur immediate medical costs, but the injuries can also often severely limit future financial income and can cause the loss of a job in many instances. When facing a catastrophic injury, you should always hire a personal injury attorney to help ensure you are compensated fairly.
Your catastrophic injury might include a brain injury as the result of a car accident, or you may be injured on the job at no fault of your own. There are many types of catastrophic injuries, each of which presents a unique set of incredibly difficult challenges.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
An injury to the brain is one of the most common types of catastrophic injuries, and as you can imagine, it affects virtually every area of the victim’s life. These types of accidents are common in car accidents, or even when falling or being struck by a physical object at work, car accidents. TBIs can also be caused by a variety of contact sports, such as football or mixed martial arts fighting.
TBIs can have a severe effect on the victim’s mood, sleep, and overall health, which can deteriorate quickly if not given the proper medical care. Loss of memory and motivation or depression are also incredibly common in traumatic brain injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury
Damage to one’s spinal cord is also a common cause of catastrophic injuries and again presents unique challenges for the victims. Given that your spinal cord plays such an essential role in your overall health and well-being, an injury can drastically affect your ability to function on a day to day basis physically.
An injury to the spinal cord disrupts how your brain and body communicate. Unfortunately, this often results in many health ailments that cannot be fixed without extensive surgery, rehab, and medication with severe side effects. In addition to affecting the victim physically, spinal cord injuries can often result in extreme depression, PTSD, and many forms of anxiety. As such, many spinal cord injury victims struggle to live a normal life post-injury even with the best care available.
A little less than 300,000 people in the United States struggle with a spinal cord injury of some sort, which has significant repercussions for the victim’s finances, health, relationships and overall well-being. Common causes of spinal injuries include physical violence, a sports-related accident, or the result of a severe fall.
Another common catastrophic injury is the result of severe burns either through fire or car accident. Not only are these types of injuries extremely painful, they often result in severe and permanent changes to the victim’s overall appearance, which can cause a whole host of adverse side effects as well. While treatment continues to be more effective and affordable, long-term treatment for severe burns is exceptionally costly and often cannot completely reverse the tissue damage. According to recent statistics, there were over 486,000 people who received medical treatment for burns in 2016.
Many burn victims report feelings of immense depression and struggle to carry on a healthy and normal social life moving forward. Severe burns can be caused by construction accidents, unsafe buildings, defective products, or other work-related accidents. Given the pain, emotional distress, and potential loss of income, burn injuries are extremely serious.
Catastrophic injuries often involve multiple fractures of bones throughout the body as well. Depending on the specific type of fracture and where it is located, these can be both extremely painful and physically limiting, potentially on a permanent basis. Fractures are especially challenging to deal with if the resulting fracture causes the victim to rely on regular assistance or severely disrupts everyday life.
Fractures are common in contact sports such as football or rugby but can be caused by other factors as well. If the bone is improperly set and does not heal correctly, the fracture can often turn into a lifelong condition that is quite painful for the victim. Fractures should be treated immediately when possible to prevent any future complications that might ensure due to improper healing.
While many fractures can heal over time, the process is often long and extremely difficult. Fractures can occur via car accident, falls, or other negligent behavior.
One of the most common injuries that results from a serious car crash, whiplash is not to be taken lightly. Suffered during a severe car accident, whiplash can permanently affect the victim’s, back, neck, spine, or shoulders and cause debilitating headaches in the short term. Unfortunately, whiplash is not always considered a serious injury in the eyes of the public, which prevents many whiplash victims from seeking the compensation they deserve. Whiplash can have a severe impact on your everyday life and should be taken seriously, both from a medical and legal standpoint.
In many cases, whiplash takes up to a full day to be noticed by the accident victim in question. It’s therefore essential to always follow up with your insurance and doctor the day of and 24 hours after a car accident.
Another common injury that can be severely debilitating is a back injury. Back injuries can be caused by a whole host of factors including falls, accidents, or contact in physically-intense sports. Because your back plays such an important role in your everyday movement, severe back pain can significantly hinder the quality of your life and often remains present for many years, even with the right treatment.
Many back injury victims must drastically alter their everyday routine to adjust to their pain, which can cause anxiety, depression, and overall discomfort. As the victim ages, back injuries can continue to worsen in severity and cause even more pain than when the original accident occurred. Through proper exercise, stretching, and diet, back injury pains can be reduced but many times not fixed completely.
One of the most severe catastrophic injuries is paralysis, which without question changes the life of the victim forever. While some types of paralysis are temporary, paralysis is often a lifelong condition that results in the victim needing continuous rehabilitation and or assistance on a regular basis. Losing the ability to move your legs or arms, for example, can drastically change the course of your life and even affect your relationships and job opportunities. Paralysis is most common after a severe fall, medical malpractice, car accident, or even a reaction to specific types of medications.
There are four different types of paralysis that each affect a different area of the body.
Quadriplegia: paralysis impacting the body below the neck.
Paraplegia: paralysis affecting the body below the waist
Hemiplegia: paralysis impacting one side of the body.
Monoplegia: paralysis affecting one specific region of the body.
On rare occasions, a severe injury can require the victim to have one or more body parts amputated to prevent death or further injury. Amputations are most common in severe car accidents or other disastrous accidents at work or otherwise. Unfortunately, victims who require amputations often struggle physically and emotionally for the rest of their lives and deal with severe pain every day. Many amputations also result in what is known as “phantom limb syndrome,” a condition in which the victim continues to “feel” their missing limb. As of this time, there is no cure for phantom limb syndrome, and many victims report this sensation to be quite painful.
Many of the catastrophic injuries described above fall under the permanent disability category, meaning that the victim must face the consequences of someone else’s negligence for the rest of their life. Permanent disability can also be the result of toxic substances, chemical products, or asbestos, which can all have a severely negative impact on one’s body and immune system.
At its very worst, a catastrophic injury caused by negligence can be fatal, resulting in a wrongful death. If this has happened to a loved one, you might have incurred debt because of medical or funeral expenses. Hopefully, you are able to receive counseling for your loss, but this too can add to your financial burden. Depending on your specific case, Green Law Firm P.C. will work with you to determine the ultimate cause of a wrongful and work towards holding the responsible parties accountable.
Suffering From a Catastrophic Injury?
At Green Law Firm P.C. it pains us to see any of our clients go through one or more of the extremely difficult conditions above. We can only imagine the life-altering effects the catastrophic injury has on you and your loved ones. At Green Law Firm P.C. we are committed to working with you every step of the way to ensure that those who are responsible for your accident are held accountable, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the insurance companies involved compensate you with what you deserve.
We know that the last thing you want to do after an injury is fight with insurance or go through the many hoops and hurdles required to get you your compensation, and we are committed to helping make the process as easy and painless as possible. While in many cases you might not ever fully recover from your injury, we will work tirelessly to help you return as close to your normal life as is possible. While a substantial financial settlement will never give back what was taken from you, it can make a significant difference in your recovery and future quality of life.
If you or a loved one have recently suffered from a catastrophic injury, be sure to give us a call so we can learn more about your specific situation today.