Catastrophic injuries have a life-changing impact on accident victims. The injuries, typically involving severe damage to the brain or the spine, are permanent or long-lasting. They are usually disabling.
Catastrophic injury victims often face limitations in their ability to perform physical and mental activities. They may develop related medical problems involving respiratory or heart disease. The secondary results of catastrophic injuries may lead to premature death from pneumonia, pulmonary embolisms, or cardiac arrest.
Catastrophic injuries have many causes, including car accidents, falls, choking, athletic accidents, and violent confrontations. They can be caused by a doctor’s carelessness during childbirth or surgery. Defective or unsafe products are also a cause of severe injuries.
When a catastrophic injury is caused by the carelessness of another person or business, California law allows the injury victim to pursue compensation. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can help victims obtain the funds they need to cope with the lasting impact of their injuries. If you are the victim of a severe injury in Orange County or elsewhere in Southern California, call 800-838-6644 to discuss your case with a catastrophic injury attorney.
Accidents Causing Catastrophic Injuries
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates helps victims who suffer life-changing injuries due to the negligence actions of another person or business. Accidents that produce catastrophic injuries happen in a variety of ways, including:
- Car and Motorcycle Crashes. The head and spine injuries that are classified as catastrophic often result from high speed impacts. A rider who is thrown from a motorcycle or a driver who is involved in a T-bone accident will be at risk of a broken back, a spinal cord injury, or a skull fracture leading to brain damage.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents. People who are on foot or riding a bicycle have no significant protection when they are hit by a car. Bicycle helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures in the event of a bicycle collision with a vehicle, but they cannot help accident victims avoid neck and back trauma or concussions that cause brain injuries.
- Dangerous Property Conditions. A child who is rescued from a neighbor’s uncovered swimming pool may have lifelong brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. Tripping hazards and slippery surfaces cause falls that might lead to catastrophic head and back injuries. Businesses and property owners are responsible for failing to correct or warn of dangerous conditions on their property.
- Dangerous Products. Falling from an improperly designed ladder, breathing carbon monoxide released from a poorly vented generator, and toys with small detachable parts upon which infants choke are examples of defective or dangerous products that can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Medical Malpractice. Surgical errors may deprive malpractice victims of the ability to walk. Errors in the administration of medication or anesthesia may produce brain injuries. Malpractice during childbirth is also a significant cause of lifelong disabilities.
- Athletic Injuries. Injuries resulting from contact sports are part of the risk of the game. When those risks are enhanced by coaches or trainers who fail to warm athletes about the risk of concussions or who return players to the game after they suffer from a concussion, serious brain damage that results from a second concussion is the responsibility of the negligent coach or trainer.
Regardless of its nature, any careless act that results in severe harm to another person entitles the injury victim to pursue compensation.
Why Hire a Catastrophic Injury Attorney?
The purpose of catastrophic injury compensation in California is to restore the injury victim to the position he or she occupied before the injury occurred. In the case of catastrophic injuries, money will rarely accomplish that goal, but financial compensation can help improve the quality of an accident victim’s life.
Compensation serves to replace the income that a disabled victim would have earned if he or she had never been injured. Compensation also covers medical bills and the costs of services that assist recovery, including speech therapy, physical therapy, and mental health counseling. When the injury victim will not be able to return to former employment, compensation can pay the costs of vocational rehabilitation.
The victim of a catastrophic injury may need to remodel a home to make it wheelchair accessible or to buy a van that can be operated with hand controls. Compensation can help victims with disabilities maintain independence by covering those expenses. Compensation can also pay for home health workers who help victims with their activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed. When it isn’t possible for an injury victim to live independently, compensation can pay the cost of living in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home.
Catastrophic injury victims typically experience overwhelming pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Compensation cannot remove that pain, but it can help victims feel that a measure of justice has been done when a settlement or verdict takes account of their suffering. Victims can also use their compensation for pain and suffering to make their lives better in other ways.
Catastrophic Injury Assistance
Settling a claim for a catastrophic injury requires an experienced lawyer. There may be more than one source of insurance available to pay compensation. There may be multiple negligent actors who share responsibility. To maximize your compensation, you need representation by a catastrophic injury attorney who understands California law, who will diligently investigate your case, and who knows how to negotiate effectively with insurance adjusters who will try to avoid paying the full value of your claim.
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has years of experience obtaining settlements and jury verdicts for clients who suffer from catastrophic injuries. From its Orange County offices, Timothy J. Ryan & Associates handles serious injury claims in courts across Southern California. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury for which another person or business is even partially responsible, contact Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at 800-838-6644 to discuss your entitlement to compensation.