A serious injury can have a devastating impact on one’s quality of life. Whether the personal injury was caused by a car accident, truck accident, or slip and fall accident, an injured party may be entitled to financial compensation for the costs associated with the injury, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A catastrophic injury can have a particularly profound impact on the victim’s quality of life immediately following the accident. In extreme cases, an injury can cause chronic health complications and may require ongoing recovery at a long-term care facility. Due to the extreme physical, emotional, and financial impact that these injuries can have, a personal injury victim is urged to seek professional legal assistance from an experienced lawyer.
What are Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries are more severe in nature than other injuries because they often cause permanent disabilities and serious health complications. In extreme cases, a catastrophic injury can be fatal. Due to the severe nature of the injury, the victims often need extensive medical care and ongoing treatment for a range of health complications. Catastrophic injury victims may be entitled to financial compensation for the following:
- Extended hospitalization and repeated surgeries.
- Costs of wheelchairs, ramps, handicapped-accessible systems, and other assistive devices.
- Treatment for chronic pain, including prescription medication, physical therapy, and other pain management options.
- Counselling for depression and other mental health issues related to the catastrophic injury.
What are Common Causes of Serious Injuries?
There are a number of accidents that can cause people to suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. The following list contains examples of accidents due to another’s negligence that may result in a personal injury lawsuit.
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These are among the most common causes of personal injury lawsuits. When a negligent motorist causes a serious car accident that results in injuries, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault driver. Examples of serious car accidents that cause severe injuries include head-on collisions, side-impact accidents, and rollover car wrecks.
Even a relatively minor accident can have devastating consequences when a motorcycle is involved because there is nothing protecting the rider from the force of the impact. As a result, motorcycle accidents often cause very serious injuries, including road rash, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage.
When a car is involved in an accident with a massive commercial truck, the occupants of the passenger vehicle often suffer devastating injuries if they are fortunate enough to survive the crash. If the truck driver was negligent, the victim may seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver and/or the truck company. Establishing liability is often difficult in truck accident cases, so it is important to speak to a lawyer immediately following a collision.
These are injuries that are caused by dangerous or defective products. There are three main types of defects, including:
- Design Defect: This occurs when there is a flaw in the design of the product. These are particularly dangerous because it impacts an entire product line.
- Manufacturing Defect: This occurs when an error during the manufacturing process causes a product to become defective. In most cases, it impacts a single product within the product line.
- Failure to Warn: Some products come with inherent risks to the consumers’ health and safety. If the product does not come with clear instructions on how to use it and the potential safety risks involved, the manufacturer may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe, up to code, and free of any potentially dangerous hazards. If an individual is injured on someone else’s property and the property owner failed to take the necessary steps to maintain their premises, the injured party may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner.
What are Common Catastrophic Injuries?
A catastrophic injury is severe and often life-threatening. In most cases, the injury will require extensive and costly medical treatment. The injury may even result in a permanent disability. Some examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Amputations: Serious accidents can cause the loss of a limb. In some cases, this may occur at the scene of the accident. Other times, it can occur later as a result of serious tissue damage. These injuries can cause significant pain and infections that require extensive rehabilitation.
- Internal Injuries: These can include damage to the liver, spleen, kidney, stomach, and intestines. They can cause internal bleeding, which is very serious if it is not treated immediately. Oftentimes, surgery is necessary to repair the damage.
- Severe Burns: If the injury victim suffers second-degree or third-degree burns, it can cause nerve damage, tissue damage, serious infections, chronic pain and disfigurement.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: When a catastrophic injury causes damage to the spine, it can result in partial or total paralysis. If the injuries do not heal properly, the victim may need to be hooked up to machines in order to breathe.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Trauma to the brain can cause a range of serious health complications, including decreased cognitive function, loss of motor skills, language difficulties, memory loss, personality changes, and even death.
Even after the initial catastrophic injury heals, the victim may suffer a range of secondary conditions, such as:
- Bladder and bowel issues
- Digestive and gastrointestinal complications
- Depression, anxiety and mood disorders
- Heart problems associated with a lack of circulation
- Muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What Damages am I Entitled to in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When an individual is injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligent actions, they may seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. The injured victim may seek damages for the harm that they suffered, including economic damages and non-economic damages. Some damages that are available in personal injury lawsuits include:
- Economic Damages: These are the monetary losses that can be easily quantified, including medical expenses, lost wages, the loss of future earning potential, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are the damages that compensate the injured victim for losses that are not financial, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and the loss of consortium.
- Wrongful Death Benefits: If the accident resulted in a fatality, these may be awarded to the surviving family members.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, the injured party may seek punitive damages if the negligent party’s behavior was considered particularly egregious. For example, if a motorist was severely injured in a truck accident because the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the victim may seek punitive damages in an effort to punish the negligent party and to prevent individuals from engaging in similar activities.
How can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced lawyer can protect the legal rights of a personal injury victim. A lawyer will thoroughly review an injured victim’s case, determine whether negligence was involved, and recommend the best legal course of action. A lawyer will:
- Determine the severity of the victim’s injuries.
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.
- Question witnesses who were present at the time of the accident.
- Request documentation, including medical records and police reports.
- Work with an expert accident reconstructionist who can recreate important details of the collision.
- Negotiate the best financial settlement, including arguing for a better settlement if an initial offer was too low.
- Prepare the case for trial if necessary.
What are the Steps Involved in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Whether pursuing a personal injury claim for injuries resulting from a car accident, truck accident, defective product, or a slip and fall accident, the following
are the standard steps involved:
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer. It is highly recommended that an individual contacts an experienced personal injury lawyer who has a proven track record in reaching successful settlement outcomes their clients.
- Build a strong case. Once the client signs a retainer agreement, the legal team will conduct a thorough investigation into the injured victim’s injuries, including what caused them. In addition, they will collect key evidence, medical records, and any other information that will help with the claims process.
- Conduct settlement negotiations. An initial demand letter will be sent to the victim’s insurance company or other party. If the initial settlement offer is denied, the victim’s legal team will continue the negotiation process until both parties can agree on a settlement amount.
- File a lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached, the personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit in an effort to obtain the best financial compensation that is possible.
- Discovery phase. During this phase, the injured party’s lawyer will obtain every piece of documentation that the other side has in an effort to build a strong case.
- Go to trial. If the case cannot be settled, it will go before a judge and jury. Having an experienced trial lawyer and skilled litigator will help ensure that the injured victim’s legal rights are protected and that they receive the best possible financial settlement.
THE LEGAL TEAM AT FENNER LAW FIGHTS ON BEHALF OF PERSONAL INJURY VICTIMS
Any type of accident can cause life-altering injuries. If you have a severe injury that was caused by another party’s negligent actions, contact experienced Fenner Law. Call 215-761-9802 or contact online to set up an initial consultation. Fenner Law’s offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide.