A catastrophic injury is severe enough that it results in a permanent, lifelong disability. These types of injuries interfere with a person’s day-to-day activities and ability to work. Some people who experience a catastrophic injury will need around-the-clock care.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we’ll fight for the financial compensation that you deserve.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Some of the most common catastrophic injuries are:
- Brain injuries. Someone who suffers a severe brain injury may experience locked-in syndrome or remain in a vegetative state. Others will lose their ability to speak, experience personality changes, or have cognitive impairments.
- Spinal cord injuries. Surviving a spinal cord injury can mean permanent muscle weakness, a loss of sensation in the limbs, and paralysis.
- Amputation. The loss of a hand, foot, arm, or leg can impact a person’s ability to work, drive a vehicle, and take care of their family.
- Severe burns. Burn victims often experience incredible physical and emotional pain. Many are left with lifelong disfigurement.
- Loss of sight or hearing. Losing the senses of sight or hearing can require accommodations both at work and at home.
Many catastrophic injuries are the result of a preventable accident.
What are Some Common Causes of a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries can happen anywhere, to anyone. Some of the most common causes are:
- Motor vehicle crashes that involve a car, semi-truck, motorcycle, boat, or ATV
- Workplace accident
- A pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a car
- Slip and falls
- Swimming and diving accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of catastrophic injuries.
Motor Vehicle Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), doctors treated 4,795,000 nonfatal, motor vehicle-related injuries in 2020. Of course, not all of these were catastrophic injuries. Many people walk away from an accident with only bruises, and yet others will have their lives upended in just a split second.
Oftentimes, catastrophic injuries happen when a driver is negligent, which can mean operating:
- too fast for road or weather conditions.
- while intoxicated.
- under the influence of drugs: either OTC, prescription, or illicit.
- while distracted: texting or adjusting the radio.
If you or a loved one experienced a catastrophic injury, you should speak with an attorney right away.
Why do You Need a Catastrophic Injury Attorney?
You may question your need for an attorney because it seems like the insurance company is being helpful, even generous. However, there are several reasons why you need a personal injury lawyer.
You will Receive a Lowball Offer
The insurance company will offer you a settlement right away so that you “don’t have to worry about money.” While this offer may come quickly, it is most certainly a lowball offer, no matter how generous it seems.
Catastrophic injuries often mean long recoveries, lifelong medical care, and never returning to work. A catastrophic injury attorney will maximize any compensation that you are due.
You and your family have already suffered enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying bills or how you’ll get by in the years to come.
The Insurance Company May Try to Blame You
Insurance companies want to settle quickly and for as little as possible. They may try to blame you for your accident, when in fact someone else was negligent. You need a skilled attorney to represent you so that the right parties are held accountable.
How Much is a Catastrophic Injury Settlement?
A fair settlement will cover an injured person’s current and future needs. You might hear different figures tossed around, but what is adequate for one injured person may just barely scratch the surface for another.
Any compensation that you receive after a catastrophic injury should take both economic and non-economic damages into account. Economic damages have a set price tag or cost, such as a medical bill. Noneconomic damages include intangible things like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Depending on the nature of someone’s injuries, compensation may cover the cost of:
- Home renovation to accommodate a wheelchair, including wider doorways, ramp installation, and an accessible bathroom
- A wheelchair or an adapted vehicle
- Diagnostic tests
- Physical and occupational therapy
- In-home nursing care
- Compensation for disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
- Around-the-clock, 24/7 care at a skilled nursing facility
- Lost or reduced wages
A skilled catastrophic injury attorney knows how to account for and predict these costs, which may occur over decades. They work with medical and economic experts to ensure you receive an adequate settlement.
How Long do You Have to File a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit?
According to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §11.190, in most circumstances, you must take legal action within two years of the date of the injury.
This may seem like a long time, but it can go by quickly. You don’t want to lose the chance to be fairly compensated. You should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
What if a Loved One Died After a Catastrophic Injury?
If another party was responsible for your loved one’s injury, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. NRS 11.190 states that these cases must be filed within two years of the person’s death.
A wrongful death settlement may cover medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost wages, and loss of consortium. Some examples of wrongful death lawsuits include:
- A semi-driver was texting when they rear-ended your loved one, who was stopped at a stoplight
- Your spouse died after a slip and fall accident at work, which resulted in a fatal brain injury
- Your loved one was given too much anesthesia medication during surgery, suffered brain damage, and died
An Attorney Can Help You Seek Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury
At Pacific West Injury Law, we make it easy for you to get help after a catastrophic injury. Contact us 24/7 to schedule your free case evaluation. We will answer your questions and let you know what your legal options are.