St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city with about 268,000 full-time residents. The St. Pete-Clearwater area also draws more than 6.5 million visitors annually, which significantly increases the crowd in the area, including many people with little familiarity with the region.

However, risks come with the enjoyment of the city, including the risk of serious and life-changing accidental injuries.

If you suffer severe injuries due to someone else's negligence, however, the matter is very different. If your injuries prevent you from working or will permanently affect your life, you need an experienced St. Petersburg catastrophic injury lawyer in your corner.

At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we obtain successful results for clients with severe injuries, including:

  • $3.68 million for back injuries requiring multiple surgeries
  • $3.3 million for fractures requiring rod placement
  • $2 million for a client with RSD from her injuries
  • $1.7 million for a traumatic brain injury
  • $1.05 million for eye loss
  • $875,000 for catastrophic spinal injuries

These are only some examples of how we help clients, and each case is different. Contact our legal team directly for a free consultation to learn how much a possible catastrophic injury claim might be worth.

What Are Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries refer to severe injuries that have life-altering consequences.

While many injuries might fall into the catastrophic category, they generally include injuries that:

  • Leave the victim with a severe and permanent disability.
  • Leave the victim incapacitated.
  • Seriously damage a major body system of the victim.
  • Cause the victim to experience intense pain and suffering
  • Cause the victim to suffer serious damage to the head (such as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs), neck, spinal cord, or back
  • Cause the victim to require an amputation
  • Cause the victim to suffer serious burns and permanent disfigurement
  • Leave the victim unable to perform the gainful work they did before the accident.
  • Affect internal organ injuries

The serious nature of such injuries is difficult to overstate, and it is no surprise that victims feel overwhelmed without an idea of where to turn. Fortunately, our legal team is ready to help clients following severe injuries.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

If the accident is serious enough, it can lead to catastrophic injuries, but the categories of accidents that are commonly associated with catastrophic injuries include:

Whatever kind of accident leaves you—or your loved one—seriously injured, working closely with a dedicated St. Petersburg catastrophic injury lawyer is in your best interest.

Traffic Accidents Lead to Catastrophic Injuries

If you like pleasant weather and the water, St. Petersburg is a good place to live or visit. Whether it’s golf, the beach, the water, or the arts that you enjoy, St. Pete has a lot to offer. Tourists who don’t know the area or irresponsible drivers heading out on the road, however, can cause catastrophic injuries.

St. Petersburg sees its fair share of these dangerous traffic crashes.

All the following risk factors apply to St. Petersburg’s roads:

  • Interstate 4, which runs through St. Petersburg, is the most dangerous road in Florida—and the nation as a whole (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA).
  • Eight of the 25 most dangerous intersections in Pinellas County are along U.S. Route 19, a busy thoroughfare for truckers and motorists.
  • Pinellas County has much to offer, but the dangerous combination of large numbers of tourists unfamiliar with the roadways, long stretches of poorly maintained roads, and heavy traffic make it a hotspot for serious traffic accidents.

Making safety your top priority behind the wheel is always the best course of action. However, even the safest drivers can suffer life-changing injuries in an accident because of someone else. When this happens, you need to ensure you receive the total compensation you need for your losses.

Your Recoverable Losses

If someone else’s negligence leaves you with a catastrophic injury, regaining your health and well-being to the degree possible may hinge on your ability to obtain just compensation that covers your losses in their entirety. With injuries of this nature, the losses are considerable and often ongoing. Ensuring that you seek compensation for all the losses (or legal damages) that you can recover for financially is critical to your overall recovery, and a trusted St. Petersburg catastrophic injury lawyer can help.

Your Medical Costs

The nature of catastrophic injuries ensures that you will have considerable—and likely ongoing—medical expenses. Serious injuries are more prone to complications and secondary health concerns, making them more difficult to treat and resolve. Most catastrophic injuries have permanent consequences.

Some of the medical expenses you can expect with a catastrophic injury include:

  • Emergency care
  • Surgical care and follow-up
  • Hospital care
  • Medical treatments, tests, procedures, and more
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation
  • Intensive pain management
  • Adaptive physical devices and adaptations to home, office, and vehicle

Catastrophic injuries and cascading medical expenses tend to go hand in hand.

Lost Income

A catastrophic injury will likely keep you off the job for a considerable time, and returning to work may never be possible. If you cannot do your job—or develop your career according to your plans—the expense incurred will be much greater. Also, note the strong emotional component in addition to the financial loss involved. Many of us attach significant personal meaning to our jobs and careers, and when someone else's negligence affects this, we cannot easily overcome it.

Pain and Suffering

The physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure from a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s wrongdoing can be so immense that it’s difficult to adequately calculate. The violent and terrifying accidents that tend to cause injuries of this magnitude can elicit PTSD-like symptoms that are challenging to shake.

Common examples include:

  • Serious sleep disturbances that can include severe insomnia and night terrors
  • Shifts in personality that can be socially alienating
  • Severe mood swings
  • Increased anxiety
  • Bouts of depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Accident flashbacks

One of the most difficult aspects of these effects is that they can be isolating when victims need their support systems the most.

Catastrophic injury claims—like other personal injury claims—are based on negligence. If another party’s negligence causes you or someone you care about to suffer severe injuries, always know you have legal rights that are well worth protecting.

Your seasoned catastrophic injury lawyer will set to work building your strongest claim in support of your legal rights from the outset by:

  • Gathering all the relevant evidence in support of your claim, including eyewitness testimony, the police report, physical evidence at the scene of the accident, and more
  • Hiring expert testimony that bolsters your version of events
  • Creating accident models that help illustrate your primary points.
  • Communicating with the insurance company to ensure the adjuster does not trick you into saying something that harms your claim (when you’re at your most vulnerable)
  • Skillfully negotiating with the insurance company for fair terms that address your full range of losses (including ongoing concerns)
  • Preparing for court if the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer
  • Helping you understand the legal process and make the well-informed decisions that are right for you

Protecting your legal rights from the outset is paramount. The best move is to have a skilled injury lawyer on your side from the outset of your claim.

An Important Note about Insurance Companies

The at-fault party's insurance company handling your claim might not be forthcoming with a fair offer. The insurance company—like other businesses—cares about profits, which means if it can lower your settlement amount, it will. As such, you need a lawyer who can identify and counter the common tactics insurance companies use in their efforts.

Making Early Settlement Offers

If you have catastrophic injuries, you need an accurate assessment of your full range of losses before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. And if the company handling your claim swoops in with an early offer, it’s time to take a step back. By finalizing your settlement early, the insurance company can bypass covering those losses that are almost certain to crop up as time passes.

The insurance company, however, is well aware of your vulnerability and desperation in the face of your immense losses and may not be ashamed to cash in on it. Before accepting a settlement offer, always discuss the matter with an accomplished catastrophic injury lawyer who is up to speed with your claim.

Denying Claims from the Start

Sometimes, insurance companies will simply roll the dice and deny claims from the get-go to offload those claimants who’ve reached their breaking point and are not up to proceeding. Just because the insurance company denies your claim, however, does not mean that you do not have a valid claim.

Again, you have important legal rights, and the law—not the insurance company—will ultimately determine the value of your claim. If your lawyer backs your claim, you’re well-advised to focus on your recovery while your legal team moves forward in defense of your rights.

Shifting Blame

You’ve suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else, and it may be difficult to imagine that the insurance company will attempt to shift the blame from their client and toward you. Still, it happens more often than you likely realize. In the end, the facts and evidence should determine liability. Your job is to follow your catastrophic injury lawyer’s lead and allow them to prove your claim—while focusing on your physical recovery.

Denying the Extent of Your Damages

While it may be difficult to believe, insurance companies often question the extent of your losses—even when you suffered catastrophic injuries. Even though your life has changed forever, the insurance company may cast doubt on the extent of your losses to lower your settlement.

Regarding accidents of this magnitude, demonstrating the resulting losses does not always involve hard evidence, such as when proving pain and suffering. However, if your injury is catastrophic, insurance companies cannot easily argue with the pain and suffering involved (which juries generally understand all too well).

You, as the accident victim, can stop the insurer from limiting your catastrophic injury claim when you:

  • Consult an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer early on in the process and work closely with them throughout the legal process
  • Follow your medical team’s orders and advice carefully.
  • Take a break from social media (the insurance company will be keeping an eye on your posts—looking for anything it can twist to its benefit)
  • Focus on your physical and emotional recovery while your lawyer addresses your claim
  • Understand you do not have to provide the insurance company with a statement, and you should leave all insurance communications to your skilled catastrophic injury lawyer.

St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury FAQs

If you’ve suffered a preventable catastrophic injury, you undoubtedly have questions, and the answers to the following frequently asked questions might help.

Can I afford a catastrophic injury lawyer?

You can afford a catastrophic injury lawyer, and having one on your side is in your best interest. Most reputable catastrophic injury lawyers work on contingency, which means they don’t get fees unless their clients’ claims are successful.

How do I know if I need a lawyer?

You need a lawyer if you have injuries and believe someone else was to blame. A catastrophic injury can permanently alter your life, and not having just compensation can limit your overall recovery. If this is the difficult situation you face, you owe it to yourself and to your future to have professional legal counsel on your side.

Are my injuries catastrophic?

Generally, if your injuries are life-altering, they are catastrophic. Your knowledgeable catastrophic injury lawyer will help you determine the magnitude of your injuries—and their classification.

Nicolette R. Nicoletti
Nicolette R. Nicoletti, Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

An Experienced St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Can Help

The compassionate catastrophic injury attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers in St. Petersburg dedicate our impressive practice to helping clients with suffered catastrophic injuries. We do everything possible to resolve their claims advantageously - and with proven results. Please contact our firm today at (727) 797-2020 to learn more about your legal rights and options.