Suffering a catastrophic injury can change your life forever. You have the legal right to compensation for all the many injuries and losses you suffer because of someone else’s negligence. If you have lost a loved one due to catastrophic injuries, you may also have a wrongful death claim against the individual or company that caused the death.
You need to hold defendants accountable for causing catastrophic injuries. Doing so deters similar dangerous conduct in the future and helps keep Florida safer for everyone. The experienced Zephyrhills catastrophic injury lawyers at the Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers know how to protect your legal right to compensation. Contact our legal team today to schedule your free consultation.
There are different medical and legal definitions of a catastrophic injury, so there are many types of injuries that can be considered “catastrophic.” A Zephyrhills catastrophic injury claim compensates you for the injuries and losses you suffer because of someone else’s negligence. A catastrophic injury has a significant impact on your life, so it will take significant compensation to make up for your losses. What follows are some of the most common catastrophic injuries our personal injury lawyers see in Zephyrhills catastrophic injury cases.
Brain injuries can be the most serious of all catastrophic injuries a person can suffer. The brain controls the most basic functions of life, such as breathing and keeping your heart beating. Brain injuries can interrupt these functions and leave a person brain dead.
If you can survive a traumatic brain injury, you might no longer walk or talk. The damage to your brain could alter your personality. A brain injury can permanently impair your ability to earn a living, engage in hobbies, have normal relationships with your loved ones, and otherwise live your life.
Each of these is a compensable loss. It is important to work with an experienced brain injury lawyer who knows how to prove the full value of the extensive losses that come with a serious brain injury.
While spinal cord injuries may not impact a person’s ability to think and retain cognitive functions, they can interfere with almost every other function. A spinal cord injury can leave the victim paralyzed either with paraplegia (with the lower extremities paralyzed), quadriplegia (with all four extremities paralyzed), or paralysis from the chest down.
The victim could have a shortened lifespan as the result of the spinal cord injury. Less serious spinal cord injuries might result in bruising or other minor damage. While this may not leave the victim with paralysis, it could still be an incredibly painful recovery. Spinal cord injuries may result in problems with sensation or motor function for years to come.
Medical bills can be quite costly, with a wide range of neurological experts required to diagnose and treat complicated spinal cord injuries. Be sure you work with a skilled spinal cord injury lawyer who understands these injuries and knows how to prove their costs.
Amputations occur when surgeons cannot save a limb after it suffers a serious injury. Often these are crush injuries that cause irreparable damage to nerves, blood vessels, and other vital tissues. Sometimes this occurs because of infection. For example, if you sustained an injury in a car accident on a remote road, it might take a long time before emergency crews can reach your location and extract you from the vehicle. The longer it takes a patient to reach the operating table, the less likely it is that surgeons can save a limb.
Amputations result in many of the intangible losses that support a pain and suffering award, such as the loss of enjoyment of life, giving up hobbies, the inability to go for a simple jog, or the lost sense of pride that comes with gainful employment. Injury victims who face amputation deserve compensation for these losses. Because they will continue for the rest of the victim’s life, these losses are significant, and it takes a significant amount of money to compensate victims for them fairly.
Internal organs can also suffer injuries in an accident. Sometimes there is internal bleeding that healthcare professionals can only repair surgically. Sometimes these organs are bruised and require several days of painful recovery under close medical observation. Sometimes the organs are damaged so badly that a surgeon must remove them.
Injury victims who lose kidneys, lungs, a part of the liver, gallbladders, and other internal organs often face ongoing medical complications because of their injuries. These injury victims might even face a shortened life expectancy or a painful and costly process of waiting for organ donation. Victims can spend years waiting for a suitable donor and endure serious pain in the meantime. They might require costly medical treatments (such as dialysis). The loss of any internal organ is a catastrophic loss that needs careful evaluation in light of all its effects and long-term medical complications.
Serious burns are catastrophic injuries, and many burn injuries are life-threatening. If the patient can survive their initial injuries, they are almost certain to have serious medical complications for the rest of their life. Many burn victims have a shortened life expectancy due to these medical complications.
Burn injuries often threaten the victim’s ability to breathe. There may be smoke inhalation or the lungs themselves could suffer burns. The danger of immediate swelling means that a burn victim often needs to be intubated right away – if not, doctors risk losing the patient’s airway or performing a surgical tracheotomy to allow the patient to breathe.
These injuries leave many burn victims with permanent breathing problems. Asthma, emphysema, and other breathing problems are not mere inconveniences; they can endanger the victim’s life. If the lungs are seriously damaged, the victim might even need a lung transplant. All of these complications lead to ongoing pain and suffering. Burn victims should receive compensation for all these complications, as well as for any reduced life expectancy that their injuries create.
Burns also often leave victims with permanent disfigurement and possible amputations despite many surgical procedures to repair the tissue. Victims with permanent disfigurement can seek additional compensation for the losses they experience.
It is not always possible to avoid accidents before they happen. There are, however, some places and situations where catastrophic injuries are more likely to occur. When you are out and about in Zephyrhills, use caution in some of the following high-risk areas:
You should also be aware of the nearby places where catastrophic injuries are likely to occur. For example, water recreation is available just a short drive west of Zephyrhills. If you plan to boat on Lake Tarpon, use caution, especially around the motor and other dangerous parts of your watercraft. Launching and putting the boat away can also be especially dangerous. Communicate well with all members of your party to make sure no one is in the way of the boat or your vehicle.
There are many different types of legal claims you might have after suffering a catastrophic injury. It is important to work with an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer who knows how to identify and prove all potential claims against all potential defendants. Doing so is the only way to ensure your legal right to compensation will receive full protection. What follows are some of the most common types of legal claims that arise from catastrophic injury cases.
A personal injury claim arises when a victim suffers an injury through negligence. This negligence can stem from an individual (such as a distracted driver) or a company (such as a store that fails to clean up a puddle on which customers may slip). Personal injury claims are common when catastrophic injuries occur from an auto accident, a slip and fall accident, boating accident, sporting accidents, and other instances of negligence.
Medical malpractice is also caused by negligence, but in this case, the negligence is committed by a medical professional. An individual may file a medical malpractice claim against doctors, surgeons, nurses, physician’s assistants, nursing aides, transport workers, and other medical professionals.
They can also file a medical malpractice claim against the medical facilities that employ these professionals. Employers are generally liable for negligence committed by employees acting in the scope and course of their employment, which is why hospitals and other medical facilities carry large malpractice insurance policies to cover damages caused by medical negligence.
Catastrophic injuries can occur in the workplace, especially workplaces in dangerous environments, such as construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and jobs that involve working with heavy machinery. Injuries that occur while you are on the job usually mean you can benefit from workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers’ compensation covers all workplace injuries, regardless of who was at fault, making it easier to get your medical bills paid. Unfortunately, this ease of access means that workers’ compensation also gives less coverage. You will not get compensation for your pain and suffering, and your lost wage claim will cap as a set portion of your pre-accident earnings, making it clear why it is important to ask your lawyer about other injury claims you might have in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
As consumers, we expect that the products we buy will be safe to use. This is why there are strong consumer protection laws in the United States. One of these laws is strict product liability. Manufacturers are “strictly liable” for any injuries caused by their products. The injury victim does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. So long as the victim used the product as intended, the manufacturer can be liable for the injuries that it causes.
Sometimes these cases involve mild cuts, burns, or other injuries that heal quickly. But products can cause permanent disabilities and other irreparable harm. Imagine a vehicle sold with a faulty brake system. The defective brakes could cause a car accident that leads to brain damage, amputations, or even death.
The manufacturer of the defective vehicle can be strictly liable for these catastrophic injuries. A victim of such an accident deserves compensation for all the medical bills they will incur throughout their lifetime, all lost wages and decreases to their future earning capacity, and all the pain and suffering that they have endured and will endure in the future.
In the case of catastrophic injuries, these costs add up quickly. Injury victims have a serious financial interest in the outcome of an accident case involving catastrophic injuries. This financial interest is why it is so important to be sure you hire the right injury lawyer to protect your legal right to compensation.
Injury victims should receive fair compensation for all the losses and suffering they endure because of someone else’s negligence. It is important to protect this legal right by hiring an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle complicated cases involving catastrophic injuries. Our experienced Zephyrhills catastrophic injury lawyers fight hard to protect your legal rights.
Injury victims across Florida trust our team to protect their legal rights and get them fair compensation for their injuries. You deserve fair compensation for all of your injuries and losses, past and future. Let us protect this right so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us online or call (727) 845-5972 for your free consultation. The sooner you have an experienced Zephyrhills catastrophic injury attorney on your side, the better you will protect your legal rights.
A catastrophic injury is a life-changing event. Victims must go through a painful recovery process after a traumatic accident, which can put a serious strain on family life and personal relationships. Many victims find that their personal and professional lives are never the same after suffering a catastrophic injury. You deserve compensation for these serious losses, and you don’t have to go through the process alone.
The experienced Zephyrhills catastrophic injury lawyers at the Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers are here to help. We have put together this guide of some of the most common questions our attorneys receive about catastrophic injuries. Of course, we cannot answer all your questions here, nor can we give you information specific to your particular case. The following information, however, will help you understand some basic information about catastrophic injury claims.
Doctors, lawyers, and insurance professionals all have slightly different definitions for the types of injuries that qualify as “catastrophic.” In general, a catastrophic injury leaves you with permanent disabilities, disfigurements, or other lasting effects. Brain injuries are a very common type of catastrophic injury.
Even seemingly mild brain damage can prevent a person from maintaining gainful employment and have lasting complications and impacts on the person’s life. Severe traumatic brain injuries could prevent a victim from speaking, walking, or even feeding themselves. It takes a serious amount of compensation to pay for all the care these brain injury victims will require for the rest of their lives.
Another common type of catastrophic injury is one that requires amputation. Without a limb, you may have to change jobs or give up beloved athletic activities. Your home may require modifications to accommodate your new body. And, of course, you will endure a lifetime of pain and suffering caused by the loss of enjoyment of life that comes with the loss of a limb.
Amputations are significant events. Juries have, in the past, awarded multimillion-dollar verdicts to injury victims who lose a limb, meaning that catastrophic injury victims have a serious financial stake in the outcome of their injury claims. Be sure you hire the right catastrophic injury lawyer who has experience proving your specific types of losses. Whether you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, an amputated limb, paralysis, or any other type of catastrophic injury, you must protect your legal rights.
There are many different types of accidents that result in catastrophic injuries. The type of accident you suffered determines who was at fault for causing your injuries. The at-fault party is the person who has a legal obligation to compensate you for your injuries, so your lawyer must know how to find all potential defendants and prove their liability. A defendant can be an individual or a company. What follows are some common ways in which catastrophic injuries occur.
Negligence. Negligence is the most common basis for a Zephyrhills catastrophic injury claim. If an individual or company was negligent, and you sustained an injury because of this negligence, they are legally obligated to compensate you for your losses. This potential liability is why the law requires that drivers carry at least a minimum amount of liability coverage on their auto insurance policies.
Negligence can also be the basis for a catastrophic slip and fall accident claim. Property owners can be held liable for dangerous conditions on their property, and that is why both residential and commercial property owners carry insurance. The law holds retail store owners to an even higher standard. While homeowners need only warn their guests about dangerous conditions they are aware of, store owners must actively inspect their property and make it safe for customers. This strict requirement protects members of the public, those that the store owner has invited onto the property for the owner’s financial benefit.
On the job. Thousands of workers suffer injuries every year in the United States while on the job. Injuries are especially common in construction, manufacturing, and other jobs that deal with heavy machinery or other dangerous equipment. Most employers in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage applies to any worker injured on the job. The victim does not have to prove who was at fault for the accident. As long as the injury occurred while on the job, workers’ compensation should cover it.
The guarantee of coverage ensures prompt payment for medical bills. Workers’ compensation also has provisions for long-term disability and permanent injuries, so it is important to have a lawyer examine the coverage that may apply to catastrophic injuries.
Defective products. As consumers, we expect that the products we buy will be safe to use. The United States’ strong consumer protection laws (including rules of strict liability) ensure this expectation. Strict product liability means that a manufacturer is liable for injuries caused by defective products. The injury victim does not have to prove negligence, only that they were using the product as intended when the injury occurred. Some product injuries are mild cuts or scrapes.
Others are far more serious. A vehicle with defective brakes, for example, could easily cause catastrophic injuries or even death. It is important to hold manufacturers liable for defective products that cause catastrophic injuries since it helps protect other innocent consumers from being seriously hurt or even killed.
One of the most pressing questions for any injury victim is “what are my injuries worth?” When you are accruing medical bills and off work, you need money right away, and you need to know what money you can expect to receive when your case settles. The answer is different in every case. When you have your free consultation at the Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers, our catastrophic injury attorneys can give you a better idea of the value of your case. What follows are some of the most common areas of compensation.
Medical bills. A negligent individual or company who caused your injuries must pay for all medical bills related to their negligence, including ambulance trips, the initial ER visit, an inpatient stay at the hospital, follow up appointments with your primary care provider, and any specialists you must consult with, and rehabilitative care or pain management. Rehabilitative care might include physical therapy, chiropractic services, or consultation with a pain management specialist. In the case of catastrophic injuries, you might also require speech therapy or occupational therapy.
If your catastrophic injuries result in a workers’ compensation claim, that carrier must also pay for your medical bills. Some workers’ compensation carriers try to claim that you must see “their” medical providers, but you should receive medical treatment from the providers of your choice. However, in some cases, it will help speed up the process if you choose from a list of providers that the carrier has already approved for payment. Ask your injury lawyer if you have any questions about choosing medical providers or if the insurance company tries to dictate the providers you see.
Lost wages. Catastrophic injuries almost always result in lost wages. At the very least, you will be off work for weeks while you are recovering from your initial injuries. Further surgeries and treatment will require more time off work, sometimes for months at a time. Many victims of catastrophic injuries can never return to any gainful employment. All of these examples result in the victim losing money on the wages that they would have earned. You deserve compensation for these lost wages.
In a personal injury claim, you should receive the full value of all your lost wages. Personal injury claims include product liability, medical malpractice, and general liability claims (as in a car accident case). Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance policies are not required to compensate you for the full value of your lost wages.
State laws dictate what these policies must cover. You will receive a specified portion of your pre-accident earnings while you are initially receiving medical treatment. If your doctor determines that you are permanently disabled, you will receive disability benefits under the policy. (This can be a permanent total disability or a permanent partial disability, depending on the extent of your injuries.)
You can see how injury victims might miss out on a significant portion of their lost wages under a workers’ compensation policy, making it clear why your injury lawyer needs to investigate your case and see if you have a personal injury claim. You can pursue both workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim for the same accident.
Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering covers all the intangible losses that you experience from your injuries, including the physical pain of your injuries and the emotional suffering you endure because of being catastrophically injured. Emotional suffering can include the loss of enjoyment of life, missing out on major life events like graduations and weddings, the lost sense of pride that comes with being unable to work, and other emotional losses.
You may not prove these losses with receipts, but they are very real. In fact, pain and suffering is often the largest component of any personal injury award, which is why insurance companies fight so hard to reduce the value of your pain and suffering award. Without an experienced accident lawyer who knows catastrophic injury cases, an injury victim cannot know what compensation is truly fair for their pain and suffering.
A defendant in a Zephyrhills catastrophic injury claim is legally obligated to compensate you for the full value of your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no compensation for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation claim. Permanent disability benefits are set by state law and guaranteed by policy language, neither of which allows any compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering.
Here again, it is extremely important to let an experienced attorney investigate your case to see whether you have Zephyrhills catastrophic injury claims in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. You could miss out on significant compensation if you simply trust your workers’ compensation carrier to pay you what you deserve.
Future losses. An individual must generally file a workers’ compensation or Zephyrhills catastrophic injury claim within a short time frame after the injury, meaning that you will not know the exact value of your pain and suffering, medical bills, or lost wages at the time of your claim’s filing. With catastrophic injuries, these losses will often continue for the rest of your life, but you should still receive compensation for them.
So how can you prove what future losses you deserve? In a workers’ compensation claim, the policy will determine your benefits. Once the doctors determine that you are permanently disabled, you should receive the permanent disability benefits available under your employer’s policy.
In a Zephyrhills catastrophic injury case, your injury lawyer will hire expert witnesses to make accurate projections about the value of your future losses. A life care planner can determine the care you will need, then estimate the value of this care, and adjust it for inflation over your expected lifetime.
An economist can determine the difference in your earnings before the accident and the wages you can earn with your injuries after the accident. This difference will be extrapolated from the date of injury until the expected age of retirement. Inflation will factor in and adjust the total. The economist will also add in the value of any lost employment benefits (such as an employer’s contributions to healthcare premiums or retirement accounts), providing your attorney with tangible evidence to file a claim for your future medical bills and lost wages.
You don’t have to search all over Florida to find the right injury lawyers for your accident case. The experienced Zephyrhills catastrophic injury attorneys at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers know how to protect your legal rights. Injury victims across Florida trust our team to protect their legal rights and get them fair compensation for their injuries. You deserve fair compensation for all of your injuries and losses, past and future. We fight hard to help our clients access the compensation they deserve. Call (727) 845-5972 for your free consultation.
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