Catastrophic injuries are life-changing, and survivors only have one chance to speak with a personal injury lawyer and get the compensation they need for medical costs, pain, and suffering, rehabilitation, in-home care, lost earnings and other damages.
Not every attorney and firm can successfully maximize a catastrophic injury claim.
With Our Catastrophic Injury Lawyers, We Can
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we have tireless advocates for the survivors of catastrophic injuries and the families who care for them since 1959. We have a well-deserved reputation in California and throughout the nation, reflected in the six and seven figure settlements we have obtained for our clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Types of Catastrophic Injury Claims
The law defines a “catastrophic injury” as any injury that results in permanent disability or a permanent change in the quality of life. Some examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- The loss of a limb is both physically debilitating and emotionally devastating. People who lose limbs in accidents often require extensive recovery and rehabilitation. Although prosthetic technology has advanced tremendously in recent years, the adjustment period is very challenging, and an amputation can also lead to other medical issues such as infections, Phantom Pain Syndrome, and psychological distress.
- Vision loss. Working in dangerous locations or engaging in potentially hazardous work has the potential of damaging a person’s eyes or vision. There are also countless other possible ways to suffer partial or full vision loss, including traumatic head injuries, car accidents, acts of violence, or exposure to certain chemicals.
- Hearing loss. Many people who work in noisy factories, construction sites, and assembly facilities sustain hearing loss over time. Although ear protection may help prevent this with consistent use, some extraordinarily loud sounds can cause partial or total hearing loss. Hearing loss may also result from a traumatic head injury as well.
- Permanent internal damage. In the event an individual suffers extreme damage to the internal organs, he or she may pursue legal action for the cost of treating or managing the resulting permanent condition. This can occur from an internal organ injury caused by negligence, medical malpractice during a surgical procedure, infection, or ingestion of harmful substances.
- Brain injuries. A severe blow to the head, asphyxia, or exposure to some chemicals may damage the brain. The brain controls the rest of the body’s functions, so any damage to the brain will likely reflect throughout the body in many possible ways. This can interfere with cognition, memory, and even the ability to perform everyday tasks.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is the thick bundle of nerves that carries messages from the brain down through the spine to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the body, but it cannot self-repair like the rest of the body. Any damage to the spinal cord is permanent and may result in loss of sensation, loss of function, or a combination of the two.
- Fatal injuries. In the event a catastrophic injury leads to a death, the deceased’s surviving family or estate representative can pursue a wrongful death claim in lieu of a personal injury claim.
Damages and Compensation in Catastrophic Injury Lawsuits
The jury hearing a case assesses the case’s value by determining the value of the damages sustained by the plaintiff. Economic losses such as lost wages from missed time at work, property damage, and medical expenses are easy to prove with proper documentation, such as pay stubs, invoices, bills for services, and receipts. Non-economic damages are a bit more difficult to prove.
A jury will generally award pain and suffering damages based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, a plaintiff who incurred $50,000 in medical expenses for the treatment of a catastrophic injury may require several years or more of recovery time. During that time, the plaintiff will likely deal with consistent pain, discomfort, and loss of range of motion, so the jury will likely award quite a bit more in pain and suffering damages. While there is no hard and fast rule for calculating these damages, it is generally safe to assume that pain and suffering damages will be several times more than a plaintiff’s claimed medical expenses.
In some cases, the plaintiff’s economic damages are a bit more difficult to ascertain. If the plaintiff will require several future corrective procedures, long-term physical therapy, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, or any other form of long-term medical care, the jury will factor this into their determination.
How Were You Injured?
It does not matter whether you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, subjected to substandard medical care or hurt by a defective product. If your injury was the result of another person or corporation’s negligence, we can help you make things right and obtain the financial recovery you deserve.
We have successfully recovered for a wide range of victims, including those who suffered severe burns, pedestrians struck by vehicles, and people who suffered irreparable harm to their brain or spinal cord.
If your family has suffered the ultimate loss as a result of negligence, we can pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf. We combine tenacious representation with the compassion you need during this difficult time.
Intimidated by No One in the Pursuit of Justice
Our attorneys and staff will not hesitate to take on powerful opponents when it is in your best interest. This includes manufacturers, major corporations, property owners and even public entities. You deserve to be compensated for what you have been through and will continue to go through, and you deserve an attorney who will fight for what is right.
Put a Proven Lawyer by Your Side
Call us today at (415) 981-7210 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. We can meet with you at your home or in the hospital if you are unable to come to us.