What defines a catastrophic injury from another kind of injury after an accident? Car accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, leaving a person with different degrees of injuries. Some injuries only require minimal medical attention with a full recovery. However, others can have far more severe consequences. These types of collisions lead to what are known as catastrophic injuries. This type of physical trauma can cause long-term or permanent disabilities. They significantly impact the lives of victims and their loved ones.
A person who experiences a catastrophic injury often doesn’t heal completely. An injury of this extremity often leads to a permanent disability and effect on their life. A catastrophic injury often results in chronic pain and emotional trauma. Additionally, they usually require serious and expensive medical treatment as well as long-term rehabilitation and care. Furthermore, victims may suffer from psychological effects that reduce their ability to enjoy and experience life.
It is essential to acknowledge the unique challenges that individuals with catastrophic injuries face. They need to be provided support systems, rehabilitation services, and counseling. They require legal assistance from a qualified St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney. These resources are essential to help them navigate their new reality after an accident. In this way, they can regain as much independence and quality of life as possible.
What Are Catastrophic Injuries From Car Accidents?
Catastrophic injuries vary widely, including a range of severe physical traumas. They often result in long-term disability and significantly reduce a person’s quality of life. A person may have to spend the whole rest of their life receiving regular physical therapy or pain treatment.
The cost of these treatments can be extreme and may last for the rest of a person’s life. The standard car insurance won’t cover the full range of costs. A St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney has the experience to calculate the projected funds that are needed for care. Armed with this knowledge, they fight to make sure the injured will be able to take care of themself.
Some examples of common catastrophic injuries include:
Spinal Cord Injuries
One example of a catastrophic injury is spinal cord damage, common in car and motorcycle accidents. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, victims may experience loss of motor function or sensation. This loss can be from the point of impact or affect the whole area of the body extending from the injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is caused by an impact to the head. When the head receives a blow or is shaken, it can cause bruising or swelling of the brain. This type of injury is very dangerous, often resulting in serious impairments of mental function, memory loss, or even emotional instability. Traumatic brain injuries frequently occur in car and motorcycle accidents, where head-impact and whiplash often occur.
Burns are also categorized as catastrophic. A burn from a bad accident can cover large parts of the body or reach deeper skin layers. This severe type of burn can lead to debilitating pain and, in severe cases, permanent disfigurement. Burns of this kind can be caused by a car catching fire after a crash or exposure to hazardous chemicals in the aftermath of a collision.
Accidents such as car crashes or motorcycle mishaps can result in multiple fractures or crushed bones. This type of broken bone often impacts more than one part of the body at the same time. Multiple fractures are complicated injuries with long recovery times. They require extensive medical attention, surgeries,and physical therapy. Many times, they lead to long-term disabilities.
Car accidents can cause various types of nerve damage, depending on the specific circumstances and injuries sustained. There are many types of nerve damage, such as: peripheral nerve damage, paralysis, pinched or compressed nerves, and loss of sensation or motor function.
What Causes Catastrophic Injuries from a Car Crash in St. Petersburg, FL?
In Florida, catastrophic injuries from a car crash aren’t uncommon, as any St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney can tell you. These horrific accidents can be caused by many factors, many of which are often beyond your control. Some common causes of catastrophic injuries in car accidents include:
When a driver speeds, they drastically increase the potential severity of injuries if they get in an accident. The faster a car is going when it crashes, the more severe the potential injuries are. This increased velocity and impact can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death.
Drunk or impaired driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major cause of catastrophic injuries from car accidents. If a driver is impaired, they are more likely to lose control of their vehicle. They may swerve into oncoming traffic or fail to react to dangerous situations. These actions can result in devastating injuries for impaired drivers, as well as the innocent victims.
Any activities that take attention from the road increase the risk of catastrophic accidents. This includes lots of things that seem normal, like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car features. Even though people think they’re safe, they can all lead to drivers not paying proper attention to the road. This lack of attention to the road increases the potential for severe crashes and injuries.
Making the choice to engage in behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, or ignoring traffic laws can cause a catastrophic accident. Reckless drivers put themselves and others at risk. By engaging in dangerous maneuvers, their actions can lead to high-impact collisions and catastrophic injuries.
Failure to wear seatbelts
Failing to utilize seatbelts increases the likelihood of sustaining severe injuries in a car crash. Seatbelts are designed to restrain movement during a collision. This reduces the risk of being thrown from the vehicle. It also reduces the potential severity of an impact within the car, for example with a window. Not wearing a seatbelt can result in more severe injuries than would have occurred if the person had been properly restrained.
Can I Sue for Catastrophic Injuries in St. Petersburg, FL?
Florida state laws provide legal options for victims who have sustained catastrophic injuries due to others’ negligent acts or misconduct. There are two major categories for which people can sue. Seeking the advice of an experienced St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney will greatly increase your chance of success in receiving your fair settlement.
Personal Injury Claims
Catastrophic injury victims may be able to file personal injury claims against the responsible parties. A St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney can help guide someone seeking financial compensation that is enough to actually cover their costs. Insurance companies often give the bare minimum for medical expenses, lost wages during recovery periods, and disability accommodations.
It’s important to know that it often costs so much more in the long-term. These ongoing financial challenges also include pain and suffering and potential future damages arising from long-term disabilities. St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorneys can help someone calculate the projected costs so they are covered for their future.
Wrongful Death Claims
In tragic cases where catastrophic injuries lead to the death of an individual, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim. These claims seek damages for medical and funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other related losses resulting from their lost loved one. In the wake of such a loss, it helps to have a St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney helping you through the process.
How Do Catastrophic Injuries Affect People?
The effects of catastrophic injuries can vary depending on the type and severity of the injury, but some common consequences include:
Catastrophic injuries often lead to permanent disabilities or impairments. They significantly affect mobility, coordination, strength, or sensory abilities. These physical limitations can require extensive medical treatments, assistive devices, and adaptations in daily activities.
Many catastrophic injuries result in chronic pain that persists long after the initial accident. This pain can be debilitating, affecting the individual’s ability to engage in everyday tasks and diminishing their overall quality of life.
Emotional and psychological impact
Catastrophic injuries can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A person must cope with the trauma of the accident, both physical and mental. They need to adjust to new physical limitations and deal with the loss of independence. These changes can take a serious toll on a person’s mental health.
Catastrophic injuries often require extensive medical care. The cost is much more than the initial emergency care or surgeries. They often have to deal with long-term rehabilitation programs, assistive devices, home modifications, and ongoing physical or emotional therapy. The cost of these treatments can be overwhelming and may result in financial burdens for the individual and their family. Insurance alone rarely covers this. St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorneys can help fight so the injured person has enough money to cover their ongoing care.
The physical and emotional challenges brought on by catastrophic injuries can lead to social isolation. Individuals may face difficulties participating in social activities, maintaining relationships, or returning to work and may experience a sense of alienation from their pre-injury life.
Contact A St. Petersburg Catastrophic Injury Attorney Today
You don’t have to face the aftermath of a catastrophic injury alone. Our team of dedicated St. Petersburg catastrophic accident attorneys is here to provide you with unwavering support. We are committed to offering you the guidance and representation you need during this difficult time. With our experience and expertise in handling catastrophic injury cases, you can rely on us to stand by your side throughout the entire process. We will tirelessly fight for your rights and seek the rightful compensation you deserve. Take advantage of our free initial consultation to learn more about how a St. Petersburg catastrophic injury attorney can assist you in your case.