Catastrophic Injuries

We define catastrophic injuries as those that are long lasting or even permanent. The range of what falls under "catastrophic injury" is broad and includes traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation and disfigurement, loss of vision or hearing, scarring and disfigurement, and burns from electric shock.

Even accidents that on the surface do not appear to be particularly serious often cause unseen damage; traumatic brain injury from a serious concussion, for example, can cause cognitive problems months or even years down the road.

At Girardi | Keese, our personal injury lawyers represent victims of serious accidents and wrongdoing. Our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries and need every penny of compensation they can get to rebuild their lives. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys at 800-401-4530.

The Hidden Damage Of Traumatic Brain Injury

The Mayo Clinic defines traumatic brain injury as what happens when "an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction." The external mechanical force could be a blow, jolt, or even a bullet. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury, as well as slip and falls.

Some common symptoms of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Depression and anxiety

These physical and mental symptoms vary from person to person and from accident to accident. Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States live with TBI and must deal with its long-term and often debilitating effects. Concussions cause thousands of cases of mild TBI every year, in which many people often regain their health prior to the accident, whereas severe cases of TBI may result in coma or even death. TBI is diagnosed (and proven in court) with evidence from CT scans, the Glasgow Coma Score, and physician exams, among other tests.

Life-Changing Spinal Cord Injury And Paralysis

In a serious car crash or other type of accident, your life can change in an instant. Depending on the severity of the impact, the crash may cause multiple catastrophic injuries, among them spinal cord injury:

  • In relatively low-impact crashes, the spinal cord may sustain reversible damage, correctable by surgery and/or rehabilitation.
  • In severe crashes, however, the victim may suffer permanent paralysis and a lifetime of medical care.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has published estimates that more than five million Americans live with paralysis in some form, be it partial paralysis (such as paraplegia of the legs) or total paralysis (such as quadriplegia, which affects both the arms and legs). Other people suffer a localized partial paralysis, for example, in one arm or leg, or one side of the body. Still others may experience a form of paralysis in which they have much difficulty – but not complete inability – to use their limbs or hands and feet.

Spinal cord injury is a leading cause of paralysis, second only to stroke. Victims should expect to face a high cost for medical care: Estimates put the total cost per paralysis victim at more than $5 million over a lifetime. In an effort to curb the cost and improve the lives of paralysis victims, California lawmakers passed the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act in 1999 to help scientists discover effective medical treatment.

The Physical And Emotional Cost Of Amputation And Disfigurement

The loss of a body part to amputation, whether an entire limb or "just" one finger, is extremely difficult. You cannot go back to the way life was before amputation in the surgical ward or at the scene of an accident. Similarly, you may not be able to change your physical appearance after disfigurement.

Amputation and disfigurement have a ripple effect on:

  • how you perform your work;
  • the type of work you do;
  • your career progression;
  • your hobbies and pastimes;
  • your physical activity;
  • how you perform day-to-day activities like cooking and errands; and
  • your confidence and socialization with other people.

Like many other types of catastrophic injuries, amputation and disfigurement generally have a long-term impact on a person's physical and emotional well-being. However, as in all personal injury cases, the total financial and human costs will vary from person to person and from accident to accident.

There are significant psychological consequences for those who suffer facial disfigurement, for example. According to the National Institutes of Health, a person's face is "often the seat of recognition for a human being and living with a change in the appearance of one's face as a result of injury, disease, burns or trauma is always a challenging task." Such an injury can lead to a number of serious disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

Compound Fractures And Organ Damage

Many personal injury cases – such as pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents – not only involve many of the catastrophic injuries described above (traumatic brain injury, for example), but also significant compound fractures and internal organ damage, depending on the severity and circumstances of the crash.

  • Serious compound fractures may require multiple surgeries spread out over months, with uncertain outcomes in terms of pain and healing.
  • Organ damage, such as laceration through blunt force trauma, may cause significant internal bleeding and chronic health conditions.

For example, the National Institutes of Health says that the use of airbags in recent decades has helped to reduce the severity of head and neck injuries in motor vehicle accidents, but the abdomen remains vulnerable in front and side impacts, particularly the liver and spleen.

Have You Suffered A Catastrophic Injury?

Thousands of people suffer catastrophic injuries every year. Victims of traumatic brain injury, paralysis, amputation, disfigurement, compound fractures, and organ damage – to name a few – suffer incalculable harm because of someone else's negligence and wrongdoing. The health consequences of catastrophic injuries are often both physical and emotional. Our clients must learn to rebuild their lives. They must have the compensation they need to do so. At Girardi | Keese, we will help you rebuild your life.

Get The Answers You Need In A Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, we are here to help you. In a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, we will answer your questions and give you some guidance as to how to move forward. To get started, complete our online contact form or call 800-401-4530 today.