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Types of Catastrophic Injuries

When accidental injuries are minor or at least bearable, they are still disruptions to your life and entitle you to full compensation if your injury was caused by the negligence or misconduct of others. But when injuries are so severe as to best be described as "catastrophic," you can be overwhelmed by the pain, loss of bodily functions, emotional trauma, and impossibly high medical expenses.

In these situations especially, the injured party virtually must out of sheer necessity file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. But even when your injury is catastrophic and, perhaps, permanent, it does not mean the legal battle will be easy. In fact, the high levels of compensation such injuries entitle you to make at-fault parties and insurance companies all the more determined not to pay a fair settlement, no matter how obvious the negligence is that caused your injury.

At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we have deep experience in fighting for and securing maximized settlements for all manner of catastrophic injuries. Our team of well seasoned injury lawyers understand the details of California tort law and of local L.A. Area court processes involved in these types of cases.

If you or a loved one are suffering physically, emotionally, and financially from a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of others, do not hesitate to call us 24/7 at 424-231-2013 for a free legal consultation.

5 Common Types of Catastrophic Personal Injuries

The list of possible personal injuries is nearly endless, including such things as shattered bones, herniated discs, loss of limbs or other body parts, severely torn muscles and ligaments, and various degrees/kinds of paralysis. 

And the causes of catastrophic injuries are also numerous, including car accidents, big-rig accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall incidents, workplace injuries, boating accidents, injuries caused by defective or dangerous products, and more.

Here, however, we want to focus on five of the most common broad types of catastrophic accidental injury that occur in Los Angeles and throughout California.

  1. Burn Injuries

Unsafe work conditions or unsafe storage or disposal of dangerous chemicals can constitute a type of negligence and result in severe burn injuries.

A majority of burn injuries were preventable but occurred due to the negligent actions or inaction of individuals or companies. Other times, defective auto parts or other products lead to painful, permanently scarring burns.

Third degree burns, or worse, may cover large portions of the victim's body, and there is not body part that is exempt from receiving a potentially devastating burn. The excruciating pain, both initially and later on, are only the beginning of problems that severe burns cause. They can also lead to dangerous infections, failure of internal organs, and restrictions on the use of one's limbs. And reconstructive surgery to correct facial or other disfigurement is also often necessary.

The medical expenses incurred by a severe burn are excessively high, often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for initial treatment alone. And additionally, many complications of severe burns do not become clear until years later.

At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we understand how difficult it can be to cope with the aftermath of a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree burn. We have deep experience in assessing the likely total eventual cost of such injuries and in securing full compensation to the victims. 

  1. Brain Injuries

It is estimated that some 100,000 serious brain injuries or incidents of significant brain trauma occur in the US every single year. But the exact number is difficult to know since many with brain injury do not realize it for months or years, and some never realize that a brain trauma is what is causing certain persistent negative symptoms they are experiencing.

That's why it's important to get a thorough medical check-up after a car accident, slip/trip and fall incident, sports concussion, or other accident where the head is struck or thrown violently forward/backward. And you should be monitoring symptoms and going in for a second exam later on if you suspect something might be wrong.

Car accidents are easily the number one cause of brain injuries, and you don't have to be traveling at high rates of speed just before an accident for such an injury to occur. If your head is thrust against the steering wheel, dash, or windshield, or if you come to an abrupt stop, the brain can be affected. Realize that your brain keeps moving forward inside you head even after the car has halted, and this can shock or even bruise the brain as it pushes up against your skull.

One of the most severe types of brain injury is known as TBI (traumatic brain injury) and is all too common among those who play contact sports and suffer from multiple concussions. It is estimated that nearly one and a half million Americans have TBI, that 80,000 are permanently disabled by it, and that TBI claims the lives of some 50,000 per year.

When your head is struck violently against a hard surface, there are two possible ways a catastrophic brain injury can result. Either the bone of the skull fractures at points or the brain collides with the hard ridges of the skull. Either way, blood vessels may burst and blood may flood into areas of the brain where it doesn't belong. This bleeding can affect breathing, heart function, and more depending on which parts of the brain are disturbed. And areas of your brain can also be torn or bruised from the force of the impact.

At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we understand the nature of head and brain trauma and the long-term, sometimes long-hidden, effects it can have. We know how to gain you maximum compensation for your brain injury in as little time as possible.

  1. Spinal Cord Injury

When your neck or back are struck in a car crash or accidental fall, or when heavy lifting or repetitive motions at work stress these regions of your body, spinal cord injury is a major risk.

Four-ninths of spinal cord injuries result from automobile accidents, two-ninths from fall accidents, another two-ninths from violent crimes, and the rest from diving accidents, other sports accidents, and all other causes. And construction workers are particularly at high risk of suffering spinal cord damage.

Besides the pain and disabilities involved in spinal cord injury, the most difficult part of sustaining such an injury is that you know your spine's damaged central nerves will never regrow or repair themselves. There are cases of temporary paralysis, but there it is the nature of the damage rather than the nature of the treatment that decides if you will ever recover. Thus, there really is no cure for this kind of injury.

Since the spine is the core component of the body's central nervous system, damage to the spine cuts off communication and feeling between your brain and other parts of your body. For this reason, spinal damage can lead to a host of other problems, including issues involving the heart, digestive system, urinary tract, psychological disorders, respiratory problems, and more.

Many with spinal cord damage are paralyzed in part or fully, whether permanently or temporarily. A spinal cord injury can end your career, keep you bed-ridden or in a wheel chair most of the day, and make it difficult to fight depression and maintain normal familial and social relations. On the other hand, there are many technological advances that have come over the last half century, which make it easier to live a full, active life in spite of your disability.

At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we can help you recover full and fair compensation for your spinal cord injury. You did not bring your injury on yourself, and you should not have to bear the economic burden it involves alone or suffer the pain and distress it causes uncompensated.

  1. Brachial Plexus

Brachial plexus is a term referring to the condition of having damaged nerves in your arms, shoulders, and chest area. It is similar to spinal cord damage in that the signals from your spine to your upper body region are affected. Yet, it is a distinct catastrophic injury in itself.

When the nerves in your upper body are pressed, torn, moved out of place, and stretched, they can be badly damaged, with painful, debilitating results.

More minor forms of brachial plexus are often dubbed "stingers" by those involved in football or other contact sports. And sometimes, brachial plexus nerves can be damaged during birth. But inflammations, tumors, radiation treatment, or car crash injuries can also cause this condition. 

In a worst case scenario, an arm may become paralyzed or simply lose all feeling. Normally only one arm is affected. Other symptoms include: particular muscles in your arms, shoulders, or hands being weak/non-functional, extreme pain in your neck and other areas, and stiffness in your joints.

Most do eventually recover from brachial plexus, but some suffer permanent disabilities. The nerves in your arms and shoulders will regrow very slowly, and muscles can deteriorate out of lack of use during the healing process. Nerve and/or muscle grafts can help, but these are expensive and painful operations.

At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we have handled many tort cases for brachial plexus injury in the past, and we know the details of how this condition affects your life and how to properly calculate the full losses it entails. We can win you the best possible settlement either in or out of the courtroom.

  1. Post-traumatic Visual Loss

Those who have suffered a major traumatic event in their life often suffer from vision loss as a result. The vision loss can be full or partial, temporary or permanent. It often occurs while a patient is unconscious, but it can occur when you are in a conscious state as well.

Most commonly, vision loss occurs after serious head trauma. Sometimes, people are not even aware of how their vision has changed until tested and questioned, due to high levels of pain and disorientation. An eye exam will observe both the external appearance of the eye and its movements.

Symptoms of post-traumatic vision loss include: blurry vision, being extremely sensitive to light and glare, difficulty reading, a low attention span, memory lapses, seeing double, eyes that ache, getting severe headaches when reading or looking at a computer screen for a significant length of time, loss of focus and visual field, and trouble making normal eye movements.

Non-surgical ways to correct or treat post-traumatic vision loss include: use of prism lenses, eye rehab therapy, and light therapy. In some cases, eye muscle surgery may be done, but as vision problems largely stem from damage or stress in the brain, surgery is not normally the answer.

We at Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney understand how much a loss of normal vision affects your life. We know how expensive the treatments are and how much post-traumatic vision loss can disrupt your work, school, home, and social life. We know how to apply California's personal injury laws in local L.A. and Southern California courts and win you the compensation you deserve.

Contact Us Today For Help

At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we stand ready to take your call 24/7/365 and give you a free consultation on the details of your personal injury case.

We can quickly assess the basics of your situation and then move on to do a thorough investigation and analysis to determine who is at fault for your injury and how much and what kinds of compensation you should seek.

Call us anytime at 424-231-2013, and we will be happy to assist you!