Philadelphia Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
In most personal injury cases, the victim’s lawyer waits to settle with the insurance company until the accident victim has fully recovered from the injury or reached a point of maximum medical improvement (known as being “medically stationary”). At this point the medical costs of the injury are fairly well established, so a full and fair settlement can be negotiated. When the injured person suffers a catastrophic injury, however, the case must be approached differently to ensure the victim gets the appropriate level of care and compensation. Catastrophic injury lawyer Christine Benedum has years of experience in a wide range of personal injury cases and has achieved significant results on behalf of victims with many different types of injuries. Learn more about catastrophic injury cases below, and contact Benedum Law if you have suffered those injuries in Philadelphia in any of the following situations:
- Car Accident
- Truck Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Bus Accident
- Slip and Fall
- Assault (Negligent Security)
- Construction Accident
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injury – A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect one’s ability to move, speak, learn, focus and remember. Personality and mood changes are also not uncommon. TBI victims may have to relearn the most basic functions and may be left with lasting cognitive deficits that limit their independence and self-care.
Spinal Cord Injury – Damage to the nerves in the spinal cord can cause paraplegia, quadriplegia and a range of impairments that can include lasting nerve pain, the loss of feeling and sensation, the loss of movement and motor function, and the loss of sexual function and bowel and bladder control. In the most serious cases, mechanical assistance with breathing, eating, drinking and swallowing are needed just to stay alive.
Burns – Severe burns often leave a victim with lasting pain, limited mobility or nerve function, and psychological trauma. Wound care may extend over a period of years and require multiple skin grafts and surgeries, with the risk of serious septic infection at many stages.
Amputation – The loss of a limb presents a lifetime of costs and limitations, demanding ongoing medical care, prosthetics which must be periodically fitted and replaced, assistive technology and adaptations to homes, cars and workspaces. A lower life expectancy is also correlated to amputation in many cases.
Fractures – Broken bones can require extensive surgeries to heal properly, including the insertion of screws, pins and other hardware. Even with the best of care, bones may heal in such a way that leave the accident victim with a permanent disability or a lifetime of pain, discomfort or limited mobility. Nerve damage, ruptured blood vessels, and bone infections are all risks and complications of serious fractures.
Damages for Catastrophic Injuries are Far Greater and Much More Complex
“Damages” is the legal term describing the types of compensation awarded in a personal injury case. Typically, personal injury damages include “economic” damages such as medical costs and lost income, and “noneconomic” damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of quality of life. In a catastrophic injury, these damages are much more significant and more complex to develop and prove. Damages may involve:
Medical costs – Treatment for a catastrophic injury often involves emergency medical attention followed by acute or intensive care, often involving lifesaving surgeries and other measures. These are some of the most expensive among medical costs. Additionally, once the accident victim is stable and recovering, there is typically a long and extensive period of rehabilitation in order for the victim to recover as much function as possible and/or adapt to a new way of living with a disability. Finally, medical costs for someone with a catastrophic injury are often lifelong, with some injuries requiring future surgeries or the replacement of prosthetics, and others presenting a host of lifelong medical complications such as diabetes and infections. Some catastrophic injury victims require round-the-clock care at home or in a skilled nursing facility.
Lost income – Persons suffering a catastrophic injury may have a greatly diminished earning capacity or may be permanently disabled from working. Some may benefit from vocational rehabilitation to learn a new skill or adapt to their job with the help of assistive technology.
Pain and suffering – A catastrophic or permanent injury may be especially painful or result in long-term or permanent suffering. Often the catastrophic injury victim now must meet challenges every day simply to address the daily tasks of living. Pennsylvania personal injury law recognizes the need to compensate injury victims for their mental distress and the loss in quality of life a catastrophic injury may bring.
Help is Available after a Catastrophic Injury in Philadelphia
An attorney familiar with personal injury law, as well as the knowledge of catastrophic injuries is highly recommended. Additionally, there are many other consequences that could lead to catastrophic injuries such as defective auto parts or mechanical products resulting in an accident or crash. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in a Philadelphia car accident or other tragedy, contact Benedum Law at 215-259-7848 for a no-cost consultation regarding your potential claims for compensation with a compassionate and experienced Chestnut Hill personal injury attorney.