Serious and Catastrophic Injuries: Questions and Answers
We know that if you or a loved one is seriously injured in an accident, questions race through your mind day and night. Here is some information about catastrophic injuries that we hope is helpful.
You can also visit our Legal Questions page, which has lots of information on what to do if you've been hurt in an accident.
And of course, feel free to get in touch with us anytime if you've been injured in an accident and aren't sure what to do. Our phones answer 24/7 – call 412-394-1000 or fill out an online legal consultation.
- What is a "catastrophic injury"?
- What accidents cause the most serious injuries?
- How do you calculate "compensation" for someone who has been catastrophically injured?
- What is the relationship like between an attorney and a client who has a serious injury?
- Does it really matter which attorney I hire to handle my case?
What is a "catastrophic injury"?
Generally, most catastrophic injuries we see fall into two categories – brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Both can have devastating consequences, but in very different ways.
Other types of injuries – like amputations, hip injuries, etc. – can have permanent, life-long effects.
What accidents cause the most serious injuries?
A lot of the brain injury cases we see involve motorcycle accidents. Accidents happen even to the safest bikers, and there's not much between them and the pavement.
Other types of accidents that often cause catastrophic injuries involve semi-trucks, car accidents in which people aren't wearing seatbelts, drunk drivers, and rollovers. In fact, the fatality rate in rollover accidents is about 75%.
How do you calculate "compensation" for someone who has been catastrophically injured?
The first factor we consider is medical bills. We don't want people to worry about how they're going to pay for their medical treatment.
Secondly, we consider lost wages. If a client has a debilitating injury, they likely can't return to work or can't hold a job that pays what they made before the accident.
The effects of pain and suffering are another aspect. If you sustain serious injuries, you never "get over it." The consequences last a lifetime.
Finally, we think about the things you'll have to do as you adjust to life with your injury – such as making your home and vehicle wheelchair accessible.
What is the relationship like between an attorney and a client who has a serious injury?
Our first priority is to find out what it's like to be in our clients' shoes. We want to understand how this accident has affected your life on a daily basis.
If a client sustained a brain injury, we often have to rely on their family members to fill in the details for us. We put ourselves in their position as much as possible so we can understand what they're going through.
If someone has a spinal cord injury, we work with them to figure out what they want and what they need, both now and in the future.
In both cases, we use all the resources at our disposal to fight for their rights to get the compensation they deserve.
It's one thing to talk about someone who will be in a wheelchair for the rest of their life, it's another thing to actually see it. We create "Day in the Life" videos – we go into our clients' homes and film what their life is like and how it has changed. This is one way we can demonstrate to insurance companies how our clients have been affected by their injuries.
Does it really matter which attorney I hire to handle my case?
Yes. Unfortunately, not every attorney is able to handle cases that involve serious, long-term injuries. You need to have extensive experience and adequate resources to determine what a client is going to need for the rest of their lives.
We're able to hire the best experts – from economists to "lifecare experts" – who know what you'll need in the future. We also have decades of experience handling catastrophic injury cases and know what exactly what we need to do as soon as we start working on your case.