When you suffer an injury and someone else caused it, you can file an injury claim against the responsible parties to seek compensation for your losses. An injury is the last thing that you want to deal with. When you are trying to recover, figuring out how to navigate the claim process and receive full damages can present serious challenges. This is especially true for catastrophic, life-changing injuries.
Having an attorney by your side as soon as possible after your or your loved one’s catastrophic injury will support the best possible outcome in your case. After the incident that led to your injury, you will likely be dealing with insurance companies and attorneys when trying to collect compensation. Having an attorney on your side helps to even the playing field and ensures that you receive the fullest coverage possible.
Read on to learn more about how catastrophic injuries happen, some symptoms to watch out for, and how your San Mateo catastrophic injury lawyer from Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Legally speaking, a catastrophic injury has a major effect on functioning. They include:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury affects how your brain works, and damaged brain tissue cannot oversee certain functions as necessary. For this reason, TBIs can result in cognitive impairment, physical difficulties, or even behavioral and mental issues.
Spinal Cord Injury
Your spine sends messages from your brain to your body, but a spinal injury disrupts those messages, paralyzing you below the injury. Paralysis means you can no longer move (including walking) or feel sensation in those areas, and you likely require significant medical equipment and adaptations to your home, if not full-time care.
Third-degree burns damage all layers of your skin and the tissue under it, including bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons, or even organs. These burns can limit the use of the affected body part, even with treatment. In some cases, burn victims lose many abilities they had before the accident.
Amputations can happen traumatically, such as in a power tool accident. An irreparable burn or crush injury might make them surgically necessary. In either situation, losing a body part – quite literally – will change your future life and abilities.
These injuries might stem from truck crashes, serious falls, and other accidents. You need a lawyer who can protect your rights, as proper financial recovery can help you move forward in a better position with your life-changing injury.
Losses From Catastrophic Injuries
Experiencing a significant injury can impact your life in every way, from your personal life to your work. When you experience a catastrophic injury, there will be emergency medical care, in addition to hospitalization, possible surgeries, and then ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. The compensation from your injury claim should cover all medical care associated with your injury so that you don’t have to worry about paying for any of the costs associated with the injury out of pocket.
Outside of your medical bills, you can seek damages to cover the loss of income associated with your injury. When you cannot return to work, you deserve to recover the replacement of your lost wages, in addition to other work benefits you missed out on, such as accrued sick time and vacation days.
If you cannot return to work that pays as well due to your injury, you should receive compensation for the difference between what you could earn before your injury and after. Should you be completely unable to return to work due to your catastrophic injury, you can seek damages to cover your loss of earning ability from the time of your injury through your working life.
While the financial losses from a catastrophic injury can be extensive, the bulk of many injury settlements addresses the intangible – or non-economic – losses stemming from your injury.
These losses include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental trauma or suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disabilities
- Permanent disfigurement
Never discount such intangible losses, as they are recoverable as part of your claim.
Insurance Companies Offer Quick Settlements at Low Amounts
You might receive a settlement offer from the insurance company quickly after your injury that covers all of your immediate medical expenses and some of your lost wages. It might be appealing, as taking this offer would lead to you having money sooner, but the amount you receive from a quick offer of settlement will rarely come close to covering your full damages.
To compute the full future costs of your injury, you often need expert medical opinions about your symptoms, and the opinion of an occupational expert to determine how your medical condition will influence your ability to work. Insurance companies benefit when you take a quick settlement, but this can leave you with only a fraction of what you deserve. Never accept anything with first consulting with a San Mateo catastrophic injury lawyer.
We know how insurance companies try to limit claims, and we stand up for our clients with severe and life-altering injuries. We can calculate the full value of your claim and then negotiate for a reasonable settlement. If the insurer does not offer what you deserve, we can take your case to civil court and fight for your rights in litigation.
A San Mateo Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Can Help
Having an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible to advocate for your best interests against insurance companies will give you the best chance of getting the settlement you deserve. Our legal team at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos handles serious injury cases, and we can evaluate your rights and options following your catastrophic injury. Contact us directly at (650) 345-8484 for more information and a free case evaluation.