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Jacksonville, Florida Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Thankfully, not all accidents result in injury, and even when they do, the injury victim may still make a full recovery in a reasonable amount of time. Tragically, however, this is not always the case, and catastrophic injuries do occur. When they do, the complexity of any personal injury litigation grows immensely. Insurance companies fight harder against catastrophic injury claims, and building a case that proves the full amount of damage done takes considerable effort. At Douglas & Carter, we routinely deal with cases involving significant injury, and we have achieved significant results that make real changes in the lives of injury victims. Our Jacksonville catastrophic injury lawyers are adept in handling accidents that result in the most catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in Florida, including:
Defective Product Accidents
Below are some of the types of catastrophic injuries our firm deals with and the significant costs involved in obtaining long-term medical care and maximum improvement.
Brain injuries can occur when the head strikes or is struck by another object, or when the head is subjected to a rapid and forceful jolt, such as in a whiplash injury. Brain injury victims may need extensive occupational therapy to regain functionality, as well as psychotherapy to deal with personality changes, depression and other disorders. For more serious cases, in-home care or residence at a skilled nursing facility may be needed.
Severe physical trauma, such as from a motorcycle accident, boating accident or defective industrial machinery, can result in the loss of a limb. Amputation injury victims may require some of the most complicated vascular surgery and neurosurgery, along with an extended period of wound care. Prosthetics may help a victim regain some functionality, but they come with a lifetime cost to deal with wear and replacement. Vocational rehabilitation may be necessary for employment purposes, as well as simply meeting the daily challenges of getting by, for instance learning how to perform basic tasks with a non-dominant hand or arm.
Injuries to the spinal cord most often result in permanent paralysis ranging from paraplegia to quadriplegia. Not only do spinal injury victims suffer loss of feeling and movement, but the functioning of internal organs can be affected as well. This includes bowel, bladder and sexual function in most cases, and in more severe cases higher on the spine, the ability to breathe or swallow without mechanical assistance. Adaptations to the home environment, including assistive technology devices, are often necessary to help the spinal cord injury victim live with the maximum independence, mobility, self-care and quality of life. Spinal injury victims must also be vigilant to guard against infections and other complications throughout their lifetime.
Damage to Hearing or Sight
Our sight and hearing are tools that guide us through every waking hour of our lives, and being without either is a devastating shock to victims of catastrophic accidents. Partial blindness or total blindness can occur from blunt trauma head injuries, lacerations from broken glass, dog attack wounds, or penetration from metal or other rigid and sharp objects. Hearing damage can occur in a similar fashion: from a head injury caused by a blunt object, or from extremely loud noises, such as a noise experienced during a collision. Becoming deaf or blind, or losing partial eyesight, is considered a catastrophic injury, and needs to be handled by an experienced lawyer. According to research published in the National Center for Biotechnical Information, income for the severely visually impaired is greatly harmed, likely because vision loss leads to unemployment. Deaf people can have similar income difficulties, which is all the more reason to work with an attorney to maximize your compensation.
Multiple Bone Fractures
Breaking an arm may not be considered a catastrophic injury. However, fracturing an arm that needs multiple screws and plates to piece it back together again is certainly catastrophic. Serious fractures; fractures that will likely never heal fully or will leave the victim with lingering pain, weakness, or immobility; and multiple body part fractures are considered catastrophic injuries. Some bones are more difficult to repair than others. A broken hip, for instance, is a serious medical condition, and can take up to a year to fully heal. Depending on the victim’s line of work, they may never be able to be as productive as they once were if multiple bones were severely damaged, and this would result in lost wages for life.
Serious collisions or trip and falls can result in internal organ damage or failure. Losing a kidney, damage to a spleen, or laceration or perforation of the gastrointestinal tract is cause for serious litigation. Any type of internal bleeding can be life threatening, and surgeons may have to remove certain organs, or remove parts of them, if the damage is irreparable. Living life without an organ or with only a partially functioning organ can drastically reduce the victim’s quality of life, length of life, ability to care for their children and family, and seriously decrease their income generating ability.
Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement
In our culture, we are taught that the first impression is often the most important impression to make. Permanent facial scarring caused by lacerations or burns, disfigurement caused by bones or tissue that were not repairable, and any other form of disfigurement can harm a person emotionally for the rest of their life. Damage to the face, neck, and hands often results in the largest settlements and awards, but serious scarring or disfigurement to other body parts is still considered to be a catastrophic injury in nature. Disfigurement can make it difficult for the injury victim to fit into society, have self confidence, and retain the best employment.
Severe burns can be life-threatening, and extensive periods of acute care and rehabilitation are often necessary, along with reconstructive surgeries and skin grafts over a period of years. Nerve damage can leave a burn injury victim with lingering, chronic pain or the loss of sensation and function. Burn injury victims may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and require ongoing therapy to deal with psychological issues. For some, the pain and trauma of a burn injury may never go away. Call The Law Offic of Kevin M. Cobbin 904.357.8448