While accidents happen every day, not every accident ends in injury. When an injury is severe, the victim’s life may be changed forever. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been seriously hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence in Pennsylvania, our Philadelphia catastrophic injury lawyers are prepared to represent you and get you the compensation you deserve.
Not all injuries are catastrophic. Typically, for an injury to be defined as catastrophic it has to occur without warning, seriously impact a person’s ability to work gainfully and leave a person with a debilitating, life-long disability. At Schrager & Sachs, we’re dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help victims of these accidents. Claims and lawsuits involving serious injuries can be complicated. Let us handle the paperwork, so you can focus on getting your life back in order.
What Accidents Lead to Catastrophic Injuries?
While anyone could potentially sustain an injury in an accident situation, there are certain situations where catastrophic injuries are more common. Often times, these accidents are entirely preventable. Let’s take a look at the most common accidents that can have debilitating results.
- Animal Attacks. While we like to think most family pets are kind, gentle animals, there are unfortunate events where individuals are harmed. When a dog attacks a person, the consequences can be severe. Infections can quickly set in if the wound isn’t cared for properly. Serious dog bites may require surgery and could result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, or amputations.
- Construction Accidents. There are certain jobs that are more dangerous than others. The construction industry happens to fit into that category. Construction accidents are fairly common and can lead to devastating injuries or death. These accidents often happen when safety protocols are disregarded, hazards are unaddressed, or policies are unclear.
- Defective Products. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a responsibility to their consumers to provide safe and effective products. In the event of a defective product, the user could be seriously injured. Some of the most severe injuries occur when vehicle parts are defective or improperly installed.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents.Car wrecks, motorcycle collisions, and truck accidents can be devastating for all parties involved. Most vehicle accidents can be traced back to speeding, distracted driving, or excessive alcohol consumption.
- Slip and Fall Accidents.Property owners have a responsibility to those who step foot on their property legally. If you’ve been injured by a preventable hazard on someone’s property, you may have the grounds for a premises liability
No matter the cause, our injury attorneys will find out what caused the accident and how it hurt you. We’ll find the responsible party and hold them accountable for their actions.
What Are the Most Common Catastrophic Injuries?
As you may imagine, the injuries associated with catastrophic accidents are often life-altering. Depending on the injury, the recovery process can take weeks, months, or even years. Some victims never fully recover and are forced to change their way of life to adapt to their disability. The injuries below are the most common devastating injuries a person is likely to sustain based on the accidents we discussed above.
- Amputation. Limb loss is common in serious car and workplace accidents.
- Burn Injuries. Depending on the accident, a person may be in direct contact with fire, electricity, or toxic chemicals. Burns, especially third- and fourth-degree burns, can be incredibly difficult to recover from as permanent nerve damage is a concern. Oftentimes, multiple surgeries and skin grafts are necessary. Burns are also some of the most painful injuries a person can experience.
- Head and Brain Injuries. Traumatic brain injuries range in severity; however, the more severe, the less likely a person is to recover. In the worst cases, a brain injury can lead to total brain death. Recovery from a less severe brain injury can take a significant amount of time.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous chemical that people can’t detect on their own. Exposure can occur from gas fumes, stoves, and furnaces. Poisoning can make people sick or even lead to death. Early symptoms include feeling confused, weak, dizzy, short of breath, having a headache, and being sick to your stomach. Unfortunately, people often mistake these symptoms as just being sick, and not getting out of the affected area.
- Loss of Hearing or Sight. In the event of an explosion or contact with toxic chemicals, a person may sustain an injury that leads to the loss of their hearing or vision abilities. This is likely to completely change their way of life that will require a long adjustment period.
- Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement. Depending on the accident, permanent scarring or disfigurement can occur. This can lead to emotional and psychological trauma that can severely impact a person’s wellbeing.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. While some spinal cord injuries can be fixed with surgery or physical therapy, others can lead to life-long paralysis or chronic pain.
- Organ Damage. High-impact accidents may cause injuries to your internal organs. These injuries may require surgery or other forms of intense medical care. Injuries that happen under the skin can include bleeding, swelling, and fractures.
If your catastrophic injury wasn’t listed, you can still speak with one of our attorneys about the nature of your injury and how it happened. We’re always ready to answer your questions and discuss the validity of your claim.
The Emotional Consequences of a Permanent Injury
A traumatic accident can have long-lasting effects on anyone, and they aren’t always physical. When you think of recovery you may envision going to the doctor’s office, getting medication, or going to physical therapy. You may not consider that your mental health may have been affected as well.
People can develop mental illnesses after an accident, especially if it has life-long consequences. It could be from the experience itself, a side effect of an injury, or how the person is reacting to the prospect of living with this injury. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are all common issues that a person may have to grapple with. These issues often need professional help such as therapy or counseling. When someone requires these services, they don’t know how long they will need them because there isn’t a time limit on recovery. Treatment can also be expensive, so the person may not know how long they’ll need to afford this care.
This is a financially difficult situation, and someone may feel that they have to choose between paying bills and taking care of their mental health. Shrager & Sachs will do everything possible to get you a settlement that will cover the costs of mental health care. Recovering physically but not mentally isn’t a recovery at all. You deserve better and you should be able to fully heal without sacrificing care for money.
Costs of Catastrophic Injuries
After the shock of the injury has passed, you may now be dealing with some difficult changes. You may realize that you can’t return to work for a long time, or you’re no longer able to do your job. Your hobbies or activities may have to change. Your life at home may require some drastic transformations, such as requiring medical equipment for you to live safely and maintain a high quality of life.
Affording these changes isn’t easy and they all happened because of someone else’s negligence. You shouldn’t have to find a way to pay all of it on your own. The negligent party should have to take responsibility for their actions. You deserve compensation for being wrongfully injured, and you shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to live your new life.
Our catastrophic injury lawyers will fight so you have the space to adjust to these changes in peace. It may not be easy to find your new normal, but we’ll do everything we can to remove outside stressors that will slow it down even more.
Your Legal Options After Sustaining a Catastrophic Injury
Depending on how your injury occurred, Pennsylvania has a few state laws that could come into play at some point during your case. This is especially true in the event of a car accident, dog bite, or premises liability case. Our lawyers can determine which laws may affect you and how.
One of the most relevant laws to most personal injury cases is the lack of caps on injury damages. In Pennsylvania, the only limitation on how much compensation a person can receive is the state’s cap on punitive damages – which serve to punish the guilty party. As the victim, this law may benefit you.
It’s also important to keep in mind you only have a specific amount of time to file a lawsuit after suffering harm resulting from someone else’s negligence. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years. This can differ on a case by case basis, which is why it’s important to hire the right lawyer, so you can ensure you will walk away with the compensation you deserve.
How Can Shrager & Sachs in Philadelphia Help?
You may feel hopeless after sustaining a serious, life-changing injury like a catastrophic injury. We’re here to help. If you’ve been injured at the fault of someone else and are ready to hold them accountable for their actions, our Philadelphia catastrophic injury lawyers can guide you through the legal process to the compensation that you’re owed.
We’ll investigate your claim and build the strongest case possible. Contact our office today for more information.