Dealing with Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury is life changing: it may not only shift the way you handle daily tasks but determine whether you are able to handle them at all. You may not be able to do your previous job. You may be unable to do the things you once enjoyed. You may have lost some part of yourself — a limb, your eyesight or your appearance. These injuries can happen anywhere, at any time, and they can result in astronomical medical expenses and the need for care that lasts a lifetime. A skilled personal injury attorney can help evaluate the amount and duration of payments needed to address these injuries.
The types of injuries that are considered catastrophic
The term catastrophic injury does not refer to any specific type of injury. Rather, it describes any injury that causes permanent disability and/or disfigurement. It leaves victims unable to work and live the way they once did. Among the injuries that can be classified as catastrophic are amputations, spinal cord damage and paralysis, head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and burns from fires and explosions.
Available damages for injuries caused by negligence
Because of the long-term costs of a catastrophic injury, the damages sought must address both current and future needs. An award should cover economic damages such as medical expenses, lost income and property damage, but it may cover noneconomic damages as well. These less tangible but very real losses including pain and suffering, scarring, insomnia, emotional distress and anxiety, and the loss of enjoyment of life. Calculating the dollar value of damages such as these can be complex, and there may be limits on the amount that a jury can award. An experienced California catastrophic injury lawyer can advise you about the possible value of your claim.
Santa Barbara’s attempts to reduce serious injuries that result from traffic accidents
Catastrophic injuries can be the result of almost any type of accident, but motor vehicle crashes are a frequent cause. To address this problem, the city of Santa Barbara has adopted a plan (already used successfully throughout the United States and abroad) to eliminate catastrophic injuries and deaths from traffic accidents in certain parts of the city. Known as Vision Zero, part of the 2019 plan will focus on changing known collision patterns on Las Positas Road and Cabrillo Boulevard. In previous years, the effort targeted increased enforcement of existing laws intended to protect pedestrians and drivers. Despite programs such as Vision Zero, however, motorists in the Santa Barbara area continue to suffer injuries that change their lives forever.
Other causes and types of catastrophic harm
Motor vehicle accidents are not the only causes of catastrophic injuries. People suffer severe consequences as a result of falls at construction sites and other workplace accidents, medical mistakes and violent personal attacks. Dangerous drugs, toxic chemicals and unsafe manufactured products also contribute to the number of people seriously injured each year. Catastrophic sports injuries, especially those arising from contact sports, injure children, college students, and professional athletes as well.
If you or someone you love in Santa Barbara, Ventura or San Luis Obispo County has suffered a catastrophic personal injury, Patterson Law provides personal attention and a commitment to obtain full, fair compensation for the harm suffered. Call our Santa Barbara office at 888-479-4589 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.