INJURED IN PITTSBURGH, PA?
Contact the Catastrophic Injury Attorneys at SMT for a Free Case Evaluation Today
If you or your loved one has suffered a serious injury, the Pittsburgh catastrophic injury lawyers at SMT Legal can help you fight for your rights and get the justice you deserve.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Serious injuries are often called catastrophic injuries. In general, a catastrophic injury is one that creates a temporary or permanent disability for a victim. Catastrophic injuries often cause permanent scarring or disfigurement.
When someone suffers from a serious injury, his or her entire family is affected. Long-term medical care and chronic pain, as well as depression and a loss of quality of life also impact the the victim and their family.
A catastrophic injury is one that creates a temporary or permanent disability for a victim or one that causes permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
The degree of damage caused by the injury will usually determine if it is catastrophic. Examples of serious injuries include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe burns
- Significant disfigurement
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A spinal cord injury (SCI) means that part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal has been damaged, resulting in a change in the spinal cord’s normal motor, sensory or autonomic function.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Millions of people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year, according to the CDC. These injuries can significantly alter a person’s physical and cognitive abilities.Traumatic brain injuries are caused by some external source of trauma to the head. Traumatic brain injuries can be catastrophic but they don’t have to be. A mild brain injury – commonly known as a concussion – will typically heal without lasting impairment. A severe brain injury, however, may impair a person’s ability to function independently for the rest of their life.
- Amputation: An amputation means surgical removal of all or part of a limb (arm/leg) or removal of a foot, hand, finger or toe. A minor amputation usually means the loss of fingers or toes. While it does not necessarily mean the amputee is “disabled” or cannot work, it can still be a burden on everyday activities and affect a person throughout their life.
- Severe Burns: Burn injuries occur in a variety of ways, including fires, explosions, hazardous chemicals, and more. Severe burns can be incredibly painful and often lead to a victim needing excessive rehabilitation in order to make a full recovery. Burn injury victims are also prone to significant infections while they recover.
- Disfigurement: There are various types of injuries that can lead to disfigurement and scarring for a victim. When a person’s appearance has changed due to an injury caused by another person, the injury victim is much more likely to suffer from long term emotional and psychological harm.
- Birth Injuries: The joy of welcoming a new life into the world can be overshadowed by the devastating impact of birth injuries. These injuries can occur due to medical negligence, improper use of medical devices, or failure to monitor the baby’s condition correctly. The consequences often extend beyond physical harm to the baby, potentially resulting in cognitive impairments or developmental delays. The emotional toll on the parents, grappling with insurance companies and medical bills to support their child may need, is also considerable.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries often result from severe accidents. A leading causes of catastrophic injuries is motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Serious car accident injuries are often due to reckless driving or negligence, these incidents can lead to life-altering injuries.
Other causes can include workplace accidents, particularly in high-risk industries such as construction or manufacturing, where heavy machinery and hazardous conditions can lead to serious accidents. Falls, particularly from heights, can also result in life-changing injuries, especially among the elderly or in environments with inadequate safety measures.
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim
Each state is responsible for setting time limits for how long victims have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person that caused them harm. The Pennsylvania statute of limitations is two years. This means that an injury victim generally has a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent party, or they will lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses. There are some exceptions to this statute of limitations. Our personal injury lawyers can speak to you about the details of your case.
Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases
The damages to compensate for catastrophic injuries can therefore be quite a bit higher than for other types of personal injury. The higher a potential damage claim, the more scrutiny that will be given to the proof supporting it.
Losses need to be identified and valued and the evidence to support them must be detailed and specific. Understanding the impact of a catastrophic injury can be medically complicated and require the assistance of experts to determine the full extent of the damage.
At SMT Legal, our legal team will give your case the personal attention you deserve to hold the at-fault party or parties accountable. Our accident lawyers are skilled in fighting for compensation that may be available includes:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
The goal of our experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh catastrophic injury lawyers is to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
How quickly a catastrophic injury claim is paid depends on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the injuries. It can also depend on the sources of compensation available and the willingness of the parties to reach an agreement.
Resolving catastrophic injury claims can take longer than other personal injury cases due to the time necessary to fully understand the extent of severe injuries and the impact they will have on a person’s life and family members. However, settling a claim and avoiding a lengthy trial can help injured claimants get compensated more quickly.
What Happens When a Personal Injury Leads to Death
Catastrophic injuries may not be survivable. If a person dies from their injuries, Pennsylvania law gives the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased the right to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one.
If the decedent survived with the injury for a time before dying, the personal representative of the decedent may have the right to bring a survival action. Between wrongful death and survival actions, there can be only one total recovery, so a wrongful death claim will be consolidated with a survival claim if both causes of action arise.
Schedule a Free Consultation with the Personal Injury Lawyers at SMT Legal Today
Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule a free consultation. At SMT Legal, we take the attorney-client relationship seriously. Open communication is essential to building a strong working relationship with our clients. We can provide you with the legal advice you need during this difficult time. Our personal injury attorneys handle all serious injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Contact us today and schedule your free case review.