Chicago Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
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Being involved in a car accident is an unfortunate fact of life for many people. Thousands of individuals are in auto accidents every year in Chicago. Some are able to walk away with only minor injuries. However, others experience catastrophic injuries that result in rehabilitation and medical bills that last a lifetime.
Catastrophic injury means “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”
No one expects to be tragically injured. You go about life, striving for success and happiness. Joyous moments with family, pleasurable fun outdoors, and living life to its fullest is something everyone desires. But what if your peaceful and pleasant life is dramatically overturned by a shocking injury, caused by someone else, disrupting your quality of life and permanently disabling you? You need a lawyer on your side, one who will work hard to make sure you’re compensated for your losses.
At Willens Law Offices we will help you and your family receive the benefits you need and deserve to move forward with your life. Even though monetary compensation cannot undo your injuries or take the pain away, it can help you and your family cope with many of the day-to-day burdens that you may be facing as a result of your catastrophic injury.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that results in serious, permanent effects on the victim. A catastrophic injury often affects the spine, spinal cord, or brain and usually happens suddenly, without any warning.
Catastrophic injuries often put a huge burden on the victim’s family because of the serious, long-term effects. The injured person may need constant assistance or supervision for the rest of their life. In addition, the expense of a lifetime of rehabilitation and medical bills can add serious financial stress on a family.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury can be caused by a number of circumstances, but many are often the result of a serious car accident. Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Serious head injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Accidental amputation
- Eye injury
- Severe internal bleeding
- Serious neck injury
- Severe burns
- Damage to organs
If you or a loved one have suffered any type of catastrophic injury in a Chicago car accident due to another’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation.
Restitution for financial damages
When you or a loved one are a victim of a catastrophic injury, employment is lost and suddenly the medical bills start to pile up. The victim can no longer support themselves and suddenly the dream of a peaceful life evaporates. The hope for quality of life dims as you realize you can no longer perform basic tasks such as eating and grooming. While recovering compensation to cover future medical expenses and lost earnings cannot undo the physical and emotional damage wrought by a serious accident, it can protect the victim and their family from financial ruin due to the high cost of long-term medical care.
Know Your Rights After a Catastrophic Injury
If your catastrophic injury has been caused by the recklessness or negligence of another person, you can file a personal injury claim. There are generally large financial implications following a catastrophic injury. For this reason, one of the most important aspects of such a claim is determining it’s value. There are several types of damages that are considered when determining the value of a case.
- Medical bills – these are the medical costs accrued both in the past, and any future medical bills that are anticipated and related to the accident. These are extremely important in catastrophic cases because future medical expenses will likely accrue for the remainder of a person’s life.
- Lost wages – any time you must miss from work as a result of the accident. Again, these include both past and in the future. If you are salaried and are still being paid, this amount is still able to be recovered.
- Pain and suffering – Any physical pain and suffering you endured, as well as any mental and emotional damages you received.
- Loss of a normal life – This is any temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life. This can include the inability to pursue the pleasurable aspects of life. For catastrophic injuries this can be demonstrated by doing a day in the life video in which we compare your past daily activities with the changes you have since the injury.
- Disfigurement –Due to the injury your appearance or character has been changed in some way.
Long term injuries can have lifelong consequences and costs. Some costs include a motorized wheelchair, constant care, for the injured person, and ramps for wheelchairs. While those are tangible costs, emotional and physical limitation costs are also taken into consideration.
When evaluating your case, we will consider what damages occurred in your case. Once of the most important parts of your case is accurately determining your damages. Liability is also an important part of your case. Generally, the injury needs to have occurred because someone else was being negligent and their negligence resulted in your injury.
Navigating your way through the legal system unaided is not easy. You need to spend your time recovering and possibly adapting to a new way of life. When you call Willens Law Offices, you get a professional attorney dedicated to helping you seek the compensation you require and deserve.
When it comes to personal injury cases, we don’t limit ourselves in what we cover. We are dedicated to helping you through this difficult time. We have years of experience covering many forms of personal injury.
Catastrophic Personal Injuries That Can Cause Paralysis
Some injuries can change the life of a victim forever, and paralysis is one such condition. Catastrophic injuries are often sustained due to a motor vehicle crash, but they can also be sustained from serious falls, blunt force traumas, or sports related conduct. Those who suffer from a paralyzing injury often require extensive medical treatment, long term physical therapy, and other forms of ongoing care. In many cases, the victims have to use a wheel chair or some other type of assistive device for mobility and to carry out other activities of life.
Some victims must find a different job or source of income, and some may not be able to return to work at all. It is needless to mention that paralysis brings immense financial, physical, and emotional hardships. In this post, our Chicago personal injury lawyers will discuss some catastrophic injuries that can lead to paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury is an injury that is sustained from head physically hitting or being hit by another object. Medline reports that half of these injuries are results of a motor vehicle accident.
Signs of a potential TBI include bleeding from the head, confusion, slurred speech, or unequal pupil sizes. If you suspect you or someone involved in an accident suffer from this, the Mayo Clinic recommends staying still and lying down in case there has been a neck injury. Stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound, and if the person is wearing a helmet, do not remove it.
According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries are responsible for 23 percent of all paralysis cases in the United States. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of personal injury that can result in the victim suffering permanent neurobiological damage, which can in turn cause lifelong disabilities of varying degrees. TBIs affect nearly 1.4 million Americans each year, of which, 50,000 people die and over 80,000 suffer permanent disabilities. Around 235,000 TBI patients have to spend time in the hospital.
Costs of a brain injury are not limited to medical expenses. It can take a toll on your job, family life, and general living conditions. It is extremely important to get an accurate picture for what future costs will be because you can only ask for damages once. Twenty years down the line you cannot return to court and ask for more money to compensate. That is why a good lawyer is imperative when the injuries are sustained.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In the United States, each year, there are nearly 12,000-15,000 incidents involving a severe spinal cord injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents are the highest cause of spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries are more prevalent in those under the age of 30 as well as for males.
There are two types of spinal cord injuries: incomplete and complete. Incomplete spinal cord injuries occur when the brain still is able to send some signals below the injury site. Complete spinal cord injuries mean that no signals from the brain are able to get below the site of injury. Incomplete paraplegia is the most common type according to the NSCISC.
The spine is divided from top to bottom into segments known as the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. A spinal cord issue is generally to your thoracic or lumbar segments. The impact of a spinal cord injury depends on the extent of injury and the part that was affected. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis.
Thoracic injuries are the most severe of the lower segments of the spine. An injury to the thoracic segment corresponds and effect different parts of the body. Injuries to the upper portion of the thoracic, known as T1 to T5, can cause paralysis and correspond to use of the chest area. Paralysis causes a person to lose sensation and motor function from their neck down. Paralysis that results from spinal cord results in loss of motor skills, impaired breathing and loss of other key functions. Such patients often require extensive treatment and lifelong care.
Injuries to lower parts of the thoracic, such as T6 to T12 can result in paraplegia which can prevent use of chest and abdominal muscles. People who are injuries in the lower thoracic can generally operate electric wheelchairs and learn to drive cars that are modified. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), in 2018 the average yearly expenses for people who suffer from paraplegia are about $72, 909 while the average first year costs are $550,381 and the estimated lifetime costs for a person who become paraplegic at the age.
Signs of a spinal cord injury include severe pain in the back, tingling in your hands and feet, and difficulty breathing. If a person has potentially suffered from a spinal cord injury, they should be stabilized laying down on their backs and should not move. To minimize your likelihood of being injured in a crash from this always wear a seat belt.
Neck injuries are also known as cervical injuries, are extremely severe. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause for neck injuries. The next most prevalent is acts of violence and sports related injuries. Injuries to this region can result in the victim suffering paralysis of all four limbs. This condition is known as quadriplegia or tetraplegia, which means, the paralysis affects all four of the patient’s limbs or the entire body from neck down.
Injuries above C4 can require a device to aid the person to breathe and can even prevent speaking. Quadriplegia injuries are extremely serious and typically require surgery, medications, ongoing physical therapy and a lifetime of assisted care. Quadriplegics are often unable to take care of themselves, and require full time or at least part time help from a therapist or caregiver. Additionally, the emotional toll of such an injury can require both clinical help as well as support grounds.
Similar to a spinal cord injury, if a person has possibly suffered a neck injury, they should remain still lying down. Paramedics will ensure they remain stabilized and can breathe.
Contact a Chicago Catastrophic Injury Attorney
At Willens Law Offices we determine your fair settlement based on several factors; past and future medical bills, rehabilitation, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, pain and suffering, disability, loss of a normal life and changes in your relationships with your loved ones. We determine this at the appropriate time, on our client’s time table, not in insurance company’s.
Call us as soon as possible after your auto accident. We want to help. We have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. We are your Chicago car accident lawyers. Call (312) 957-4166 or fill out our online contact form to talk with an experienced Chicago Auto Accident Attorney.