Phoenix, Arizona Catastrophic Injury and TBI Lawyers
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Catastrophic injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are life-changing, sometimes permanently so. Even “mild” concussions are serious and can lead to lasting cognitive damage. While some catastrophic injuries are impossible to ignore, others may not be as obvious right away – one study found that up to 50% of concussions go undiagnosed.
A catastrophic injury or TBI is likely to significantly alter your day-to-day life. Even when a full recovery is possible, that may take months or years to accomplish. In the meantime, you may struggle to do your job, move without pain, or live without assistance. These types of severe injuries carry a significant toll – physically, financially, and emotionally.
You could suffer a catastrophic injury or TBI just about anywhere – in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, as a pedestrian, or in a slip-and-fall on someone else’s property.
If you get injured because of someone else’s negligence, you could hold that person legally responsible for the losses that you suffer as a result by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
One of the most important points of a catastrophic injury lawsuit is to get you the financial support you need to recover not just in the immediate future but for the long term. After suffering a major injury, the person responsible should cover all of its effects on your life. That’s why you shouldn’t sign a settlement agreement from an insurance company or anyone else until you talk to a lawyer first – otherwise, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
The last thing you need after suffering a catastrophic injury or TBI is to worry about how you’ll afford a lawyer to get the compensation you deserve, especially if you’re already dealing with rising medical bills or losing out on income because you can’t work. That’s why the attorneys at AZ Injury work on a contingency fee basis – you don’t pay us unless we win your case.
Time is of the essence when it comes to catastrophic injury cases. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is just 2 years. Contact us now or call us at (480) 272-8700 to schedule your free case consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers.
What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries have no single definition. Any injury that significantly affects your life or daily functioning could be considered catastrophic, whether the effects are permanent or not.
Catastrophic injuries usually require extensive medical treatment. You may need surgery or long-term physical therapy. You may lose physical mobility or cognitive functioning. Some patients need supportive or assisted care at home or at a dedicated facility. Traumatic brain injuries could affect just about anything related to your health depending on the type of injury and the severity – including your memory, communication, and personality.
Every personal injury case is different because injuries are deeply personal. The outcome of your case depends entirely on how you got injured and how it actually affected you. Whatever compensation you get should also reflect what you need to recover after an injury.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries and TBI
Catastrophic injuries could leave victims hospitalized or fighting for their lives.
- Serious or severe injuries to your spine, back, or neck, including spinal cord injuries such as herniated discs, paralysis, and whiplash
- External injuries such as burn injuries, disfigurement, amputation, road rash, and scars
- Internal injuries including broken bones or ribs, internal bleeding and hemorrhage, nerve damage, or loss of eyesight or hearing
- Head injuries such as skull fractures, hematomas, or concussions
- Traumatic brain injuries to various parts of the brain that cause headaches, seizures, memory loss, nausea, fatigue, slurred speech, dizziness, changes in vision or personality, hearing loss or tinnitus, numbness or weakness in your extremities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 176 Americans pass away from injuries related to TBI every single day. Families of victims who passed away from a TBI could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Modern medicine still has a way to go to fully understand how injuries affect the brain. TBI symptoms may vary widely depending on which parts of the brain were hurt. TBI survivors may struggle to live independently, organize their thoughts, or stick to daily routines. A brain injury could affect vital life functions like breathing, eating, talking, or exercising – you may need specialized rehabilitation programs or personalized mobility devices.
Catastrophic injuries affect not just the injury victim’s life but the lives of their family members as well. A household earner losing their income could devastate a family’s financial planning. Family members may have to take time off work to care for their loved ones or accompany them to doctor’s appointments. All of these should be considered and compensated for in a lawsuit.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries and TBI
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), about 13.5 million people in the U.S. live with a disability caused by a traumatic brain injury. The year 2014 alone saw 2.87 million occurrences of TBI, with estimated annual deaths at 50,000.
Head injuries cause 34% of all traumatic deaths and the risk rises every year past the age of 30.
For non-fatal head injuries, the leading causes of TBI are falls (35%), traffic accident injuries (17%), and strikes or blows from an object (17%), including sports injuries. Among children and adolescents in the U.S., sports and recreational activities cause 21% of all TBIs.
The causes for other types of catastrophic injuries are similar but also include workplace injuries, fires, explosions, defective products, and medical malpractice.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit for damages after a catastrophic injury or TBI if someone else caused your injuries because they acted negligently, intentionally, or recklessly. Negligence happens when someone has a legal duty to act with a certain standard of care – but they fail to live up to this standard, putting the people around them at risk.
How could negligence cause a catastrophic or traumatic injury?
- Another driver on the road runs a red light, crosses the double line, drives while texting, speeds, tailgates, or otherwise fails to follow traffic rules, causing a car accident.
- A recreational sports company fails to properly train its employees or maintain its equipment, causing critical gear to malfunction or safety features to fail.
- A trucking company implements illegal working policies that push their drivers to the limits, raising the risk of accidents caused by truck driver fatigue.
- A concert pyrotechnics company overlooks safety protocol and multiple people are injured when a fire breaks out at an event.
- A construction company or contractor fails to block off a dangerous area of the worksite, causing innocent bystanders or other workers to fall.
- A medical office fails to clean its equipment up to industry standards, causing cross-contamination or infection among patients.
- A manufacturer creates a defective product, fails to perform the proper quality checks, and releases the product onto the market, where users get injured.
Every case is different and depends on your situation’s unique circumstances. A good personal injury attorney can analyze the facts of your case and guide you on how to proceed.
What Should I Do After Sustaining a Catastrophic Injury?
Immediately after suffering a catastrophic injury or suspected TBI, you should seek medical treatment and then speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case.
The reason it’s important to get checked out by a doctor right away after an accident is to accurately assess the true effect of your injuries. Some traumatic injuries are immediately apparent, while others take a while to manifest and become noticeable. The faster you can get diagnosed, the sooner you can get on a proper treatment plan. With an accurate diagnosis, you can also get an appropriate amount of compensation for treatment.
It’s also important because as soon as you see a medical professional, you start documenting your injuries – ultimately as evidence to use in your case. The more convincing your evidence, the stronger your case will be. So you want to get your injuries recorded right away.
Types of Damages in Catastrophic Injury and TBI Cases
A successful personal injury lawsuit can get you the following damages as compensation:
- Economic or specific damages to cover your financial losses such as medical bills, missed income, and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic or general damages to cover your pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other effects on your life that may not have a price tag
Whoever is responsible for your causing injuries is also the person you can hold legally responsible or liable to pay these damages. If they’re an employee who was working when you got injured, you could hold their employers liable as well. If the behavior that caused your injury is particularly bad – for example, they acted intentionally, maliciously, or with the intent to defraud you – then Arizona courts may also award you punitive damages.
Contact us or call us at (480) 272-8700 now to get started with your free case consultation.
How Can We Help?
Address - By Appointment Only
1640 S. Stapely, Drive Suite 132
Mesa, Arizona 85204
Two N. Central Ave., Ste. 1800
Phoenix, AZ 85004