When accidents happen, they can cause a wide range of injuries that span from relatively minor bumps and bruises to those that can change a person’s life forever or even result in death. It is something our West Palm Beach catastrophic injury attorney team sees every day.
At Searcy Denney, our personal injury lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping people injured in a wide variety of accidents. Whether it is a car crash, a slip, and fall, or an incident of medical malpractice, a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer at our firm will identify the people or entities that caused your injuries and build the strongest possible case for money damages.
Do not just take our word for it: Our firm’s track record of success speaks for itself. We are pleased to have secured several six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements for individuals and families throughout the state.
What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?
A catastrophic injury is a term used to describe those injuries that cause a permanent disability, such as spinal cord damage, paralysis, brain damage, amputations, and severe burns. These injuries often prevent people from returning to many daily activities that they enjoyed before the accident. They can also make it harder to earn a living, even as medical bills related to the injury, treatment, and ongoing care pile up.
Fortunately, anyone who suffers a catastrophic injury in Florida has the right to seek compensation from those responsible when working with a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury attorney. It is vital that you have a seasoned personal injury lawyer in your corner to maximize your compensation and ensure that those responsible for an accident are held fully accountable for their actions.
Common Catastrophic Injuries in West Palm Beach Caused by Accidents
Traumatic Brain Injuries TBI
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by trauma to the head and brain, resulting in a severe, debilitating, and often deadly injury. TBIs are very common in the U.S., according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 1.5 million TBIs each year, and they are the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults.
Slips, trips, falls, and vehicular accidents are all common causes of TBIs. Although TBIs are rather common, they are difficult to diagnose. As a result, it is critical that you get medical attention as soon as possible if you have been injured in an accident.
Victims of TBIs often suffer from the long-term implications of this devastating injury. Individuals may struggle to perform at work, engage in daily activities, or with their own primary care. Each TBI is unique, and victims of this type of injury should be treated individually. A West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer can help you recover the damages you deserve and need to move forward.
While burn injuries are prevalent, some can be categorized as severe and can leave victims with life-long debilitating injuries. Victims of severe burn injuries often require intensive medical treatment and spend weeks in a hospital burn center. In addition, burn injuries are excruciatingly painful and can prevent people from returning to work or school. These implications can take a significant toll on people emotionally and financially.
Some common causes of burns include residential fires, industrial fires, hot liquids, chemical spills, motor vehicle accidents, kitchen fires, electrical wires, and explosions.
These types of accidents leave victims suffering from different severities of burns:
- First-degree: This type of burn affects the outer layer of your skin, such as a sunburn. Most do not have blisters, and long-term damage is rare.
- Second-degree: This type of burn causes damage to both the outer layer and the layer underneath your skin (the dermis). Your skin will appear red, shiny, you will see blisters, and it will hurt to the touch. If the burn is a superficial second-degree burn, you most likely will not have scarring. However, if you have a deep partial-thickness burn, it may leave a scar or cause permanent damage.
- Third-degree: A more severe type of burn that damages the two full layers of your skin. This burn is also known as a full-thickness burn, and it can turn your skin black, brown, white, or yellow. However, it may not hurt because the burn damages nerve endings.
- Fourth-degree: This type of burn is the most severe classification and can be life-threatening as it can lead to complications such as infection and bone and joint issues. This type of burn can damage all layers of your skin as well as your bones, muscles, and tendons.
Any degree of burn injury is extreme as life-threatening complications can result—it is critical to seek medical help if you suffer from a burn injury. A West Palm Beach catastrophic injury attorney has the compassion and experience to fight for the compensation you deserve to put you on the path to recovery after a devastating burn injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
A spinal cord injury is a very devastating catastrophic injury that impacts victims for a lifetime. This type of injury occurs due to impact on the back, neck, and/or shoulders.
A minor injury can result in surgery and cause chronic pain or a permanent impact on the range of motion. However, when the spinal cord is severed in a severe injury, it can cause paralysis to the lower body or above the waist if there is damage to the fiber tracts that carry signals to and from the brain.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Sport injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
Victims of spinal cord injuries endure emotional and financial pain and suffering and are often required to make home modifications to adjust to the new normal of life. A West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer will fight for the damages you deserve.
An amputation is a devastating catastrophic injury and is caused when an accident victim loses a limb or extremity such as an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, or toe. According to the amputee coalition, nearly 2 million people are living with an amputation in the United States, and approximately 185,000 amputations occur each year.
Some of the most common causes of amputation accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Victims have a long road to recovery, dealing with new challenges in their quality of life, emotional stress, and pain. In addition, depending on the severity of your injury, returning to your job responsibilities may be challenging. Medical costs related to amputation injuries can be expensive, such as rehabilitation, prosthetics, surgery, prescription medications, physical therapy, and related medical care.
Did your injury occur due to another person’s negligence? You may have a case, and a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury attorney can help you seek justice.
Internal organ damage
Abdominal trauma can cause a wide range of internal organ damage. Often the injuries may not be apparent, especially if there are no external wounds. However, in many cases, accident victims will not experience symptoms for many hours to weeks following the injury. This is why you must seek medical attention immediately if you are injured if you suspect an internal injury (even if you are not experiencing symptoms).
Common internal trauma injuries include damage to:
Surgery is often necessary to prevent devastating impacts; often, victims suffer from a lifetime of pain and disability. This type of trauma can happen due to many different accidents, such as motor vehicle accidents, slips, and falls, and dropping a heavy object on yourself. If you suspect an internal injury, a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury lawyer will fight for justice.
How a West Palm Beach Catastrophic Injury Attorney Proves Liability for Catastrophic Injuries
Florida law empowers a person injured in an accident to seek money damages, which are designed to compensate the person for the financial impact of his or her injuries.
That includes money for current and future medical bills, as well as compensation for any reduction in income caused by the injuries, its impact on day-to-day living activities, and pain, suffering, and emotional distress. This compensation will not undo the accident, but it can help injured people try to move on with their lives with some financial security.
In order to secure money damages, you have to be able to identify the person or entity responsible for the accident and prove legal liability. Accident cases involving catastrophic injuries are often based on negligence claims. Negligence is a legal theory that holds people, businesses, and other organizations liable when they do not live up to what lawyers and courts call a “duty of care.”
Take car accidents, for example. Drivers across Florida owe everyone else on the road a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe way. That means complying with traffic laws, maintaining safe speeds, and steering away from dangerous activities like texting and driving or getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. When a driver does not live up to this responsibility, he or she is likely to be found negligent and responsible for any injuries caused as a result. That includes injuries to passengers in the driver’s own vehicle and other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Similarly, businesses owe a duty of care to customers and others who visit the company’s store, office, or other property for commercial purposes. They must keep the premises reasonably safe and warn people of any hazards that the company knows about or should know about through reasonable inspection. This is the standard used to determine liability in many slip and fall cases.
A West Palm Beach, catastrophic injury lawyer at our firm, will help you explore whether you have a case by investigating the accident and identifying those responsible.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Catastrophic Injury Lawyer During Your Free Consultation to Learn More
If you or a loved one has been severely injured in an accident in Florida, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. An experienced West Palm Beach catastrophic injury attorney at Searcy Denney can help you seek money damages.
Our accident attorneys help injured people, and their families put the pieces back together following an accident with the full money damages available. In addition, we are pleased to be able to offer contingency fee arrangements in which we do not get paid unless you win your case.
Our offices are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, and Tampa. Call us at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach catastrophic injury attorney today.