Serious and catastrophic injuries are life-altering events that fundamentally impact your ability to continue doing the things you were once able to do. Those who suffer these types of injuries typically incur major medical and rehabilitation costs, lost wages from time missed from work, and other expenses. The injury may even take away your ability to obtain gainful employment. When someone suffers a serious injury resulting from the negligence or reckless actions of another party, they deserve to be fully compensated. If this has happened to you or a loved one, it is important to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer, so you understand your rights and options.
At Alsobrook Jackson, Attorneys at Law, we have in-depth experience representing clients who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries in Alabama. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and we have helped countless injury victims recover full compensation in even the most complex and challenging cases.
When we accept your case, we go to work immediately to thoroughly investigate the circumstances and quickly identify the cause of your injury. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. Whenever possible, we attempt to reach a favorable settlement with the party responsible for your injuries. However, if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to aggressively advocate for your rights and interests at trial and upon appeal.
Common Types of Serious Injuries
A serious or catastrophic injury is one that places severe physical and/or cognitive limitations on the victim. Examples include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, and it is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 50,000 Americans die each year from traumatic brain injuries, and another 80,000 to 90,000 experience the onset of a disability due to this condition. TBI can range in severity from mild concussions that last a short period of time to a life-long disability or death in the most severe cases. The condition is not always detected right away after a head injury, and each individual case is unique. Common symptoms include blurred vision, severe and lasting headaches, nausea and vomiting, difficulty with balance or coordination, memory loss, slurred speech, mood/behavioral changes, and many others.
- Paralysis: Various injuries can leave the victim partially or totally paralyzed. Paralysis happens when you lose control over the muscle function in a certain area (or areas) of the body. This condition can be temporary or permanent, and it can sometimes take years of rehabilitation to regain muscle functionality. Injuries that can cause paralysis include severe forms of TBI, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, and birth injuries.
- Amputations: Many types of accidents can result in the need to surgically remove all or part of a limb or extremity. This procedure is known as an amputation. A limb or extremity may need to be removed if it is irreparably damaged due to an accident, explosion, infection, or another type of serious injury. When an injury victim loses an arm, leg, foot, hand, finger, or toe, their life is never the same again.
- Broken Bones: Severe fractures can cause a victim to be laid up for several weeks or months. In some cases, broken bones never heal properly. Those who are more vulnerable to injury (such as elderly and disabled individuals) are more susceptible to developing a debilitating condition as a result of a fracture.
- Severe Burn Injuries: Those who suffer third-degree burns endure a level of pain that is almost indescribable. Victims often need to undergo multiple medical procedures, and there is typically a long recovery time. Some burn injuries are so severe, they permanently damage the nerve endings beyond the epidermis and dermis. These are known as fourth-degree burns.
What Causes Serious Injuries?
There are many different reasons serious and catastrophic injuries occur. Some of the most common include:
- Auto Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Animal Attacks
- Workplace Accidents
- Defective Products
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Medical Malpractice
- Sports Injuries
Compensation for Serious Injuries in Alabama
Though there are many types and causes of serious injuries, the one thing they all have in common is the major impact they have on the life of not only the victim, but those around them as well. Having a debilitating condition often changes the way family members relate to the victim, especially if it is a cognitive injury such as TBI.
Damages for serious and catastrophic injuries can be broken into several categories:
- Medical Costs: Expenses for medical care to treat the injury, physical therapy/rehabilitation, and the cost of ongoing medical care if the victim has a permanent condition.
- Loss of Earnings: Many serious injuries result in lost wages both now and well into the future. When the victim has a debilitating condition, damages should be calculated for loss of earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and discomfort the victim experienced after the injury.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for the psychological impact a serious and catastrophic injury can have on victims and their loved ones.
- Diminished Quality of Life: Compensation for loss of the victim’s ability to do things they were once able to do.
- Wrongful Death: If a serious injury results in death, the victim’s loved ones should be compensated for funeral and burial costs in addition to all other appropriate damages.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases in which the injury was caused by especially egregious actions or omissions, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter them (and others) from similar behavior in the future.
Recovering damages for serious injuries is more difficult in Alabama than most other states. This is because Alabama applies the legal standard known as “contributory negligence.” Under contributory negligence, victims can be barred from receiving compensation if they are found to be even 1% at-fault for their injuries. This is why it is essential to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the injury to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected from the outset.
Speak with a Seasoned Opelika Serious Injuries Lawyer
At Alsobrook Jackson, Attorneys at Law, we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial pain catastrophic injury victims and their families go through, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We provide free consultations, and we work closely with our clients, providing frequent updates on the progress of the case. We also take all our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation on your behalf. Bottom line: we have the experience, knowledge, resources, and commitment to provide the skilled and personalized representation you need and deserve.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 334-737-3718. You may also send us a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.