- Catastrophic injuries can rob a victim of their quality of life.
- Examples include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and others
- Car accidents, workplace accidents, and slips and falls are examples of catastrophic injury accidents.
- Victims suffering catastrophic injuries must prove several elements to obtain compensation.
- Compensation will often include money for damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Catastrophic injury accidents have a profound and lasting impact on individuals and their families. In Florida, more than 127,000 people suffered injuries so severe they required extended hospital stays in 2021. Many of these injuries occurred in accidents caused by another’s negligence.
Understanding Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries are severe and often life-altering, causing significant impairment or disability. These injuries can affect various body parts, including the spinal cord, brain, limbs, or internal organs. Common examples include:
Unlike less severe injuries, catastrophic injuries typically result in long-term or permanent consequences, impacting not only the physical well-being but also the victim’s mental health and overall quality of life.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries in Florida
There are lots of different catastrophic injury accidents. The following is a quick look at some of the more common ones.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Catastrophic car accident injuries can ruin lives. Sometimes, they make performing even the simplest tasks, like making a meal or tying your shoes, impossible. These are just some of the many ways a catastrophic injury car accident can occur.
With the widespread use of smartphones and other electronic devices, drivers often engage in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or using navigation systems while behind the wheel. This dangerous behavior significantly increases the risk of accidents, resulting in catastrophic injuries. About 56,000 distracted driving accidents occurred in Florida in 2021.
Speeding is another contributing factor to motor vehicle accidents in Florida. The state’s extensive roadways often tempt drivers to exceed speed limits, leading to reduced reaction times and more severe collisions. In 2021, Florida speed-related accidents accounted for 361 incapacitating injuries.
Impaired driving involving alcohol or drugs remains a persistent issue on Florida’s roads. Despite strict laws and law enforcement efforts, impaired drivers continue to pose a significant risk. Accidents involving impaired drivers led to 694 drivers and passengers suffering severe injuries in 2021.
Florida’s diverse economic landscape, including industries like construction, manufacturing, and agriculture, exposes workers to various hazards that can result in catastrophic injuries. Workplace accidents include falls from heights, machinery accidents, and exposure to hazardous substances.
In the construction industry, for example, workers often operate at elevated heights. As a result, falls commonly lead to catastrophic injuries. Lack of proper safety measures, inadequate training, or failure to use personal protective equipment can contribute to these accidents.
Errors in diagnosis, surgical mistakes, medication errors, and birth injuries are examples of medical malpractice that can have severe consequences for patients.
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment or a lack of timely intervention. This lack of action could make a disease or condition much worse. Surgical mistakes, whether due to negligence, incompetence, or miscommunication, can cause lasting harm, including internal injuries, nerve damage, or infections.
Slip and Fall Accidents
More than 470,000 people had to visit emergency rooms after a slip and fall accident in 2021. Uneven surfaces, wet floors, inadequate lighting, and other hazardous conditions contribute to these accidents. Failure to promptly address hazards can lead to horrible injuries.
Florida’s warm climate and abundant recreational activities make it a sought-after destination for outdoor enthusiasts. However, accidents during recreational activities can lead to catastrophic injuries. Lack of safety measures, equipment malfunctions, or operator negligence are potential causes of such accidents.
Legal Aspects of Catastrophic Injury Cases
When individuals suffer catastrophic injuries due to the negligence or misconduct of others, they want justice and fair compensation. Proving negligence is key to successfully pursuing compensation for the extensive damages incurred.
Negligence is central to any catastrophic injury case. It occurs when a party fails to exercise the standard of care expected in a given situation, harming someone else. To successfully pursue a catastrophic injury claim, the injury victim (plaintiff) and their attorney must establish the following:
- Duty of care: You must prove that whoever caused the accident owed you a duty of care. For example, drivers owe others on the road the duty of care to operate their vehicles safely. Medical professionals have a duty to provide a standard level of care.
- Breach of duty: You must also show the defendant breached their duty of care through actions or inactions that deviated from the accepted standard. Actions could include behaviors such as distracted driving, inadequate workplace safety measures, or medical errors.
- Causation: Proving causation involves establishing a direct link between the breach of duty and the catastrophic injury. You must demonstrate the negligent actions were a substantial factor in causing the harm.
- Damages: You must also provide evidence of the specific damages or financial losses incurred due to the catastrophic injury. This includes medical expenses, loss of income, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Receiving Compensation for Your Damages
Damages in catastrophic injury cases extend beyond medical expenses and can include loss of income, rehabilitation costs, home modifications, and others. Seeking compensation isn’t just about covering current expenses. It’s also about addressing the long-term impact of the injuries on your life.
Beyond the immediate physical harm, catastrophic injury accidents often result in long-term or permanent disabilities, leading to pain and suffering and a diminished quality of life. You can pursue compensation for these non-economic damages as well.
Whether you need a catastrophic truck accident injury attorney, a motorcycle accident attorney or another legal expert, contact one as soon as possible. A lawyer will give you the best chance of getting the money you deserve.
Contact Jones Law Group to Speak with a Top-Rated Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Jones Law Group attorneys have worked with victims of catastrophic injury accidents for years, and we’ve consistently delivered positive results. We’ve helped our clients obtain millions of dollars and are ready to help you as well. Schedule a free consultation by calling or contacting us online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a catastrophic injury case in Florida?
Catastrophic injury accident victims have two years from the accident date to take legal action. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. You won’t be able to pursue compensation if the statute of limitations expires.
Can I claim compensation for a catastrophic injury if I was partially at fault?
Yes. As long as you weren’t more than 50% to blame, you can still obtain money to help pay for your financial losses stemming from the catastrophic injury accident.