Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Memphis, TN
As a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis, TN knows, often, when a person becomes injured as a result of someone’s negligence, they think that the best thing to do in this situation is to file a personal injury claim. However, it is important to distinguish between a typical personal injury claim and a catastrophic injury claim. If you end up filing the wrong claim you could be leaving money on the table that is critical to helping you pay for recovery. With a catastrophic injury, you may not just be looking at a few years or months of bills. Instead, you could be looking at long-term payments for your treatment or even a lifetime of payments. If you are looking for help for your catastrophic injury claim, reach out to the lawyers at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC.
What causes catastrophic injuries?
Catastrophic injuries can occur in many different circumstances. You could get a catastrophic injury from a:
- Truck or car accident
- Construction site accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Burn accident
Any of these situations could lead you to suffer from injuries that are long-term or are there for the rest of your life. When this is the case, you may quickly find that you are no longer able to enjoy the things you used to love doing.
Your Memphis, Tennessee catastrophic injury lawyer can tell you that the difference between a catastrophic injury and a typical personal injury claim will be the severity of the injuries you have suffered from. For example, if you are never able to return to work again, this is a huge indication of the severity of your injuries. Traumatic brain injuries and becoming paraplegic or quadriplegic are also strong indicators of the severity of the accident you were in.
It is paramount that you and your attorney can distinguish between needing personal injury compensation and catastrophic injury compensation. Because treatment can last a lifetime, you may need ongoing compensation for your injuries. It is also possible to receive non-economic damages for your catastrophic injury. Your lawyer can argue that you are experiencing emotional pain from this injury as well as a loss of enjoyment of life or a loss of consortium.
Types of catastrophic injuries with their causes
An injury is going to be classified as catastrophic when it happened suddenly without warning. These types of injuries leave the victims with life-changing impacts and long-term consequences, but most people would think of spinal cord injuries that involve paralysis as the main and most common type of catastrophic injury. There are many different types of catastrophic injuries and many different types of causes.
Many people think of paraplegia and quadriplegia as common catastrophic injuries but just the tip of the iceberg for being honest. Loss of sight or hearing is also considered to be catastrophic injuries, birth injuries can be catastrophic and leave a child with a lifelong disability. It is in catastrophic injuries nature to happen swiftly without warning, which means that one minute your life is fine and perfect and the next it’s upside down.
With everything changing when you are receiving a diagnosis of a catastrophic injury, it’s a great idea to know that your life is not over. People live every day with the kind of injuries that you can receive as catastrophic injury. And it might feel like your life is over but your catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis Tennessee may be able to help you get compensation for your medical bills and for anything that you have to do to learn to live with your injury such as physical therapy.
Different types of catastrophic injuries, while this is not a full list, it is a good list that gives you an idea of what is considered catastrophic.
- Birth injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Eye injury
- Facial injury
- Nerve damage
- Rain injury
- Neurological damage
- Crush injury
There are a variety of causes for catastrophic injuries and they are more or less limited to your imagination. Frequently car accidents are found to be the cause of catastrophic injuries, especially collisions with semi-trucks or big rigs. Boating accidents are another common cause, backyard trampoline accidents, and workplace accidents.
However there are other things that can cause catastrophic injuries, and like every list we present to you, this one is not exhaustive.
- Car accident
- Trucking accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Sports accident
- On-the-job accident
- Boating accident
- Trampoline accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Fires and explosions
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Horseback riding accidents
- Fall from height
- Violent crime
- Bicycle accidents
- Jet ski accident
Injuries to the spinal cord are one of the most commonly seen types of catastrophic injury and this is because your spinal cord is not meant to take heavy weight or pressure that a fall or collision presents it with. Car accidents falls from heights and trampoline accidents can cause severe and catastrophic injury to the neck and spinal cord. Oftentimes these injuries are debilitating, leading to paraplegia, quadriplegia, or any variety of paralysis. In addition to the initial physical injury, victims of severe spinal and neck injuries also face a tremendous uphill battle which may leave them emotionally scarred. Victims of this type of catastrophic injury are going to require long-term medical care and physical therapy for most of their life.
Truck Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries
We depend on truck drivers to deliver the products, goods, and materials we use daily. Trucking companies know this and can end up putting pressure on truck drivers as a result. These drivers are often required to work long hours, making multiple trips unloading and loading heavy cargo. Without the proper rest, they run the risk of being overly tired or even falling asleep behind the wheel. Truck accidents due to drowsy driving are a common problem, and it is other motorists who often face the most severe consequences. Tragically, because of the weight and size of these massive vehicles, injuries suffered by victims in truck accidents are often severe and any legal action requires the help of a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis, TN.
Truck Drivers and Drowsy Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drowsy driving, in general, is a major problem in the United States. Working multiple or swing shifts, staying up late to study for exams, and meeting the demands of an active social life can all result in getting less sleep than your body needs. Unfortunately, this has a significant impact on your driving abilities. The CDC claims that while the dangers of falling asleep behind the wheel are obvious, even missing just one or two hours of sleep can have the following impacts:
- Leave the driver with the inability to concentrate and increased driver distraction
- Leave the driver with impaired judgment
- Leave the driver with decreased vision
- Leave the driver with slowed reflexes and response times in the event sudden actions are needed
A Memphis, TN catastrophic injury lawyer knows that due to the demanding nature of their jobs, truck drivers are at an increased risk for drowsy driving. Despite taking precautions, such as rolling down the window, listening to music to stay awake, or drinking lots of coffee, keeping up with tight schedules, and not taking the appropriate breaks makes truck accidents involving other vehicles are more likely to occur. Considering the heavy weight and bulk of most tractor-trailers and other big rigs, it is often other motor vehicle drivers who suffer the most serious injuries when accidents occur.
Trucking Companies Often Play a Role in Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents
While truck drivers can be held accountable for injuries suffered by others when drowsy driving-related truck accidents happen, the trucking company may face liability as well. There have been multiple cases around the country that revealed how truckers are routinely pushed by their employers to work long shifts without proper breaks or rest periods and that a number of serious truck accidents could be directly attributed to these practices.
While trucking companies are required to follow both state and federal regulations when it comes to the demands they place on their drivers, violations are common. Truckers claim they face undue pressure and are at risk of losing their jobs if they do not meet the trucking company’s demands.
Victims of truck accidents and their families should reach out to a Memphis, TN catastrophic injury lawyer to help them obtain the financial compensation they deserve from all liable parties to the crash.
What Defines a Catastrophic Injury?
Have you been involved in a serious accident? Whether you were involved in a workplace accident, motor vehicle accident, or physical assault, you need to see a doctor as quickly as possible. There is a chance that you may have suffered a catastrophic injury, but what exactly is a catastrophic injury? You should work with a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN, such as a lawyer from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC.
One possible definition of a catastrophic injury is that it leads to a permanent disability. Some serious injuries might lead to more than one permanent disability. For example, you may have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. Some spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent motor disabilities. You might have a difficult time using your legs, or you may have a difficult time using one or both arms. Keep in mind that permanent disabilities can also be mental. As an example, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury that leads to permanent cognitive deficits. If you have been diagnosed with a serious injury, do not forget to reach out to a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN after seeking medical care.
A catastrophic injury could also lead to permanent disfigurement. For example, you might be involved in a motor vehicle accident or workplace incident that leads to severe burns. Second and third-degree burns can lead to large, permanent scars all over your body. If they occur on the face, they can cause permanent disfigurement that might also lead to mental health issues. For this reason, do not forget to seek medical care as quickly as possible following an incident. Then, reach out to an attorney who has experience dealing with catastrophic injuries.
A Severe Change in Quality of Life
In the end, there are multiple definitions of a catastrophic injury; however, the one thing they all share in common is that they could cause a severe change in your overall quality of life. In many situations, this change is permanent. As a result, you need to work with a professional who will advocate for your rights. That is where a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN, such as a member of Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, can be beneficial. You do not need to face this situation alone. There are professionals who can always lend a helping hand to those in need.
Common Questions about Catastrophic Injury Laws
Catastrophic injuries differ from other types of injuries in a few ways. Your catastrophic injury lawyer can help clarify the legal precedents so you can organize the most effective lawsuit.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
According to US law, a catastrophic injury differs from other bodily harm in that it has “direct and proximate consequences.” This specifically relates to the injured party’s ability to work. These injuries often involve damage to the brain or spinal cord, but they can also involve the loss of function in other critical body parts. All catastrophic injuries are considered long-term or permanent.
Are Deaths Considered Catastrophic Injuries?
Death can sometimes be the result of a catastrophic injury, but they are not the same thing. If your loved one experienced both a catastrophic injury and death, an additional suit of wrongful death can be added to your catastrophic injury case.
Can I Be Fired for Having a Catastrophic Injury?
If the injury was caused by work-related problems, specific laws exist to protect employees and ensure compensation, but employers are not obligated to help if you are injured outside of work. Since most employees in the United States are in at-will contracts, your employer likely reserves the right to discontinue employment at any time. Yet if you can prove discrimination, you may have access to recourse.
What Compensation Can I Expect?
When your injury results not only in extensive medical bills but also loss of gainful employment, getting the compensation you deserve is even more important. Your catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN works with you to total up the costs of your medical expenses, the wages you lose while in medical care, and lost future earning capacity. You might also receive compensation for pain and mental anguish.
What Are Common Causes of Catastrophic Injury?
In addition to motor vehicle accidents and burns, some of the most common catastrophic injuries occur in preventable circumstances. Defective products, serious animal bites, falling, and wrongful arrest all result in hundreds of injuries each year, many of them serious or life-threatening.
Who Is Liable in Catastrophic Injury Cases?
In many cases, it’s obvious who is responsible for an injury. In cases of motor vehicle crashes or faulty products, for example, it’s apparent that someone should have taken steps to prevent an accident and can therefore be held liable. However, sometimes the victim may share some responsibility. In these situations, compensation may be reduced, but if the injurer is not completely free of fault, they may still be liable and therefore responsible for some damages.
Are Catastrophic Injuries Always Accidents?
Most injuries are the result of accidents, but some are caused by negligence, and some are even willful. If you suspect malice or harmful disregard might be at play, it’s key to discuss this with your lawyer so the guilty party can be pressed to the fullest extent of the law.
Injury laws can be complex, but a catastrophic injury lawyer has the answers you need. When you’re dealing with all the stress of a long-term injury, having the right lawyer on your side allows you to focus on what’s most important.
How Can a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Help?
It’s impossible to describe how confused or frustrated individuals with catastrophic injuries and their family members often feel after an accident. You need to file a claim to look out for your best interests, but it’s not easy to know what to do or where to begin. At Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, we’re by your side to help when you need it most.
Understanding Your Needs
First and foremost, your catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN takes the time to understand the complete picture. Before you can decide what type of compensation to fight for, you need to carefully consider how the accident has changed your life and your family’s life.
Damages often go far beyond simple compensation for current medical costs; there are lost wages, lost employment, inability to work, chronic pain and suffering, and undetected injuries to think about. Your lawyer can help you identify your complete needs and then help you fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Sadly, it’s not enough to show how the medical costs have affected your life. You also need evidence to prove the extent of the injury and show who was responsible. A catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN can help with evidence for your case:
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Eyewitness evidence
- Police documents
- Photographs, videos and security camera footage
You shouldn’t have to deal with pushy insurance companies or aggressive corporations. Let your lawyer handle everything so you can focus on your emotional and physical wellbeing. At Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, we look out for your interests when negotiating on your behalf. Depending on your goals, a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN can work out a favorable settlement or fight for you in court.
What Qualities Should You Look for in a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Memphis, TN?
When you’re facing a catastrophic injury, you don’t want to pick just any lawyer. It’s important to choose an attorney you trust to handle your case with dedication, integrity and care.
Personal injury lawyers and catastrophic injury lawyers need to care deeply about their clients. This type of injury can completely change your life, and a good attorney goes the extra mile to fight for the best quality of life possible for you and your family.
Experience is essential as well. Choose a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis TN with a proven track record and extensive experience with catastrophic injuries specifically. Look for courtroom expertise.
Common Myths About Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common types of catastrophic injuries individuals suffer in accidents. However, these injuries are still widely misunderstood. Here are some myths about traumatic brain injuries that you should know about.
- You have to hit your head to suffer a traumatic brain injury. This is one of the most common myths about traumatic brain injuries. The truth is that you do not actually have to hit your head against anything to suffer a brain injury. If you are in a car accident, for example, your head can jolt back and forth from impact, which can cause a serious brain injury.
- Wearing a helmet prevents traumatic brain injuries. It is necessary to wear a helmet in certain situations, like when you are riding a motorcycle. However, it is important to understand that it will not always prevent brain injuries. A helmet may help you survive an accident, but you may still suffer a traumatic brain injury.
- If you did not lose consciousness, you did not sustain a traumatic brain injury. Just because you did not pass out after an accident, does not mean you did not suffer a traumatic brain injury. As a catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis, TN can confirm, some mild traumatic brain injuries don’t result in a loss of consciousness.
- Only athletes sustain traumatic brain injuries. Certain athletes, like football players, may have a higher chance of suffering traumatic brain injuries. However, these injuries can happen to anyone. People can suffer traumatic brain injuries from car accidents, falls and violence.
- Mild traumatic brain injuries are nothing to worry about. When the word “mild” is associated with a traumatic brain injury, some may assume that it is not a big deal. However, even mild brain injuries can have lasting consequences, like poor concentration, memory loss, mood swings and changes in speech. It is important to discuss the possible effects with your doctor and follow your treatment plan accordingly.
- If you suffer a traumatic brain injury, you can’t work anymore. While some people who sustain traumatic brain injuries can’t go back to work, many others can. It depends on the severity of your injury and nature of your job. Your employer may also be willing to make accommodations to help you perform your job duties.
While any type of injuries that are the result of an accident can be expensive, catastrophic injuries can be extremely overwhelming financially to a victim and their family. Not only are there immediate and short-term expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, but victims with catastrophic injuries often require long-term or life-long medical treatment. They are unable to work because of permanent disabilities. Tennessee law allows victims who have been injured in accidents caused by another party or parties to file a lawsuit against those liable parties for financial compensation for all the losses they have suffered. A catastrophic injury lawyer Memphis, TN residents recommend, from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC can help.
What are damages in a personal injury lawsuit?
Damages refer to the sum of money the victim will be awarded in a lawsuit, either through an agreed-upon settlement amount between the victim and the at-fault party (usually through their insurance company) or the amount a jury decides if the lawsuit goes to trial.
There are three types of damages a victim can receive: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
What are economic damages?
Economic damages include all those expenses that have a definitive dollar amount to them. One of the most common is medical expenses. Some of the medical expenses a Memphis TN catastrophic injury lawyer can seek on behalf of the victim include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital stays
- All diagnostic testing
- Diagnostic testing
- Rehabilitation stays
- Both prescription and non-prescription medication
- Physical, occupational, and mental therapy fees
- Costs of transportation for medical services
- Costs of future medical treatments
In addition to medical expenses, a victim is also entitled to damages for loss of income. This also includes loss of future income and benefits if they are unable to work because they are now disabled.
What are non-economic damages?
Victims may also be awarded non-economic damages. Unlike economic damages, there is not definite dollar amount attached, but the only way to compensate the victim for the loss is financial. These types of damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring, disfigurement, permanent disability, and loss of quality of life.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, however, there are occasions where the jury will include them in their final decision. These damages are usually included when the actions of the at-fault party were especially egregious. These damages serve to punish the at-fault party and send a message to society that this behavior will not be tolerated. One common type of lawsuit where punitive damages are awarded are drunk driving accident cases because the at-fault driver committed a crime when they got behind the wheel of their vehicle drunk and should have known the risk they were putting other commuters in.
To learn more about the legal options that you may have, contact Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC to schedule a free consultation with a Memphis TN catastrophic injury lawyer.
Can I Sue Multiple Parties?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, more than one person may be at fault. For example, suppose that your catastrophic injury is the result of medical malpractice. During an operation, multiple people, such as the surgeon, doctor’s assistant, and anesthesiologist, are present. One or all of them could share a percentage in what went wrong. Typically, what happens is that it’s too difficult for a medical specialist or investigator to pinpoint who did what so that every medical personnel is brought into the suit. In this case, you’re legally entitled to sue all for recovery.
Fault is divided amongst defendants based on their percentage of fault that the evidence shows in court. Let’s say your catastrophic injury is worth 1,000,000. If the surgeon is 60% at fault, then the surgeon must pay $600,000 of that recovery amount. If the assistant is 20% at fault, then the assistant must pay $200,000 of that recovery amount, and the anesthesiologist must pay the remaining $200,000.
In other personal injury cases, your recovery amount can be reduced if your negligence played a role in your injury, regardless of how severely you’ve been injured. For example, if you were texting and driving so that you didn’t avoid a speeding car that you would’ve been able to avoid had you been paying attention, you can expect a judge to say you share some fault. In such a case, you’d have to pay for some of your own medical bills according to whatever percentage of fault the court decided you share. To avoid a reduction, hire the best catastrophic injury lawyer Memphis TN has to offer.
How Do I Prove Negligence Occurred?
Most catastrophic injuries happen due to someone’s negligence. A person is negligent when that person didn’t take reasonable steps to avoid an injury that was reasonably foreseeable. For example, if two people are standing parallel to each other on opposite ends of the road, on the sidewalks, as they throw a football back and forth, it’s reasonably foreseeable that a car may get hit at some point. It’s also reasonably foreseeable that a football flying over a driver’s windshield may frighten the cause and result in a car crash.
But how do you prove negligence occurred? You must show that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care,
- The defendant breached that duty,
- This breach caused an accident, and
- This accident caused you actual damages.
How Do I Prove An Intentional Tort Occurred?
Other catastrophic injuries are the result of intentional actions. Such a personal injury suit is known as an intentional tort. An intentional tort occurs when a person purposely did something with the intent to cause you harm. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the defendant desired a different type of harm to occur than what actually happened. All that matters is that the malicious desire was to injure you in some form or fashion. Thus, you can bring an intentional tort personal injury suit if you believed that the defendant harmed you on purpose.
Get Help When You Need It Most
When you have been suffering from injuries from a catastrophic accident, it is important to get the compensation you deserve from the responsible party’s insurance company. If you are looking for help with this kind of claim, reach out to the trusted catastrophic injury lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC.