Chicago Catastrophic Injury Attorney
The Most Serious Injuries
Serious automobile and workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and birth complications can cause catastrophic injuries that result in long-term or permanent disability or disfigurement. If you or a loved one has suffered such an accident, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney without delay. You will need to recover full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and the many other losses associated with such severe injuries.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC. are compassionate, professional, tough, and dedicated legal advocates for our clients. Among other distinguished awards, our lawyers have been named among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. You can rest assured that we will fight for the compensation you deserve if you have suffered a negligent catastrophic injury. Call us today at (800) 996-4824 to discuss your case.
The Meaning of Catastrophic Injury
There are many different types of injuries that can occur due to an accident or professional negligence, but only certain ones are truly considered catastrophic. There is no clear definition of the term in Illinois, but in general it refers to those injuries that result in life-long disability or disfigurement. For example, the loss of a limb due to a car accident would be considered a catastrophic injury, as would a birth injury due to medical malpractice that results in a long-term disability or ongoing medical condition.
In Illinois, the term is also used in the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act with regard to when medical expenses are covered for public employees such as police officers and firefighters. Within the context of the Act, there is no clear definition of "catastrophic injury," which has resulted in many legal battles over health coverage. It has typically been upheld as referring to any injury that results in a line-of-duty disability pension for a public safety employee. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury and should be covered by the PSEBA but have been refused coverage, then call us today to discuss your case.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic Injuries Caused By Car Collisions
Serious car crashes can cause injury to any part of the body, and some types of collisions are more likely than others to result in death or severe, disabling injuries. Catastrophic injuries caused by car accidents include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury - The brain can be injured in a collision, either from the impact of the head hitting an object in the vehicle or from the brain being shaken severely within the skull.
- Spinal Cord Injuries - Injuries to the spine suffered in car accidents can cause paralysis. Depending on the location of the injury, the victim could become paraplegic (loss of sensation and function in the pelvic region and legs) or tetraplegic (paralysis of all four limbs).
- Amputations and Loss of Limbs - Arms, legs, hands, fingers, feet, and toes can be amputated in serious collisions. In some cases, the limb may be severely crushed and require emergency surgical amputation.
- Internal Injuries - The heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, spleen, or bowels can be torn or ruptured in a car crash. Ribs broken in the impact can puncture the lungs and other organs.
- Severe Burns - Fires and explosions or contact with hot fluids or metal can cause serious burns to car accident victims. Severe burns are exceptionally painful, difficult to treat, and require several surgeries in an attempt to restore burned skin.
Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Medical accidents that are the result of negligence can cause catastrophic injuries. The exact nature of the injury typically depends on the procedure being performed when it occurred, though some common examples include:
- Brain Damage - Typically caused due to an accident during surgery, improper anesthesia, or blood clots due to doctor error.
- Loss of Limb - While amputation may be necessary due to an injury or illness, medical error can cause unnecessary amputation due to infection, surgical error, or blood clots.
- Spinal Injuries - Surgery on the spine and back often has some element of risk to it, but experienced surgeons can perform these procedures without incident. Negligent malpractice can result in spinal damage that leads to long-term pain, disability, and even paralysis.
Catastrophic Birth Injuries
Due to the fragile nature of a newborn, birth injuries are all-too-likely to be catastrophic in nature. Long-term effects from an injury or negligent accident during birth can be hard to predict, but certain types of injuries are likely to be very serious.
- Umbilical Cord Injuries - Issues with umbilical cords during childbirth are not uncommon and can be handled by medical professionals. When negligence occurs, however, then otherwise avoidable catastrophic injuries can occur resulting in brain damage or physical disability.
- Birth Asphyxia - Loss of oxygen during birth often leads to disabilities and brain damage, which can have long-term effects.
- Limb Injuries - Injuries to a newborn's arms and legs may result in life-long disabilities or physical difficulties.
Catastrophic Injuries at the Workplace
Construction sites and other workplaces can be quite dangerous, with the potential for catastrophic injury all around. While workers' compensation may cover some of these injuries, when gross negligence occurs, a company or business owner may be liable for additional damages that occur. Common types of workplace catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal Injuries - These typically occur due to a fall or crushing injuries from large machinery at a construction site.
- Brain Damage - Whether due to an accident or exposure to toxic materials, brain damage can result in serious disability and long-term recovery.
- Loss of Limb - At a construction site, large machinery and tools can potentially remove a person's arm or leg, while other injuries can cause so much damage to a limb that medical amputation is required.
- Broken Bones - While some broken bone injuries can heal with only minor long-term consequences, others can be severe enough to result in life-long difficulty. Hips and knees, for example, can suffer damage that leads to disability or loss of future income.
Chicago Catastrophic Injuries and Lawsuits or Claims
When considering a lawsuit or claim for damages, the type and severity of an injury is vitally important. While negligence needs to be proven in order for a civil suit to be valid, once that is established then the degree of injury comes into play. In Illinois, civil suits can include claims not only for medical bills and property damage, but also for disability, future medical expenses, wage losses, and disfigurement.
Catastrophic injuries are more likely to include disabilities and disfigurements, as well as emotional distress caused by such severe, life-changing injuries. All of these factors are relevant when determining what an injury is "worth" in terms of filing a lawsuit against a negligent party. A slip and fall claim due to provable negligence may be worth a moderate sum, while a fall that results in a broken hip and long-term disability is far more costly for the victim and therefore justifies a larger claim.
We Seek Justice in Cases of Catastrophic Injury in Chicago
Get the legal help you need if you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries due to someone else's negligence. Contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC. as soon as possible at (800) 996-4284. You can depend on our firm to provide compassionate, high-quality representation. As trial lawyers, we are assertive, tenacious and talented in court; we will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law.