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What are Key Considerations When Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim in Florida?

What are Key Considerations When Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim in Florida?

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What is a Catastrophic Injury?

According to Flordia State Law, a catastrophic injury is considered to be any injury that causes permanent impairment, disability, disfigurement, or scarring or that prevents gainful future employment. This type of injury generally occurs suddenly and with extensive effects on the victim and the victim’s family. Catastrophic injuries incur a lifetime of medical bills and debt, assistance, and supervision.

What Causes a Catastrophic Injury?

Any accident, no matter how minor, has the potential to result in a catastrophic injury. However, there are several accidents that are more likely to result in severe impairment than others, such as:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Sports and other recreational activities
  • Construction accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective drugs or medical devices
  • Workplace injuries
  • Assault
  • Electrocution
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Dog attacks
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Truck accidents

What are Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?

What is considered a catastrophic injury varies on a case-by-case basis. The determining factors include the extent of the impairment resulting from the sustained injury. Common types of injuries that are considered to be catastrophic include:

  • Spinal cord injuries: This includes partial or complete paralysis, circulatory or respiratory issues, loss of bladder or bowel control, excessive muscle spasms and reflexes, and other chronic pain.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Brain trauma may result in permanent speech problems, cognitive dysfunction, limited mobility, and other serious complications.
  • Major burns: Significant bodily burns are considered to be some of the worst types of sustained injuries. Burns are more prone to severe complications such as infection and causing limited mobility to the victim.
  • Amputations: An amputation occurs when an appendage is removed from the rest of the body. Appendages include larger body parts such as arms, legs, hands, or feet but can also include fingers and toes. An amputation may occur at the scene of the accident or may be medically necessary due to the extensive damage to the body part.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries are often life-threatening due to the injury not being immediately recognized. This type of injury includes internal bleeding and perforated organs.

For many victims of these injuries, invasive surgeries and a painful recovery are required. Many of these individuals will face chronic pain and physical limitations for the rest of their lives.

What is Catastrophic Paralysis Injury?

Paralysis is one of the most traumatic types of injuries that a person can experience. Determining the mechanism of injury responsible for paralysis is crucial for establishing treatment options and any grounds for financial recovery. There are three leading causes of paralysis.

Spinal cord injury: This type of injury is the most common cause of paralysis. The severity and the location of the spinal injury will determine the extent of impairment and which body parts are affected.

Traumatic brain injury: An injury to the brain may cause nerve damage, preventing the brain from sending signals to the correct part of the body. Without this communication, those body parts are no longer able to function properly.

Other catastrophic injuries: Significant nerve damage, lacerations, bone fractures, and other types of injury may also result in paralysis.

What is Soft Tissue Catastrophic Injury?

While soft tissue injuries are relatively common, some injuries require extensive treatment and lead to long-term effects. Types of catastrophic soft tissue injuries include:

  • Ligament, muscle, and tendon injury: A complete tear in a ligament, muscle, or tendon often requires an extensive surgical and recovery process to regain function of the affected body part and may still result in long-term physical limitations.
  • Open soft tissue injuries: This type of injury involves a cut or deep penetration of the skin that causes damage to the underlying layer of soft tissue. The three main types of open soft tissue injury are:
    • Avulsions: This occurs when an external force removes a section of skin and the underlying soft tissue.
    • Burns: Severe burns may damage the outer layer of skin and the soft tissue beneath.
    • Lacerations: A severe cut or laceration may pierce the skin and severe ligaments, muscles, or tendons.

When a significant soft tissue injury occurs, it is usually accompanied by other injuries, such as bone fractures.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?

Because of the extensive physical, psychological, and financial effects of catastrophic injuries, accident victims are often entitled to substantial monetary compensation. A Florida injury lawyer at Gonz Law Group will work with the victim and the medical team to ensure maximum compensation for all injury-related losses. Possible recoverable compensation includes:

  • Medical and non-medical expenses
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Loss of earning ability
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, services, and support
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Catastrophic Injury Claim?

An enforced statute of limitations determines how much time an injury victim has to file a claim after an injury has occurred. Florida law states that victims typically have two years from the date of the injury to file his or her claim. While this may seem like a reasonable period of time, the severity of these injuries and the complexities of the legal system may result in missing this window.

Do I Need an Attorney?

As the victim of a catastrophic injury, you need representation that is prepared to fight on your behalf. Call Gonz Law Group today at 888-GONZ-411 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.

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