Pennsylvania Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
Have you been catastrophically injured due to someone else’s negligence? You may have grounds to seek compensation. Contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson for your free consultation.
As you already know, not all accidents and injuries are the same. While some accidents that occur in our communities and on our roadways are minor in nature, others are incredibly severe and lead to life-altering injuries. Sustaining catastrophic injuries means that you could have a long road to recovery before you. Luckily, there are options available for you after you have been hurt in a catastrophic accident. Speaking with a Pennsylvania catastrophic injury lawyer can help you get back on your feet in both physical and financial ways.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
While a minor injury can affect your life for days or even weeks, a catastrophic or severe injury is likely to affect your life for years or even forever. An injury is considered a catastrophic injury when it permanently affects your life. This means that it keeps you from enjoying the daily activities you once engaged in, as well as keeping you out of work for an extended period of time. Catastrophic injuries tend to be traumatic in nature, which means that they do not just affect your life physically – they also impact your life on an emotional level.
Millions of Americans live with catastrophic injuries each year in the U.S. In most cases, a catastrophic injury means that you have sustained any of the following:
- You have lost a vital limb
- You lost your ability to walk
- You sustained a cognitive disability due to the injury
- You lost your quality of life
- Your ability to communicate with others was impacted
Because the impact of a catastrophic injury can affect your life for years to come, you may need legal help as you move forward. This is why it is crucial that you speak with a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer at Edelstein Martin & Nelson as soon as possible.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many types of catastrophic injuries, some of which are more severe than others. However, some catastrophic injuries are more common than others. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include the following:
Head and Brain Injuries: If you have sustained an injury to the head or brain, this is often referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The truth is, TBIs tend to be incredibly unpredictable and can leave you in a difficult position if you have sustained one. Many victims of these catastrophic injuries will have lasting cognitive and behavioral impairments that affect their lives on both professional and personal levels.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries have the ability to be incredibly severe in nature. Especially if you have sustained a paralysis injury to your back, this could leave you with limited movement for the remainder of your life. Even what is seen as a relatively minor spinal cord injury could affect your overall motion and cause you chronic pain that could follow you for months or years. A spinal cord injury of any kind will likely need some degree of rehabilitation, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Blunt Trauma to the Abdomen: Blunt force abdominal trauma is one of the most severe injuries that can stem from an accident. Many people involved in an accident will not know that they have a blunt force injury right off the bat, as these injuries are not always immediately visible. There could be immense complications due to a blunt force injury to the abdomen, which is why you should always seek immediate medical care for any serious injury or accident, even if you think you might not be hurt.
Burn Injuries: Burn injuries are another type of catastrophic injury that can lead to a long road to recovery. If you have suffered from a burn injury, you could sustain extensive pain or even disfigurement as a result.
Amputations: Amputations are a major concern when it comes to serious accidents. Many people who lose a limb find it impossible to return to work or enjoy the activities that they once did before their accident.
Disfigurement and Scarring: Permanent disfigurement and scarring from an accident can affect your life emotionally as well as physically. You may find that disfigurement affects your confidence in many ways.
The Psychological Impact of Catastrophic Injuries
Some catastrophic injuries do not affect your life physically as much as they do emotionally. The psychological impact of an injury can be just as severe as the physical injuries you have sustained. Many people who have been involved in car accidents, workplace accidents, and many other types of accidents will find that the psychological trauma tends to follow them for an extended period of time after the accident occurred.
Some of the mental health injuries that stem from accidents include the following:
- Inability to take care of yourself
- Risky behavior
- Reliving some type of trauma over and over
- Difficulty maintaining relationships with others
You may find that the psychological trauma stemming from an accident can keep you from pursuing certain activities and engaging in goals you once had. On top of this, it can make it seemingly impossible to maintain relationships with loved ones. Statistics about motor vehicle accidents provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine show that approximately 67% of people involved in a motor vehicle collision will experience depression and 87% will have remaining PTSD from the event.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Catastrophic Injuries in Pennsylvania?
A catastrophic accident in Pennsylvania can occur in the blink of an eye. Many of them take place due to negligent reasons. When another party acts in a negligent manner and it causes a catastrophic accident that leads to your injuries, you have legal options. Some of the most common types of accidents that cause catastrophic injuries include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian-related accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice accidents
- Construction site accidents and other work accidents
No matter the circumstances leading up to your accident, you have legal options. As an injury victim, you should always seek legal help immediately so that you can receive the best results in your claim. Speaking with a Pennsylvania catastrophic personal injury lawyer can help you move forward during these daunting times.
How Do I Know if I Have a Catastrophic Personal Injury Claim?
Catastrophic injuries are vastly different from your average personal injury claim. There are some key differences between an average personal injury claim and those involving catastrophic injuries. These differences include the following:
- The type of injuries you have sustained, as catastrophic injuries tend to be worse
- The time that it takes you to recover from your injuries, as catastrophic injuries can take a long time to heal from
- The trauma that stemmed from your injuries
- Your need for an attorney, as minor personal injury claims can sometimes be settled without the need for legal representation
Is There a Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Case in Pennsylvania?
No matter the type of injuries you have sustained in an accident, either minor or catastrophic, there are time limits when it comes to filing a claim due to someone else’s negligence. These strict deadlines are known as the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. These limitations differ in every state and apply to how long you have to bring a claim before you are barred from doing so.
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the time of your accident to file a personal injury claim for catastrophic injuries. If you did not realize that you sustained injuries in your accident, you have two years from the time that you became aware of your injury to file a claim. This is why it is crucial that you seek immediate medical treatment after an accident. You only have a limited amount of time to bring a successful legal action to pay for all of your financial burdens caused by your injuries.
Will My Personal Injury Claim Go to Court?
Many people feel overwhelmed when they are involved in a catastrophic accident with injuries, as they typically think about the daunting court process they may have to face to be compensated for their losses.
However, when you are represented by a top-notch Pennsylvania catastrophic injury lawyer, your claim will most likely settle in negotiations before it goes to trial. When the defense’s insurance company knows that you have competent legal representation, they will most likely want to avoid the expense of trial.
Our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson are here for you when it is time to fight the big-name insurance companies for what you are entitled to by law. We will handle all communications for you, as well as court filings, so you can focus on your recovery and let us handle the rest.
How an Attorney Can Help You with a Claim After You Have Sustained Catastrophic Injuries
After you have sustained catastrophic injuries in a vehicle collision, a workplace accident, or any other type of accident, your main focus should be on your physical recovery and healing.
An experienced attorney who has handled catastrophic injury claims will be able to help you from start to finish when it comes to the confusing legal process, so you can focus your energy not on figuring out your next legal move but on healing and recovering from what has happened to you.
One of the most important aspects of your injury claim is determining who is liable for your accident. This is not always easy, as there could be multiple parties who are to blame for your accident due to their negligent acts. Your Pennsylvania catastrophic injury attorney will conduct an investigation into the matter so that you can ensure that all parties are held responsible for their share in your accident. During their long and intensive investigation process, they will do some of the following things:
- Analyze all photographs and videos related to the accident scene
- Obtain all statements from the police and any eyewitnesses
- Review the police reports made regarding your accident
- Analyze your medical records and speak with your doctors about the future of your condition
- Consult with a variety of experts who can give their opinion on your accident
You want to ensure that you are being fairly compensated when it comes to your injuries, as you may sustain damages now and in the future related to these injuries. Personal injury litigation is a highly complex matter, which is why you should never move forward without assistance from a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer that you can trust.
Compensation You Can Receive for a Catastrophic Injury Claim
Catastrophic injuries require more resources than any other type of personal injury claim in Pennsylvania. This is due to the fact that there are high stakes and large awards when it comes to claims involving the most severe injuries and massive medical bills. Injury victims typically wonder what types of compensation they will be able to recover against an at-fault party. Here are some of the most common types of damages you can receive in a catastrophic injury claim:
Medical Expenses of the Past and Future: You will sustain many types of medical treatments for catastrophic injuries, depending on the severity of your injuries. These include necessary hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitative care, medication, and more.
Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: You may be out of work for some time after your accident. On top of this, you could lose work permanently if your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to work. These damages can keep you living a normal life financially even if you are unable to work.
Pain and Suffering: Many victims of catastrophic injuries will suffer from immense pain or mental anguish caused by the accident. This is where pain and suffering damages come in.
Loss of Overall Life Quality: You may not be able to enjoy your life as much as you did in the past before your accident due to severe injuries. These damages can help you feel whole again after you have sustained these injuries.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are not like compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish at-fault parties for the harm that they have caused another, as a way to prevent these accidents from happening in the future. These are not awarded in every case, but in cases where the negligence was particularly malicious or egregious.
After a catastrophic accident, the insurance company involved in your claim will try to do whatever they can to pay you as little as possible. On top of this, they might try to deny your claim altogether, leaving you without the necessary compensation to help you get back on your feet. This is why you need the help of an experienced legal advocate who knows the ins and outs of Pennsylvania accident law.
Sustaining a Catastrophic Injury in the Pennsylvania Workplace
We expect workplaces to be kept safe from harm. However, the actions of an employer, employee, or manufacturer could lead to adverse effects. Workplace accident claims are a unique type of claim, as they tend to involve workers’ compensation benefits. Pennsylvania employers are supposed to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which will pay you benefits to ensure that your medical bills, lost wages, and other aspects are cared for as you heal after an accident. However, you may find that you still need to file a lawsuit to recoup everything you have lost financially.
After a workplace accident, you should contact your employer and speak with a workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights moving forward.
When a Catastrophic Injury Leads to a Wrongful Death
In the most severe catastrophic injury cases, a wrongful death could occur. These claims are even more complex than a normal personal injury claim, and definitely require help from a skilled attorney. Certain family members are permitted to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one to get compensated for the following damages:
- Funeral and burial costs associated with the loss
- Cost of medical care sustained before the fatality
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Emotional distress of a surviving family member
Only certain people can bring a wrongful death claim. Usually, it must be an immediate family member, such as:
- Spouse of the deceased victim
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- In some cases, a personal representative of the victim’s estate
After you have sustained a tragic and unexpected loss of a family member due to an accident, seek legal counsel to help you file a claim for compensation. As you are grieving the immense loss of your loved one, you should not be bogged down with the stress associated with a complex wrongful death claim. Our Pennsylvania wrongful death attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson are here to help you and your family during these difficult times. We will handle all aspects of your claim so that you can focus on your family when you need it the most.
Speak with a Skilled Pennsylvania Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
It is common for catastrophic injuries to lead to lifelong physical, emotional, and financial impacts. When the medical bills and other associated costs start to pile up against you, you may be feeling so stressed that you cannot focus on your physical recovery. During this trying time, you should know that you have many options for recovery as you get back on your feet physically. As any legal claim comes with challenges, those involving catastrophic injuries tend to be heightened.
It is important that you seek immediate help from our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson after your accident. Please contact an attorney that you can rely on during these life-changing times at (888) 208-1810.