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What Damages Can I Claim for a Catastrophic Injury in California?

 Posted on May 09, 2024 in Serious Injuries

Glendale, CA personal injury lawyerA catastrophic injury is the most severe type of injury other than death. According to the U.S. Code, it is an injury that permanently prevents a person from “performing any gainful work.” Someone who suffers a catastrophic injury is likely to have:

  • Diminished quality of life

  • A long-term disability

  • Extensive medical bills

  • A higher chance of death

Because of this, a catastrophic injury victim can sometimes be entitled to heavy compensation by claiming different kinds of damages. The outcome depends on many factors, however, so a California personal injury attorney should be consulted about specific details.

What Types of Catastrophic Injuries Are There?

Catastrophic injuries can be any kind of severe injury to a limb or organ that causes a disability. Types of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: Damage to the head can sometimes result in a traumatic brain injury. This can result in anything from a mild concussion to a coma or death. A traumatic brain injury might qualify as a catastrophic injury if it impairs cognitive functioning. Examples of cognitive impairment include memory loss, behavioral changes, difficulty understanding or concentrating, confusion, and changes in speech.

  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spine can affect a person’s ability to walk or move. It can also impair sexual function. 

  • Amputation: Some injuries to limbs can result in the limb being amputated. A crush wound or a severe burn can require the limb to be removed before it harms the rest of the body.

  • Severe burns: In addition to causing amputations, severe burns can permanently damage muscle and nerve tissue, affect a person’s ability to work, and cause disfigurement.

What Damages Can I Claim?

Someone who has suffered a catastrophic injury may be able to claim compensation for different types of damages under California law. These damages include:

  • Medical expenses: Victims of catastrophic injuries often have large medical bills. They need to pay for medical treatments, medications, therapies, and long-term care such as rehabilitation and/or home care.

  • Lost wages: A catastrophic injury causes the victim to miss work while he or she receives treatment for the injury. The individual may be able to receive back pay for those lost wages.

  • Lost earning capacity: Someone who has suffered a catastrophic injury often has trouble obtaining gainful employment. He or she may be able to be compensated for the wages they will no longer receive.

  • Non-economic damage: California law allows the victim of a catastrophic injury to seek compensation for non-economic damage such as mental suffering, physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety, grief, and humiliation.

  • Punitive damages: A person who suffers a catastrophic injury may be entitled to punitive damages. These are extra damages that the person who caused the injury can be forced to pay if it is proven in court that he or she did so with malice, fraud, or oppression. This is more to punish the guilty party than compensate the victim.

Contact a Los Angeles, CA Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

Claiming damages for a catastrophic injury is not a simple process. It requires a skilled Glendale, California catastrophic injury attorney who will investigate all the facts and build a strong case. At Tahmazian Law Firm, P.C., we have extensive experience with catastrophic injuries and are aggressive about seeking the maximum compensation possible. Call 818-242-8201 for a free consultation on what damages you may be able to claim.

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