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Florida Statutes define a catastrophic injury as one that permanently impairs you. Generally, injuries involving the spinal cord and the brain are catastrophic. The statutes also name amputations as a permanent, thus catastrophic, injury. Spinal cord injuries could lead to paralysis. Brain injuries could lead to motor, sensory, cerebral function and communication disturbances, and neurological disorders.
Additionally, second- and third-degree burns that encompass at least 25 percent of your body, third-degree burns on at least 5 percent of your face and hands, and complete industrial blindness are catastrophic injuries.
Finally, the statute provides for additional catastrophic injury classification by considering any injury that enables you to receive disability benefits under Title II of the federal Social Security Act, or supplemental security under Title XVI of the Act. If you suffered from catastrophic injuries, contact Boohoff Law’s experienced personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.
Many types of accidents cause catastrophic injuries. Sometimes, those accidents involve the negligence of another person or company.
While not all vehicle accidents involve negligence, many still cause catastrophic injuries. When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, someone on a bicycle or someone on a motorcycle, the accident victim has little to no protection against an object that weighs thousands of pounds. Their injuries are often catastrophic. When big trucks get into accidents, their weight alone could cause catastrophic injuries. The cargo could also cause severe injuries. If a company or driver does not properly secure a load, the load could fall off or shift and make the driver lose control of the load. Oversize loads on flatbed trailers often cause catastrophic injuries when the load shifts or falls off because of the weight of the cargo itself. Drunk Driving and driving while distracted are two examples of behavior that the courts often consider negligent behavior. When a driver does something that could obviously cause a car accident, that behavior is negligent.
People often get injured at work. In many cases, those accidents are truly accidents. Negligent practices such as not maintaining or not providing mandatory safety equipment such as hard hats and harnesses also cause accidents. Depending on the type of work the injured person was doing, the injuries could be catastrophic. And, depending on the reason for the accident, negligence could play a part in the employee’s injuries.
Accidents could happen in your home, at a friend’s house, in a retail establishment or even walking on a public road or sidewalk. Depending on the circumstances, you might suffer minor injuries or catastrophic injuries. If negligence plays a part in your accident, you might receive additional damages. Negligence might include not cleaning up a spill, not maintaining elevators and escalators or not repairing uneven walkways. If possible, regardless of what type of accident you have and whether negligence plays a part in the accident, document the accident with pictures. Should you have catastrophic injuries, the pictures will help your personal injury lawyer make a case for long-term or permanent injuries.
When you suffer from catastrophic injuries, the last thing you want to do is to settle with the insurance company, especially for less than you deserve. Since the injuries are permanent, you are entitled to much more than past medical expenses and lost wages. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney helps you negotiate with the insurance company for a fair amount and will recommend going to trial if the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair and reasonable amount. Additionally, if the defendant’s behavior was negligent, you might be entitled to punitive damages by Florida Law. The damages that you could get include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Often referred to as special damages, economic damages have a dollar amount attached to them. They include:
General damages, or non-economic damages, do not have a dollar amount attached to them. They might include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, inconvenience or the loss of use of a body part.
A court only awards punitive damages when it finds that the defendant’s actions were egregious. For example, a drunk driver that caused you to lose the use of your arm might have to pay punitive damages because driving under the influence is usually considered negligent behavior.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles‘ (FLHSMV) latest crash statistics in one recent year show that 21,645 people in 17,568 accidents suffered incapacitating injuries. Those numbers are up just slightly from the previous year, which had 21,546 people suffer incapacitating injuries in 17,545 crashes.
When you suffer catastrophic injuries, you are injured permanently. You will have medical expenses for the rest of your life. You may even have to live on disability or take a severe cut in pay if you cannot do your regular job after you suffer incapacitating injuries. If someone’s actions caused the injuries, especially if those actions were negligent, you might be entitled to collect damages. If you believe you or a loved one has catastrophic injuries, contact Boohoff Law at (877) 999-9999 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about catastrophic injuries. We can work with you and your doctors to document the extent and cause of your injuries to get you the compensation you deserve.
Boohoff Law North Port 14900 Tamiami Trail North Port, FL 34287 (941)-888-0848
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121