Catastrophic injury cases generally apply to victims suffering from devastating injuries that require significant medical treatment and usually have long-term effects — both for the injured person and their family. Unfortunately, many people who become catastrophically injured are not adequately compensated. These challenging negligence lawsuits are usually very complicated to prove — which is why it is so important to retain an attorney and a law firm experienced in prosecuting these claims.
There are several types of catastrophic injuries. The most common injuries include brain injuries and other neurological trauma, amputations, severe nerve damage and complicated bone fractures. These injuries can result from car accidents, product defects, work-related accidents, or from other causes. In California, most catastrophic injuries occur because of traffic collisions on our highways. Distracted drivers who talk on their cell phones, text while driving, or fail to otherwise pay attention while they are performing potentially dangerous tasks pose a huge risk of catastrophic injury to others.
A catastrophic injury lawyer who is experienced in the investigation and prosecution of these serious cases can help in proving a negligence lawsuit by showing that the defendant breached a duty, failed to act in the required manner, and ultimately caused injury to the victim. The catastrophic injury lawyer can also determine which remedies to pursue in order to maximize the compensation awarded to victims who have: lost their capacity to generate income; suffer from extreme pain; face enormous medical costs; and usually are forced to adapt to severe and permanent disabilities.
Catastrophic Loss – Premises Liability Case Study( click for details )( click to close )
This legal reality was important for David P., a 37-year old man who started working for an HVAC (heating-ventilation-air conditioning) company which serviced commercial and retail business locations. After being on the job for about one month, David was sent to a stripmall in Milpitas, California, to provide preventative maintenance at a store (“Wherehouse”) which did not have a way to get up on the roof where the HVAC equipment was located – so he was told to go next door – to “Staples” – to use that neighboring business’ inside roof ladder. He did that: a “Staples” employee unlocked its roof hatch and David did his work on the roof; when finished he tried to go back down through “Staples” but found that the roof hatch had been locked. He tried to get down by using an exterior ladder attached to the side of the building but, as he was climbing down the ladder he found that the bottom half of the ladder rungs were blocked by a locked panel. He fell approximately 13 feet to the ground, breaking his leg and other relatively minor injuries.
While at the hospital receiving treatment for these injuries, David developed an infection, had a cardiorespiratory arrest and – by the time he was resuscitated – suffered a major anoxic brain injury. This brain insult caused him to be left in a persistent vegetative state.
Jury trial in Santa Clara County was required to force “Wherehouse,” “Staples” and others to accept their legal responsibility for David’s catastrophic injuries – and the jury did just that. After a lengthy trial in San Jose, the jury awarded approximately $16 Million for his extensive medical and nursing care required for the remainder of his life, as well as a substantial award for his wife of 5 months.