Tampa Catastrophic Injury Attorneys
Catastrophic injuries can change your life forever. These injuries are often severe, causing ongoing problems for victims. Often caused by major accidents like a high-speed T-Bone car crash or small plane crash, victims of catastrophic injuries often face not only a lifetime of doctor visits and medical procedures but difficulty paying their bills.
The medical care and treatment needed after catastrophic injuries will vary but, in most cases, the bills will be extreme. However, when someone else’s negligence causes your suffering, this should not be your burden to bear. Covering your astronomical medical bills should be the responsibility of the person who put you in this position—the at-fault party.
With the right legal advocate at your side, you give yourself a chance at recovering maximum compensation for your injuries. The sooner you speak with a trusted Tampa catastrophic injury lawyer at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, the sooner you can put your focus back on your health and wellbeing.
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Gets Results
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we have collected nearly $100 million in personal injury settlements and verdicts for our clients. We have secured these results from our knowledge of Florida law and our years of experience litigating and negotiating suitable outcomes for our clients.
We are not afraid to go to court. While we would aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to settle your case quickly and fairly, sometimes insurance companies refuse to be reasonable and we may need to take your case to trial to try to get you the money you need. Not every law firm has the resources and dedication to handle a complex catastrophic personal injury trial. We do.
For over 25 years, we have been helping our Tampa neighbors recover compensation for their injuries. But do not take our word for it—listen to what our past clients have to say about our services and support. While we guarantee no results, contact us today to see what we can do for you.
Catastrophic injury does not have a medical definition, but is instead used to describe an injury that causes temporary or permanent physical impairment. These injuries often also harm the victim’s ability to go about their day-to-day routines.
Common examples of catastrophic injuries may include:
- Multiple bone fractures
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue damage
While this list is not exhaustive, it gives you a good idea of the types of injuries that may qualify as catastrophic. For the victims, these injuries may require extensive medical treatment and may never fully heal.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a TBI, occurs when an accident injures the brain itself. The most commonly known TBI is a concussion, of which about half of all concussions go unreported. While concussions are considered a mild TBI, that is only because they often heal on their own, so long as the victim gets enough rest. But left untreated, this injury can rear its ugly head time and again.
More serious TBIs will require victims to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on the skull or undergo rehabilitative care. Depending on where and how severely the brain is injured, a victim may lose body functions.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are also extremely serious and, in the worst cases, can cause death. The spinal cord is the central message way for the body. When the spinal cord is injured, messages cannot get where they need to go, either completely or partially. These injuries are what often cause different levels of paralysis.
Paralysis affects different parts of the victim’s body, depending on where they suffered an injury.
The more serious the injury, the more widespread and permanent the paralysis.
- Quadriplegia. Quadriplegia occurs when a victim is injured so severely that they lose all function of all four limbs. So people may be able to do some rehabilitation and gain some motor function, but that is rare. In the worst cases, a victim has no feeling and no ability to move below their neck. This type of paralysis will require daily and lifetime medical care.
- Paraplegia. Paraplegia occurs when a victim suffers an injury that prevents them from moving or controlling their body from the waist down. In this case, a victim may have limited use of their arms and upper body but will still need a wheelchair because they cannot control their legs. While paraplegia victims may handle some of their daily duties, they will probably need at least semi-regular medical care and attention.
- Diplegia. Diplegia affects corresponding body parts on both sides of the body. Paraplegia is a type of diplegia. For example, a victim may be unable to move their legs when they suffer from diplegia. If they cannot control one leg, most likely the other will suffer the same outcome.
- Hemiplegia. Hemiplegia affects body parts on the same side of the body. For example, a victim who suffers from hemiplegia may be unable to control their right arm and their right leg.
Blunt force trauma, penetrating injuries, falls from heights, and violent shaking often cause internal organ damage in accident victims. These injuries may result in the victim needing extensive medical procedures to help repair their organs and, in some cases, may even require a transplant.
Some organ damage is irreversible and can lead to organ failure. That is why anyone in a serious accident must immediately get a full evaluation from a medical professional. Taking action on these injuries as quickly as possible is the best way to give a victim a fighting chance of getting better.
Commonly damaged organs in catastrophic accidents include:
Open Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are common and many injuries will heal quickly and on their own. But some soft tissue injuries will require intense medical treatment that may have long-lasting impacts on the victim. Treatment for these soft-tissue injuries costs a lot of money and may require multiple procedures.
Open soft tissue injuries are much more serious because they may damage the tissue under the skin, causing additional pain and requiring more intensive medical procedures.
- Avulsions. Avulsions happen when an accident is so severe that the outer layer of skin peels away, causing injury to otherwise protected tissues. Avulsions commonly occur when someone suffers a deep cut from faulty equipment.
- Burns. Burns come in three degrees with the third-degree being most serious. First-degree burns often only cause superficial wounds. But second and third-degree burns can damage the tissue underneath because these burns often cause catastrophic damage to the skin. These injuries may require multiple surgeries, including skin grafts, and may require extensive rehabilitation.
- Lacerations. Lacerations can cause open tissue wounds in car accidents where glass and other debris pierce the skin, exposing tissue and muscle. These injuries frequently require medical procedures to repair the internal damage and help the victim’s skin heal and keep the internal tissue protected.
Getting Compensation For a Tampa Catastrophic Injury
The above conditions represent just a small fraction of the type of catastrophic injuries a person could suffer. But in nearly every case, the victim will suffer physical, mental, and financial harm.
Never ignore the mental effects of catastrophic injuries. A victim may experience severe mental anguish after a catastrophic injury because their life may never be the same. They may not be able to take part in activities that they could before. They may not be able to do even the most basic tasks for themselves, depending on the severity of their injuries. This can have a massive impact on the mental state of victims, many of whom suffer severe depression with such drastic life changes.
This is why, together with the right Tampa catastrophic injury attorney, you can try to collect compensation for all of your injury-related losses.
These may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Vehicle costs
- Home renovation costs
- In-home care
Many victims vastly underestimate the amount of money they will need to recover to make sure they do not pay a penny out of their own pockets. Even the lifetime costs of a concussion, a mild TBI, can range into the millions of dollars. These extreme medical costs could cause serious financial hardship to even the most well-off individuals. And this is before we even consider the financial toll that not working will take on a victim.
Many victims cannot yet see the vast majority of their financial needs. They see the medical bills piling up on the kitchen table. What they do not see are the ongoing medical bills, doctor co-pays, and prescription drug costs, all without a steady income. Getting compensation for your lost income may be one of the biggest pieces of your financial compensation from the negligent party.
This is why you must partner with a skilled Tampa catastrophic injury lawyer who has the resources necessary to help you recover. When you can no longer work and provide financial support for yourself, your lawyer may need to use expert medical resources to help determine the income you will miss throughout your life because of your injuries. You need to know this amount so you do not leave yourself having to cover your financial expenses. This is not your responsibility, and you should not have any stress or anxiety over how you pay your bills. Your sole focus should be on your health and wellbeing, living the best life you possibly can.
Time to File
Every state limits the amount of time a victim has to file a catastrophic personal injury claim after their accident. Called a statute of limitations, that time in Florida is just four years.
This might seem like a long time now, but consider everything you may face during these four years:
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple surgeries
- Time out of work
- In-facility rehabilitation
- Ongoing medical care at home
Eventually, you may not have the energy to try to collect compensation because all of your focus is on your rehabilitation. But, if you speak with a Tampa catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident, they can begin the work of collecting compensation while you worry about your physical and mental health.
Over time, witnesses may forget what they saw and evidence might disappear. To combat this and to give yourself the best chance of getting the compensation you need, speaking with an aggressive legal advocate as soon as possible is key. While you get the medical attention and care that you deserve, your lawyer may work diligently to collect all the relevant evidence, speak with people involved in your accident, and work to build a strong case against the negligent party. They do all of this to help you collect maximum compensation and prevent you from suffering financial hardship because of your accident.
The City of Tampa has a long history. Since its founding in the 1880s, Tampa has grown into a large and prosperous city in west-central Florida. Now home to around 400,000 residents, Tampa serves as a popular destination for native Floridians and visitors alike.
Of course, as such a busy area, Tampa residents and tourists regularly experience catastrophic injuries and accidents. The average commute time of 24 minutes means that many Tampa citizens spend a significant amount of time on the road. Tampa also has many great sports teams, and students love playing the same sports in school or for fun throughout the city. Catastrophic injuries occur quite frequently in and near Tampa. Construction sites, another common location of catastrophic injuries, exist throughout the Tampa Bay area.
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, you likely have lots of questions. We’ve done our best to answer all of the most frequently asked questions here. If you need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime. We know a catastrophic injury can prove devastating, but we’re here to help you get through it as smoothly as possible.
Tampa Catastrophic Injury FAQ
Tampa, Florida, is a beautiful city on the Gulf Coast of the Sunshine State. Tampa sits as the largest city in the Tampa Bay area and the county seat for Hillsborough County.
Q: What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury?
A: Any serious injury that causes permanent and significant damage to a person’s physical and/or mental abilities qualifies as a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries most commonly affect the head and back, but these injuries can also include many other types of injuries.
The most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Permanent disability injuries of any kind
- Fractured neck
- Fractured spine
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Amputation of limbs
- Severe burns
- Ruptured internal organs
- Eye injuries
- Hearing loss
Catastrophic injuries severely limit the ability of people to move, work, and live their lives as needed. Because of these injuries’ severe impact, doctors refer to them as catastrophic. Individuals who suffer a catastrophic injury rarely make a full recovery. The consequences of any catastrophic injury will last forever.
Q: Where and How Do Catastrophic Injuries Most Often Occur?
A: Catastrophic injuries usually result from a serious fall or disaster. Because catastrophic injuries most often affect the victim’s head, back, or internal organs, these injuries don’t commonly happen in everyday activities. Most people who suffer catastrophic injuries suffer them unexpectedly and without warning.
Catastrophic injuries can occur in many different ways. A few causes prove far more common than others.
The most common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Car accidents. In an especially bad accident, such as a head-on collision, sideswipe, or rollover, a vehicle can easily crush a victim, or the force of the impact may throw the passengers out of the car. In such a situation, drivers and passengers commonly suffer serious injuries, such as breaks, brain injuries, and limb injuries that may require surgery and/or amputation.
- Trucking accidents. Similar to car accidents, trucking accidents often leave people crushed or thrown from vehicles. Trucking accidents also commonly leave people with serious burns, as the impact of large vehicles can cause serious fires.
- Construction accidents. Construction sites pose a particular danger. These sites contain all kinds of big equipment that can cause fires or crush unsuspecting victims, as well as many high platforms that may lead to falls. People injured in construction accidents often suffer severe burns, eye and ear injuries, or terrible breaks in their bodies.
- Motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents often prove similar to car or trucking accidents. However, motorcyclists often suffer more serious breaks and injuries because they lack adequate protection from a vehicle and face exposure to the road and any obstacles or other vehicles on it.
- Slips and falls. While not all slips and falls cause serious damage, some can lead to severe injuries. The most common complication from a slip and fall involves a serious head or neck injury.
These are the most common causes of catastrophic injuries. Other causes include medical malpractice situations or sports injuries. Regardless of how you or your loved one suffered the catastrophic injury, you will likely experience a lot of pain and difficulty throughout your recovery process and need help getting back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
Q: How Do I Prove Who Caused My Catastrophic Injury?
A: While some catastrophic injury cases stem from unavoidable accidents, most involve preventable accidents. Most victims could not stop their accidents. If you suffered injuries in a car accident or a construction accident, someone else likely caused a dangerous circumstance that you couldn’t avoid. Many slip and fall accidents result from careless property management practices on the part of managers and/or owners.
If you suffered injuries in a catastrophic accident that someone else caused, you likely don’t want to have to pay for expenses associated with your injuries. Seek justice and find the support you need to fully recover from the injuries and permanent damages that you face. by calling us now.
It can prove complicated to establish fault in your accident claim. With help from our catastrophic injury lawyers, you can find the answers you need to prove who bears liability for your accident.
In a typical injury case, you must prove four elements of negligence to successfully recover compensation under the law:
- Prove that the responsible party owed you a duty of care. For example, any driver of a vehicle owes other drivers and passengers a duty of care to act as a reasonable person would. Property managers must maintain their properties to prevent slips and falls on the premises. These duties involve a certain level of reasonable expectation.
- Prove that the at-fault party breached the duty. You must show that the responsible party violated the duty and acted in an unsafe manner that put you and others in danger of sustaining an injury.
- Prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused you to suffer an injury. You must show that the at-fault party’s careless actions ultimately led to your accident, which wouldn’t have occurred but for the at-fault party’s actions.
- Prove that the accident caused you serious injury. You must also prove that the accident caused your catastrophic injury and that you wouldn’t have suffered it in any other circumstances.
Under the law, anyone who bears partial responsibility for the accident can recover some level of compensation. However, the amount that each party can recover will depend on that party’s percentage of fault.
After your accident, do everything you can to gather and maintain evidence. Keep medical bills and documents, records of lost income, bills for property repair (if applicable), and any other relevant information. You will also want to get statements from any witnesses to the accident, so they can testify to your innocence.
Q: What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
A: Courts award damages in catastrophic injury cases to provide victims with some measure of compensation for their suffering. Therefore, the damages will relate directly to how much you suffered and how big of a part you played in causing the accident. In many catastrophic injury cases, you can recover a pretty significant amount in damages because your suffering will cost you a lot in time, money, and life-fulfillment.
The typical damages you can recover in a catastrophic injury case include:
- Medical expenses covering the emergency room visit and subsequent surgeries, ongoing treatment or therapy, and medication costs.
- Property damage to the car or other property (e.g. cell phones or laptops that were in the car, etc.). You may also qualify to recover compensation for purchasing new property, such as cars with handicap capabilities, that become necessary after your accident.
- Pain and suffering.
- Lost wages, including present lost wages from taking time off work to recover and future lost wages if your injury renders you unable to fully return to your past position and/or earning capacity.
- Loss of services or consortium, awarded to those who lose the injured persons’ support, society, and companionship due to the catastrophic injury.
- Emotional trauma or distress.
- Loss of support or parental guidance if the injury causes death and leaves the children of the victim without such important benefits.
- Loss of life enjoyment.
Catastrophic injury lawyers will take into account each of these broad categories to help you determine how much you have lost and what you should expect to recover. Your lawyer will then set a price range and specific number that he or she believes you can file a successful claim.
Q: What Are Symptoms of Catastrophic Injuries?
A: Catastrophic injuries come in many shapes and sizes, all with different symptoms. You may have very obvious injuries, such as paralysis or eye damage, but you may also suffer internal injuries that prove more difficult to see until you seek medical treatment.
Some common symptoms you may experience with the most typical catastrophic injuries include:
- Headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, speech problems, and loss of balance may result from brain injuries.
- Pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, bowel problems, and paralysis with spinal or neck fractures.
- Nausea, pain, vision changes, shortness of breath, chest or shoulder pain, and confusion in the case of internal bleeding.
You may experience many other symptoms in a catastrophic injury accident. Some catastrophic injuries lead to more severe injuries, such as amputations. In most cases, catastrophic injuries become noticeable immediately, in which case you should seek medical care as soon as possible.
Q: How Much Is My Catastrophic Injury Worth?
A: The value of your catastrophic injury case may vary considerably. The amount you can recover depends on the circumstances of the accident that caused your injury and the severity of suffering you and your loved ones experience following the accident.
Every accident involves different facts and circumstances. A typical catastrophic injury case may end up valued at hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The cost of medical treatment, new equipment, pain and suffering, and loss of life enjoyment usually add up to a lot when considering a catastrophic injury.
In one case where our client needed an amputation after a serious boating accident, we successfully recovered $1,650,000 in compensation. To ensure your best chances of determining an accurate cost of your catastrophic injury, you should seek out a catastrophic injury lawyer to guide you through the process. Your lawyers can help you gather the evidence you need and calculate the compensation you will need to cover the full cost of your injuries, including future costs.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer After My Catastrophic Injury?
A: Yes, you should hire a lawyer after your catastrophic injury. While you may not immediately know the severity of your injury, you can likely expect that it will change your life forever. If your life changes dramatically after an accident that someone else caused, you should seek justice for yourself and your loved ones.
A catastrophic injury attorney knows how to gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies to get you a good settlement. Your attorney can also help you find support for your medical treatment, transportation needs, and more.
After a serious accident, you need time to recover and grieve. You don’t want to have to deal with the stress of trying to negotiate a favorable settlement all on your own. That’s where an attorney can make a huge difference.
If you suffer a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by someone else, you should seek help from a catastrophic injury lawyer as soon as you can. You should schedule a free consultation, during which you can discuss the details of your accident and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation. That way, you can get back to living your life and traveling the long road to recovery as soon as possible.
Speak With the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Today
A catastrophic injury can change your life forever. You may face ongoing medical care, and you no longer can do things you used to. To help you recover compensation for your physical injuries and for the financial hardship you may face, speak with the Tampa catastrophic injury lawyers at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today.
With over 25 years of experience, we have the dedication, knowledge, and resources to collect maximum compensation for you. Contact us today online or at (813) 278-1032 for your free consultation and to learn more about how we can support you during this tough time.
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