What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in California?

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Do I Need a Lawyer to Receive a California Catastrophic Injury Claim Settlement?

Do I Need a Lawyer to Receive a California Catastrophic Injury Claim Settlement?

Mar 4, 2022

The phrase ‘catastrophic injury‘ is often used as part of legal terminology to refer to an injury that is so severe that it actually permanently affects an individual’s daily life. There are a number of different types of catastrophic injuries, and the scenarios leading to such severe cases can vary considerably on an individual basis.

What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in California?

Below we will review everything you need to know about catastrophic injury law, including whether or not you should file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation, what sorts of damages may be awarded, and how to arrange for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other type of catastrophic injury lawyer.

What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in California?

A catastrophic injury is defined under 42 U.S. Code § 3796b as one that “permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work.” A catastrophic injury can have a number of detrimental effects to one’s daily life. Furthermore, catastrophic injuries often impact your overall quality of life.

Some injuries that are commonly considered catastrophic include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Concussion (MTBI)
  • Severe head/skull fractures or injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Loss of limb or amputation
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of bodily function
  • Vision damage
  • Hearing damage
  • Third-degree burns
  • Temporary disability
  • Permanent disability
  • Injuries requiring long-term medical care (including intensive care in hospitals)
  • Accidents leading to fatalities

U.S. Catastrophic Injury Statistics

U.S. Catastrophic Injury Statistics

The following U.S. catastrophic injury statistics have been confirmed through data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Number of annual physician office visits for unintentional injuries: 24.8 million
  • Number of annual emergency department visits for unintentional injuries: 97.9 million

In terms of catastrophic injuries resulting in death, the CDC confirms the following statistics:

All unintentional injury deaths

  • Number of overall deaths: 200,955
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 61.0
  • Cause of death rank for the United States: 4

Car Accident/motor vehicle traffic deaths

  • Number of overall deaths: 40,698
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 12.4

Unintentional poisoning deaths

  • Number of overall deaths: 87,404
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 26.5

What are the Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries can be caused by any number of factors. Some of the more common accident-types that lead to catastrophic injury lawsuits include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck or big rig accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Heavy machinery accidents
  • Product defect accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Uber/Lyft accidents
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Slip or trip and fall accidents
  • Sports injuries (skiing, football, etc.)
  • Blunt force trauma (violent acts/crimes)

Is a Catastrophic Injury Always Life-Threatening?

Catastrophic injuries are often life-threatening, but the injury can also simply have a significant negative impact on overall quality of life, including the ability to perform general functions or activities.

The United States Department of Labor defines catastrophic injuries as:

  • Those that are life-threatening
  • Those causing extensive loss of function (physical or cognitive)
  • Those requiring a long-term recovery period

What are the Long-Term Effects of Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries sustained due to car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, and more can lead to countless long-term adverse effects.

Some of the more common long-term catastrophic injury effects include:

  • Memory loss
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased rick of seizure
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Paralysis
  • Reduced motor function
  • Loss of limb/amputation
  • Loss of/diminished sight
  • Loss of/diminished hearing

Who is Liable in California for Catastrophic Injury Claims?

Catastrophic injury lawsuits are often filed against various negligent parties. Some of the more common examples of catastrophic injury lawsuit defendants include:

  • Employers
  • At-fault/negligent/reckless drivers
  • Animal owners
  • Property owners
  • Product manufacturers

How Can I Get Legal Help After a Catastrophic Injury?

If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury in a car accident or other type of incident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to a significant financial damages award for various losses.

Reaching out to a member of the Dordulian Law Group (DLG) catastrophic injury team for a free consultation will ensure you have a full understanding of the legal process. During your free California catastrophic injury consultation, a DLG lawyer will:

  • Review the facts of your case and determine whether negligence was involved
  • Discuss all available legal options for your catastrophic injury claim
  • Provide an estimate for how long your catastrophic injury lawsuit might take to settle
  • Provide an estimate for how much your catastrophic injury claim/lawsuit may be worth

What Damages/Financial Compensation Can be Awarded for a Catastrophic Injury?

The most common examples of catastrophic injury damages in civil lawsuits are broken down below according to type.

Common California Catastrophic Injury Economic Damages:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Emergency department treatment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Earning Capacity

Common California Catastrophic Injury Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Scarring or other serious injury
  • Compensation for loss of a limb or disfigurement

Hiring a DLG catastrophic injury lawyer can help ensure your civil claim is maximized, and that you recover all applicable damages after an incident due to negligence. Our Catastrophic Injury/TBI Division is led by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience helping injured victims secure the maximum financial compensation they deserve.

To learn more about how important it can be to have an experienced DLG California catastrophic injury lawyer handling your case, please visit our recent blog on how pain and suffering damages are calculated in personal injury civil claims.

Why Should I Hire a California Catastrophic Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a catastrophic injury attorney to fight for the maximum financial compensation you deserve can help ensure your accident does not leave you with mounting medical bills or other financial burdens.

But proving liability in a California catastrophic injury case requires skill and experience in order to secure the maximum financial compensation you truly deserve. Fighting to recover intangible and hard to quantify damages such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma can be challenging, and that’s where DLG’s experienced catastrophic injury lawyers can help.

We have the proven results you need for peace of mind throughout every step of the catastrophic injury claims process. We won’t settle for anything less than a maximum financial damages payout for your catastrophic injury lawsuit – whether the result of a car, motorcycle, truck, Uber/Lyft, bicycle, or other type of incident.

Hiring a DLG catastrophic injury lawyer to handle your claim can be in your overall best interest for a number of reasons. In fact, personal injury victims who hire private attorneys often secure greater financial compensation for their claims.

For example, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) recently conducted a study which confirmed the following personal injury claim statistics:

  • Settlements for injured claimants were 40% higher when they had secured private legal representation.
  • The average insurance payout was 3.5 times higher for injured victims who hired private attorneys (when compared to those representing themselves).
  • 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for bodily injuries is received by victims who have secured representation from a private personal injury attorney.

With DLG, your catastrophic injury consultation is always free, confidential, and without any obligation. We’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with all available legal options to ensure your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is pursued. We serve catastrophic injury clients throughout California as well as the United States.

Some of the local areas DLG serves include:

  • Los Angeles
  • Long Beach
  • Glendale
  • Torrance
  • North Hollywood
  • Burbank
  • Pasadena
  • San Diego
  • Bakersfield
  • Sacramento
  • Fresno
  • Riverside
  • San Francisco
  • Granada Hills
  • Simi Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • Antelope Valley

Hire the Best Los Angeles, California, Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Today

DLG’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, has more than 25 years of experience and over 100 jury trial victories. Dordulian and the DLG team have successfully litigated major catastrophic injury cases, and we will fight hard to obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

It’s important to file your catastrophic injury claim as soon as possible to preserve any evidence you may need to prove your case. We will utilize medical experts and other investigative professionals like our in-house Chief Investigator with 30 years of experience in the LAPD, Detective Moses Castillo. Our entire team will work tirelessly to strengthen your catastrophic injury claim and pursue a successful maximum financial settlement or verdict.

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

DLG’s Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyers have secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for clients while maintaining a 98% success record. With our No Win/No Fee Guarantee, there is never any upfront cost for our expert catastrophic injury legal representation, and you never pay a dime until we successfully secure a maximum financial damages award for your claim.

Contact a DLG Los Angeles, California, catastrophic injury lawyer today at 818-322-4056 to arrange for a free consultation.

Don’t miss the deadline for filing your catastrophic injury lawsuit. Catastrophic injury victims who fail to file claims within the standard two-year statute of limitations typically waive their right to seek critical financial compensation for damages.


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