Have You Suffered a Catastrophic Injury?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

You've been in an accident and the injuries are severe. You're frightened that the injury is going to change your life. Have you suffered a catastrophic injury? It definitely seems catastrophic from your point of view, but will a judge see it that way. There are several important factors in determining if your injuries are catastrophic. Ask yourself these questions and you'll know how to classify your injuries.

To what extent am I debilitated?

If you are unable to perform many of the normal daily functions that were part of your life before the accident, and it appears that this will be the case for an extended period of time, then you are debilitated. Another factor is determining if you are debilitated is the need for long-term care. If your doctor has requested that you need a nurse to come to you home to care for you for the foreseeable future, then you have suffered a catastrophic injury.

Does my injury prevent me from going to work?

If your injuries cause you to lose your livelihood, or ability to make money through employment, then there is a good chance that your injuries are catastrophic. The key to this argument is that you should be able to continue to work in the same industry you were in at the time of the accident. If you cannot make a similar wage because of the accident, then your injuries are probably catastrophic

Is my type of injury usually considered catastrophic?

Certain types of injuries have a better chance of being classified as catastrophic than other types of injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, injuries that result in paralysis, and injuries that cause disfigurement or the loss of a limb are all usually considered catastrophic.

If you answered yes to the three questions listed above, then you may have the grounds for a catastrophic injury lawsuit. The damages are usually much higher in these types of cases, but the arguments are also much harder to make. 

Contact our office today for a free consultation with an attorney. 

Car Accidents May Cause Serious Injuries Including Lumbar Radiculopathies

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
It’s no secret that motor vehicle accidents can cause serious back injuries to occur. What some people may not realize is it only takes one serious injury to cause lumbar radiculopathy and it’s a debilitating health problem that can stick around for a lifetime. Normally precipitated by an injured disc, it causes the afflicted to experience excruciating pain, numbness, tingling and overall weakness. There are non-invasive ways to treat the condition but they don’t always work. Consequently, undergoing back surgery or living with unending pain may end up being the only two solutions left on to the table.

When a serious injury occurs in a person’s lumbar region, signs and symptoms of radiculopathy may not show up immediately. As a result, motor vehicle accident victims that settle insurance claims quickly often have to fight for adequate compensation. That said, people involved in car accidents that led to serious back injuries should insist on a full medical work up of the spine. Full work ups often include contrast myelography and electrodiagnosis. They will often reveal if disc injury and related nerve damage are present.

Once diagnosed, motor vehicle accident victims with lumbar radiculopathy are frequently given steroid injections and made to wear support devices that restrict their movements. They may also be ordered to spend months in physical therapy and take expensive pain medications. If those conservative treatments aren’t effective, the person’s attending physician may recommend one or more surgeries. Depending on the situation, the list of surgeries could include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Extreme Lateral or Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusions
  • Pedicle Screws or Cage Implantation
  • Lumbar Microdisectomy or Laminotomy

Of course recovering from lumbar radiculopathy related surgeries will take time and money too. There’s also the chance that the surgeries may not fully restore the accident victim’s spinal column, leading to a life of disability. For example, he or she may no longer be able to walk or drive unassisted.

Keeping all of that in mind, people involved in motor vehicle accidents that end with a lumbar radiculopathy diagnosis should consult with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney may be able to present the worst case scenarios to the court and get seriously injured people the compensation they need to fully recover or live with their newfound debility. To learn more about how the process works, please contact us.

What if Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Occurs During Vacation?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
No one plans for their summer vacation or holiday event to end with a catastrophic injury or death but that’s precisely what happens to countless Americans every year. Just think about how many people are killed or injured during traffic accidents on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day combined. That’s not counting other things that may go wrong while traveling within the United States or abroad.

Besides traffic accidents, the list of other situations that may give rise to catastrophic injuries and death includes, but doesn’t end with:

  • Sports Participation or Observation Accidents (e.g. Stadium Collapse)
  • Watercraft Related Accidents (e.g. Boat Crashes)
  • Aviation Disasters (e.g. Plane Crashes or Explosions)
  • Accidental Drowning (e.g. Pool, Lake or Cruise Ship)
  • Hijackings and Assaults on Foreign or Domestic Soil
  • Special Event Disasters (e.g. Crushed by Crowds or Burnt by Fireworks)
  • Wild Animal Encounters (e.g. Zoo Animal Mauling)
  • Amusement Ride Failure (e.g. Rollercoaster Fall)
  • Infectious Diseases or Medical Disasters (e.g. Measles at Disney)

Consequently, what starts out as a happy, inexpensive day at the beach or other vacation destination could end tragically. Furthermore, the catastrophic injury or death could cause long-range problems for many of the people connected to the heart-breaking situation. For example, let’s assume that a family signs up for a cruise.

While on board, they become stricken with a ship borne illness that causes dehydration, dizziness, loss of muscle control and delirium. The symptoms cause one of the children to become so dehydrated and confused that a fall from the upper balcony occurs. Upon impact with the deck below, the child experiences catastrophic injuries and later dies. As a result, the family experiences mental anguish and must pay for their child’s funeral.

In such instances, an attorney may be able to hold the cruise line accountable for the disaster and help the family pursue restitution. To learn more about what to do in the event that a catastrophic injury or wrongful death occurs during a summer vacation, please contact us today.


Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers


David Lederer and John Nojima used to defend the insurance companies. Now they are on your side.

At Lederer & Nojima LLP, in Los Angeles, California, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the highest quality legal services and advice. We recognize that our success is based upon our client's success — so we are absolutely committed to obtaining the results our clients want and need.

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