A catastrophic injury can leave you with severe health consequences and rob you of the ability to lead a normal life. Recovering from a catastrophic injury often requires considerable medical care and significant financial resources.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury caused by someone else’s negligence in British Columbia, you may have the right to pursue money for your losses. Securing compensation in a catastrophic injury claim can mean the difference between struggling to afford necessary medical care and having the financial resources for whatever the future holds. With so much at stake, many victims turn to personal injury lawyers to improve their chances of success.
The Vancouver catastrophic injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP will fight for your rights if you’ve been hurt. Our legal team has decades of combined experience litigating all types of injury claims in B.C. We’re prepared to fight aggressively for the best possible results in your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation with a compassionate catastrophic injury lawyer.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are severe injuries with long-term, life-changing consequences. These injuries often result in severe cognitive or physical impairments that prevent victims from performing everyday tasks independently. Many people who suffer from catastrophic injuries require surgical treatment, in-home care, and extensive rehabilitation.
Catastrophic injuries are frequently caused by:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Slip and falls
- Violent incidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Animal attacks
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A traumatic brain injury is any injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBIs are caused by violent bumps, blows, jolts, or penetrating injuries to the head, skull, or brain. A TBI can lead to temporary or permanent impairment of psychological, physical, and social functioning.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord is a delicate and critical component of the nervous system. When a person’s spinal cord or the surrounding structures in their vertebral canal are damaged, they may suffer losses of sensation or motor function. Only a small percentage of individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries fully regain their previous ability to function.
- Partial or total paralysis: Serious accidents sometimes leave victims partially or completely paralyzed. Paralysis is the inability to move or control certain body parts and can affect individual limbs, one half of the body, or even the entire body. Paralysis can lead to issues with blood circulation, breathing, organ function, incontinence, communication, and sexual response.
- Orthopedic injuries: Catastrophic orthopedic injuries involve severe damage to the musculoskeletal system, which consists of your bones, muscles, and other connective tissues. Orthopedic trauma can require multiple corrective surgeries to repair shattered bones or crushing injuries.
- Burns, scarring, or disfigurement: Severe burns, extensive scarring, and physical disfigurement are not just cosmetic concerns. These injuries can result in lifelong pain, physical limitations, and psychological suffering. Victims with burns, scarring, or disfigurement often require surgeries, skin grafts, physical therapy, and mental health counseling.
- Amputation: Some injuries require the removal of a limb or extremity, known as amputation. Recovery from amputation often involves medication, physical therapy, and counseling. Accident victims with amputated limbs or digits may be permanently unable to return to their previous careers or regain their former quality of life.
- Organ damage: Trauma to vital organs such as the heart, lungs, intestines, or eyes can lead to internal rupture or bleeding. Organ damage typically requires surgical intervention to repair or remove injured organs. In especially tragic cases, victims may not be aware that they have suffered an internal injury and neglect to seek appropriate medical treatment until it’s too late.
- Psychological trauma: Although emotional distress is an invisible kind of trauma, it can be just as destructive and life-altering as any physical injury. Accident survivors sometimes suffer psychological trauma that leads to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias. These mental health issues can limit victims’ ability to function, pursue gainful employment, and enjoy their usual quality of life.
Can I Get Compensation for My Catastrophic Injury in BC?
If your catastrophic injury resulted from a British Columbia car accident, you might be eligible for benefits from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). You could also be entitled to compensation from a personal injury lawsuit.
The money you recover from a catastrophic injury lawsuit could include compensation for:
- Medical costs: This may include reimbursement for expenses like emergency medical treatments, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, and mental health counseling. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for all of your medical bills.
- Rehabilitation assistance: Catastrophic injuries require extensive rehabilitation. You may be entitled to rehabilitation assistance from an ICBC claim or through your injury claim. These benefits pay for expenses like in-home care and vehicle or home accessibility modifications.
- Lost wages: A successful catastrophic injury lawsuit could enable you to recover your lost wages as well as projected losses to your future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering is intended to make up for the subjective costs of physical agony and personal limitations caused by catastrophic injuries.
- Lost enjoyment of life: Compensation for losses in your lost overall quality or enjoyment of life can be awarded in catastrophic injury lawsuits.
Difference Between Catastrophic Injury Cases and Other Personal Injury Cases
Three main factors make catastrophic injury cases different from other personal injury cases:
- More costly recoveries: When victims sustain catastrophic injuries, they often incur astronomical financial costs as they recover. This includes direct expenses such as medical bills and indirect losses such as reduced income and losses in quality of life. These costs can reach into the millions over the course of a lifetime.
- Long-term medical needs: Catastrophic injuries typically take much longer to heal, which means victims often require long-term medical care. In some cases, they may need extensive treatment for the rest of their lives. Future medical needs make injury claims more complicated because it can be challenging to estimate their full cost.
What to Do After a Catastrophic Injury in British Columbia
After a catastrophic injury in British Columbia, your actions can have a substantial impact on your ability to recover the compensation you need. Some important steps you can take to protect your legal rights include:
- Follow doctor’s orders: Make sure to attend all medical appointments and follow your physician’s prescribed treatment plans, especially when it comes to rehabilitation from physiotherapists and other specialists.
- Record your injury-related losses: It will be easier to demonstrate the financial impacts of a catastrophic injury if you keep track of injury-related losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer will help you calculate projected losses that are anticipated in the future.
- Limiting your statements: Don’t provide detailed statements to insurance companies until you’ve spoken to a catastrophic injury lawyer. Since these claims have a higher dollar value, insurance representatives will scrutinize your claim heavily. Any statement you make could be used against you.
- Don’t discuss the case on social media: You can easily jeopardize your claim with comments and photos posted on social media, even if you think they’re harmless. It’s best to avoid social media activity altogether while your claim is pending.
- Contact a catastrophic injury lawyer: Life in the aftermath of a catastrophic accident is chaotic. Contacting a lawyer promptly can take the legal pressure off and give you the peace of mind that someone is pursuing justice for you while you heal.
Contact a B.C. Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
There’s a lot on the line after a catastrophic injury. You need the resources and skills of an experienced lawyer on your side as you seek maximum compensation for your losses.
The Vancouver catastrophic injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP can help you hold negligent parties accountable and pursue the money you need. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions, and initial consultations are always free. Contact us now to get started.