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Overview of Catastrophic Injuries in Maryland Personal Injury Cases

Posted on: October 19, 2018

While any type of injury can be painful, certain types of bodily harm lead to more intense physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the victim. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, of which the University of Maryland is a research partner, catastrophic injuries are defined as those that cause:

  • Permanent severe functional disability;
  • Serious head, neck, or spinal cord trauma not accompanied by permanent disability; or,
  • Death, after a short period of suffering.

Whether due to a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice or other factors, the related medical complications are extensive. Many victims will experience permanent disability and must rely on others for their care. With the loss of independence comes depression, anger, anxiety, guilt, and other issues. Shortened life expectancy is common, and some victims may never fully recover.

Classifying Catastrophic Injuries

When an injury has a serious impact on at least one of the human body’s major systems, or is incapacitating, it may be considered catastrophic. Examples include:

  • Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): The consequences and long-term effects of these injuries depend upon which part of the brain suffers trauma. The lobes of the brain that enable problem solving abilities, motor skills, vision, memory, and sensation may be damaged.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: The brain controls the body, but the spinal cord delivers the messages that drive functionality. Interruptions in messaging means the body’s systems do not receive essential information they need. A violent blow can damage vertebrae, ligaments, and other delicate tissues of the spinal cord. Victims often suffer temporary or permanent paralysis and may never walk again.
  • Amputations: The loss of an arm, leg, or finger is considered catastrophic because it impacts your quality of life. You may not be able to enjoy favorite activities or earn an income. Tasks that require dexterity may become difficult or impossible, so caretakers must take on these responsibilities.
  • Damage to Internal Organs: In a particularly violent impact or accident, there may be trauma to the heart, lungs, stomach, and other internal organs. Any bleeding is life-threatening.
  • Loss of Sight or Vision: Sight and hearing are essential senses, and they are your connection to the world around you. Losing either of these vital functions limits how you can take in valuable information.

How Serious Injuries Happen

Catastrophic injuries can be caused by any type of accident that involves negligence. However, serious bodily harm may also result from intentional conduct. Criminal acts may also have devastating consequences, including attacks, aggravated assault, attempted murder, shootings, and other offenses. In this type of situation, criminal charges may lead to imprisonment for the offender. They do not compensate victims for the extensive losses the endure.

Whether caused by negligence or intentional misconduct, you may be able to recover compensation for catastrophic injuries caused by:

  • Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents: Motor vehicle crashes top the list when it comes to serious physical injuries. For many residents that must travel to and from work, shopping, errands, and other activities, the risk of being involved in a traffic collision is higher than skydiving.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: Even when you are not in a motor vehicle, you face threats from others on the road. Though you may use sidewalks, bike paths, and exercise caution at intersections, other motorists may not. Because you are more vulnerable and unprotected when walking or riding, pedestrian and bicycle accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries.
  • Slip and Fall Incidents: Maryland property owners have a duty to keep the premises safe from hazards that create a risk of harm to guests and visitors. When they do not make proper repairs or inspections, dangerous conditions can cause accidents. Unsecured railings, broken staircases, and failing balconies often result in serious accidents.
  • Medical Malpractice: You trust your physician with your life, but healthcare providers can make mistakes. Some of the most horrific cases of catastrophic injuries are the result of medical malpractice. Operating on the wrong patient, performing surgery on the wrong body part, and leaving a medical device inside a patient are the most disturbing. However, failing to diagnose cancer or delaying a diagnosis can also lead to catastrophic injuries.

Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries

The severity and nature of injuries are the driving force behind damages in a personal injury case, which are intended to compensate you for the losses that you endure. With catastrophic injuries, the losses are much more considerable. Victims are faced with:

  • Astronomical bills for medical treatment, including surgery, physical therapy, pain medication, and ongoing care;
  • Expenses for counseling, which many victims of catastrophic injuries require to cope with their lives;
  • The costs of medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, hospital bed, lifts, scooters, and other gear;
  • Expenses related to renovating a home to accommodate specialized medical equipment; and,
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity, since catastrophic injuries may lead to temporary or permanent disability.

Plus, many victims of serious injuries struggle with losses that can not be determined by dollar value. These non-economic damages may include:

  • Emotional anguish;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Losses based upon relationships with a spouse, children, parents, and other family members; and,
  • Many others.

You may have substantive rights to seek compensation for your losses if you are the victim of catastrophic injuries due to someone else’s negligence. The first step is filing a claim with an insurance company, which will typically be reluctant to pay for your damages. If you can not reach an appropriate settlement with an insurer, you may need to file a lawsuit in court against the responsible party. The stakes are high in catastrophic injury cases, especially considering the high amount of compensation involved.

If You Need Legal Help, Consult with one of our Baltimore County, MD Catastrophic Injury Lawyers for Free

If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries due to another person’s misconduct, you need knowledgeable, experienced legal representation. Please contact our Baltimore offices to schedule a no-cost consultation. We can review your situation and tell you more about what legal remedies may be available to you.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Fadie Mohammad
Fadie Mohammad
14:54 08 Jan 19
Worked with Sarah Treuhaft (Paralegal) when retained Bob Katz's office. Sarah was absolutely amazing to work with, she was very professional and prompt with everything she did. She would respond to any inquiries I had immediately and never hesitated to hop on the phone to clarify or assist with anything, regardless of how early or late it was. I definitely highly recommend her and this law office.
Kelly Kess Malone
Kelly Kess Malone
15:50 20 Nov 18
Very helpful paralegals and attorney assistants. Also informative on various types of cases. Reasonably priced for the work that they provide.
Brittany Peterson
Brittany Peterson
08:19 17 Nov 18
Had a very awesome experience fast settlements... Communication was a A+ ...Strongly recommend Mr.Katz. !!! Ms. Robin made me felt like family was always there when i needed her and when i had a question.
Yarnell Goodwin
Yarnell Goodwin
23:38 15 Nov 18
Got a little more settlement money than expected. Was provided great service and prompt responses. I greatly appreciate it!
Ashley Poole
Ashley Poole
01:05 08 Nov 18
Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
Tania Jefferson
17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
03:00 06 Nov 18
I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
16:44 23 Oct 18
It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
Soun Gil
Soun Gil
21:35 17 Oct 18
Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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