Catastrophic Injuries and Car Accidents
Car accidents are traumatic events that can leave the participants emotionally shaken and physically battered from the impact. Even if the physical effects do not necessitate immediate medical treatment, the stress associated with these events is often felt on a physical level for days after the accident. Unfortunately, not all car accidents are benign, and some result in catastrophic injuries that forever change the lives of the victims. At best, these individuals need long-term and expensive medical treatment, and at worst, lives are lost. Money is likely the last thing on a family’s mind as they adjust to the aftermath of these devastating accidents, but once the shock has worn off, and the ramifications of the losses sink in, most come to realize that compensation is necessary and due from the individual who caused the accident. A family in Ocala was recently awarded the largest verdict in the city’s history for injuries sustained in a car accident – $52 million. A mother and her four children suffered shattering and permanent injuries, including a toddler that was left a paraplegic, when their car was hit from behind by a driver traveling at 70 mph. A discussion of the types of injuries that occur in accidents of this type, and damages an injured party may be able to collect from the at-fault driver will follow below.
Serious and Life-Altering Injuries
While many car accidents involve some type of injury, only an unfortunate few are so serious the victims will never recover physically or emotionally. These serious crashes are usually the result of collisions at a high rate of speed, or accidents that involve cars and large trucks. Some of injuries typically sustained in these accidents include:
- severe burns;
- brain damage;
- spinal cord injury; and
- loss of hearing or eyesight.
Some of the most serious and systemic injuries a car accident can cause are spinal cord injuries and brain trauma. Spinal cord injuries, in either the back or neck, are particularly common because of the fairly delicate nature of this part of the body. Spinal cord trauma can lead to issues such as loss of motor skills, cognitive function and impaired breathing. Brain trauma occurs when there is a blow to head or an injury that penetrates the skull. Car accidents are the second most likely source of a brain injury, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Severe cases can leave the victim in a permanent vegetative state, and even less severe injuries can permanently alter and debilitate the person’s mental functions rendering him/her unable to work, parent or participate in a marriage.
Injuries that so alter and impair an individual’s ability to live a normal and healthy life are usually given special treatment in negligence lawsuits. In these cases, victims are often allowed to ask for greater damages than are typically permitted in standard car accident injury lawsuits. In addition to normal medical expenses and lost wages, the negligent party may also be obligated to pay the following:
- special medical equipment;
- ongoing nursing or medical care;
- home care; and
- loss of companionship, which are awarded to the victim’s spouse to account for the impact these injuries have on the marriage.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
While no amount of money will ever make up for the losses serious injuries can bring, getting the money you need for life-long medical care and general financial support can restore some of your dignity. The Miami law firm of Pita Weber & Del Prado has years of experience handling car accident injury cases, and can help you hold the other driver responsible. Contact us for a free consultation.