Winchester Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Often, when people suffer a catastrophic injury, they endure long stays in the hospital and multiple medical procedures, and they may require months of rehabilitative therapy. Catastrophic injuries can also cause long-term or permanent disability, including paralysis and a psychological condition known as post-traumatic stress syndrome.
For injury victims and their families, the stress that accompanies a catastrophic injury is compounded by the financial strain of medical bills. Even with health insurance, the cost of treating a catastrophic injury can be significantly more than what benefits will cover.
If you, or someone in your immediate family, suffered a catastrophic injury due to another person’s reckless, careless, or negligent behavior, you might be entitled to compensation that can help you cover your medical costs and lost wages. John R. Colvin has 20 years of experience helping families in the Tennessee Valley with their personal injury cases. Don’t wait to ask for help.
Call our office today to request a free consultation: 1-931-962-1044.
Catastrophic Injuries of the Brain
There are many types of catastrophic injuries, and those that affect the brain are among the most severe.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex injury that may cause memory loss, cognitive impairment, psychological problems, sensory impairment, communication difficulties, and other lingering effects. There are several types of TBI, but the ones that are most commonly caused by accidents are:
- Concussion – Concussion is an injury that has been in the news more often lately, as doctors and athletes have begun to recognize the potential long-term consequences of concussion. In its mildest form, concussion may cause nothing but dizziness, confusion, and a headache. But in young athletes, a potentially deadly complication is second impact syndrome, which is when the brain suffers a second concussion before recovering from the first. This type of injury often leads to rapid swelling of the brain, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.
- Hematoma – Hematoma is bleeding on the brain, usually from a direct blow to the skull, that doctors may be able to relieve surgically. In some patients, hematoma may heal without surgical intervention.
- Diffuse axonal injury – This type of brain injury is usually caused by a sudden acceleration and deceleration of the skull, the same movement that causes whiplash in car accidents. This injury causes widespread nerve damage throughout the brain, and patient prognosis depends primarily on where the nerve damage occurred. Some patients may recover, while others may fall into a coma, which is a prolonged state of unconsciousness. This injury may also be fatal.
- Coup-Contrecoup Injury – When a blow to the skull is forceful enough that it causes the other side of the brain to hit the inside of the skull, that’s known as coup-contrecoup injury.
Falls are the leading cause of TBI, accounting for about 40 percent of all such injuries. Traffic accidents cause about 14 percent of TBI cases.
A person recovering from a serious TBI will likely need assistance at home, perhaps at all hours of the day. Family members who step into the role of caregivers often have to either stop working or reduce the hours they work outside the home, which may lead to further financial strain.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that delivers signals from the brain to all parts of the body, so any injury to the spinal cord can seriously disrupt bodily functions.
Spinal cord injuries that occur in the neck are the most severe and can cause complete paralysis (quadriplegia), as well interference with lung function, digestion, and other vital organs.
Injuries that occur lower in the spine may result in total or partial paralysis of the legs (paraplegia) and interfere with bowel and bladder function. People with these injuries may be able to regain some or all motor function and sensation, with physical therapy.
Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, and patients average 11 days in the hospital and 35 days in rehabilitative care. People with spinal cord injuries often require subsequent stays in the hospital for illnesses and infections, and lifetime medical costs can be upwards of $1 million.
Psychological Effects of Catastrophic Injuries
Being in a car crash or some other dramatic and frightening accident may result in post-traumatic stress syndrome, which is a persistent state of fear and anxiety, long after the traumatic event. PTSD often becomes apparent when family and friends notice changes in a person’s behavior that include:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Irritability, or angry outbursts
- Persistent nightmares, or development of sleep disorders.
Not all people who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD, but many people recovering from a catastrophic injury may be prone to developing depression.
An Advocate for Injury Victims
Suffering a catastrophic injury can be a devastating experience, not only for the injury victim, but for that person’s entire family. John R. Colvin works tirelessly to get his clients the best possible outcome, so if you need help with your personal injury case, contact our office today, online or at 1-931-962-1044, to find out what we can do for you.