Understanding the Potential for Catastrophic Injuries In Accidents
Any accident can be considered serious, especially in the minds of those who have been affected. However, in the eyes of the law, there are some that are more serious than others and can result in the individuals involved suffering significant, life-changing catastrophic injuries.
These types of injuries are the most damaging and have the most potential to cause significant harm over the long-term for individuals. And one of the biggest causes when it comes to catastrophic injuries is various forms of negligence-related motor vehicle accidents and other incidents.
Catastrophic injuries can result from:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Birth injuries
- Slip and falls
- Dangerous prescription drugs
Catastrophic injuries can even be caused by police misconduct. Recognizing what these injuries are, how they can occur in various types of accidents, and what those injured can do following the accident is very important to pursuing the legal action necessary against the negligent party.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are far too common, putting those involved at serious risk of harm. This is because the main types of catastrophic injuries—traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries—are common when you consider high speeds, large vehicles, and negligence.
Motor vehicle accidents can range from cars, large commercial trucks, motorcycles, and more. They may involve two vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians, and in some cases one side can sustain significantly more harm than the other when they don’t have the same protections.
For instance, if a large commercial truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the odds of the passenger vehicle sustaining more damage is highly likely. The individuals in the smaller vehicle may sustain catastrophic injuries due to the size of the commercial truck, let alone the potential for speed.
Similarly, in an accident where a vehicle strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist, it could mean long-term damage for the individual with no frame for protection. The pedestrian or bicyclist is vulnerable to the elements and a catastrophic injury can be heightened.
When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, these occur whenever someone sustains trauma to the head—such as a motorcyclist being ejected from their motorcycle and landing head first on the ground. Similarly, in a car accident, the jolt can cause the brain to rattle in the skull, leading to significant trauma.
Spinal cord injuries can occur easily in situations involving whiplash caused by a severe rear-end collision. When a spinal cord injury occurs, individuals may suffer damage to their nerves or discs, or in the worst-case scenario, suffer from paralysis.
How Do Catastrophic Injuries Arise from Complications During Birth?
A child’s birth should be a joyous thing. Expecting parents wait for the day they get to hold their baby and begin life as parents. However, there are complications that may arise during the pregnancy or during the labor process that can cause the baby to sustain significant harm.
One potential situation that may arise is a lack of oxygen supply to the baby, creating a potential brain injury. When oxygen supply is short to the brain for an extended period, it can lead to significant delays in the baby, damaging their cognitive and developmental abilities.
Similarly, some tools that are used to aid in the childbirth may be used incorrectly, causing damage to the baby’s skull and resulting in a brain injury. This can include improper use of forceps and vacuum extractors, both of which involve making contact with the baby’s head.
In other situations, a doctor may need to perform an emergency cesarean section if the birth is delayed for an extended amount of time. If the delivery process is prolonged for too long and the doctor does not take action to perform the emergency C-section, this can also cause significant brain damage.
Slip and Falls are a Leading Cause of Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
While companies and businesses are supposed to ensure that their grounds are safe, some properties present specific dangers to those visiting the site. Slip and falls are one of those dangers—especially in locations where grounds can be wet and slippery, carpet can be torn, or stairways are broken.
A slip and fall can lead to either brain or spinal cord injuries simply due to the way a person lands. For instance, on a slippery floor, a person may be up-ended, resulting in their head making direct compact with the ground upon landing. This jolt can cause significant long-term problems.
If someone slips on a staircase, they may land with their back hitting the edge of a step, leading to a spinal cord injury.
This makes it imperative for companies to ensure they are aware of any potential dangers and either warn the public or take the necessary steps to resolve the issue. If they fail to do so, business and property owners could be considered negligent should anyone suffer an injury on their property.
The Rights of the Injured Moving Forward
After a catastrophic injury caused by negligence, it’s important for those harmed to recognize what rights they may have. The first step would be to recognize whether or not negligence existed and who may be the responsible party.
To determine if negligence was present, the following must be discovered:
- Did the defendant have a duty to ensure the plaintiff was safe?
- Did the defendant do something to breach that duty of care?
- Did the breach in the duty of care lead to the accident?
- Did the accident directly cause the injury sustained by the plaintiff?
If negligence is involved, the injured party may take legal action to help hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, seeking compensation for the damages associated with the injury. This can include medical expenses, lost income (past and future), rehabilitation costs, and more.
However, before pursuing legal action, it’s important for the injured party and his or her family to have legal counsel as they will most likely be going up against a defendant and their insurance company, which has large legal teams of their own dedicated to limiting their own liability.
At Fieger Law, we have a strict dedication to protecting the rights of the injured. You should know what to expect every step of the way and the necessary measures to take to seek justice. Our firm stands ready to guide you through the process and help you take on all there is to come.
Our Michigan catastrophic injury lawyers recognize how serious this can be for you. You’re already dealing with the physical hardships the injury presents and the idea of legal, financial, and emotional difficulties can do no good in moving forward.
We take on the legal battles for you, so you can focus on your own well-being. We’ll put together the evidence necessary to build a strong case on your behalf and seek the most favorable outcome possible. Your best interests are our top priority and we go the extra mile to see to it that your rights are protected.
If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, know that we’re here to help. You can receive a free case evaluation with one of our skilled team members by calling us at (800) 294-6637 today. We’re ready to fight for you.