Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Columbia, SC
Strom Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys represent many clients in Columbia, Richland County, and across the state, who have suffered various injuries due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or incompetence. No injury should be taken lightly. Catastrophic injuries, however, can alter a person’s life forever, often leaving victims with permanent disabilities and ongoing battles.
At Strom Law Firm, our Columbia Catastrophic Injury Lawyers understand the traumatic bodily, mental, and economic price that catastrophic injuries create. While we pray that your family is never impacted by this sort of tragedy, Strom Law Firm is here to fight for you if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. The experienced Columbia Catastrophic Injury Lawyers will be here for you every step of the way.
Since 1996, Strom Law Firm has represented South Carolinians injured by the careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions of others. It is our belief that anybody who suffers a catastrophic injury caused by the actions of another should be represented by experienced and capable lawyers.
We have a strong record of high-value settlements and verdicts for our clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries. We possess an unparalleled commitment to providing remarkable and individualized representation to each and every client. A Columbia catastrophic injury can permanently alter a client’s life. We treat every client with respect and dignity and address each injury with the seriousness that it deserves. We never guarantee an outcome of a catastrophic injury case, but we promise to do our due diligence on behalf of our clients and provide the best opportunity to obtain justice for their injuries.
What Are Catastrophic Injuries in Columbia?
Columbia residents and visitors can witness their lives completely altered by a multitude of catastrophic injuries. The most common catastrophic injuries, that we have seen, are the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Traumatic amputations/crushed limbs.
- Long-term health complications.
Regardless of the type of injury, the attorneys at Strom Law Firm are ready to fight for your recovery and compensation.
What are the Main Causes of Catastrophic Injuries?
Strom Law Firm’s clients have experienced catastrophic injuries due to various types of accidents and mistakes. Some of the more common circumstances causing a person to contact one of our Columbia catastrophic injury lawyers include:
- Motor vehicle accidents.
- Bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents.
- Slip and Falls.
- Construction accidents.
- Defective products.
- Medical errors.
- Sexual Abuse.
- Nursing home abuse.
- The absence of security at a business
- Defective products
- Injuries caused by conditions on-premises
Regardless of what has caused you or your loved one’s catastrophic injuries in Columbia, the sympathetic, hardworking attorneys at Strom Law Firm are ready to fight for you.
What steps should you take to pursue a catastrophic injury claim?
Victims of catastrophic injury, almost always need costly and extensive medical treatment, and often need continual in-home aid. Due to these severe consequences of such injuries, a victim may choose to file a catastrophic injury lawsuit.
Often, multiple parties are legally responsible for the same catastrophic injury accident. These cases can be time-consuming and costly, requiring the use of experts’ additional evidence.
Evidence might include expert reports, accident reports, reconstruction, and medical testimony.
To what type of compensation might a catastrophic injury victim be entitled?
A catastrophically injured plaintiff may receive damages of two types: economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages are intended to cover financial loss caused by the accident, examples include medical bills and lost income.
- Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for different types of loss like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Different types of personal injury compensation might include:
- Compensation for bills paid related to the medical treatment of your injuries. These may include ER visits, nursing homes, or physical and occupational therapy. This often includes the costs of future medical treatment.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress. Damages recovered for anxiety, depression, or PTSD resulting from the injury.
- Lost income and wages. If you’ve missed work because of your injuries, this form of compensation for lost wages will attempt to make you whole again. You may also receive compensation for your future inability to work over the course of your lifetime.
- Wrongful death.
- Loss of consortium. These damages are intended to compensate family members for the loss they suffer when a victim is unable to provide the same companionship as before the accident.
Depending on the carelessness, or recklessness of the responsible party, a jury may also award a plaintiff punitive damages, which are intended to punish the behavior of the defendant that caused the injury.
The court will take into account the severity of the plaintiff’s injury and their expected current and future losses. Medical testimony will likely be used to provide evidence and support claims for current and future medical expenses.
Columbia Catastrophic Injury FAQs
Catastrophic injuries can prove life-altering. Catastrophic injuries may include any significant injury to your spine, spinal cord, or brain, as well as amputation of one or more limbs, and many other severe injuries. These injuries may have physical, mental, emotional, and economic consequences. Less severe injuries may eventually heal, but catastrophic injuries may leave victims with a permanent disability and daunting future.
If someone else’s conduct caused your injury, then you may qualify to seek compensation for your expenses and other losses. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can explain your legal options and guide you through the legal process.
How common are catastrophic injuries?
Catastrophic injuries occur throughout the United States, including in South Carolina. Nationally, unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death among the total population. In a recent year, South Carolina statistics indicated that the state experiences 86.4 injury deaths per 100,000 population, on average, ranking it 38 among 50 states.
What does “catastrophic injury” mean?
Some groups define catastrophic injury as a severe injury to the spinal cord, spine, or brain, but they can also include limb amputations, and significant fractures leading to disability or disfigurement. . Catastrophic injuries may leave victims with permanent damage that seriously changes how they have to live and work. When determining whether an injury is catastrophic, one question that comes up is how the injury will affect the injured person’s future. Such injuries can prove both financially and personally devastating.
Injured individuals may face significant medical bills and may need specialized care for the rest of their lives. Victims of catastrophic injuries may face lost wages, earning opportunities, and benefits. Depending on the nature of the injury, victims may also be unable to learn new employment skills or maintain any future employment. In addition to being unable to support themselves and their families, the injured person may lose their sense of self-worth that comes with gainful employment and independence.
In addition to the loss of gainful employment due to catastrophic injury, someone who is too severely disabled to work will rarely engage in their favorite hobbies, activities, or travel. Injured individuals may suffer a reduced quality of life, become socially isolated, or suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
What are some common causes of catastrophic injuries in Columbia?
A wide range of accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. These accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone. Such injuries usually happen without warning, changing lives in an instant. Nobody prepares for the devastating consequences that accompany a catastrophic injury.
Common causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. According to recent statistics, there was one injury collision every 13.8 minutes in South Carolina. Some people are fortunate and suffer only minor injuries; however, others sustain brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and amputations.
- Slip and fall accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that slip and fall accidents are one of the biggest causes of spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
- Medical malpractice. Sometimes, medical care ends up hurting you more than helping you. Medical negligence, such as surgical errors, diagnostic errors, and medication mistakes, may result in catastrophic injuries.
- Construction accidents. Construction work is dangerous. Construction accident injuries caused by machinery, chemicals, or falls from scaffolding can prove catastrophic and even fatal. In South Carolina, 25 workers died in construction accidents in a recent year.
- Recreational activity accidents. Some team sports have become faster, more forceful, and more dangerous. Individual recreational activities, such as snowboarding and paragliding, offer the thrill of adventure, but also the risk of catastrophic injury. Even seemingly safe activities, such as swimming, can lead to accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries along with other injuries.
- Defective products. A poorly designed or incorrectly manufactured product can severely injure the consumer.
What are some common types of catastrophic injuries in Columbia?
In some cases, catastrophic injury may refer to damage to specific body parts. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), a catastrophic injury is a “serious injury to the brain or spinal cord.” The amputation of one or more limbs may also prove catastrophic, depending on how the amputation affects an individual’s ability to function and engage in daily activities. These injuries may lead to complications that make the victim more vulnerable to other injuries and diseases.
Living with such an injury may mean an ongoing, uphill battle to live with disabilities, cognitive damage, loss of bodily functions, and disfigurement. A few types of injuries affect the body’s central nervous system and create severe, long-term consequences.
Common catastrophic injuries include:
- Brain injuries. The brain is an amazing organ, but can be easily injured, whether by a blow, shaking, or penetrating injury. Brain function affects nearly everything else in the human body. As such, brain injuries can cause problems with cognitive function, memory, speech, and movement. Recovery is uncertain, usually slow, and may never result in a full resumption of prior activities.
- Spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord or the nerves connected to the spinal canal sustain damage, it affects the way the body functions below the site of the injury. Vertebrae may end up compressed, dislocated, or crushed. Spinal cord injuries often leave the victim partially or completely paralyzed. Estimates show that, as of the most recent year for which statistics are available, 17,730 new spinal cord injury cases occur each year. In the U.S., approximately 300,000 people are currently living with spinal cord injuries.
- Burn injuries. Burn symptoms vary depending on the size and degree of the burn. In some cases, burns may prove life-threatening. Burn injuries are extremely painful and may require a long recovery period.
- Scars. An injured person may develop scars for many reasons, but scars are a natural part of the healing process. An injured individual with significant scarring, however, especially visible scars, may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or become socially isolated.
- Traumatic orthopedic injuries or compound fractures. In a compound fracture, there is an open wound or break in the skin near the break. Some broken bones may require surgical repair. In some cases, doctors insert metal plates or screws. Victims may need physical therapy or other rehabilitative care to regain the use of the injured limb, and could require future surgeries, or other adjustments to their daily lives due to the fixation devices.
- Amputated limbs.
- Damaged organs.
- Injuries or illnesses resulting from exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances.
The consequences of a catastrophic injury often extend beyond physical pain. Victims and their families must deal with the realities of a long or difficult recovery, and sometimes the permanent nature of the damage. The injury may affect someone’s personal relationships, emotional well-being, and quality of life.
What medical treatments are necessary for catastrophic injuries?
The treatment plan for a catastrophic injury depends on your particular injury. Possible treatments for these injuries include:
- Emergency medical care to prevent the injury from becoming worse
- Surgeries and operations
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy, particularly for lost function or mobility or to help the victim adapt to permanent changes
- Medication to treat the injury or manage pain
- Skin grafts, if the injury involved serious burns
How do you pursue a Columbia catastrophic injury claim?
When catastrophic injuries occur due to another individual’s failure to act with care, or even because of exposure to a chemical or use of a product that failed, the at-fault party can be liable e for the resulting losses.
The injured individual must establish all four elements of negligence, including:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The defendant’s breach caused an accident resulting in injury to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff suffered damages.
Establishing who is at fault can be complicated and time-consuming. In some situations, only one party is responsible, but in other cases, several different parties may share liability.
For example, consider someone who sustains an injury in a car accident. The driver may bear partial liability, but the company that manufactured a defective car component may also face liability.
Proving liability in these types of situations is often complicated, which is why it is critical to engage competent and compassionate counsel, who will work to gather and preserve medical evidence, keep all reports from law enforcement agencies, and engage in an expert accident reconstruction analysis.
Will my Columbia catastrophic injury case go to trial?
Each case is unique. However, from day one, it is important to set your case up with the expectation that it may eventually arrive before a jury to determine. In the event of a pre-trial settlement, the amount of the settlement is based on a wide variety of factors, including:
- Theories and arguments about who was responsible and to what extent
- The severity and extent of the injuries suffered
- Medical bills and the cost of future treatment
- The injured person’s income and earning capacity
- Lost wages, property damage, or other damages
- Personal factors, such as the injured individual’s specific family situation
What compensation is available for a Columbia catastrophic injury?
An individual who suffers a catastrophic injury may qualify to seek compensation for many different reasons. In general, the more serious the injury, the greater the medical expenses. If your injury is serious or permanent, you may need medical treatment or care for the rest of your life. In addition to the enormous medical bills, you may also face lost income. You may struggle to return to work now and in the future. In these situations, you may qualify to seek compensation for emotional damages.
Examples of damages include:
- Losses arising from medical care. These may include medical care or treatment, such as emergency treatment, hospital visits, doctor visits, surgical care and post acute care, home care, or physical therapy. The award may also take into account the cost of medical care needed in the future. In some cases, the injured person’s home may require specialized medical equipment and tools for daily living.
- Lost wages. When individuals sustain an injury, they may need time off from work to recover. They also may need to miss additional work due to doctor appointments and other medical appointments. If the injury or subsequent disability reduces the injured individual’s future ability to earn an income, such loss is compensable. Sometimes, injury victims may never return to their previous employment or any work. In these situations, damages can include the earnings that they would have made during their working lives.
- Pain and suffering. This includes damages for the amount of physical pain that a victim suffers, as well as the detrimental effects that they may suffer in the future as a result of the injury.
- Loss of Use and Enjoyment: Distinct from pain and suffering, these damages take into account a victim’s loss of the ability to engage in certain activities they enjoyed before the accident or injury.
- Emotional distress. Damages for emotional distress compensate victims for the emotional impacts of their injuries. Some injured individuals’ lives may change forever due to the injuries sustained. Victims may struggle to participate in their favorite activities and thus become socially isolated. Emotional distress may include, for example, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of companionship/loss of consortium. Severe injuries may damage a victim’s relationships with family, friends, and associates. Injured individuals may also lose the ability to maintain a physical relationship with their partners.
- Wrongful death. Family members of victims who die due to their injuries may qualify to file a wrongful death claim.
In certain circumstances, a court may award punitive damages. The purpose of most damages is to make the victim whole again. Courts award punitive damages, however, to punish at-fault parties for especially egregious conduct. Consult an experienced catastrophic accident attorney to determine your case’s eligibility for punitive damages.
A catastrophic injury victim may have to deal with trauma and pain, as well as physical or cognitive impairments that result from the injury. Therefore, such individuals may delay taking legal action. However, it is critical to take action before the statute of limitations expires, so it is best to consult an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your accident.
How can a Columbia catastrophic injury lawyer help me?
After a catastrophic injury accident, the first priority is to obtain the necessary medical care. To ensure you get answers to your immediate questions and dealing with the challenges you face in the future you should also consider contacting counsel right away. Catastrophic injury cases are often complicated. Your case may involve more than one defendant, and it may require detailed investigative groundwork to prove liability as well as a comprehensive collection of evidence to substantiate your claims. Consulting an attorney as soon as possible will help preserve your rights.
No amount of compensation will ever make up for what you have lost because of your injury. Still, with appropriate financial resources, there are many ways to improve your quality of life going forward. An experienced, compassionate Columbia catastrophic injury lawyer will fight for your rights and pursue the best possible outcome in your case. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC.
Have you or a loved one suffered from a Columbia catastrophic injury?
The impact of a catastrophic injury extends beyond the physical, emotional, and economic toll it has on the victim. A victim’s family and loved ones suffer as well. For the rest of their lives, victims of catastrophic injury will be dealing with the consequences. Some will never fully recover, others will have their life shortened by their conditions. “Catastrophic injury“ is a designation given to any injury that will require long-term disability treatment and cause long-term suffering.
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, it is important to protect your legal rights and exhaust all of your avenues for compensation. The costs taken on by a victim will be present for a very long time, and will build up over the years to astronomical amounts of expenses.
There is no amount of monetary recovery that will make up for the suffering you have experienced from your injuries, but the catastrophic injury lawyers at Strom Law Firm will fight for your compensation and protect your rights at every turn.
Columbia Attorneys for Catastrophic Injury Victims
Strom Law Firm attorneys have spent their entire careers in a constant fight for their clients. We will stand toe to toe with the insurance companies, at-fault parties, business owners, property owners, employers, and corporations, and will not back down. We will fight against large and powerful corporations without hesitation.
If a Columbia catastrophic injury has changed your life or a loved one’s, contact us today. Visit us at our Columbia office, contact us online, or give us a call at 803-252-4800 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with one of our Columbia Catastrophic Injury Lawyers. We are located in Barrister Hall, 6923 N Trenholm Rd. Columbia SC 29206-1707
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