The effects of an accident can have a long-lasting and devastating impact on your life. Sometimes, another person's negligence or fault could leave you suffering excruciating psychological and physical pain. It would help if you undertook extensive and intensive medical care when you suffered a catastrophic injury. Apart from the pain, suffering, and expenses, devastating injuries will make it challenging to continue your daily activities as they affect different areas of your life.

At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, our focus mainly lies in representing you after you suffer a catastrophic injury that leaves temporary or permanent damage. Our attorneys are dedicated to their work and ensure that you seek justice and will help you seek compensation equivalent to your pain, injuries, and suffering. When you consult us, you do not have to worry, as our experience in catastrophic accidents helps us understand your pain and what you are going through.

We understand that different types of injuries have unique kinds of challenges. While some injuries will lead to loss of income, others will lead to incapacitation. When you hire us, we will consider all of your cases, ensuring that we provide personalized care that will favor the uniqueness of your claim.

Understanding What a Catastrophic Injury is

Sometimes it may be tricky to pinpoint a precise definition of a catastrophic injury. However, a catastrophic injury is an injury that has direct and proximate consequences in your life which may hinder you from continuing or participating in gainful work. In some instances, the injuries leave permanent damages, like limb loss.

Catastrophic injuries also refer to those injuries that harm your brain or spinal cord. The damage does not have to be long-term as short-term incapacitation is also disastrous.

You will realize that you will lose a part of yourself even after seeking treatment for a catastrophic injury. A devastating accident could leave you with paralysis, hearing loss, or other cognitive issues. Therefore, you will suffer devastating damage if an accident leaves you with severe bodily injuries that cause long-term or permanent issues.

Catastrophic injury poses a challenge when making your claim, unlike in other types of personal injuries. As your attorneys, we will have to prove the impact of the catastrophic injury on both your current and future life to determine the amount of compensation you can claim.

Common Causes Of Catastrophic Injuries

Several types of accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. These accidents include and are not limited to:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Train accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Sports accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Trampoline accidents
  • Effective products
  • Fires and explosions accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Violent crimes
  • Jet ski accidents

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

1. Paralysis

Paralysis refers to the inability to move part of your body, which can be either partial or total paralysis. You can suffer paralysis as a result of trauma or spinal cord injury. In most cases, paralysis usually results from nerve damage and is not necessarily due to damage to the affected body. For instance, if an accident leaves you with an injury at the middle part of your spinal cord, this injury may disrupt some of your body's functions, like the ability to take long and short calls, though the actual body parts are healthy.

Factors leading to paralysis

You may be wondering what happens when your body is paralyzed. Depending on what led to your paralysis, the following may take place:

If you suffer an injury, your brain may be unable to communicate with a specific area of your body. For instance, if you have a spinal cord injury, your brain may be unable to relay a signal to your lower limbs, although you can still sense other sensations in your body like touch. The spinal cord acts like a relay system for your brain; when it is injured, or something does not work right, the result is often paralysis. The spinal cord may be damaged due to diseases like polio or accidents.

Some injuries affecting the spinal cords in most cases are usually incomplete. An incomplete injury means that some signals will travel through. When this happens, you will still feel some movements and sensations sometimes. Also, your paralysis will be unpredictable and can change at any time. However, no signal sensation or movement will pass through if you suffer a complete injury.

You will note that injuries to a particular area rarely result in paralysis unless you suffer from an underlying health condition like diabetes. For example, if you have diabetes and then suffer nerve damage, it could result in paralysis in your lower limbs, where your feet may cease to function. The result will be a loss of your walking ability.

Causes of Paralysis

  • Car accidents
  • Sporting accidents
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Inherited conditions like Friedreich's Ataxia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Strokes

Types of paralysis

There are several types of paralysis, but they are mostly grouped into four categories depending on the affected body part. These types of paralysis are:

●  Monoplegia

This type of paralysis involves a single body part, like a limb. If you suffer monoplegia paralysis, you will have control of the rest of your body, but you can not feel or move the affected body part. This paralysis usually occurs after a brain injury or stroke, a temporary condition. This paralysis can be from cerebral palsy and catastrophic injuries leading to nerve damage. It is possible to recover fully from this paralysis as the affected nerves are not entirely severed, and physical therapy can help rectify the condition.

●  Hemiplegia

When it comes to hemiplegia type paralysis affects the limbs lying on the same side of the body. This paralysis begins when you start feeling a sensation of needles or pins and then progresses to muscle weakness which may become complete paralysis. The degree of this paralysis varies with an individual. In most cases, hemiplegia is usually temporary, and both occupational and physical therapy will help with the condition.

●  Paraplegia

This paralysis affects the lower part of the body below the waist, like the hips and legs, and functions like eliminations and sexuality. Although most paralysis affecting below the waist usually ends up with the patient unable to walk, feel anything below their waist, or even move their legs, with paraplegia, this is not the case. You can still have the ability to walk, move your legs, and feel sensations below your waist, although you suffer paraplegia type of paralysis. Therefore, this paralysis affects a substantial impairment in movement and functioning but is not necessarily a total or permanent paralysis. If you are suffering from this type of paralysis, physical therapy can help you regain some form of functioning though it is rare to recover fully.

●  Quadriplegia

This paralysis affects a person below their neck and is referred to as tetraplegia. If you suffer quadriplegia, it will affect all your limbs and torso. Though it is rare to fully recover from this type of paralysis, one can still regain some form of mobility and sensitivity through physical therapy.

Quadriplegia usually results from spinal cord injuries. Although most spinal cord injuries result from catastrophic accidents, there are times when they may be due to illness.

2. Amputations

Amputation is the loss of a limb, whether it is due to trauma, surgery, or a medical condition. Sometimes amputation is done to prevent diseases or to control pain. This loss can be devastating if you lose your limb due to another person's reckless and negligent behavior. You can file a lawsuit against the responsible party in a bid to recover compensation for your loss.

You can have your limb amputated due to a catastrophic injury at your workplace, where you may be injured by machinery, accidents, electrocution, or firearm injuries.

Types of Amputations

Any part of your body can suffer traumatic or accidental amputations. There are two categories of amputations:

 Upper limbs and extremities
  • Fingers
  • Forearm
  • Hands
  • Shoulders
  • Wrists
Lower limbs and extremities
  • Pelvis
  • Ankle
  • Toes
  • Leg
  • Feet

Amputations, whether partial or complete, possess life-threatening risks due to the amount of blood lost. A complete amputation means that your entire limb is severed from your body, while some tissues, muscles, tendons, and ligaments will remain in partial amputation. Sometimes after a catastrophic injury, you can have the severed part reattached back in a process known as replantation.

3. Internal Organ Damage

When you are involved in a catastrophic accident, your body may sustain severe internal injuries. The debilitating effects of these injuries can have a long-term impact on your life. Your internal organs may slam against other structures in your body, resulting in severe internal organ damage. Sometimes, you may suffer internal organ damage due to medical malpractice,  especially surgery.

Internal organ damage or injuries are usually dangerous since they have no external signs. Therefore, after an accident, you may fail to seek medical attention immediately, leading to the deterioration of your injuries. When you seek immediate medical assistance, you can start your recovery journey.

You may have to rectify the situation when you suffer from internal organ damage. With severe internal organ damage, you will need immediate medical treatment, expensive and extensive diagnostic tests like MRIs or CT scans, surgery, and hospitalization. Treating internal organ damage is lengthy, and you must undertake comprehensive rehabilitative therapy to regain at least a semblance of your life.

Internal organs are classified into:

 Hollow organs

These include:

  • Bladder
  • Small intestines
  • Ureter
  • Stomach
  • Colon
Solid organs

These organs include:

  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys
  • Spleen
  • Liver
Blood vessels
  • Arteries
  • Veins

In an accident, the liver and spleen are the most likely internal organs to suffer, while the chances of a hollow organ sustaining an injury are rare. When you are involved in an accident and suffer catastrophic injuries due to someone's negligent behavior, you must seek an experienced attorney's help. With internal organ injuries, there are expensive damages, and the assistance of a personal or catastrophic injury attorney will help you make a substantial claim to cover your expenses.

Types of Internal Organ Damage

Some of the most common types of internal organ injuries include:

Abdominal injuries

Surgical malpractice or catastrophic accidents may lead to internal organ damage on the following organs:

  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Kidneys
  • Intestines

If you have abdominal injuries, bleeding from the pierced bowels or damaged organs can lead to infections if they are not adequately addressed on time.

Traumatic brain injury

If you suffer a sudden jolt or a blow to your head that may push your brain violently against your skull. Also, a penetrating head injury can lead to a skull fracture or a brain tear. With a traumatic brain injury, the severity may range from a concussion that clears within a few days to one that leaves you needing medical assistance over a long period.

Chest injuries

If you sustain a chest injury, receiving a blow on your chest, the impact could rupture your diaphragm or break your ribs. A broken rib may puncture internal organs like the lungs. Also, if you sustain a chest blow, it may harm your sternum, which protects your heart and aorta. Since the aorta is the body's largest artery, an injury to it could lead to severe bleeding.

Symptoms of Internal Organ Damage

You may not notice mild pain after an accident as you focus more on other excruciating pain. You should note any mild pain is radiating from your abdomen or tenderness as it can indicate internal organ injury. Noting if you or another accident victim has an internal organ injury can be tricky as, in most cases, you may be unconscious. Since most internal injuries are not visible, there are some specific signs and symptoms you can look out for; they include and are not limited to:

  • If you experience pain radiating from your left shoulder, it could indicate a spleen injury.
  • When you experience slight pain, but the intensity of the pain worsens with time, it could be an indicator of small intestine tears.
  • You could suffer from bladder or kidney injury when you see blood in your urine.
  • Sometimes after suffering a blunt trauma, you may find visible bruising. For example, you could have suffered internal injuries if you find lower abdomen or chest bruising from a seat belt after an automobile accident. However, you should note that bruising does not always indicate internal organ injuries, and some internal injuries will not result in bruising.

4. Internal Bleeding

If you suffer severe blood loss due to an internal injury, it could lead to shock, which can be life-threatening.

Causes of Internal Bleeding

In most cases, internal bleeding results from injuries. Several types of damage can result in internal bleeding, and these injuries include: 

● Blunt trauma

When you are involved in an accident, the force of impact will cause severe injury to your internal organs. Although you may not have any signs showing external injury, it does not mean you were uninjured. Internal organs may sustain severe damage due to the compression or hitting against each other, leading to internal bleeding. 

● Deceleration trauma

If you are in an automobile accident, your car moves at high speed but stops suddenly. In that case, the sudden stop could lead to impact injuries where you sustain deceleration trauma. With this type of injury, your internal body organs can shift, ripping off blood vessels. When your blood vessels are injured, it will result in severe internal bleeding. For instance, abdominal organs are attached to the blood vessels by stalks. If these stalks (pedicles) tear off during a deceleration accident, it could result in severe internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening.

● Penetrating trauma

If you are involved in a catastrophic accident where an object penetrates your body, this may tear holes in your blood vessels resulting in severe internal bleeding. The most common of these is when a rib breaks and punctures the lungs resulting in severe internal bleeding.

 Signs and Symptoms of Internal Bleeding

  • Rapid heart rate, breathing, confusion, and alertness could also indicate that the victim has lost a lot of blood.
  • Swollen abdomen could be a symptom of internal bleeding.

5. Severe Burn Injuries

According to the United States Fire Administration, two million people yearly suffer burn injuries. Out of these two million, over eight thousand succumb to their injuries. You can sustain burn injuries at your workplace, home, or even on vacation.

The type and seriousness of your burn injury will damage your nerves, bones, muscles, respiratory system, and blood vessels. Burn injuries end up harming your body's electrolyte balance, joint function, body temperature, agility, and body's fluid balance. Besides the scarring that most burn injuries leave behind, they will also cause severe psychological and emotional trauma.

Types of Burn Injuries

There are several categories of burn injuries, and they include:

● Thermal burns injuries

You will suffer thermal burn injuries when you come into contact with hot water, flame, steam, heated objects, and dry heat. Most thermal burn injuries result from the kitchen or household accidents, auto accidents, and fires. Exposure to hot substances can cause scarring and blistering of the skin or inhalation injuries.

● Chemical burn injuries

You will sustain chemical burn injuries when you come into contact with a strong base or acid. Common strong base or acid sources include ammonia and household cleaners like bleach. The severity of the injury will depend on the duration of exposure to the substance, the strength of the substance, and the affected body part.

● Radiation burn injuries

These types of burn injuries result from exposure to radiation and ultraviolet rays. You may sustain sunburn when you expose your skin to ultraviolet rays. Additionally, prolonged exposure to radiation therapy or X-rays can result in radiation burn injuries. For this type of injury, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Radiation burns, in most cases, cause redness and internal damage and can also result in cancerous growths.

● Electrical burns

Electrical burn injuries occur mainly at the workplace, especially in offices, construction sites, and restaurants, among other places. You will suffer electrical burn injuries when you come into contact with an electrical current. For instance, drop an electrical appliance in the water while it is still on and then touch that water. The severity of the injury will depend on the current, voltage, and path that the electrical currents take through your body.

Classification of Burn Injuries

When treating a burn injury, you must know the cause and the type of the injury. The seriousness of your burn injury depends on the depth of the affected tissues and the total surface area of the affected body part. These injuries are categorized into:

1) First degree burns

When it comes to first-degree burns, the damage is on the outer layer of the skin. This type of burn injury usually heals within a couple of days. First-degree burns are generally less painful and very common. An example of this type of burn injury is sunburn.

2) Second-degree burns

When it comes to second-degree burns, the outermost layer of the skin is completely burned, while the second layer is partially burned. Second-degree burn injuries are considered minor if they occur in less than 15% of your body.

3) Third-degree burn injuries

For third-degree burn injuries, all layers of your skin will sustain damage. At times, these burn injuries will also affect your muscles and blood vessels while leaving your skin charred. Third-degree burns are usually excruciating, but you can be numb to the pain if your case is severe.

Statute of Limitation for Filing Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit in Las Vegas

There is a statute of limitation in Nevada for filing a Catastrophic injury lawsuit. A statute of limitation is a law that sets a deadline for filing your claim. If you do not file your lawsuit within the allocated time, the court may end up dismissing your claim, and this will prevent you from obtaining compensation for your injuries and other damages.

When it comes to catastrophic injury lawsuits, the law requires you to file your case within two years from the time of the injury. However, if your lawsuit revolves around medical malpractice, in that case, you can make your claim within three years from when the negligent act occurred or within one year from when you discovered or should have discovered your injuries.

Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Near Me

When dealing with a catastrophic injury, you will need all the help you can get. One of the most significant challenges in coming to terms with your new status is whether the injury leaves a permanent scar or loss of limb. You will need an experienced lawyer to help you file a lawsuit and who will guide you throughout the entire process.

You want to concentrate on your healing and not dealing with insurance agents. Additionally, hiring an attorney will help ease your mind knowing that your case is in good hands. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, our lawyers clearly understand the law surrounding catastrophic injuries. We will ensure you are adequately compensated for your injuries. All you have to do is reach out to us at 702-576-0010 and let us defend you.