Catastrophic injuries are extremely serious or permanently disabling injuries such as paralysis, amputation, brain damage, and severe burns. Thousands of these injuries occur in California each year, often due to the carelessness or irresponsible actions of certain parties. As a result, victims suffer lifelong physical impairment while their families face a mountain of expenses.
If you or your family is struggling with a catastrophic injury caused by someone else, know that the law provides you avenues for compensation. In the Riverside area, get the help of a personal injury lawyer from Gavel Law Firm. Residents of the Inland Empire trust our firm because:
- Our experience is your advantage. We are uniquely positioned to maximize your compensation claim as we have previous in-depth experience in the insurance industry. We know injury claims from the inside out, allowing us to obtain ideal results for our clients.
- We’re local and we care. As a homegrown Inland Empire injury firm, we’re sincerely sympathetic towards injured persons in Riverside County. We don’t want you to suffer more stress or wait too long for callbacks. You’ll get kind treatment and consistent contact from us.
- You pay no fee until we win. We won’t charge you lawyer fees until we obtain compensation for you. Your initial consultation is also free. You risk no money when you choose Gavel Law Firm.
Talk to an experienced catastrophic injury attorney from Gavel Law Firm. Schedule your free consultation by calling (951) 289-0202 today.
What Qualifies as a Catastrophic Injury?
The term “catastrophic injuries” refers to a broad variety of injuries that involve severe, long-term, or permanent damage. Often, these injuries result in massive medical costs, the inability to work, and the need for lifelong rehabilitation and assistance. Examples of catastrophic injuries are:
- Paralysis – including paraplegia, quadriplegia, or facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries – such as those affecting muscle or organ function
- Serious traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – such as brain bleeds or neuron damage
- Severe burns
- Acquired blindness or loss of sight
- Acquired deafness or hearing impairment
- Significant scarring.
If you or your loved one sustained a serious injury but you’re not sure whether it counts as “catastrophic,” it’s best to consult an attorney. At Gavel Law Firm, we are eager to listen to you, evaluate your legal claim, and provide guidance on your best next steps.
Who Pays for a Catastrophic Injury in California?
California injury law is fault-based, meaning the party that caused the injury is liable to pay for it. In some cases, identifying the responsible party can be straightforward, such as in accidents involving drunk drivers or road-raging motorists. In many other cases, however, determining who must pay for a catastrophic injury requires thorough investigation and case-building.
Take a look at these potentially liable parties in many catastrophic accidents:
- Negligent drivers – including traffic violators, overspeeding drivers, intoxicated drivers, and the like
- Property owners – if they failed to repair a hazard on their property, resulting in a catastrophic slip-and-fall injury to their visitor
- Manufacturers – if they produced a defective or malfunctioning product and sold it without sufficient warning to customers
- Employers – if they cut corners on workplace safety, resulting in a work site accident and catastrophic injury.
Many other instances of negligence lead to life-altering injuries – for example, boating accidents, motorcycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, truck wrecks, amusement park accidents, ATV crashes, and more. No matter the cause, you should discuss your Riverside catastrophic injury with Gavel Law Firm for sound legal advice.
What are Catastrophic Injury Damages?
In legal terms, “damages” is the amount of money that a claimant is entitled to receive for their losses. A successful catastrophic injury claim can cover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages pay for losses with a quantifiable dollar amount such as:
- Medical bills – including emergency costs, hospital bills, doctors’ fees, diagnostic tests and imaging, surgery, medication, and other treatment
- Rehabilitation expenses – such as physical therapy or occupational therapy
- Lost income – refers to missed wages or earnings due to the injury
- Lost capacity to earn – refers to the potential future income that the person can no longer earn due to their injury
- Disability needs – such as wheelchairs, home modifications, vehicle modifications, at-home care assistance, and the like.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages are monetary compensation for losses that are less tangible. Examples are:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental/emotional distress
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (if, for example, a spouse can no longer participate in marital activities due to their injury).
It’s important to know the full extent of your losses so that you can pursue the full damages you need and deserve. Gavel Law Firm can competently help you with this.
We’ll look into the various aspects of your life affected by the catastrophic injury – not just your financial losses but the mental and emotional as well. We’ll take into account your quality of life, present and future health, and career outlook. With our unique background, we’ll build a strategic case and fight tenaciously to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf.
A catastrophic injury doesn’t just resolve in weeks or months. You may have to prepare for a lifetime of adjustments, expenses, and lost opportunities. This is an immense change for which you deserve all the support you can get, including legal assistance from a reliable catastrophic injury lawyer.
How Common are Catastrophic Injuries in California?
Statistics on various catastrophic injuries give us a glimpse into just how common it is for Californians to get seriously injured:
- Amputation in California – A 12-year analysis of state-level data showed that California gets an average of 1,411 amputation claims from workers each year. The industries with the highest amputation incidence are construction and manufacturing. (Source)
- Serious brain injuries in California – According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), traumatic brain injuries among older adults led to 17,528 hospitalizations and 15,708 emergency visits in 2020 alone. (Source)
- Burn injuries in California – CDPH data also reveal that in 2021, California had 3,273 hospitalizations from fires or burning accidents. These included injuries from flames, hot objects, and burning substances. (Source)
- Machine-related injuries in California – In the same report, the CDPH shows that in 2021, there were 809 hospitalizations in the state due to machinery-related injuries. (Source).
Riverside Catastrophic Injuries: Other FAQs
What is a catastrophic settlement? How much is the average catastrophic injury settlement?
Catastrophic injury settlements are often substantial as they are meant to cover the victim’s past, present, and future losses related to the injury. It’s not uncommon for these settlements to reach six or seven figures. However, each case is valued according to its specific facts and circumstances, hence there is no ‘standard’ or ‘average’ amount to expect.
If you want to learn how much your claim could be worth, it’s best to consult a catastrophic injury lawyer.
How much do personal injury lawyers charge in California?
Most personal injury lawyers in California charge on a contingency basis, meaning they’ll only be paid a percentage of what you win. The rate typically ranges from 33 to 40 percent. Before you hire any lawyer, make sure you understand their rates and billing method and feel comfortable working with that attorney.
Is there a time limit to file a catastrophic injury lawsuit?
Yes, every state has Statutes of Limitations, which are laws that set a period to file certain lawsuits. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of injury. Note that certain factors can extend or shorten this deadline, so it’s wise not to delay consulting a personal injury attorney.
Your consultation is free at Gavel Law Firm. You’ll get legal guidance from a competent injury attorney at no cost.
Contact a Riverside Catastrophic Injury Lawyer from Gavel Law Firm
A catastrophic injury is extremely difficult to deal with, and you shouldn’t have to get more distressed when seeking the compensation you deserve. Get legal help that’s both competent and compassionate. Reach out to Gavel Law Firm. We are experienced and strategic in fighting for you while treating you with the utmost kindness and consideration.
Schedule your free consultation with us. Call Gavel Law Firm now at (951) 289-0202.