Anyone who has suffered a catastrophic injury must inevitably make changes to their lifestyle. At the least, they may spend months recovering, and, at the worst, they may be permanently affected to the point where it is difficult to do the work they used to do. Along with this type of serious injury comes the cost of medical bills and the stress and emotional toll the injury causes the victim and their family.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer can discuss your case with you and may help you recover damages to compensate you and your family for your injuries. If you are not able to call an attorney because of your injuries, a loved one may contact a lawyer on your behalf. Or, if your loved one died in an accident, you can contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the accident and your loss.
Causes of Serious Injuries
Serious injuries may be caused by a myriad of accidents, including:
- Vehicle accidents, including accidents involving big rigs, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, helicopters, trains, or passenger vehicles
- Workplace injuries, including falls, injuries from defective and/or malfunctioning equipment, or injuries resulting from safety violations
- Sports injuries
- Slip-and-fall accidents, whether on a sidewalk, in a public place, or even at home
Injuries may range from minor, from cuts and bruises, to more serious injuries that may include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Compound fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
Life After a Serious Accident
Once an accident victim is home from the hospital, they and their family may have to make some changes. If the injury affects the victim’s mobility, they may have to build a wheelchair ramp and move furniture around to make it easier to get around the house, or have to have a hospital bed and a shower chair at home.
The victim also may not be able to go back to work, which can make life stressful not only for the victim, but also for their family members. Even if the victim is not the main breadwinner in the house, that loss of income could ruin the victim and their family financially. And meanwhile, the victim is likely also going through the five coping stages after an injury: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And whatever an accident victim goes through, it’s also hard on their family and those who live with them.
While money won’t take away the injury or bring back a loved one, it does make keeping food on the table and a roof over a victim and their family’s heads much easier, which is one less source of stress. And, if a victim or their family is able to recover damages, the victim doesn’t have to worry about getting back to work before they are completely healed. Going back to work, especially when the job is physical, could mean another long-term injury.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
When looking for a personal injury lawyer, victims and their families should try to find an attorney who has experience in the type of injury they have experienced. Personal injury law covers many types of accidents and not all attorneys know how to handle every type of accident or injury. You will want someone who knows not only how to handle the particular injury you suffered, but the long-term emotional effects of catastrophic injuries as well.
Damages a Victim Might Recover
Recovering damages can help reduce the stress level of living with a serious injury. The money can cover medical bills and more. This kind of financial relief can sometimes be the thing that keeps a victim’s home and family together, as it gives them room to work on getting well instead of worrying about how they will come up with their next mortgage or rent payment. Depending on the circumstances surrounding an accident or a loved one’s death, a court might award the victim or their family damages for the following:
- Medical bills: This includes the medical bills the victim has already incurred because of the accident as well as the estimated cost of future medical care, including physical, occupational, or psychological therapy.
- Lost wages: Damages for lost wages includes reimbursement for the time a victim has already missed at work due to the accident and for future earnings if the injury is long-term or permanent, or for the earnings a deceased loved one would have earned if they had not been killed in the accident.
- Property: Accident victims may need to replace their vehicle, damaged clothing, or even repair damage to their home. Victims may be entitled to their property’s fair market replacement value or for the repair costs.
- Loss of enjoyment: Victims may receive compensation because they are no longer able to do activities they normally do, such as exercise, hobbies, or other recreational activities.
- Loss of consortium: These damages are sometimes awarded when a victim’s injuries affect their relationship with their spouse. This may include the inability to maintain a sexual relationship or a spouse’s death.
- Emotional distress: Suffering from serious injuries often causes emotional distress. Victims may be compensated for the psychological impact of an injury, including depression, fear, sleep loss, and anxiety.
- Punitive damages: If a court finds that the defendant’s conduct was “gross negligence,” such as driving under the influence, distracted driving, or even an intentional harm, such as causing injuries during a kidnapping, the court may award the victim punitive damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for More Information
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident, call a personal injury lawyer who can analyze your particular situation, assess the viability of your case, and present you with a plan for recovering any compensation owed to you. Contact the legal team at The Law Offices of George Salinas online or call our office in San Antonio at (210) 944-8584 today.