Despite our best intentions, and despite all the preventative measures in the world, accidents happen. Especially in a place with a culture and climate like Louisiana, accidents are often unpredictable in nature, and sometimes they can be deadly. In times like these, we can only hope that the accident isn’t too bad and that the proper people and safety nets are in place to put the pieces back together again.
Perhaps the most unpredictable catalysts for accidents are humans — whether it is the creator of a flawed design, a drunk driver speeding through a red light or an improperly maintained levee failing in the midst of a gigantic storm.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed through the negligence or misconduct of another, contact the law firm of Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC. A native of Central Louisiana and LSU graduate, Chris J. Roy, Jr. is a third-generation lawyer and has been practicing for 30 years. He and his team have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you pursue your claim and get the compensation you deserve. Practicing out of offices in Alexandria, for questions or a free consultation contact us online or call us at 318.487.9537. The consultation is free, and you pay no out-of-pocket expenses or fees until we have successfully concluded your claim.
Every injury can be catastrophic to the person that suffers it. We all have different thresholds for pain and disability, so what might seem unbearable to some may be just a scratch to others. However, for legal purposes, a regular baseline is necessary. As such, US Legal suggests the meaning be simplified: “Catastrophic injury means consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.” HG.Org states these injuries may be labeled as catastrophic because of “the enormous impact they have on the lives of the individuals who experience them.”
Most Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
While catastrophic injuries may be caused by a variety of sources, some of the most common include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states there were roughly 6,296,000 vehicle accidents reported in the United States in 2015, resulting in 35,092 deaths and 2.44 million people injured. Because of the speed and impact of these sorts of accidents, the potential for a catastrophic industry is higher than most other common accidents.
Most Common Auto Accident Injuries:
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Head Wounds
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Chest Injuries
- Limb Damage
Other common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Workplace Injuries
- Medical Malpractice
- Intentional Violence
- Slip and Fall Accidents
Injuries Most Likely to be Catastrophic
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The Mayo Clinic defines TBI as an injury that occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction. Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates the skull, such as a bullet or shattered piece of bone, also can cause traumatic brain injury, which may cause wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.
TBIs are more common than most people think. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that more than 1.5 million people suffer from either moderate to severe brain injuries. The CDC also estimates that 50,000 people suffering TBIs die each year while 85,000 suffer long-term injury; overall, 5.3 million Americans suffer from TBIs.
Most Common Causes:
Even when a head injury does not involve a TBI, it can result in damage to a person’s ability to breathe and enjoy full use of senses such as sight and hearing.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
A spinal cord injury — damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal — often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury. If you’ve recently experienced a spinal cord injury, it might seem like every aspect of your life will be affected. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that roughly 300,000 people in the U.S. have an SCI, with 17,000 cases being reported each year. The average age of an SCI sufferer is 42. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports and recreation injuries
According to Medline Plus, Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of your body. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia. ABC News reports that one in 50 Americans suffer from some sort of paralysis. The Medical Dictionary suggests that some of the most common causes include:
- Trauma (caused by a fall or a blow
- Multiple Sclerosis (a disease that destroys the protective sheath covering nerve cells)
- Cerebral Palsy (a condition caused by a defect or injury to the brain that occurs at or shortly after birth)
- Metabolic Disorder (a disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to maintain itself)
Part of the danger of organ damage is that it is not visible. As a result, after an accident, while the body is flushed with adrenaline and potentially pain medications, a person with organ damage may not recognize the injury until far later. For example, if there is hemorrhaging, it may not be noticed until a full examination takes place or complications arise.
If you have suffered an injury you believe may be catastrophic, it is vital to consult and potentially attain legal representation as soon as possible. The legal world can be a maze, and having someone to help you through the process may be invaluable. Starting quickly means the documentation can begin and someone is there to help you take the proper steps to gain the compensation you deserve.
Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC has been serving the people of Louisiana from its Alexandria office since 1989. We handle a variety of cases, and look forward to addressing your legal needs. For questions or to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at 318.487.9537.