Each year, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) reports approximately 160,000 traffic collisions across the state. Fortunately, most of these accidents result in no injuries or fatalities. Yet, tens of thousands do result in injuries—34,774 in the most recent year for which statistics are available—some of which are severe and devastate victims and their families. About 700 people die each year on Kentucky’s roads, according to Kentucky Department of Transportation statistics.
In the context of insurance claims and lawsuits, insurance companies, personal injury lawyers, and courts refer to the most severe of these injuries as catastrophic injuries. For example, a man died after his scooter collided with a car in an intersection.
A catastrophic injury causes chronic, lifelong health complications or permanent disabilities, preventing accident victims from returning to their jobs, keeping them out of school, and disrupting their lives in ways too numerous to count. Catastrophic injuries inflict severe pain and emotional trauma. They impose often-massive medical costs, compounding a financial crisis triggered by victims’ inability to return to work. Victims and their families must also confront the painful reality that their injuries should never have happened, and only did because someone else made a terrible decision or engaged in a dangerous or destructive action.
If you, your child, or another loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a Kentucky auto or truck accident, then you likely find yourself in the midst of one of the most difficult times of your life. You deserve compensation to pay for the treatment you or your loved one needs, and you deserve to have the peace of mind that comes with holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions.
The experienced and compassionate catastrophic injury lawyers at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart are here to advocate for you and your family, so you get the compensation you deserve. We serve clients throughout Kentucky. Contact us today at (888) 782-9090 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your situation and learn how we can help you and your family in the wake of a catastrophic injury.
The skilled legal team at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart has more than four decades of experience in the negotiation, settlement, and litigation of accident injury cases, including those in which clients suffered catastrophic injuries. The firm’s dedication to professional excellence, client advocacy, and seeking justice has led to the recovery of millions in compensation from settlements and court-awards for injured clients.
Recent examples of outcomes in catastrophic injury cases range from a little more than $1,000,000 to almost $3,000,000. In each of these cases, Flora Templeton Stuart secured settlements or verdicts that included medical expenses, lost wages, and disability payments.
These are only examples and do not guarantee specific results for your case. Predicting outcomes is next to impossible because each case has distinctive factors that can increase or decrease the value of the claim.
That said, all clients can rely on the legal team at Flora Templeton Stuart to diligently pursue the best outcome possible for their individual circumstances, no matter what the cause or nature of their injury. We can account for your economic and noneconomic losses, investigate your accident, and negotiate with your PIP carrier and the at-fault party’s insurance company to pay for treating and overcoming the injuries you sustained. If the insurance companies fail to agree to a fair settlement, we can, if necessary, fight them in court for you.
Not all severe injuries qualify as “catastrophic,” but many do. Lawyers classify an injury as catastrophic when an accident victim experiences a permanent disability or requires indefinite care as a result of an injury. Any injury that impedes an accident victim’s ability to return to work or seek future employment falls under the catastrophic injury category, also. Some examples of common severe injuries that occur in car or truck accidents that can be catastrophic include:
Auto accidents and semi-truck accidents can lead to severe head traumas, often including a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Victims of truck accidents find themselves especially vulnerable to brain injuries because the weight and size of a semi-truck inflicts a massively forceful impact during a collision. In fact, a loaded semi can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, whereas the average motor vehicle weighs somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds.
Mild traumatic brain injuries, commonly referred to as concussions, do not usually qualify as catastrophic, though victims might experience ongoing struggles from them. On the other hand, a severe TBI can prevent victims from working and can cause functional long-term struggles in four areas, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
A spinal cord injury ranks among the most costly, and most likely to be catastrophic, of all injuries an accident victim can suffer. The exact location of a spinal cord injury along the spine determines how much functional loss an accident victim suffers. The spinal cord, along with the brain and main nerves, makes up the central nervous system. Injuries that occur high up on the spinal cord, close to the brain disrupt, signals between the brain and most of the body, resulting in the highest degree of impairment.
An injury in the portion of the spinal cord protected by neck vertebrae can cause total body paralysis from the neck down, medically known as tetraplegia. Injuries closer to the tailbone can cause severe difficulty for victims, but may not qualify as catastrophic. Sometimes victims suffer a minor spinal cord injury and are fortunate enough to regain function when swelling from the injury subsides. Those who suffer a catastrophic spinal cord injury often must stay confined to a wheelchair and need around-the-clock nursing care.
Traffic collisions, especially those involving semi-trucks, can leave victims with crushed limbs. Drivers and passengers in the front seat of a passenger vehicle that collides with a large truck face an especially high risk of having their legs pinned under the steering column or dashboard. Victims who live through a treacherous accident like this typically cannot move when their legs get crushed. Blood stops flowing to the affected limb and the limb itself can begin to die.
Doctors sometimes must make the choice to amputate a limb to prevent infection from spreading through the body and causing death. Amputation is a last resort. Fortunately, strides in technology give amputees the option for some highly-functional prosthetic devices. Yet, depending on an accident victim’s career before the injury, an amputation can still constitute a catastrophic injury. For some, amputation impacts income and the type of job they can do.
Similar to other injuries car accident or truck accident victims can suffer, not all back injuries qualify as catastrophic. On the other hand, a severe back injury can cause debilitating pain and discomfort, making it next to impossible to work in any capacity. Severe back injuries include fractured vertebrae, bulged discs, and slipped discs.
Many back injury victims must undergo one or more corrective surgeries to help alleviate pain and fix the problem. Even after surgery, back injury victims can suffer chronic pain and discomfort for life. Pain management can consume a victim’s life and induce reliance on highly-addictive painkillers, special shots for pain relief, and special pain management devices that doctors surgically implant into the body.
Severe brain injuries can also lead to an accident victim receiving a PVS diagnosis. A person in a permanent vegetative state can have a sleep schedule or pattern but is not typically alert and oriented. PVS is the ultimate catastrophic injury; so bad, that family members or another person on behalf of the victim must file a lawsuit for the victim to get the compensation that can help with the extraordinary medical costs associated with treating it. PVS victims must have costly around-the-clock nursing care, which insurance may not cover.
Catastrophic injuries create a huge financial burden for victims and their families, sometimes resulting in bankruptcy and/or foreclosure. Examples of the most costly parts of a catastrophic injury claim include:
If you live in Kentucky and you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a car or truck accident, the experienced catastrophic injury attorneys at Flora Templeton Stuart have the resources and experience to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart online or at (888) 782-9090 for a free case evaluation to determine the best course of action for you and your family. If you choose our firm to represent you in your catastrophic injury claim, we take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we collect attorney fees from any compensation we secure for you in the form of a settlement or verdict in your favor. You should not have the shoulder the gigantic financial burden of a catastrophic injury caused by someone else’s careless actions.