Catastrophic Car Accident

Insurance companies have an arsenal of common tactics they use to stall, limit, or eliminate the payouts victims deserve. They don’t back down for even the most catastrophic events: traumatic brain or spine injuries, amputations, or death. These cases often end up in litigation and need a skilled trial attorney to spearhead them. All personal injury attorneys are not the same. Our catastrophic lawyers have seen every trick in the book and are ready to fight for the dignity and full compensation every client needs.

For catastrophic cases to be handled effectively, the demand for a high level of capital investment very early in the development of the case is essential. Smaller law firms may have concerns about the financial resources needed to cover the high costs of these cases in their early stages. Morgan & Morgan will always spend whatever is needed to ensure the best outcome for the client and will fight to maximize each case in order to secure more money for the client and, consequently, a larger referral fee.

Recent Verdict

  • Paralysis, Spinal - Florida - 2021
  • Jacob T. Rodgers v. City of Gainesville
  • Brian McClain, Jeff Humphries, Brian Lee

Cases We Handle

  • Death
  • Birth Injury Paralysis Amputation
  • Commercial Vehicle Accident Trucking Accidents
  • Uber / Lyft / Rideshare Accidents

Many people suffer significant injuries as a result of an accident caused by another party. These injuries often become the basis of a legal claim filed by a catastrophic injury lawyer.

A catastrophic injury lawyer will argue that the victim's life has been forever changed emotionally, financially and physically because of the other party's negligent actions or failure to act. 

Catastrophic Injury Defined

The legal definition of catastrophic injury refers to those injuries that have proximate and direct consequences that permanently prevent an individual from performing any type of gainful work. 

Catastrophic injuries mean that the victim is coping with permanent damage and that the victim will not be able to obtain any form of meaningful employment or to live their life as normally as they did prior to the accident. It goes without saying that catastrophic injuries can forever change the scope of this person's life and that's why personal injury claims aim to make a compelling argument that the victim deserves just and fair compensation.

For the most part, catastrophic injuries are typically the result of physical harm to the spinal cord or brain. Both of these can have short and long term impacts on the functional capabilities of that person. Whatever has caused the victim to sustain a catastrophic injury, their life may now come with debilitating pain and long term consequences. It could even be the case that the victim is facing a deformity. If your client has suffered a catastrophic injury like this, you need to take the case seriously and hire a dedicated and experienced attorney.

Catastrophic injuries are more common than most people think and can have devastating consequences for the victim and their family members. For example, consider some of the following statistics as they are related to serious injuries:

Over 61,000 TBI (traumatic brain injury) related deaths happen in the U.S. each year.
Nearly 40% of spinal cord injuries in the United States are from vehicle accidents.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

There are generally three types of catastrophic injuries and more than one might apply in your client’s individual case. These include:

  • Cognitive injuries that take away from your client’s ability to form new memories, speak or work
  • Spinal cord injuries that can create permanent mobility concerns for survivors
  • Physical injuries, such as fractures, amputations, burns, and damage to orthopedic tissue or function

Every catastrophic injury has far-reaching consequences not just for the victim but for their entire family. Taking care of somebody who has cognitive or mobility limitations often forces spouses to quit their jobs and is emotionally taxing. Providing care around the clock can be overwhelming and expensive. All of these factors need to be considered when pursuing a personal injury case with the support of a catastrophic injury lawyer.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can and do occur from a variety of sources, but the ones below are some of the most common: 

  • Medical malpractice 
  • Car crashes 
  • Truck accidents 
  • Defective product accidents 
  • Sports accidents 

A catastrophic injury can be compounded by multiple injuries at once, too. These can take the form of organ damage, paraplegia, costly medical treatment, quadriplegia, brain damage, reliance on medical devices, extensive physical therapy, severe burns, long hospitalization periods, disfigurement, permanent disability, and even wrongful death. For this reason, speaking about your client’s catastrophic injury claims case with a lawyer who specializes in catastrophic injury is essential. Your client’s quality of life can be forever changed by the severe injuries they've sustained and a product liability or accident lawsuit might be their only chance to recover compensation. 

Knowing When Your Client Is Entitled to a Catastrophic Injury Settlement

A catastrophic injury refers to losing a vital part of your person, whether it's the ability to walk, the ability to form a complete and whole thought or a limb. For any accident that leads to a catastrophic injury to even one individual, a settlement and lawsuit can be pursued. Your client could be entitled to a catastrophic injury settlement for a few reasons, including:

  • Compensation for the lost wages associated with the injury putting your client out of work
  • The significant medical expenses your client has incurred and is likely to incur because of the injury sustained. This could be rehabilitation, surgeries or even permanent use of a medical device or medication.
  • Compensation for the significant emotional damage suffered by your client.

The Importance of Hiring an Attorney Specialized in Catastrophic Injury Law

There is a lot at stake when a victim has sustained a catastrophic injury. 

The victim’s insurance company may deny your client’s insurance claim or downplay the severity of the catastrophic injury.  It is unfortunately an all-too-common tactic for insurance carriers to argue that the injury wasn’t catastrophic in the first place. This puts victims in a very difficult situation and some of them might simply take the easier route of accepting the insurance company's low settlement offer just to close things out and move on with their lives. But this can be a huge mistake. 

It is important to engage an attorney who has both the experience and the resources to handle a complex case and one who won't take no for an answer when the insurance company is wrongfully downplaying the severity of your client’s pain. Catastrophic injury lawyers know what it takes to prepare these cases and know the common tactics used by insurance carriers to stall or eliminate payouts that victims deserve. 

If you do not have the necessary expertise and experience, attempting to handle a case like this on behalf of your client without the support of a catastrophic injury lawyer could be detrimental to your client’s future.

Attorney review by:
  • Larry Gonzalez (Lawrence Gonzalez, II)

Larry Gonzalez is an equity partner in the firm. He founded the Premises Liability Department for the firm’s Central Florida offices, and then led Florida’s Fire Litigation Practice, which specializes in wrongful death cases caused by fire. Now, Mr. Gonzalez specializes in representing individuals and families in the Firm's most significant matters involving wrongful death and catastrophic personal injuries.