Regulations & Laws
What To Do After a Catastrophic Injury Someone else's negligence could cause you or a family member to suffer a terrible injury, causing great distress. Your family could be left without income to pay for medical care and other bills, and you can deal with mental and emotional trauma for many years afterward. Careful action can help alleviate some of the consequences of the adverse event. Understand the Types of Catastrophic Injuries and Their Consequences Catastrophic injuries cause long-term medical issues with weeks or months of treatment and rehabilitation. The shock of the event and rapid action by an insurance company may motivate a victim to settle for a seemingly-large sum quickly. If an injured person doesn't realize the extent of the damage, the agreed-upon amount may be insufficient. A catastrophic injury could permanently disable you or restrict you from working for a long duration. Severe harm can cause: • Dysfunctional internal organs • Spinal cord damage • Traumatic brain injuries • Paralysis • Amputations • Bodily disfigurement You should know what steps to take to compensate for injuries. Find Legal Representation A personal injury lawyer can help by guiding you through the process of what to do after an incident. The sooner you find legal help, the more assured you can be that you're taking the proper steps to build your case and establish the facts. A lawyer helps you know if you have all the necessary evidence to pursue a claim and are entitled to compensation. Remain Calm After an Incident Accident scenes usually devolve into chaos. Control your breathing and ensure that everyone in the area is safe. Call emergency services immediately and check to see if others are okay. However, you may be unable to do so if your injuries are catastrophic. Seek Medical Attention A sudden shock often causes a surge of adrenaline that delays the sensation of pain. You may feel fine, but you should still visit a hospital or care facility to assess your injuries. Many times the damage is internal and dangerous. For example, broken ribs can puncture other areas of the body, such as blood vessels and organs. If a rib stabs a lung, it may deflate and collapse. Stomach compression can result in a ruptured abdominal aorta, which is usually fatal. A brain bleed can occur after a head wound and can cause permanent damage because of a lack of oxygen or excessive pressure on the brain. Other forms of internal bleeding can come about because of trauma to the blood vessels that prevents clotting and repair. Paleness, fatigue, thirst, and lightheadedness may be signs of internal bleeding, and surgery is usually the only treatment. Report the Incident A witness to the incident needs to report the event to the authorities. Police collect the facts to determine the sequence of events and who is at fault. After an auto accident, alert your insurance company or have someone else do so. When an accident happens at work, follow the reporting guidelines. Any delay in disclosing an incident can harm a future claim. Don't rely on the authorities to have every detail pertaining to your case. If possible, you or someone else should collect witness statements at the scene or get the contact information to fill in the facts later. Your lawyer will be eager to have this material to review your situation. Gather Evidence The only way to establish your claim is with evidence. A family member or your law team can assist you if you are incapacitated. You may need medical records, witness statements, and police reports. Photos and recordings of the scene and your injuries are helpful. The clothing you wore during the incident can also shed light on the event, so keep your garments. Catastrophic injuries take a heavy toll on a suffering person. Don't hesitate to seek legal help and collect evidence to support your claim. Remember that corporations and insurance companies want to protect their own interests and save money after a claim, so you must do everything in your power to pursue justice.