- A catastrophic injury is an injury that leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work.
- In these situations, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file a claim to get the most benefits possible.
- Many catastrophic injuries occur in the workplace from, among other things, falls, defective equipment, and hazardous materials.
- Worker’s compensation is a form of insurance provided to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on the job.
- An experienced catastrophic work injury lawyer can help you file a claim and secure compensation for your damages.
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A catastrophic injury is devastating and life-changing. Your world may never be the same again. It’s a lot to deal with, and handling a complicated worker’s compensation claim can add another layer of stress to an already difficult time.
You’re not alone. At Werner, Hoffman & Greig, our catastrophic workers compensation lawyers know how to fight and win worker’s compensation claims. You deserve the compensation necessary to treat your injuries and rebuild your life, and we’re here to help.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that protects business owners when their employees are injured. Works comp benefits can help you to cover lost wages and provide medical benefits. It is designed to ensure that employees who are injured or disabled on the job are provided with the money they need so that they do not need file a traditional lawsuit.
Types of Catastrophic Work Injuries
According to the US Public Health and Welfare Code, a catastrophic injury is “an injury, the direct and proximate consequences of which permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”
Catastrophic injuries are devastating and life-changing, often affecting the brain, spinal cord, limb function, or senses. They affect your life and livelihood and require extensive medical treatment or rehabilitation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can result in lifelong cognitive, memory, or motor impairments. Many studies suggest that brain cells do not regenerate after being damaged, and though the brain is very adaptable, rehabilitation can be long and difficult, and a full recovery may not be possible.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is critical for the body’s normal function, and any damage can have serious consequences. Spinal cord injuries can lead to chronic pain, loss of sensation, or partial or complete paralysis.
These types of injuries can severely restrict mobility and independence and lead to reduced ability to work and quality of life.
Internal injuries may also be catastrophic when they permanently damage the function of your internal organs. The lungs and kidneys are particularly vulnerable to permanent damage in accidents.
Other types of catastrophic work injuries can include amputated limbs or other serious maiming and the loss of sensory function. This is an incomplete list, so be sure to consult with an attorney when determining whether a work injury is catastrophic.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Work Injuries
Workplace accidents can happen anywhere, but there are certain situations that more commonly lead to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Falls are the most common cause of catastrophic injuries at work, possibly from slippery surfaces or poor procedures. Falls can lead to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other types of catastrophic injury.
- Defective equipment like malfunctioning machinery or faulty tools can lead to severe wounds and amputations.
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals like toxic fumes or radioactive material can lead to organ damage or other catastrophic injuries.
Unsafe working conditions, inadequate safety protocols, and limited training leave many workers at unnecessary risk of suffering a catastrophic injury.
Steps to Take After a Work Injury
In the aftermath of a work injury, it’s important to act quickly.
- Seek medical attention right away. Call 911 or get to the nearest medical facility immediately. Fast treatment will give you the best possible chance of recovery, and medical records will be key evidence in your worker’s compensation claim.
- Inform your employer. Report your injury to your supervisor or other appropriate personnel as soon as reasonably possible.
- Get a lawyer. Navigating the complexity of worker’s compensation law can be daunting at the best of times, especially when dealing with a catastrophic injury. A worker’s compensation attorney’s help will be invaluable.
Types of Damages You Can Recover Through a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Worker’s compensation is a type of insurance that provides financial benefits and medical care for people injured at work. Worker’s compensation benefits can cover damages like:
- Medical expenses: From emergency room visits to long-term rehabilitation, catastrophic injuries are expensive to treat. Reimbursement for medical expenses is a key benefit of worker’s compensation.
- Lost wages: Catastrophic injuries leave you unable to work for extended periods of time, maybe even permanently. Worker’s compensation can cover some amount of the wages you would have been receiving.
Typically, worker’s compensation claims will only cover material, financial damages. Pain and suffering and emotional damage are usually not considered.
What Can I do if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your worker’s compensation claim is denied, don’t give up. An experienced worker’s compensation attorney, like our team at Werner, Hoffman & Greig, can help you gather additional evidence and file an appeal.
How Can a Catastrophic Work Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Navigating the legal system is never easy, and it can be difficult to seek fair compensation from those accountable for your injuries. An experienced catastrophic work injury lawyer can help by:
- Evaluating your case to determine the best way to proceed.
- Gathering and organizing evidence for the strongest possible case.
- Negotiating with insurance companies to secure every cent you deserve.
- Filing a lawsuit if a fair settlement isn’t able to be reached.
- If necessary, represent your interests in court.
Contact Werner, Hoffman & Greig to Speak with a Top-Rated Catastrophic Work Injury Lawyer
At Werner, Hoffman & Greig, we have a proven track record of securing compensation for our clients in catastrophic work injury claims. We understand the physical, mental, and emotional trauma of a catastrophic injury, and we provide compassionate support as we fight for your rights.
We know the ins and outs of the legal system and we are ready to use that knowledge and experience to get you the best possible outcome in your catastrophic work injury claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies as a catastrophic work injury in legal terms?
Legally, a catastrophic injury is any injury that directly prevents someone from ever performing gainful work again. This can include paralysis, brain damage, amputation, or other severe and permanent damage.
Some injuries that don’t meet this strict definition can count as catastrophic injuries if they have a significant and long-term impact on your ability to work and live a normal life. Get in touch with a catastrophic work injury attorney for an evaluation of your unique case.
Can I sue my employer for a catastrophic injury at work?
Yes, you may be able to sue your employer in some circumstances, such as if they intentionally caused your injury, ignored a dangerous workplace condition, or violated safety regulations. Our lawyers can help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit beyond your worker’s compensation claim.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a worker’s compensation claim?
In most states, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury. However, there may be some exceptions, such as if you were mentally or physically incapacitated in that time frame and couldn’t file.
Consult with a catastrophic work injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines.
How is compensation for a work injury calculated?
Worker’s compensation for a catastrophic injury usually covers medical expenses and two-thirds of your lost wages. The specifics vary, so consult with an experienced attorney for a more personal evaluation.