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Top Five Catastrophic Injuries in Southern California

February 02, 2024

On average, medical bills in catastrophic (life-threatening) injury matters exceed $155,000. The financial strain increases physical strain, making it harder for doctors to successfully treat catastrophic injuries. As a result, the victim’s medical bills increase, and the downward spiral continues.

A Los Angeles Catastrophic Injury Lawyer stops this downward spiral and, in most cases, reverses it. Attorneys connect catastrophic injury victims with doctors who expertly diagnose and treat their injuries. Lawyers also tend to other immediate needs, such as rental cars. Then, a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer goes to court and obtains the compensation these victims need and deserve.

What are the most common catastrophic injuries in California?

Severe Burns

Truck accidents often cause severe burns. Fully loaded large trucks usually carry hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, which burns at a different temperature from ordinary gasoline. Furthermore, in many cases, victims are pinned under flaming wreckage until emergency responders can free them. 

Because of the prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, these victims often sustain burns of the third degree (wounds that affect the inner skin layer) or fourth degree (wounds that char bones).

The average burn injury-related hospital stay is much longer and much more expensive than other injury-related hospitalizations. Additionally, severe burns usually cause physical and emotional scars that last a lifetime.

Head Injuries

Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries kill over 50,000 Americans every year. sTBIs are difficult to diagnose. Many doctors ascribe initial head injury symptoms, such as disorientation and soreness, to accident shock, a temporary condition that quickly goes away on its own. As a result, their injuries degenerate.

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries (concussions) aren’t, by themselves, catastrophic or even serious. However, the cumulative effect of mTBIs could cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other serious brain injuries. Two or twenty concussions could cause Catastrophic Injury in California. No one knows the number, and the number varies in different cases.

If a pre-existing condition, like a previous concussion, contributed to the risk or severity of an injury, the eggshell skull rule usually applies. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can still obtain maximum compensation even if the victim is unusually, or uniquely, vulnerable to injury.

Undiagnosed or untreated medical conditions, like diabetes, could cause acquired brain injuries. ABIs and TBIs are similar in most other ways.

Birth Injuries

Dangerous medical interventions often cause catastrophic brain injuries. These dangerous medical interventions include:

  • Forceps: If a baby is stuck in a mother’s birth canal, doctors sometimes use forceps, which are basically surgical salad tongs, to pry the baby out of the womb. Tiny infants are so fragile that the forceps almost literally crush their skulls.
  • Vacuum Extractor: Doctors have used forceps for hundreds of years. The vacuum extractor, a relative newcomer, uses the same principle. A doctor attaches a vacuum tube to a baby’s head and turns on the power. Theoretically, the vacuum sucks the baby out of the mother’s body. This process could cause catastrophic head injuries and other injuries.
  • Episiotomy: Doctors cut into the mother’s perineum (area between her anus and genitals) to expand her birth canal. These incisions also cause uncontrolled maternal bleeding at a time when she needs every ounce of strength.

Failure to prepare usually prompts doctors to use such dangerous measures. Doctors should be aware of LGA (large for gestational age) babies and be prepared to deliver them safely.

Failure to follow through could cause a birth injury as well. For example, newborns who spend too much time on ventilators often develop BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia), a serious lung disease.575

Hearing Loss

Long-term exposure to sounds as noisy as 35 decibels, which is basically a kitchen blender, could cause permanent hearing loss.

If doctors intervene quickly, hearing loss usually isn’t serious. Today’s hearing aids are incredibly advanced in many ways.

However, most doctors don’t get the required head start. Instead, by the time they treat victims, their eardrums have been permanently damaged.

Hearing loss has collateral effects as well. For example, if people cannot hear well, they usually withdraw from family and friends. The isolation often causes severe depression.

Back Injuries

Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of back injuries. The lifelong medical bills in a catastrophic back injury matter could exceed $5 million. Such an injury could be catastrophic even if victims don’t “break” their backs. Spinal misalignment, which is common in low-speed car crashes, could also cause permanent injury.

Consult Our California Catastrophic Injury Lawyers

Victims who faced a Catastrophic Injury in California need and deserve substantial compensation. For a free consultation with Catastrophic Injury Attorneys in California, contact Sharona Eslamboly Hakim at the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim.

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