Helping Personal Injury Victims Find Financial Security
There are a variety of accidents that may result in personal injury that does lasting or permanent harm to the accident victim. Surviving a serious personal injury is an expensive undertaking due to medical bills and related expenses. The costs of a personal injury that results in permanent disability do not end. The disabled individual will need care the rest of their life.
Stern Law works with individuals and families whose lives have been changed forever by personal injuries suffered in accidents some other person or entity has caused. We help these clients understand and prepare for what lies ahead in their recovery or adjustment to a new life. We also help clients obtain compensation for the costs of serious personal injuries from liable parties.
If you have suffered a personal injury in an accident that someone else caused, there are resources and legal options available to you. Stern Law will fight for compensation you are due after an accident has left you seriously injured and/or disabled. Stern Law will speak for you.
Our ultimate goal for individuals and families dealing with serious personal injures is to ensure they receive compensation they deserve to help them recover and put their lives back together. Stern Law and a network of litigation attorneys pursue personal injury claims for clients nationwide. Personal injury lawsuits are often complex and difficult cases, but Stern Law has a track record of success.
We win cases by listening to our clients, investigating cases thoroughly, clearly explaining the legal options available, and proceeding according to clients’ needs and desires. When we pursue personal injury cases, we move forward aggressively. But we don’t simply handle cases. We represent clients.
Do You Recognize the Personal Injury Your Accident Caused?
There are countless ways a person may suffer a personal injury, such as in a car, truck, plane or train accident, or while walking along a road, riding a bike, or simply living their life. Many personal injuries happen because of workplace accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites unintentional personal injury (accidents) as the No. 1 cause of death for ages 1 through 44. (Older age groups are more likely to die from cancer or heart disease.)
Personal injuries are typically caused by some form of:
- Fall or falling
- Being struck by an object
- Being pushed up against or crushed by an object
- Fire, explosion or electrocution (including lightning)
- Guns / firearms (accidents, assault or suicide)
Among the most common serious personal injuries suffered in accidents every day are:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A brain injury can be caused by a blow to the head, a jolt or violently shaking the head, or by the skull and brain tissue being penetrated. Most people recover fully from a minor TBI, which is known as a concussion. But a severe TBI can cause brain damage that leads to lasting cognitive and emotional damage. Loss of oxygen to the brain, such as in a near-drowning or some other suffocation accident, can also cause brain damage. Serious brain injuries can be degenerative, causing increased loss of function before premature death.
- Back, neck and spinal cord injuries. A blow to the neck or back may fracture, dislocate, crush or compress one or more vertebrae or disks in the spine. This type of injury can be very painful and cause loss of mobility. Surgery may repair the damage, but many who undergo back surgery never fully recover. If the injury damages the spinal cord directly or indirectly (i.e., an inflamed disk impinges on the spinal cord) the victim may be paralyzed. Paralysis occurs from the point of injury downward, and may be described as paraplegia (loss of mobility in the legs) or tetraplegia (loss mobility in arms and legs). Tetraplegia may also affect major organs, and cause the patient to require breathing assistance, or example. Direct damage to the spinal cord cannot be repaired.
- Broken bones (fractures). Many children and youths suffer simple fractures as part of growing up, and heal after several weeks in a cast with no problem. However, broken bones do not heal as quickly or as fully in adults, especially the elderly. Older adults who suffer broken hips in falls often never recover, and die prematurely after being bed-ridden. Serious fractures at any age, like compound fractures or shattered bones, require surgery to repair. Ribs that are broken and displaced by the force of an accident may puncture internal organs, which can be life-threatening.
- Internal organ injury. A penetrating injury or a struck-by or crushing accident can damage internal organs in the chest and abdomen, including the heart, liver, stomach, bowels, etc. In an impact injury, the sharp ends of broken and dislodged ribs can tear into internal organs. A non-fatal internal organ injury that is not surgically repaired quickly enough can lead to death or life-threatening state of shock or infection.
- Amputation. If one or more of an accident victim’s limbs (arms, legs), hands, feet, digits (fingers, toes) or ears are badly crushed or torn in an accident, they may become partially or completely severed from the body. Loss of a body part in an accident is referred to as “traumatic amputation.” If damage to bone or soft-tissue is too severe, it may be necessary for doctors to remove a limb, digit, hand, foot or ear that cannot be saved. This is known as “surgical amputation.” Amputated limbs may be replaced with prosthetic (artificial) limbs, which though expensive increasingly offer renewed ability and mobility.
- Burns. In addition to open flame, severe burns can be caused by hot water (including steam), toxic chemicals or electrical current. A severe burn (third or fourth degree) may require multiple surgeries to repair damaged skin, including skin grafts and potentially cosmetic surgery to repair disfigurement. In addition to the excruciating pain, the extensive skin damage in a severe burn leaves the victim susceptible to infection, which can advance quickly and cause death.
- Electrocution / electrical shock. Electrocution refers to contact with a fatal amount of electrical energy. An electrical injury that is not fatal is a shock or electrical burn. An electrical burn is caused by the heat generated by electric current flowing through the Electrocutions often happen in workplace accidents. They can occur if someone comes into contact with overhead power lines or another electricity source, such as frayed cords or bare wires. Shock, electrical burns and electrocution may also be caused by damaged appliances, defective tools or other faulty consumer products.
- Cuts and bruises. Deep cuts (lacerations) and bruises (contusions) can damage muscle and organs. Significant bleeding can cause a victim go into shock, which is life-threatening. Cuts and bruises to the eyes may cause irreparable vision loss. Severe cuts can cause scarring that requires plastic surgery to repair.
- Soft tissue injuries. Serious musculoskeletal injuries (torn muscles, ligaments or tendons) can require reparative surgery followed by physical rehabilitation to enable the victim to recover use of injured limbs, feet or hands. Less serious sprains, strains and tears may require recuperation that causes loss of work and income.
- Psychological injury. It is important to not overlook the emotional distress that can be caused by a serious accident. Accident victims can suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of their own injury or due to witnessing a loved one’s injury or death. Some accident victims develop depression during a long or difficult recovery, or because of a diagnosis of permanent disability. Accident victims may require psychological counseling for limited or extended periods to learn to cope with their personal injuries and/or other losses.
Compensation for the Personal Injury Victim’s Financial Recovery
A personal injury that leads to extensive hospitalization and a lengthy recovery, or permanent disability, can be fatal to the accident victim’s and/or their family’s finances.
The CDC says the full cost of nonfatal accident and violence-related injuries in 2013, the latest year available, was more than $457 billion.
To guard against the cost of personal injuries in our own lives, we obtain insurance, either for ourselves or for accidents we may cause others (liability insurance). After an accident, a personal injury claim seeks payment through insurance for the cost of medical bills and other expenses associated with the injury.
Personal injury law allows accident victims to seek compensation (or “damages”) for financial losses, due to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Additional expenses, such as for personal assistance required by an injury, transportation or car rental, travel to medical appointments, etc.
When a personal injury results in permanent disability, the calculation of medical costs the accident victim should be compensated for must consider future needs. A detailed life care plan for a disabled individual sets out projected costs for ongoing or anticipated medical treatment, medication, maintenance and replacement for assistive devices like wheelchairs or hospital beds, and more.
Accident victims can also seek compensation for their noneconomic losses, such as for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional /psychological distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (intimacy or sexual relationship with a spouse orpartner)
Laws regarding what compensation an accident victim may seek vary from state to state. Some states specify compensation to be paid to victims of scarring and disfigurement. Some states limit noneconomic damages to a specific amount, such as a three times the total amount awarded for economic damages. Other states cap the total amount an accident victim can obtain in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Accident victims need the assistance of experienced lawyers when they file personal injury claims because insurance companies work hard to avoid payouts. Some insurers try to avoid any payment. Other insurers will offer a settlement that is a low-ball payment that is based on statistics for certain accidents and personal injuries but has nothing to do with your actual injuries and losses.
Attorneys at Stern Law, PLLC understand how insurance companies and insurance law work, and how insurance policies are written. We work hard to make sure you obtain the compensation you need and deserve after a serious accident.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC for Your Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Stern Law, PLLC. We will hold liable parties and insurance companies accountable. We will speak for you.
Contact Stern Law today for legal representation tailored to your needs.