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Catastrophic Injuries Information Center

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Frequently Asked Questions about Catastrophic Injuries

Q: What is a "catastrophic" injury?

A: Injuries are often called "catastrophic" when the physical injuries to a person are especially severe, and require extensive medical treatment. The injuries may involve damage to a person's central nervous system, and this may affect other bodily systems or functions. Catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Burns over a large portion of the body
  • Loss of an eye
  • Injuries to the nerves in the chest, shoulder, and arm (brachial plexus)
  • Multiple fractures

In addition, many people who suffer catastrophic injuries also suffer depression or other emotional problems because of the limitations put on them by their injuries.

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Injuries that are considered catastrophic, due to the enormous impact they have on the lives of the individuals who experience them, include the following: brain injury, spinal cord injury, accidental amputation, severe burns, multiple fractures, or other, neurological disorders.

Houston Serious and Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

The law firm of Hartley Hampton, P.C., offers vigorous representation for people who have suffered life-altering injuries in accidents caused by the negligence, misconduct, or criminal actions of another. If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, severe burns, or other severe harm, we can help you seek the fair compensation damages you may be entitled to. Contact our Houston law offices to schedule a no-cost consultation with attorney Hartley Hampton.

Catastrophic Injuries - An Overview

A catastrophic injury or illness usually occurs suddenly and without warning. Injuries that are considered catastrophic, due to the enormous impact they have on the lives of the individuals who experience them, include the following: brain injury, spinal cord injury, accidental amputation, severe burns, multiple fractures, or other, neurological disorders. A catastrophic injury or illness very often causes severe disruption to the central nervous system, which in turn affects many other systems of the body. In addition to possible loss of movement, sensation, and communicative and cognitive abilities, the injury or illness may impact respiration, circulation, skin, the urinary system, the gastrointestinal system, and other body systems. Management of such an injury is complex and requires the expertise of a team of health professionals including physicians, consultants, nurses, therapists, and counselors. Clearly, the long-term needs of someone who has experienced this type of injury far surpass those of individuals with less severe injuries. Individuals may recover from some catastrophic injuries if they receive proper, early medical treatment; however, others may experience permanent disability, significant suffering, and reduced life spans.

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Who Is Responsible?

Determining who is responsible for catastrophic injuries can be difficult. There typically is one party directly involved at the scene. However, there may be several other less obvious parties whose conduct played a role in causing your injuries. Catastrophic injuries usually cause the victim to suffer extensive monetary damages. It is important to identify everyone who may be responsible so that complete justice may be done. An attorney experienced in handling catastrophic injury cases knows how to investigate the facts of a case and to learn the identities of every responsible party.

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Specific Types of Catastrophic Injuries

What follows is a brief discussion of some of the more common, devastating, injuries that necessitate the expertise of an attorney, knowledgeable in catastrophic injury claims, to obtain adequate financial compensation for the injured individual. If you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of an accident, consult an attorney to learn your rights to compensation. A lawyer experienced in catastrophic injury litigation can help you learn what your rights are.

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Informed Consent in Cases of Medical Malpractice

If you were injured as the result of a medical procedure or medication, the concept of informed consent will likely arise in any claim for your injuries that you bring against a medical professional. In many situations where medical care or treatment is provided to an individual, medical professionals are required to obtain the patient's "informed consent." Although the specific definition of informed consent may vary from state to state, it means essentially that a physician (or other medical provider) must advise a patient of all of the potential benefits, risks, and alternatives involved in any surgical procedure, medical procedure, or other course of treatment, and must obtain the patient's written consent to proceed. If you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of a medical procedure or medication, consult an attorney to learn your rights to compensation. A lawyer experienced in catastrophic injury litigation can help you learn what your rights are.

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Motorcycle Accidents: Helmet Laws

A helmet is by far the most important and most effective piece of protective equipment a motorcycle rider or passenger can wear. Helmets save lives by reducing the extent of head injuries in the event of a traffic accident. A helmetless motorcyclist involved in an accident is three times as likely to suffer a brain injury as a motorcyclist wearing a helmet.

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Motorcycle Accidents: Protective Equipment

The best way to avoid litigation for the devastating injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident is to never be injured in a motorcycle accident in the first place. Easier said than done? Well, the bad news is that motorcycle riders involved in accidents face a much greater risk of injury than automobile drivers, and motorcycle riders can never be kept completely safe from injury in an accident. The good news is that developments in protective equipment can make motorcycle riders much safer than in the past, provided they take advantage of those developments. If you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of a motorcycle accident, consult an attorney to learn your rights to compensation. A lawyer experienced in motorcycle accident litigation can help you learn what your rights are.

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The Houston, Texas, law firm of Hartley Hampton, P.C., serves businesses and individuals in communities throughout south Texas in areas such as Bellaire, Baytown, Pasadena, La Porte, Alvin, Pearland, Lake Jackson, Conroe, the Woodlands, Tomball, Kingwood, League City, Humble, Galveston, Clear Lake, Friendswood, Texas City, Katy, West Houston, Orange, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Austin, San Antonio, Texas Gulf Coast and Dallas.

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