Catastrophic injuries can end careers and turn families’ lives upside down. Full recovery from a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal injury may take years. It may require the accident victim to adapt to a new life.
If a loved one of yours has suffered a catastrophic injury on the job, you need to have a clear understanding of your loved one’s legal rights and options. Texas, unlike other states, does not require all employers to have workers’ compensation coverage to protect injured workers. An experienced workplace injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman in San Antonio can review your accident and explain your legal options during a free consultation.
Our workplace injury attorneys at Herrman & Herrman in San Antonio can help you seek workers’ compensation benefits, if available, or pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf. We do everything we can to assist victims with catastrophic injury cases.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is one that causes permanent, life-altering physical and/or mental damage. Federal law (42 U.S.C. § 3796b(1)) defines catastrophic injury as an injury that permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work.
Catastrophic injuries are characterized by a lengthy recovery process and debilitating symptoms that severely damage the individual’s ability to perform daily life activities, such as:
- Caring for oneself
- Performing manual tasks
Common catastrophic workplace injuries include:
- Severe traumatic brain injury (a TBI that causes lasting physical and/or cognitive / psychological incapacity)
- Spinal cord injury (paralysis, i.e., paraplegia or tetraplegia)
- Severe burns (third-degree burns, or burns over a major joint or large portion of the body)
- Loss of limb
- Blindness or loss of one eye
- Internal organ damage
Catastrophic injuries require emergency medical care and may require multiple surgeries, lengthy convalescence and extensive rehabilitation to achieve the maximum medical improvement possible. Rehabilitation should include psychological counseling for those with life-altering injuries. Counseling also may be extended to family members of the disabled worker.
Some individuals recover fully from catastrophic injuries. In many cases they do not, and the end result is:
- Permanent disability
- Permanent loss in quality of life
- The need for live-in care or constant assistance
- Reduced life expectancy.
Catastrophic, career-ending workplace injuries require you to look forward and anticipate future needs, perhaps for years to come. It is crucial that the compensation you recover from a work injury claim addresses such requirements as future medical procedures, use and maintenance of assistive devices, in-home nursing care or personal assistance, and more.
A catastrophic injury claim will likely require a large payout, which insurers do not like to make, regardless of how clearly justified it is. To make the strongest case for a full financial settlement, you’ll need experienced legal representation. The injury lawyers at Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C., have successfully represented thousands of clients with serious injuries in San Antonio and South Texas.
We cannot change what happened to you. But Herrman & Herrman will do everything legally allowable to make sure you recover a workers’ comp or personal injury claim settlement that will keep you and your family financially stable in the years ahead. Please contact us in San Antonio as soon as you can to discuss how we can help you or your loved one.
Planning for the Future After a Catastrophic Injury
If you employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you may be entitled to a number of benefits after a workplace accident.
Texas workers’ compensation benefits include reimbursement for all necessary medical costs related to a workplace injury, Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs) for lost salary and wages, Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) for permanent impairments from a work-related injury, and Lifetime income benefits (LIBS) for certain disabling or catastrophic injuries.
TIBs are equal to 70% of the difference between your average weekly wage and the wages you are able to earn after your work-related injury. IIBs are 70% of your average weekly wage. LIBs are 75% of an injured employee’s average weekly wage, with a 3% increase each year.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance or if a third party – not your employer – contributed to your injuries, you may be eligible to file a workplace injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit may demand compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages, including losses due to loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium.
Medical costs typically make up the majority of payments for a catastrophic injury claim. But the costs of hospitalization and medical care to save the life of a catastrophic injury victim are only the start. In many catastrophic injury cases, determining proper compensation for medical costs must take into account ongoing medical needs.
To calculate a proper workers’ compensation or personal injury settlement for a permanently disabled client, we work with medical and financial professionals to develop a life care plan. This detailed report is a plan for current and future needs and their associated costs for individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury.
A client’s needs considered for inclusion in a life care plan include:
- Routine medical care
- Diagnostic testing
- Prescription and nonprescription medications
- Potential complications / surgical intervention
- Medical and adaptive equipment
- Aids for independent functioning
- Home care / facility care
- Architectural modifications to the home
- Vocational services.
Contact a Workplace Injury Attorney in San Antonio
Our San Antonio workers’ compensation lawyers at Herrman & Herrman know how to fight aggressively for our clients’ rights. We are committed to helping clients dealing with catastrophic injuries. We will take the time to understand all the ways that your injury has affected your life and your family’s future and determine the full amount of compensation you are due. We will use all of our resources to pursue a proper settlement for you.
Our team of aggressive San Antonio workplace injury attorneys are available discuss your case and help you make the best decision regarding your legal options and future needs. Call us today at (361) 882-4357 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are here for you!