Solana Beach Catastrophic Injury Attorneys
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Solana Beach Catastrophic Injury Attorneys
With its proximity to beaches and hiking trails and its vibrant nightlife, Solana Beach offers plenty of opportunities for living well. However, no one can eliminate the risk of unintended, unexpected injuries. Unfortunately, some accidental injuries suffered by Solana Beach residents, workers, and visitors are so severe that they permanently impair a person’s ability to work, go to school, and enjoy life.
If you or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury in Solana Beach because of someone else’s dangerous decisions or actions, then you may have the right to take legal action seeking substantial financial compensation. Contact the experienced Solana Beach catastrophic injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation to learn more.
About Our Catastrophic Injury Lawyers
Gomez Trial Attorneys is a Southern California law firm that represents victims of catastrophic injuries in legal actions seeking compensation from parties who did them harm. Our Solana Beach personal injury lawyers fight to make sure that people who suffer injuries through no fault of their own obtain the financial resources they need to restore their health and rebuild their lives.
Over our years of practice, we have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards on behalf of our clients who face the daunting challenge of living with a catastrophic injury. Though we cannot guarantee that all of our clients will recover compensation, we can promise to act as strong, sophisticated advocates for their interests, to give them the best opportunity possible at a favorable outcome for their legal claims.
About Catastrophic Injuries
As lawyers for Solana beach catastrophic injury victims, we define catastrophic injuries as those that are so severe that they change the course of the victim’s life, often preventing them from working, going to school, or enjoying their favorite activities. The two most common catastrophic injuries we help clients face involve damage to the brain or spinal cord, although virtually any injury, if severe-enough, can qualify as catastrophic.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
The brain is a complex organ, tasked with controlling all of the body’s voluntary and involuntary responses. A violent blow or jolt to the head that inflicts damage to brain tissue, known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have profound and lasting effects for the injury victim.
The brain is divided into segments, known as lobes, that are responsible for specific functions.
The lobe of the brain that suffers trauma determines, to a large extent, the type of impairments the victim may suffer:
- An injury to the frontal lobe can result in difficulty communicating, recalling events, and controlling behavior, emotions, and impulses.
- An injury to the temporal lobe can cause difficulties with communication and memory.
- An injury to the parietal lobe can result in impairment to the individual’s five primary senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
- An injury to the cerebellum can lead to difficulty with balance and coordinated movement.
- An injury to the occipital lobe can produce difficulty seeing and perceiving the size and shape of objects.
- An injury to the brain stem can result in a breakdown of the body’s involuntary responses, such as breathing, heart rate, and sleep/ wake cycles.
Early treatment of a traumatic brain injury generally involves assessing the severity of the injury and taking steps to prevent it from getting worse as a result of bleeding, swelling, or (in the cases of penetrating injury) infection.
Even then taken, however, these steps cannot always prevent the victim from suffering serious long-term impairments and challenges. Traumatic brain injuries not only cause the sorts of significant deficits described above, but even can also lead to significant physical ailments and disruptions, including headaches, nausea, light-sensitivity, brain fog, dizziness, and diminished balance and motor skills. As a result, traumatic brain injuries often keep victims out of work or school, and take a heavy emotional toll not just on victims, but also on those closest to them.
Traumatic brain injuries also inflict heavy financial costs. The lifetime cost of medical treatment alone after incurring a brain injury can reach into the millions of dollars, not to mention the costs associated with missing work because of an injury. An estimated 60 percent of brain injured adults are unemployed two years after the injury occurred.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have years of experience representing clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Come talk to us about your or your loved one’s TBI today to learn about how we put our accumulated knowledge and know-how to work for our clients.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running through the bony protection of the spine from the base of the skull to the lower back. The spinal cord’s function is to send messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Contrary to popular belief, spinal cord injuries generally do not involve a complete severing of the cord. Most injuries instead involve damage to a cord that remains intact.
Still, even damage to an intact cord can lead to significant, long-term health challenges. Like the brain, the spinal cord has only limited ability to repair itself, so the deficits created by the injury often last a lifetime. The most significant of those deficits involve loss of sensation and function in parts of the body to which the cord can no longer transmit signals.
Doctors refer to SCIs as either complete or incomplete. Complete injuries feature a total loss of sensation and function (known as paralysis), whereas incomplete injuries involve partial loss of sensation and function.
The scope of the loss of sensation and function in either kind of SCI depends on the part of the spine where the injury occurred. Spinal cord injuries in the cervical (neck) region often result in tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, which involves loss of sensation and function to the shoulders, arms, hands, diaphragm, torso, hips, pelvis, legs, and feet. Spinal cord injuries to a lower portion of the cord—in the thoracic (chest) or lumbar (lower back) region—often result in paraplegia, which is paralysis in the hips, pelvis, legs, and feet.
In addition to the loss of sensation and function, spinal cord injuries produce a variety of significant health complications, each often requiring significant medical intervention and treatment, including:
- Changes in bladder or bowel control that can result in an increased number of urinary tract infections.
- Bedsores resulting from immobility and the loss of skin sensation which would allow the individual to feel the need to change positions.
- Problems with circulatory control that can result in blood clots, which can cause a potentially fatal condition known as a pulmonary embolus. Pulmonary embolus occurs when a blood clot travels through the bloodstream to the lung.
- Pneumonia and other respiratory issues created by the inability to swallow or cough productively.
- Muscle tone issues, including spasticity—the involuntary tightening of the muscles—or flaccidity, which defines a loss of muscle tone.
- The risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes as a result of a lack of physical activity following the injury.
- Changes to sexuality, sexual function, and fertility that can cause premature ejaculation in men and a loss of lubrication in women as well as a loss of the ability to conceive.
The Gomez Trial Attorneys team has a wealth of experience representing victims of SCI throughout Southern California. Our in-depth knowledge of the medical science and financial repercussions of spinal cord injuries help to ensure that our clients seek and, in many cases, recover maximum compensation for their injuries and losses.
Other Catastrophic Injuries
Of course, our team recognizes that any injury can have catastrophic consequences for a victim.
Some other types of injuries that have had profound, long-lasting effects on our clients’ lives and that deserve significant financial compensation include:
- Traumatic amputations and crushed limbs. Victims of violent accidents, often involving motor vehicle crashes or heavy equipment operation, can lose a limb through amputation or through damage so severe that the limb no longer functions. These injuries can disrupt a wide range of life activities, including work, schooling, and recreation.
- Non-traumatic brain injuries. Not all brain injuries involve a violent blow or jolt to the head. Brain tissue can also suffer damage from non-traumatic events including deprivation of oxygen (such as when someone drowns), and swelling or deterioration caused by a disease or auto-immune reaction. The impairments that follow from this sort of injury largely mirror those faced by victims of TBI.
- Burns. Exposure to flame, extreme heat, scalding liquid, electricity, chemicals, and radiation can inflict severe burns that cause agonizing pain, long-term physical impairment, lasting health complications, and permanent scarring and disfigurement.
- Organ damage. Harm to a vital organ, often due to the trauma of a car accident, can disrupt bodily functions permanently. Victims of these injuries must often live with significant restrictions on their diets, daily routines, and physical activity.
No matter what sort of a Solana Beach resident, worker, or visitor suffers because of someone else’s wrongful actions, if it results in a profound and lasting disruption in their lives, then the Gomez Trial Attorneys team can help.
Compensation for Solana Beach Catastrophic Injuries
Victims of catastrophic injuries in Solana Beach often have a legal right to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. In California, the law imposes legal liability for damages on any individual, company, or government agency that engages in dangerous conduct leading to a catastrophic injury to someone else. Lawyers say that liability arises when that party violates the duty of care not to make decisions or take actions that put others at unreasonable risk of harm, and that violation results in a physical or emotional injury to an innocent victim.
Targeting Legal Liability
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, one of our most important jobs for many of our clients is to investigate the facts and circumstances of an injury to determine whose dangerous decisions or actions caused it. In many cases, more than one individual, company, or government agency might bear some of the blame for the harm done to a victim.
- Motorists, their employers, automotive manufacturers, and local government road departments often face legal liability for contributing to the cause of car accidents that injure someone.
- In truck accidents, truckers, trucking companies, logistics contractors, and truck makers can owe compensation to victims of accidents caused by their careless or reckless conduct.
- In cases involving an accidental fall (also known as slip and fall), property owners, tenants, and maintenance contractors can have legal liability for causing a dangerous property condition.
- In cases arising in medical and nursing home care settings, medical providers, pharmacists, private ambulance companies, and drug manufacturers can make mistakes that leave them legally liable to injured patients.
These are just some examples, of course. The important thing to know is that the Gomez Trial Attorneys team aims to hold all parties accountable for wrongful actions that harmed a client.
Seeking Maximum Compensation
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we also commit our full effort to make sure our Solana Beach clients seek the maximum compensation potentially available to them under California law. Every case we handle is different, of course, so the compensation our clients might expect to receive thanks to our efforts varies widely. As a general matter, though, we typically work to make sure legally liable parties pay our clients full economic and non-economic damages resulting from any catastrophic injury.
Economic damages consist of out-of-pocket expenses related to an injury, including:
- Medical expenses, including co-pays, deductibles, and the past and future costs of hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, medication, medical equipment, and rehabilitation.
- Non-medical expenses the victim incurred in the present or future that the victim would not have had but for the catastrophic injury.
- Lost wages from missing work and from the inability to return to work in the future.
Non-economic damages refer to the harm done to a person’s life by a catastrophic injury that does not necessarily come with a price tag attached, such as:
- Physical pain;
- Emotional suffering, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD;
- Loss of the enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium with a spouse or partner.
Solana Beach Catastrophic Injury FAQ
In a place as picturesque and enjoyable as Solana Beach, it’s hard to believe that someone would need to hire an attorney to help them recover damages related to an accident that resulted in a catastrophic injury. Unfortunately, accidents can happen anywhere, and people rarely think about hiring an attorney until they really need one.
If you or your loved one sustained a catastrophic injury as a result of an accident in Solana Beach that was caused by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, you undoubtedly have a lot of questions about your legal rights and how to pay for large, unexpected expenses related to your injury. Here are answers to some of the questions clients most frequently ask us about catastrophic injuries in Solana Beach.
What qualifies as a catastrophic injury?
There is no official definition of catastrophic injury, but as personal injury lawyers for Solana Beach residents, workers, and visitors, we consider an injury to be catastrophic if it causes severe, long-term disruption to a person’s life, livelihood, and wellbeing. Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries represent common types of catastrophic injuries that some of our clients have suffered. However, any type of injury, if severe enough, could qualify as catastrophic, including burns, amputated or crushed limbs, or organ damage.
How do I recover compensation for a Solana Beach catastrophic injury?
There are several ways.
First, you may have the right to receive the benefits of an insurance policy that covers you against some of the expenses associated with a catastrophic injury. Auto insurance or health insurance may cover some of the costs. Workers’ compensation insurance covers costs associated with a catastrophic injury sustained at work. Private long-term disability (also called supplemental) insurance and public insurance programs like Social Security Disability Insurance can also pay for some of the cost of a catastrophic injury. A victim obtains this compensation by filing an insurance claim, often with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
In addition, if the accident that resulted in your injury was caused by the careless, reckless, or intentional actions of someone else, then you may also have the right to take legal action seeking compensation from the party who did you harm. Most commonly, you obtain that compensation by hiring a personal injury attorney and filing a lawsuit.
What damages can I claim in a lawsuit for a Solana Beach catastrophic injury?
Every Solana Beach catastrophic injury claim has its own unique facts and circumstances, so the amount and type of damages a lawsuit can see varies widely.
However, as a general matter, our clients can often seek financial compensation to pay for:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Past and future non-medical expenses, including property damage;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of the enjoyment of life;
- Loss of consortium with a spouse or partner; and
- In some cases, punitive (or exemplary) damages.
Talking with an experienced Solana Beach personal injury lawyer is the most reliable way to determine what damages you might recover in a legal action for your catastrophic injury.
How does a Solana Beach catastrophic injury lawyer prove my claim for damages?
Again, it depends in significant part on the circumstances of your individual case. Commonly, however, your lawyer would pursue a claim for damages against anyone whose negligent decisions or actions caused your injury.
Negligence is a legal term that refers to a situation where:
- Someone owed you a duty of care not to act in a way that put you at an unreasonable risk of suffering an injury. What constitutes that duty depends on the circumstances. Motorists owe a duty of care to drive safely. Property owners owe a duty of care to warn visitors about dangerous property conditions. And so on.
- There was a breach in the duty of care that unreasonably put you in harm’s way. The breach also depends on the circumstances. Speeding in dense fog would likely violate a duty of care. So would a property owner’s failure to warn visitors about a slippery floor.
- The breach resulted in the accident or incident that caused your injury.
To prove the negligence of a person, company, or government agency, lawyers need evidence. Evidence constitutes any statement or thing that tends to prove the existence of the duty, the breach of the duty, and an injury. Documents, objects, and witness testimony all constitute evidence. Lawyers for Solana Beach catastrophic injury victims prove a claim for damages by collecting and analyzing evidence to identify who has a legal liability to their clients, and how much money their clients should receive, and then by presenting that evidence to lawyers for those parties, insurance companies, judges, and juries, in the context of a lawsuit.
If I win, where do my damages payment come from?
In most Solana Beach catastrophic injury cases that reach a favorable outcome, the payment for the injured person’s damages comes from an insurance company that issued a liability insurance policy to the party with legal liability. Sometimes, however, the payment also (or even only) comes directly from the party with legal liability. Experienced Solana Beach personal injury attorneys know the importance of investigating a client’s claim thoroughly to identify the parties most likely to be able to pay damages.
What if my Solana Beach catastrophic injury was partially my fault?
That’s okay. Talk to our experienced Solana Beach personal injury attorneys about the circumstances of your injury to find out how your actions might have affected your claim. It may surprise you to learn that you don’t need to worry, and that you still have a claim for substantial monetary damages.
What is a settlement? Is it the same thing as a claim?
No, they are not the same. Claim is a general term for someone’s legal right to receive compensation for a personal injury. A settlement is the most common way of resolving a claim.
Specifically, a settlement is an agreement between the injured person and the person, company, or agency with legal liability for the person’s injuries. In the agreement, the party with legal liability agrees to pay money to the injured person, and in exchange, the injured person releases the party from any further legal liability (and, if a lawsuit has been filed, agrees to dismiss the lawsuit and not file it again). Once the terms of the settlement have been agreed and carried out, the legal claim ends.
Most (but not all) Solana Beach legal claims involving catastrophic injuries end in a settlement. The ones that do not typically end up in a trial, where they end with a decision by a judge or jury about whether to award damages to the injured person, and if so, how much.
How long does it take to settle a lawsuit involving a Solana Beach catastrophic injury?
It all depends. First, as we said above, although most claims settle, some do not. So, there’s no guarantee of a settlement in any case.
The timelines for cases that do settle vary widely. Some cases last only a month or two, and settle after a brief negotiation between lawyers and insurance representatives for the parties. Other cases can take a year or more, and only settle on the eve of a trial (or even after a trial begins).
Most of the factors that affect the time it takes to get from filing a claim to reaching a settlement lie beyond your or your lawyer’s ability to control entirely, or even at all. Those factors can include the number of parties in a case; the amount of money at issue; the degree of dispute about facts or legal issues; and even the personalities of the numerous individuals involved (clients, lawyers, insurance representatives, and judges alike).
One thing Solana Beach catastrophic injury victims can control to a great extent is how soon they speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about their potential claim. As a general rule, the sooner you hire an attorney to represent you in your claim, the better your odds of achieving a successful outcome, and the better the chances of that outcome happening quickly.
What if someone offers me a settlement before I hire a Solana Beach catastrophic injury lawyer?
We cannot offer advice for your specific situation without meeting with you and hearing the facts. However, we encourage anyone who receives a settlement offer directly from the person at fault or that person’s insurance company to exercise extreme caution.
In our experience, the best course of action is virtually always to speak with a lawyer first before you agree to any offer of money or other form of compensation. In fact, it’s a good idea to avoid having so much as a conversation with anyone about resolving your claim before you have a lawyer on your side.
Parties with legal liability for someone’s injuries and their representatives make quick settlement offers for one reason: to cut their losses and get out from under their liability as cheaply as possible. Offers made directly to the injured person usually aim to capitalize on that person’s lack of experience and potential financial strain, hoping the injured person will agree to a settlement worth far less than their claim is actually worth.
We understand the temptation of just taking the money. However, many people do not realize that settlements are a one-shot-deal. Agreeing to the amount offered means giving up your right to press your claim in the future. So, you had better be 100 percent sure the amount on offer compensates you as fully as possible for your injuries and losses. Call us to make sure it does.
Most Solana Beach catastrophic injury victims benefit from having a lawyer negotiate a settlement on their behalf, and from having the lawyer’s advice about what constitutes a good offer, and what does not.
Do I really need a Solana Beach catastrophic injury lawyer? Can’t I just negotiate a settlement on my own?
If you are like most people, then yes, you really need a lawyer, and no, you can’t just negotiate a settlement on your own. It is a disaster waiting to happen. In our experience, people who make the tragic mistake of thinking they can be their own lawyer get no benefit from that decision, and usually cost themselves dearly.
People struggling with a catastrophic injury rarely have the time, strength, or know-how to pull off representing themselves. They need an experienced lawyer to make the most of their claim and to guide them around potential mistakes that could cost them their rights. Plus, defense lawyers, insurance representatives, judges, and juries simply do not take people who represent themselves seriously. Having a lawyer on your side shows that your claim is serious and deserves their attention.
How much will a Solana Beach catastrophic injury lawyer cost me?
The first meeting with an experienced Solana Beach personal injury lawyer is always free of charge. If you and the lawyer agree to work together, the lawyer will virtually always work on a contingency fee basis. That is an arrangement where you and the lawyer agree that the lawyer will collect a percentage of any money the lawyer can recover on your behalf. You pay nothing upfront, and you and the lawyer share the goal of getting you the most money possible as efficiently as possible.
So, bottom line: hiring a lawyer for your Solana Beach catastrophic injury claim costs you nothing upfront, and nothing at all unless your lawyer gets you results. Never let financial worries stop you from speaking to an experienced Solana Beach personal injury lawyer about your rights to compensation.
If you or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury in Solana Beach because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally-harmful actions, then you may have rights under California law to receive substantial financial compensation. To learn more about those rights and options for moving forward, contact an experienced Solana Beach catastrophic injury attorney today. your legal options.
Solana Beach Lawyer for Catastrophic Injuries
Did you or your loved one suffer a catastrophic injury in the Solana Beach area? Let the experienced catastrophic injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys help you make sense of your legal rights to compensation. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (619) 237-3490.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
603 N. Highway 101
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Phone: (858) 400-4333
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“John helped me find doctors, he referred me to his neurologist, his physical therapist, I mean, anything I needed he was right there, every step of the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better result from all of this, I would absolutely recommend Gomez Trial Attorneys.”
“During the time I was working with Gomez Trial Attorneys, they treated me very, very well. 100% of the time, they believed me, and they were very compassionate. They felt sorry for what happened and they understood the therapy process.”
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“He opened the door for me to join his firm to help other brain Injury survivors and I never met another firm who is like this who was so understanding and caring who took the extra step and walked the extra mile with their clients and this is the best”
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