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IL injury lawyerEvery day, people are injured for a variety of reasons. According to the National Safety Council, there were 48.3 million people who sought medical attention for unintentional injuries that they sustained. The majority of people who are injured from some sort of accident suffer things like broken bones or lacerations -- injuries that will eventually heal and go away. However, in some cases, injuries from an accident can be much more serious and can result in long-term or chronic effects. In many cases, these injuries are considered “catastrophic injuries” and can have devastating effects on a person and their entire family.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

There is no statewide definition for a catastrophic injury in Illinois. However, according to the U.S. Code, a catastrophic injury is an injury that permanently prevents a person from performing any gainful work. This definition would mean that any injury that prevents a person from working enough or doing work that would financially support themselves and their family would be considered a catastrophic injury.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are severe and usually result in more than losing the ability to work. If an individual is so severely injured that they are unable to work, they are also likely unable to do other things, perhaps such as walking or taking care of themselves. Some of the most common types of injuries that can become catastrophic include:

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IL brain injury lawyerMarch is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. The severity of brain injuries vary depending on the type of accident that caused it. Incidents can range from someone colliding with another athlete while playing sports to falling off a ladder at work and hitting their head to being involved in a car accident. Victims should seek immediate medical attention as the injury may require surgery, a lengthy hospital stay, and/or extensive therapy. In many cases, another party may have caused the injury, such as a drunk or distracted driver or negligent manufacturer. A personal injury attorney can assist those who are suffering and pursue compensation on their behalf to alleviate the expense associated with medical bills and lost wages.

Prompt Care and Rehabilitation Can Restore Brain Function

The treatment for brain injuries might be different depending on the type of damage to the brain. For example, the way a concussion is treated is different than a skull fracture. The first step in treating a brain injury involves imaging tests. A computerized tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays for a comprehensive view of the brain and is typically performed when a victim comes to the emergency room. A CT scan can reveal fractures as well as hemorrhages, hematomas, contusions, or swelling. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets and radio waves for a detailed view of the brain. This test may be conducted once a patient’s condition stabilizes.

Generally, mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) require rest and over-the-counter pain medication to relieve symptoms such as a headache. However, even individuals with less serious brain injuries should be monitored closely for any worsening or new symptoms. Limiting physical or thinking (cognitive) activities is typically recommended by physicians.

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IL crash lawyerPeople can hurt themselves in many different ways. Automobile accidents are a leading cause of personal injuries. Various factors can increase the likelihood of a crash, including inclement weather conditions, negligent motorists, and faulty work equipment. Depending on the circumstances, injuries can range from minor to serious to fatal. Catastrophic injuries may include severed limbs or significant damage that requires the amputation of a limb. This can alter a victim’s life physically and emotionally if he or she loses the use of a body part. In some cases, if another party’s actions are found to have caused the injuries, the negligent party may be held accountable.

Catastrophic Injuries

When a car passenger, a bike rider, or a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, his or her legs or arms may be crushed during the impact. Depending on the speed and force of the crash, these limbs can be severed. In other cases, being pinned or trapped between work machinery can compress the nerves and blood supply to different parts of the body, which can result in irreparable damage. Although certain injuries can be fixed with surgery or extensive physical therapy, some cannot be repaired. In these instances, a doctor may need to amputate in order to save the victim’s life.

A few of the major types of incidents that could potentially lead to the loss of a limb:

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IL injury lawyerBurns to the skin can be caused by many different things, including sun exposure, explosion, chemical spill, and more. Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that burns cause approximately 180,000 deaths each year in the United States. Burns can range from minor to severe and even fatal. In the hot summer months, many people fail to use sunscreen with the proper sun protection factor (SPF). Commonly referred to as a sunburn, this is usually treated at home with a topical cream. However, a third-degree burn from a flame can lead to life-threatening complications. In some cases, negligent actions by a property owner or a driver can cause an auto accident in which a victim sustains a burn injury to his or her skin.

Degrees of a Burn Injury

The signs and symptoms of a burn injury can vary depending on the severity of the skin damage. It is important to note that symptoms may not develop for a couple of days. Burn injuries are typically categorized by degrees as follows:

  • First-Degree Burn: Considered a minor burn, this only affects the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis, causing discomfort and redness.
  • Second-Degree Burn: This type of burn impacts the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. It can cause swelling with red or white splotches on the skin. Blisters can develop, and the victim may experience severe pain.
  • Third-Degree Burn: This burn travels to the fat beneath the skin, which can damage nerves and cause numbness. Affected areas may be black, brown, or white in color.

Accidents that Can Lead to Skin Burns

There are many different scenarios in which an individual may be at risk of a burn injury. This can include being involved in a car crash that causes the vehicle to catch on fire and/or explode. In other cases, a person may be burned when scalding water is spilled on them in a restaurant. Certain types of employees may be at risk of exposure to hazardous substances that can lead to a workplace accident that irritates the skin if they are not provided the proper protective gear (PPE). In all of these situations, another party may be held liable for negligence depending on the circumstances.

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IL pedestrian accident lawyerThere are numerous ways that a person can suffer an injury, from playing sports, to being involved in a vehicle or pedestrian accidents. Automobile collisions can often lead to serious consequences, especially when traveling at high speeds. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, personal injuries can range from minor to catastrophic and even fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic-related crashes in 2018. Although not every pedestrian accident results in a fatality, a victim can sustain serious injuries that significantly impact his or her future.

Severe Injuries

Although some types of injuries can be repaired by surgery, others require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. Some severe injuries may even result in loss of limbs or amputations if body parts are crushed. For example, being struck by an automobile can cause lacerations and broken bones, which could lead to infections and permanent nerve damage. In addition, fractured vertebrae can paralyze a victim depending on the location of the injury.

A few of the most common catastrophic injuries a person can suffer after being hit by a vehicle include:

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