Salt Lake City Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Dealing with a concussion, TBI or spinal cord injury?
A serious injury can change your life. In an instant, you can be severely injured in an accident. When accidents are caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another person, knowing what to do next can be overwhelming. Even knowing what your rights are might not be clear.
In Utah, you can count on attorney Randy M. Andrus in Salt Lake City to help you every step of the way after your injury. Attorney Andrus has more than three decades of legal experience. As a result, he thoroughly understands Utah’s laws and legal system. He knows what evidence to search for when investigating personal injury claims. As your lawyer, you can count on him to demand maximum financial compensation. Your case truly matters here.
What’s our secret to success? At Andrus Law Firm, we never take anything for granted. We take the time to find out exactly what happened. This starts when you first meet with attorney Andrus and his legal team, which includes his wife, Cynthia. Then we thoroughly review the facts of your case – from accident reports, to medical records and safety inspection reports, if applicable. We leave no stone unturned in pursuit of justice.
What are common catastrophic injuries?
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal Organ Damage
- Loss of a Limb
- Severe Burn Injury
Every injury is different. That’s why it’s critical that you or a loved one receive immediate medical care if you sustain a serious injury. Your health and well-being could be at risk. The sooner you get the medical treatment you need, the better.
Who can I sue for my catastrophic injury?
In many cases, you can file a personal injury lawsuit or take other legal action against whoever is at fault for causing your injury. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, who you can take legal action against could include:
- The person or business that directly caused your injury
- The property owner where your accident took place
- The business owner where your accident took place
- The landlord, if your accident took place in an apartment complex
- The parent company, if your accident took place in a chain store or business (including hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, etc.)
- The building maintenance company responsible for maintaining the property where your accident took place
- The company that manufactured a defective product that caused your injury
Whoever caused your injury, make sure you have a lawyer on your side that can help you determine who’s at fault. That way, you can demand the financial compensation you deserve.
Who determines who’s at fault in a catastrophic injury?
Insurance companies, the business owner where your accident took place or anyone responsible for your accident will likely offer an opinion about who was at fault. A judge or jury may also have their say, if your case goes to trial. Whoever decides who’s at fault matters, especially since Utah has a unique compensation system.
Unlike many states, Utah has a “modified comparative fault” system when it comes to compensating victims in personal injury cases. Specifically, injury victims need to prove they were no more than 50 percent at fault in order to be partially compensated for injury-related expenses. Victims are then compensated the percentage the other party was at fault. For example, if someone was 60 percent at fault and your injury expenses were $100,000, you would be compensated $60,000.
However, if it is determined that you were 51 percent or more at fault, you will not receive any financial compensation. That’s why it’s important that you have an attorney on your side that thoroughly understands how Utah’s injury compensation system works. Otherwise, you might not get the money you rightfully deserve.
Put your trust in a Salt Lake City attorney who puts your needs first
The stakes are high in many catastrophic injury cases. Because of the severity of these injuries, the extensive amount of medical care often required and how much time injury victims often need to recover, the financial impact can be substantial.
It’s also important to remember that you often only have one opportunity to obtain all the financial compensation you need for all your injury-related expenses. This includes any short-term expenses as well as long-term expenses years from now. Once you accept a settlement offer, you often cannot ask for additional money in the future.
One of the most common head injuries, a concussion can be much more serious than many people may realize. A concussion is often caused by a direct blow to the head or by violently shaking the head. Many concussions are considered a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). However, concussions can be severe, especially if someone recently had another concussion (known as second impact syndrome) or the injury victim doesn’t rest long enough after sustaining a concussion. That’s why it’s important for injury victims to take concussion symptoms seriously and seek immediate medical treatment if they believe they sustained a head injury.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain. Such injuries can cover a wide range, from mild TBIs with temporary side effects to severe TBIs with permanent brain damage and other long-term cognitive issues. To make matters more complicated, traumatic brain injury symptoms sometimes do not appear right away and can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the most common types of TBIs include:
- Concussion (brain injury often caused by violently shaking the brain)
- Brain contusion (bruising to the brain)
- Penetrating brain injury (injuries to the brain caused by an object penetrating the skull)
- Anoxic brain injury (injuries to the brain caused by lack of oxygen)
Whatever type of brain injury you’re dealing with, make sure you have a medical professional thoroughly examine you or your injured family member. If something still feels wrong a few days later, go back to the doctor and ask for more tests. Many TBIs take days to diagnose and some TBI symptoms can be missed during an initial medical examination.
Injuries to the spine or back can have serious consequences. Depending on the location of your spinal cord injury (SCI), you may not be able to move certain parts of your body below the injury location. Sometimes, this paralysis can be temporary, but permanent paralysis is also common due to severe spinal cord injuries.
The difference between mild and severe spinal cord injuries often depends on whether the spinal cord injury was “complete” or “incomplete.” This refers to whether the spinal cord was completely or partially severed. The more compete the injury, the more severe in most cases.
As for the location of the spinal cord injury, doctors generally classify such injuries based on where the injury took place on the spine.
- Cervical spinal cord injuries occur near the neck in the C1 to C8 vertebrae in the spine. These injuries often result in quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia) in which the person cannot move their arms or legs.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries occur in the middle of the back between the T1 and T12 vertebrae in the spine. These injuries often allow people to move their arms and upper part of their body but often result in paralysis below the injured area.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries occur in the lower back between the L1 and L5 vertebrae. These injuries often result in paraplegia, in which the person cannot move their legs.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries occur near the base of the spine between the S1 and S5 vertebrae. Injury victims who sustain such injuries may lose partial or complete control of their bladder and bowels.
Damage to internal organs caused by an accident can cover a wide range. Some of the most common – and most serious – types of internal organ damage associated with serious accidents include:
- Internal bleeding – If not treated in a timely manner, internal bleeding can be fatal in many cases.
- Kidney damage – Kidney injuries caused by an accident – whether it’s a blow to the kidneys or an object penetrating the kidneys – stabbing or shooting pain need to be treated immediately.
- Ruptured spleen – Severe internal bleeding can occur if the spleen is ruptured, a medical term for a break or tear in the surface of the organ. Ruptured spleens often occur due to a blow to the stomach, such as a punch from a bar fight or the impact of a car accident.
- Lacerations to the liver – Tears to the surface of the liver can occur in an accident, resulting in internal bleeding and other life-threatening medical conditions.
- Collapsed lung (Pneumothorax) – A blow to the chest (either from an accident or violent attack) can cause air to be forced into the space between the lungs and chest wall, causing the lung to collapse, a potentially life-threatening medical condition.
- Broken ribs – A direct blow to the ribs can result in the rib bones breaking or fracturing. A fractured rib can be associated with a wide range of health problems, including damage to internal organs, including the liver, kidney or lungs.
This is just a small sampling of some of the most common and most serious internal organ injuries. Whatever type of injury occurred to you or a family member, get immediate medical attention. Then talk to a lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Losing an arm, leg, hand or foot due to a serious accident demands strong legal action. If you or a loved one lost a limb due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, an attorney can explain the legal options available to you, including filing a lawsuit for damages, a legal term for financial compensation for injury-related expenses, including medical bills and replacement income during your recovery or lost future income if you cannot return to work due to the loss of a limb.
Burn injuries can be extremely painful and very serious. Different types of burns are classified into four different categories according to the severity of the burn. Those categories include:
- First-degree burns – A type of burn that affects the outer layer of the skin.
- Second-degree burns – A more severe type of burn that affects the outer layer of the skin as well as the dermis, the layer located underneath. Blisters are common for second degree burns.
- Third-degree burns – An extremely severe type of burn that destroys two full layers of skin, the outer layer and the dermis. Third-degree burns often appear black, brown or yellow in color.
- Fourth-degree burns – The most severe type of burn, fourth-degree burns often destroy every layer of skin, right down to the bone or muscle. If not treated promptly, many fourth-degree burns can be fatal.
Many people only associate burn injuries with fires. However, there are many other causes of different types of burns, including:
- Chemical burns – Burn injuries caused by chemicals, including acids, detergents and solvents touching the skin.
- Cold burns – Also known as frostbite, burns caused by prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures.
- Electrical burns – Burn injuries caused by coming into contact with a live electrical current.
- Friction burns – Sometimes called carpet burns or abrasion burns, friction burns occur when something rough or hard rubs against the skin, sometimes even ripping off the outer skin layer.
- Thermal burns – Coming into direct contact with hot surfaces, boiling liquids or a direct flame can cause thermal burns, which can result in severe skin damage.
Whatever type of burn injury you or a loved one sustained, extensive medical care may be necessary. Medical bills can add up fast. So can other expenses, especially if you cannot work during your recovery. That’s why it’s critical that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options. Otherwise, you could end up having to pay for someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior.