After A Catastrophic Personal Injury, Life Will Never Be The Same Again
Posted August 22, 2016
When a catastrophic personal injury happens, life changes dramatically. Not only for the injured person, but also their family. Catastrophic events are those that carry life-altering effects. A catastrophic injury is one that happens to the spine or spinal cord that can result in paralysis. It could also be a blow to the head that causes a brain or skull injury leading to memory loss, cognitive impairment, or other permanent damage. On the surface, these injuries can cause irreversible physical and mental damage. But even beyond that, these injuries can change every single aspect of the injured person’s life — well-being, finances, and general quality of life. Catastrophic injury creates an unwelcome new normal that requires enormous adjustment and support.
Here’s one example.
Michael was involved in a catastrophic automobile accident that left him with irreversible injuries. The driver of the car who hit him was negligent and had a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit. After various surgeries and attempts to give Michael the best chances for living a “normal” life, the injuries from the accident resulted in loss of movement in Michael’s lower limbs and permanent paralysis.
Michael’s new routine consists of medical care and support from a professional caregiver. He is also out of work indefinitely and had to give up his career as a conference producer because he is now unable to meet the physical demands and requirements of the position. Michael is overwhelmed by the ever-mounting medical bills and expenses with no prospect of future employment. In addition, Michael had a girlfriend at the time of the accident, however, their relationship ended due to his need for ongoing medical care and inability to have a physical relationship. At this point, Michael can hardly think about dating, but when he does, he becomes sad and depressed, knowing that his situation will never be perceived by others as “normal.”
In short, Michael is facing the effects of his catastrophic injury beyond physical impairment.
Now, Michael requires long-term medical care and support. He is not able to work and has suffered a huge loss of income. Michael is facing overwhelming financial consequences and cannot pay his medical bills. Although Michael has a great support system of friends and family, his life is no longer within his control. As a direct result of his catastrophic personal injury, he is reliant upon caregivers, modern technology, medicine and any financial assistance he can obtain.
Fortunately, there is help. The Philadelphia the catastrophic personal injury law firm, Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. has the experience to help Michael and others receive the compensation and care they need for the rest of their lives—contact them right away if you or someone you know has been the victim of a catastrophic injury.
Understanding the Difference Between A Non-Catastrophic and Catastrophic Personal Injury
Posted August 15, 2016
A quick Google search of the phrase, “non-catastrophic personal injury vs. catastrophic personal injury” will yield results that include lawyers’ insights about what differentiates these types of injuries in regard to legal matters. After reviewing the results, it will be apparent that there is some discrepancy when it comes to identifying the contributing factors related to the severity of personal injuries. It will also reveal that there is a foundational understanding rooted in a widely accepted definition, which will be explained as follows:
Catastrophic personal injury
An accepted definition of a catastrophic injury is, “a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures.” A catastrophic personal injury is classified as such based on the enormity of the resulting impact on the lives of those at the epicenter of the injury. Most catastrophic injuries will result in one of three outcomes:
- Permanent severe functional disability, and/or
- Severe head or neck trauma with a permanent disability.
While the effects of catastrophic injuries may be immediately apparent, often the full extent of those injuries may not. An injury to one part of the body can cause subsequent permanent functional damage to other parts of the body—or even death—sometime after the initial injury was sustained. Injury to internal organs might be one example. Permanent, severe functional disability can be a result of an amputation, loss of limb, or any other physical injury resulting in severe limitations in mobility or movement. Head and neck trauma may lead to brain injury, paralysis, or quadriplegia.
The situational aspects of how the injury occurred and the overall life impact of the catastrophic injury will determine how the incident is addressed. If a catastrophic injury was the result of a negligent or intentional act, or by a dangerous or defective product, the injured person can file a personal injury claim. Catastrophic injury settlements seek to obtain compensation for victims who will suffer lifelong disabilities, or to the family of victims if the injured is deceased.
In comparison, non-catastrophic personal injuries do not result in lifelong limitations or major hindrances to physical or mental activity.
To learn more about catastrophic injury cases, contact the catastrophic personaI injury Iaw firm, Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C.
Ford Recalls 1.9 Million Vehicles Affected by Takata Airbag Defect
In what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” Ford Motor Company has doubled the number of vehicles it is recalling due to the Takata airbag defect. The company joined 13 other automakers compelled to recall their vehicles. The American manufacturer has now recalled 1.9 million vehicles to replace airbags located on both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicles because they present the risk of deploying explosively and causing serious injury, or even death. Including those made by other manufacturers, the number of vehicles affected are now estimated to be 34 million in the United States, and another 7 million around the world.
The problem is found in the airbag’s inflator. This metal cartridge is designed to work with propellant wafers that are intended to inflate the airbags in the case of a crash. However, because they contain ammonium nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent, there is a risk of activation causing explosive force. When this happens, the inflator housing can rupture and send shrapnel flying into the passenger cabin, causing injury or death to the automobile occupants. Although the Ford Motor Company has not yet reported any such events, there have already been ten deaths reported in the United States as a result of the defect, and more than 100 injuries. It has been estimated that the recall could result in the replacement of nearly 78 million airbag between now and the year 2019.
The original list of vehicles that Ford had recalled included more than 600,000 Mustangs and about 400 GTs. The list has been updated to include Ford Edge and Lincoln MKS models from the years 2007 through 2010; Ford Mustangs from 2005 through 2011; Ford GTs from 2005 and 2006; Ford Rangers from 2007 through 2011; and Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Zephyrs from 2006 through 2011. The other manufacturers that have also recalled vehicles include Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, Honda, and Volkswagen. Ford has indicated that it will be contacting owners of those vehicles affected to make arrangements for the defective products to be replaced at no cost.
Injuries that have resulted from the defective airbags have been traumatic; in some cases metal shards have flown into drivers’ neck or face. Due to the chemical cause of the propellant explosions, concerns are particularly acute in high humidity areas such as Florida.
If you have been injured by a defective airbag call the personal injury attorney at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. at 866.569.3400.
Eisenberg, Rothweiler Appointed to Plaintiffs’ Management Committee for Amtrak Train Derailment MDL
On May 24, 2016, the law firm of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. was appointed by the Honorable Legrome D. Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Management Committee in the In Re: Amtrak Train Derailment Multidistrict Litigation.
The Litigation, stemming from a May 12, 2015 derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia with 253 people on board, currently involves approximately 100 lawsuits and over 125 injured passengers. This Management Committee role entails facilitating communications between and among all of the plaintiffs, Amtrak, and the Court, as well as coordinating a plan to evaluate the respective damages suffered by each plaintiff and to apportion damages from a statutorily awarded cap of $295 million.
Eisenberg Rothweiler is pleased to accept this appointment on behalf of its catastrophically injured clients and scores of others unnecessarily harmed by Amtrak.
For Auto Manufacturers, Safety Should Always Be Job 1
Automobile manufacturers put a lot of attention—and a lot of money—into building and protecting their brands. Unfortunately, it sometimes appears that they are far less devoted to the safety of their customers.
Safety must always come first
Many manufacturers are producing day in and day out to meet the needs of consumers, but keeping up with production demand is never an excuse for defective products or a lack of attention to safety. A significant difference within the auto industry, is that a product malfunction can cause catastrophic injury or death. Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you’re putting trust in that product to get you from point A to point B, and to keep you and your passengers safe.
This past week, approximately 53,000 new models of Subaru vehicles have been immediately recalled. The manufacturer warned drivers not to even risk driving to a mechanic to resolve the issue. All 2016-2017 Legacy or Outback vehicles manufactured between February 29th and May 6th were reported to potentially have a column defect so serious, that the steering could fail at any moment during use.
The Subaru brand has gone so far as to create the consumer impression of a company that puts safety first. Subaru has spent millions on advertising campaigns with safety themes and they even tagline use the tagline,“Confidence in Motion.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was made aware of a possible defect after an Outback owner reported “an issue” with the steering. So how does a defect this severe happen, and why isn’t it discovered unless reported by a consumer?
Subaru’s recall announcement may appear to be prompt action taken to protect consumers. Certainly that is what the company would prefer. However, there have been many examples in the past of companies who have hidden or lied about known defects discovered within their products—companies that made no effort to warn the public until it was absolutely necessary; either to save the brand, or avoid criminal prosecution.
The right action is the one that keeps us out of danger in the first place.
We can’t forget that an automobile recall is a measure taken after the fact. Right now, it seems as thought nobody has been injured due to the Subaru steering defect. But how would anyone know? After a terrible car crash due to a steering defect, there may not be anyone from the accident alive to say what failed. There may be so much damage to the vehicle, that not enough of the steering system remains intact to examine. For other drivers who survive, the steering failure could occur so suddenly and be followed by an impact so rapidly, that to them it is unclear exactly what happened. Many people may have already been affected by the Subaru steering defect and don’t even realize it.
A normal first instinct might be to assume that the steering failure was unique to the specific vehicle you are driving, rather than a defect common to a make and model. Or if a driver is lucky and miraculously is not injured in an accident due to an auto defect, perhaps no action is taken other than calling an auto insurance carrier to file a claim.
Sadly and all too often, companies don’t tell the public the truth. The truth can only be obtained by filing lawsuits and holding them accountable for the defects in their cars. Thank goodness not all auto defects share the same risks or result in tragic outcomes, but an auto recall is always in the best interest of the vehicle owners. For those who own an automobile, the difference can be life or death.
Choose a law firm with deep experience in auto defect cases
Major automobile recalls were not issued when they should have been, nor were defects reported before someone was severely injured. If you know of anyone who may have been severely injured as a result of an automobile defect, it is critical to work with a law firm that is experienced in the complexities of auto defects and product liability law. Contact the attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, who fight to make sure that victims injured by an automobile defect receive the care and support they need for life.