If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a crash, it is important to understand your legal rights. In the chaos after such a terrible crash, the road ahead may seem unclear and difficult to navigate. You will hear from many voices, including insurance companies, who may not have your best interests at heart.
That is why it is critical to hire a lawyer who is not only experienced and knowledgeable in the type of crash that caused your injuries, but is also empathetic and understanding in addressing your questions, as well as prompt and professional in handling all aspects of your claim.
California Truck Law has extensive experience handling complex injury and accident claims. Please call (213) 214-1234 today for a free consultation to discuss your case with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
Personal Injury Claims We Handle
Attorney Kate Harvey-Lee focuses her practice on representing people who have been injured in vehicle accidents. California Truck Law has extensive experience handling cases involving:
- Truck Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- And More
The nature and seriousness of injuries sustained in auto accidents can vary. Our personal injury lawyer can help no matter what type of trauma you suffered in the crash, but we are principally dedicated to serving the victims of severe and catastrophic injury.
Serious personal injury claims typically involve high medical bills, extensive economic losses, and potentially permanent impairment or disability. California law recognizes that in addition to medical expenses and the loss of wages, someone who has suffered severe injuries may also be entitled to compensation for all the terrible consequences of such injuries, including past and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, and all forms of emotional distress. At California Truck Law, we are passionate about helping these clients who face some of the greatest difficulties after an accident seek full and fair compensation for their injuries.
What Serious Injuries Occur in a Crash?
This may seem like an easy question. Some injuries are easy to see and understand. But serious injuries can take many different forms and are not always immediately apparent.
Some of the serious and catastrophic injuries associated with vehicle accidents include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can impact all areas of a victim’s life. TBIs often require specialized medical treatment and long-term therapy. Despite these interventions, serious brain injuries can result in significant impairment. TBIs are one of the most overlooked and undiagnosed injuries in emergency rooms, according to medical literature. A 2008 study determined that 56% of mild TBI cases were undiagnosed at the ER.
Potential effects of a TBI include:
- Cognitive deficits (impaired memory, concentration, attention span, etc.)
- Impaired hand-eye coordination
- Difficulties with balance
- Chronic fatigue
- Behavioral changes
- Vision impairments
- Hearing loss
- Difficulty communicating
- Sleep disturbances
- Persistent vegetative state
Brain injuries in an accident can vary in seriousness. However, all TBIs should be taken seriously. For example, although concussions are considered a “minor” form of TBI, immediate medical attention is still crucial to diagnose the severity and extent of trauma. If you suffer a concussion, you are at a higher risk of brain damage in the event of subsequent head injuries. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you don’t have to have a loss of consciousness or a concussion to have traumatic brain damage. The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.
Concussions and other brain injuries where the skull isn’t penetrated are known as closed head injuries. Though the trauma is confined to the interior of the skull, the brain may still suffer bruising and other injuries due to the impact of an accident and the extreme motion the body experiences as a result. The brain is made up of 75-80% water. When impacted it moves back and forth in a wavelike process against the rough inner surface of the skull, which causes damage. The damaged brain cells die over a period of time, often damaging other brain cells as they die, which is why the symptoms of traumatic brain damage often occur days, weeks, or months after a wreck.
Perhaps the most devastating brain injuries occur when the skull is penetrated by an external object. Known as an open head injury, the organ can sustain enormous damage when an outside object (such as debris in a motor vehicle accident) enters the brain.
Attorney Kate Harvey-Lee has extensive experience advocating on behalf of those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. She understands the medicine of TBIs, as well as the everyday impact on victims and their families. Contact California Truck Law to learn how our lawyer can fight for the compensation you deserve.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is another vital structure that is highly vulnerable in the event of an accident. Injury to the spinal cord can result in loss of sensation, loss of motor control, and chronic pain. Often the first sign of a spinal injury is numbness in an arm or leg or pain that shoots out from the spine into an arm or leg.
The most serious outcome of any spinal injury is paralysis. Paralysis may be complete or incomplete, and may affect only the lower portion of the body (paraplegia) or the upper and lower parts of the body (quadriplegia).
The lifetime costs of paralysis are immense. In addition to medical bills, you may be unable to work and/or enjoy life the way you did prior to the accident. At California Truck Law, our personal injury attorney takes into account all of your economic and non-economic damages to ensure that the outcome of your claim fully compensates you for your losses.
Fortunately, advances in design have reduced the risk of vehicles catching on fire in the event of an accident. However, fires and explosions are still a possibility, especially if fuel leaks from one or more of the vehicles involved in the crash or a vehicle is carrying flammable or combustible cargo.
Burns can be devastating injuries. Third-degree burns (also known as full-thickness burns) damage all layers of the skin, while fourth-degree burns can harm internal structures such as muscles, bones, and more. Skin grafting of a burn is a horrific process that is traumatic even in the best medical hands.
Common issues associated with severe burn injuries include:
- Severe pain (or numbness in the affected area, if the burn destroys the nerves)
- Loss of mobility and function, particularly if the burn occurs along a joint
- High risk of infection
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
- Scarring and disfigurement
Burn injuries require specialized medical care. In addition to the multiple physical issues that result from burns, psychological trauma is another common outcome. Victims may struggle with anxiety and depression, as well as shame and embarrassment if the burn alters their appearance.
Personal injury lawyer Kate Harvey-Lee understands the severe impact of burns suffered in accidents. Many of these injuries occur in crashes involving tanker trucks and other commercial vehicles hauling dangerous materials. Commercial vehicle accident claims are complicated, and it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney who can build a strong case on your behalf.
The loss of a limb is a traumatic experience. Amputation may occur due to the forces involved in the accident, or it may be medically necessary if the limb is crushed, healing is unlikely, or the extremity becomes infected.
Losing an arm, hand, leg, or foot can limit your employment opportunities. It can also have adverse effects on your quality and enjoyment of life.
You may be entitled to significant compensation for the cost of medical treatment and prosthetics, lost wages and earning capacity, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. California Truck Law can help if you or a loved one suffered an amputation injury due to the negligence of a driver and/or other parties.
A broken bone may seem minor compared to the other injuries discussed on this page. In reality, however, bone fractures can lead to a host of issues beyond the initial break.
Some of the most common broken bones suffered by auto accident victims include:
- Broken collarbones (the clavicles)
- Fractures of the wrists and arms (including the carpals, ulna, and radius)
- Broken legs (fractures of the tibia and/or fibula)
- Broken ribs
- Fractured pelvis
- Hip fractures (broken femur)
- Fractured vertebrae in the neck and back
- Broken bones in the face
- Skull fractures
The damage from fractures is not always confined to the broken bone itself. Muscle, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues can also be damaged. If the injury occurs on a joint, long-term functional issues may arise.
Prompt diagnosis of a bone fracture after an accident is crucial to ensure that blood flow is uninterrupted and sensation in the affected area is not lost. Some fractures are treatable with immobilization (using a splint, brace, or cast) and physical therapy after the bone is healed. In more complex cases, however, surgery may be required to repair the break, followed by intensive recovery.
You should not have to bear the cost alone if the negligence of another driver caused an accident that resulted in broken bones. Attorney Kate Harvey-Lee at California Truck Law can calculate the damages in your case and pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.
Can I Sue for Wrongful Death?
So far we have covered some of the serious injuries most commonly associated with vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one sustained one or more of these injuries in an accident, is it important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
But what if a member of your family dies as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident?
When a loved one dies tragically and suddenly in a crash, the lives of those left behind are forever changed. The empty hole left behind where that person once held a vibrant, special role is something survivors must face every day. The burden to the family left behind can be enormous. In California, the law recognizes that such a terrible loss should be compensated when it is caused by the negligence and carelessness of another.
Family members of a loved one killed by the negligence of another may be entitled to recover economic damages that include:
- Loss of income, benefits, and other financial support
- Loss of household services (i.e., contributions the decedent made to the household, such as homemaking, maintenance, parenting, etc.)
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills for care provided prior to the death of your loved one
California law also recognizes that survivors have lost more than just the financial support of a loved one and allows for damages to be awarded for the loss of that irreplaceable relationship, including the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support, training, and guidance.
The burden of proving that negligence by one or more parties resulted in the tragic injuries suffered by your loved one is a difficult process, especially when you and your family are struggling with grief and other hardships created by the sudden loss.
California Truck Law has extensive experience advocating on behalf of families whose loved one died as a result of the wrongdoing of reckless drivers and other negligent parties. Wrongful death attorney Kate Harvey-Lee can gather evidence, consult with experts, and calculate damages on your behalf while you focus on healing.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you suffer a serious or catastrophic injury or you lose a loved one in an accident, it is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer.
An experienced personal injury attorney can do the following on your behalf:
- Gather and assess crucial evidence
- Investigate to determine everyone who may be at fault for the crash
- Examine the vehicle(s) involved for defects and maintenance issues
- Consult with relevant experts concerning the cause of the accident, your injuries, etc.
- Fully account for damages in your case, including economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering and more)
- Ensure that all legal claims are filed on time
- Communicate with the insurance company or companies
At California Truck Law, we make it our mission to cover all the bases and dig deep into the evidence to maximize the result in your case. Because of our reputation for excellence, our thorough investigation, and the renowned experts we utilize, we are often able to resolve cases through negotiations with the insurance company or their counsel.
In the event that your case does go to trial, attorney Kate Harvey-Lee is ready. Ms. Harvey-Lee has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers list. She is also board-certified in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Whether it means negotiating a settlement or going to court, California Truck Law is dedicated to fighting for success in your case no matter what.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today
After a serious accident, there is no substitute for experience. Claims involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death are complicated, and it is crucial to choose a seasoned, caring lawyer with the knowledge, resources, and results to handle your case effectively.
Attorney Kate Harvey-Lee has extensive experience handling complex accident claims involving a wide range of vehicles. She also understands the science and medicine behind traumatic brain injuries and other serious trauma suffered by the victims of these crashes. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries or the death of a loved one, and Ms. Harvey-Lee will work hard to recover all of the damages in your case.
For a complimentary case evaluation, please call California Truck Law at (213) 214-1234 today. Our office serves clients throughout Greater Los Angeles and the great state of California.