The term catastrophic injury normally covers very severe injuries, often resulting in paralysis.
At the lower end of the scale are amputations or brachial plexus injuries, where the arm is partially or fully paralysed, and at the higher end paraplegia, tetraplegia, quadriplegia or even a permanent vegetative state. Such cases may be further complicated by fractures to the spine or even multiple fractures.
Cases involving catastrophic injury invariably require planning for the long-term, usually for the rest of the client’s life. Whilst it may seem very mercenary, you need to be able to focus on your recovery and trying to get your life back. You need someone out there fighting your corner.
We know, both professionally and in some cases personally, just how devastating catastrophic injuries can be, whether they are amputations, spinal injuries, head injuries or other serious orthopaedic or neurological injuries. We are absolutely committed to helping to meet all of the needs of our clients and their families and will do so to the best of our abilities. We will not falsely raise hopes, nor will we set unrealistically low targets. As long as it is to the benefit of our clients, we work with the other side to ensure our clients get the best rehabilitation available and the best chance of returning to work and/or a meaningful life.
We have specialist knowledge of vocational rehabilitation and training, as well as nursing care needs. We have very special knowledge of frontal lobe and head injury cases, with our own personal and close experiences of family affected by serious brain injury. All catastrophic injury cases are dealt with by dual qualified barristers and solicitors. This ensures you get the best of both sides of the legal profession, the administrative and tactical skills of the solicitor combined with the advocacy and trial preparation skills of the barrister. It is an inevitable consequence of motorcycle litigation that we deal with a high proportion of paraplegia cases.
We can and do provide benefits advice, rehabilitation advisors, immediate home visits, specialist assessments of living accommodation both by architects and disability living advisers and, in the case of amputation, specialist prosthetics advice on robotic limbs. We also carry out personal injury trusts work, to assist our clients in managing their finances and compensation.
The more serious the case the harder it is to give absolute advice on the value. High value cases are high value because of ongoing losses, such as loss of earnings or long term care. The value of any injury is only ever a small part of this. However, the following guidelines may be of use:
|Brachial plexus injury to the arm
|£11,200 to £76,350
|Amputation of the arm at the shoulder
|Amputation of the leg above the knee
|£56,000 to £81,500
|£188,250 to £235,000
|£127,250 to £165,500
As a specialist practice we do not forget the other elements which form part of the claim and can increase its value. There are all of the physical consequences such as pain, incontinence, sexual dysfunction and infertility. The financial consequences of catastrophic injury also needs to be considered, such as nursing care, aids around the house, and building works.
We use highly specialist expert witnesses in the fields of spinal surgery, orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry, nursing, rehabilitation care and care management, education and future employment, housing needs and adaptations (including house searching where bungalows are rare) and forensic accountancy.
Whilst we do not necessarily wish to see cases going to trial, we do not fear Court. We regard it as our job to obtain you the maximum fair compensation that we can and not simply to negotiate the best deal that we can get for you without going to Court. As a practice we have a reputation of being ready, willing and able to go to Court if necessary.
If you are thinking about changing solicitors we will give you an honest appraisal of the advice that you are receiving. We do not want to take cases over from other firms of solicitors where the current solicitors are doing a good job. There are, however, solicitors and claims managers and lawyers who are simply out of their depth or do not have the expertise necessary to deal with cases involving catastrophic injury.