If you or a loved one find yourself the victim of a brain, spinal cord, closed head, or other neurological trauma, you need an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer on your side. Our team of attorneys have won settlements and acquired maximum compensation for victims of catastrophic injuries for over 30 years.
Catastrophic injuries are unique in that they involve life-altering suffering for victims and their families. Clients with these types of injuries are coming to us at a critical and vulnerable crossroads in their life. What we do will affect the quality of their lives and the lives of their family for the rest of their lives. We understand the enormity of this responsibility and it is not a trust we take lightly.
We work with a team of experts – including doctors, nurses, economists, occupational and vocational rehabilitation experts – to figure out what our client’s needs are going to be for the rest of their life and what it will cost to take care of those needs. We prepare a life care plan that often anticipates needs the family hasn’t even thought of. These plans can include not only medical visits, but also modifications to their home, including wheelchair ramps, bars, lower countertops, medical adaptive devices they may need to get dressed, bathe or perform daily living tasks, a handicap modified vehicle and attendant care to help with cooking, cleaning, bathing and whatever else may be required. Preparing a thorough life care plan that anticipates all a client’s needs is the first step to making them whole and getting their life on the right track. If you need help with a spinal cord injury in a car accident or case involving a closed head injury or brain damage, contact our knowledgeable catastrophic injury lawyers.
The team at Devereaux, Stokes, Fernandez, and Leonard presents specific proof of long-term problems with speech, memory, behavior, motor coordination, cognitive deficits, or other essential functions that brain injury victims suffer. We use both forensic evidence and the testimony of the victim and his or her family to show what a brain or spinal cord injury in this particular case has cost in human and economic terms. We often use a “day in the life video” so a jury can see first-hand what challenges our client has to face on a daily basis.
What Causes A Catastrophic Injury?
Our team of personal injury lawyers represent victims and seek compensation for those who suffered life-altering brain damage from the following types of injuries.
- Medical malpractice
- Car and truck injuries
- Motorcycle accident negligence
- Fires and explosions
- Medical errors, including improper administration of medications and anesthesia
- Birth Injuries
- Defective Respirators or breathing equipment
Damages For A Catastrophic Injury
Serious brain injuries can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and costs associated with daily life changes from temporary and permanent disabilities. We have certified life care planners that we bring on board to help determine the cost of putting your life back together. Our team of catastrophic injury attorneys will work to help you earn compensation for the following expenses.
- Past and future medical bills from insurance companies
- Purchasing a motorized wheelchair
- Care and home adaptations, such as widened doorways, wheel chair ramps going in and out of the house, lowered countertops, grab bars in bathrooms
- Wheelchair adaptable car van
- In-home care
- Lost wages
- Emotional damages
- Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation and therapy
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries result from damage to the nervous system:
Hypoxic & Anoxic Brain Injury
A hypoxic brain injury is caused by a decrease in the supply of oxygen going to the brain. An anoxic brain injury happens when there is no oxygen going to the brain. Hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries occur under a variety of circumstances, including auto accidents, medical procedures, birth trauma, defective respirator equipment and explosions.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The effects of a brain injury can be sudden and dramatic, or they can be subtle and appear only with the passing of time. A closed head injury can cause what is commonly referred to as a TBI, or traumatic brain injury, whose symptoms may not fully present themselves at first and become more pronounced over time. Cognitive difficulties, memory loss, changes in personality, and loss of reasoning ability and judgment are very common. Brain injury victims can suffer severe emotional effects as well. We’ll work closely with medical experts, including brain injury specialists and neuropsychologists, to document the extent of the injury and its effects.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the stem of the brain down the back and ends at the L1-L2 vertebrae in the spine in an area known as the subarachnoid space. The spinal cord is protected by the bones of the spine known as vertebrae that are designed to flex and move and at the same time offer protection to the spinal cord. At each level of vertebrae, nerves shoot out from the central cord and run to various parts of the body so that they can carry the electrical impulses from the brain to the various muscles and organs of the body. Trauma can injure the central cord and often results from severe truck or auto accidents, falls from heights, and workplace accidents. There can also be processes within the body that can damage the spinal cord, such as an undiagnosed infection or abscess that is allowed to grow and impinge on the cord. Our attorneys investigate the causes of your injury to help you earn the compensation you deserve. We’ll also monitor your physical condition and medical prognosis in order to ensure your access to the treatment and rehabilitation services you need for the greatest physical recovery possible.
Approximately six million people live with paralysis. Paralysis is caused by damage to the spinal cord which carries electrical signals from the brain to all parts of the body through the peripheral nervous system. An injury to the central nervous system can be categorized as “complete” where no electrical signals are getting through and results in complete paralysis below the level of the injury to the cord. It can also be an “incomplete” injury where some electrical signals are able to go through resulting in diminished range of motion and sensation. An injury to the spinal cord which affects your body’s ability to function or move results in paralysis. Paralysis falls into one of three general categories:
- Paraplegia is a paralysis of the lower body or legs that usually results from injury to the spinal cord in the lumbar or thoracic region of the spine. It can involve partial or total loss of function in the legs, loss of sensation, balance and dexterity as well as bowel and bladder incontinence.
- Hemiplegia is the loss of function on either the right or left side of the body. Rather than trauma to the central cord this is often caused by compromised blood flow in the brain as seen in a stroke.
- Quadriplegia is a paralysis caused by trauma to the cord in the upper thoracic or cervical spine. This is the most severe form of paralysis as it can involve all four limbs and even affect the patient’s ability to breathe. Some victims of quadriplegia need to use a mechanical ventilator to allow them to breathe.
Our personal injury attorneys can help the victims of paralysis cope with emotional damages and newly presented physical and logistical challenges. We work with medical experts and other professionals to help us recover the compensation that our clients deserve. Life care planners lend professional expertise to identify all of the lifelong needs of the client as we prepare to present a claim for compensation for someone who has suffered partial or total paralysis.
Closed Head Injury
To casual observers, a car accident victim with a mild head injury might appear to be fine after a period of time. After all, there are no noticeable scars, bruises or lacerations. Nonetheless, the victim might complain of dizziness and display disorientation, suffer from short-term memory loss, depression or personality changes. All of these can be signs of a closed head brain injury caused by what appears to be minor trauma.
How We’ve Helped Our Clients
Our team has won millions of dollars in settlements for victims of serious brain injuries. Learn more about the compensation we’ve earned for our clients.
- Boxdorfer v. Lason – 4 million dollar settlement
- The police report blamed our client when he collided with a commercial truck. However, the report indicated a St. Louis City metro bus was also involved and we were able to track down witnesses who were on the bus and turned the case in our client’s favor. The trucking company paid 4 million dollars to our paralyzed client.
- Callahan v. Cardinal Glennon Hospital – 16 million dollar Jury Award
- Our client was a young man who contracted polio after being given the vaccine. He was paralyzed for life and we took the case to trial and obtained the highest verdict ever upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court in a medical negligence action. This case is still cited by courts for the law we made.
What Past Clients Say
The personal injury attorneys at Devereaux, Stokes, Fernandez, and Leonard have experience handling wrongful death, truck accident, and medical malpractice cases. See what some of our clients have to say below:
I was referred to Mr. Fernandez by a family member who is an attorney, for assistance with my elderly mother’s claim for injuries resulting from an accident involving an 18-wheeler. He was direct, honest, and very kind as he spoke with my mother, helping her to understand what his work would entail. An obviously talented negotiator, he presented appropriate research to support the claim for my mother’s injuries and it settled with an offer that brought the case to a quick resolution. I would highly recommend Mr. Fernandez and his colleagues Jessie Eiler, J.D., Associate and Kim Zimmermann, Paralegal, all who worked as a team to bring the case to a conclusion. Well done!
Contact Us Today
Although nothing will compensate for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by a catastrophic brain injury, we’re ready to listen to your story and help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. To set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call 314-433-9131 or fill out to form below.