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Have You Suffered a Catastrophic Injury?

Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Vaage Law > Practice Areas > Catastrophic Injury

Skilled Representation for Catastrophic Injury Victims

A sudden catastrophic injury is devastating, not only to the injury victim but also to their loved ones. These injuries come with high costs, tremendous physical and emotional pain, and altered futures. If you or your loved one’s injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence, the law may entitle you to recover for your harms and losses. Our San Diego catastrophic injury firm will help you explore your options.

Vaage Law is a boutique law firm representing severely injured individuals in Southern California. Through our personal attention and dedication, we’ve recovered more than $150 million for our clients. To talk with us about your situation, call (619) 330-9167 or use our online form to request your free consultation.

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What is a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is both permanent and life-altering. For example, a leg amputation forces you to use a wheelchair or obtain a prosthesis and go through physical rehabilitation. It can impact your ability to return to your job or participate in your favorite hobbies. Similarly, a spinal cord injury may cause lifelong paralysis. You or a loved one may be unable to work and require lifelong care. A traumatic brain injury may require round-the-clock care.

Catastrophic injuries also are associated with intense pain and suffering. You may experience pain, discomfort, inconvenience, and additional stress for years or for the rest of your life due to a permanent injury.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries include but aren’t limited to:

Never hesitate to contact a San Diego catastrophic injury lawyer about whether your injuries qualify as catastrophic. The nature and severity of an injury can impact a compensation claim. If your injury isn’t considered catastrophic, the law may still entitle you to a financial recovery.

Negligence That May Cause Catastrophic Injuries

Attorney Bob Vaage and his team regularly represent victims of:

Catastrophic Injuries Affect Every Aspect of Life

The impact of an unexpected catastrophic injury is profound. It can touch every aspect of your or your loved one’s life. It may change how you sleep, what you eat, how you move from place to place, and your future opportunities. Here is a list of some of the harms and losses:

Career Opportunities

Catastrophic injuries often impact your ability to work. You may not be able to return to your previous job. If you’re able to perform some meaningful work, it may bring in less compensation. If you can’t work at all, then you and your family may have to fight for disability benefits.

For young adults, teenagers, or children who experience a catastrophic injury, their options are suddenly limited. Obtaining an education might become challenging, and they may have to reconsider their future opportunities and goals.


Catastrophic injuries often change the dynamic between romantic partners, family members, and friends. Loved ones may find themselves acting as caretakers. Our firm sees this time and again. It puts tremendous strain on loved ones and even the healthiest relationships.

Depending on the severity and visibility of the injury, it can be challenging to date and build a long-term relationship. The injury might make a sexual relationship difficult or impossible and may take away a person’s ability to become a biological parent.


Catastrophic injuries often leave people in need of long-term care, whether or not that means daily care. Some individuals will need ongoing assistance at home or in a facility, while others will need regular check-ups, medical devices, and medication. You can expect to face higher medical bills than the average person.

Mental Health

The happiest person may become depressed after suffering a catastrophic injury. The incident itself was likely traumatic and could lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The overall experience could cause sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions that require additional medical care.

Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries

When another person or business is at fault for your injuries, you may demand compensation for:

  • Past and future healthcare needs
  • Past lost income
  • Reduced earning capacity and future lost income
  • Past and future physical pain and suffering
  • Renovations to the home or moving to an accessible residence
  • Alterations to a current vehicle or a new accessible vehicle
  • Attendant care
  • Various therapies, including occupational and physical therapy
  • Medications/Pharmaceuticals
  • Durable equipment such as wheelchairs or canes
  • Special training or tutoring or education

When Medicare and Medi-Cal are involved, you must consider past liens and future care set-asides. You may require a Special Needs Trust to protect your existing benefits. These complex, interrelated issues require an experienced catastrophic injury law firm.

How Do We Maximize the Value of Your Harms and Losses?

No attorney can tell you the value of your case right up front — calculating the value of a case is a complicated process. It requires the ability to foresee various situations that could impact the amount of your damages claim.

In fact, an attorney or law firm that values a case too early could actually be omitting factors that should be carefully considered in calculating damages. For instance, if a case is valued prematurely:

  • There may be a lack of consideration for subsequent medical problems related to the injury. At Vaage Law, we have healthcare specialists and a life-care planner to calculate the extent and costs of future care needs.
  • There may be no provision for cases where occupational rehabilitation fails. To address this, our team works with a physiatrist or vocational rehabilitation expert and an expert economist to help determine what the appropriate income loss numbers are, including future loss of earning capacity, loss of benefits, and loss of retirement.
  • Potential liens may be left out of the equation, which would mean the victim nets a smaller amount than needed to address his/her/their injuries. In a worst-case scenario, they could actually owe more than they recover.

Lastly, some cases may involve laws that place caps or limits on certain types of damages. This is especially true for catastrophic injuries involving any type of medical negligence. If there are caps involved, we try to explore additional legal theories that would get the case out from underneath the damage cap. (For more information regarding MICRA caps, please visit our Medical Malpractice page.)

At Vaage Law, we are always thinking outside the box to create new and compelling arguments that will adequately compensate our clients for their harms and losses despite the caps on damages. In reviewing a case, we often ask ourselves, “Are other injury statutes implicated in any way?” “Were there any instances of fraud?” Or, “Did a device fail?”

Did Your Loved One Pass Away from Catastrophic Injuries?

If your spouse, child, or parent succumbed to catastrophic injuries, talk with our firm about your rights and options. If another person or entity is liable for your loved one’s death, your family and your relative’s estate might be entitled to compensation. We’ll explain California’s wrongful death law and your family’s options.

When considering the value of harms and losses, we look at our own experience with wrongful death cases and perform a verdict search to see what juries have awarded in similar situations. We also look into the details of each case, such as the applicable insurance policy limits or whether any additional sources of insurance exist.

Why Vaage Law is Right for You

It’s essential that a catastrophic injury lawyer handles your case. When someone else causes you a permanent, life-altering injury, you need to recover the maximum value of your claim. Your future finances will look much different, and a settlement, arbitration award, or court judgment is the best way to ensure you have financial access to the medical care you need and maintain a certain quality of life.

Vaage Law understands the importance of carefully reviewing your damages and pursuing the maximum value possible for your claim. We know you and your family rely on this.

Founding attorney Bob Vaage is a highly successful trial lawyer in his own right. He was one of the youngest admitted to the American Board of Trial Advocates, a well-respected legal organization. Best Lawyers has recognized him as the Personal Injury Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in San Diego. He’s also received the AV Preeminent Rating, the highest rating awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, and is recognized as one of the Top 50 Attorneys in San Diego.

Attentiveness and Responsiveness
One of the complaints we hear most often about attorneys is that they don’t return phone calls. That does not happen at Vaage Law. We are known for our consistent communications, updates, and returned calls.

Settlement offers are communicated to our clients immediately with recommendations regarding acceptance, rejection, or counteroffer. All important dates are passed on to our clients, and our clients are never left in the dark as to what is going on with their case.

A Formidable Reputation In and Out of the Courtroom
Our clients are able to use Vaage Law’s reputation to their advantage. Our word carries weight with defense attorneys, insurance companies, and judges. Our adversaries know that we really try cases and will not settle for pennies on the dollar. We have a reputation for retaining some of the best experts in their fields, and when we say something is true or not true, our adversaries and the judiciary trust Vaage Law to be honest and forthright. Judges, mediators, and arbitrators know that we keep our word, will always act professionally, and present a compelling and highly organized case. We will not waste the court’s time or our client’s time.

Take a look at what some of our clients have to say about Vaage Law.

Contact Our Catastrophic Injury Attorneys Today

Our attorneys have decades of trial experience. We know how to advocate on our client’s behalf, and more importantly, get results. Though we cannot guarantee a specific outcome to any case, we’ve achieved million and multi-million-dollar recoveries for some of our clients.

Vaage Law offers 100% free consultations. There’s no risk in talking with us about your current situation. Give us a call at (619) 330-9167 or contact us online. Being involved in a lawsuit is stressful enough without having to worry if your attorney has your back. While other attorneys may say they have your best interest in mind, with Vaage Law you will know that your attorney is there for you.

Take a look at what some of our clients have to say about Vaage Law.

Catastrophic Injury FAQs

What is a catastrophic injury?
A catastrophic injury is permanent and life changing. This type of injury usually results in being unable to work and significant pain and suffering.
What should I do if my relative suffered a catastrophic brain injury?
Call Vaage Law immediately. We handle cases involving traumatic brain injuries from severe impacts, like car crashes, and anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries resulting from a lack of oxygen. These cases often involve other primary injuries and secondary injuries, which makes them more complex.
Who is responsible for a catastrophic injury?
A negligent person or business may be liable for your catastrophic injury. Our San Diego catastrophic injury attorneys thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to the injury. We carefully review the evidence to determine who was at fault and liable for your harms and losses. Catastrophic injury cases may involve defective products, product liability, professional malpractice, fraud, and other legal issues that an experienced legal team should address.
Can I sue if my spouse died after being catastrophically injured?
Possibly, yes. A surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child has a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and demand compensation. To win a settlement or court award, you must be able to prove another person or business negligently caused your loved one’s death. To learn more, reach out to Vaage Law to schedule a free consultation.

For a free case evaluation, contact our San Diego catastrophic injury lawyer!




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