catastrophic injury

The catastrophic injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have helped hundreds of injured clients obtain the compensation they need and deserve as a result of catastrophic and life-altering injuries.

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What Our Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Can Do For You

Negligence often leads to injuries that are permanent and catastrophic. At a minimum, many injuries will change your life forever. The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have helped hundreds of injured clients obtain the compensation they need and deserve as a result of catastrophic and life-altering injuries.

A catastrophic injury can include brain injuries, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, scarring and disfigurement injuries, loss of limb injuries, loss of sight or smell injuries and severe fracture injuries. The personal injury and catastrophic injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman are proud to offer free case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your case and recover compensation. We are committed to aggressively pursing the benefits and compensation you deserve.

Brain Injuries and Head Injuries

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Unfortunately, 52,000 of these individuals die from their injuries and more than 275,000 are hospitalized. The last reported figures estimate that medical costs and indirect costs of brain injuries, such as lost productivity, total nearly $60 billion. Brain and head injuries can also be accompanied by the loss of smell, sight, hearing, taste, speech and commonly result in dizziness, nausea or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, sensitivity to noise and light, headaches, difficulty sleeping, sleeping more than usual and loss of balance.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Similar to brain and head injuries, spinal cord injuries are often catastrophic and require significant future medical treatment. Those with injuries causing paraplegia, tetraplegia or quadriplegia face healthcare and cost of living expense that are in the millions. The National Spinal Cord Statistical Injury Center estimates that the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI), is approximately 40 cases per million population in the United States or approximately 17,000 new cases each year. Nearly 40% of all spinal cord injuries are a result of car accidents and motor vehicle accidents and 30% of all spinal cord injuries are the result of falls.

Severe Fracture Injuries

Bone fractures can vary in complexity, pain and necessary medical treatment. Fractures typically cause significant pain, swelling and require an extended period of time to fully heal. Treating a serious fracture injury is rarely as simple as setting the broken bone in a cast or a sling. Fractures often require extensive medical treatment, including surgery, physical therapy and the insertion of plates and screws. A fractured or broken bone can change your life.

Common types of fractures include:

  • Stable fracture – The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.
  • Open, compound fracture – The skin may be pierced by the bone or by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of fracture. The bone may or may not be visible in the wound.
  • Transverse fracture – This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
  • Oblique fracture – This type of fracture has angled pattern.
  • Comminuted fracture – In this type of fracture, the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
  • Impacted fracture – Fractures in which one part of the bone is driven into another.
  • Spiral fracture – A bone that is twisted and broken in a spiral direction.

Fractured bones often require emergency surgery and with hardware which includes plates, screws/nails, rods, wires/pins and external fixators. When hardware is used to stabilize a fracture, it is called internal fixation. Implants used for internal fixation are made from stainless steel and titanium. Joints are often replaced with cobalt and chrome. It is believed that these implants are compatible with the body and rarely cause allergic reaction.

Loss of Limb Injury

A personal injury that results in the loss of a limb can be both physically and emotionally devastating. Such a significant injury causes life-long challenges which impacts one’s ability to live and work productively and enjoy life. Hobbies and daily activities can be lost forever. While an initial loss of limb or amputation can be very expensive to treat and rehab, future expenses can include wound care, counseling, vocational training and periodic prosthesis fitting and replacement. Adaptations to your home, work place and motor vehicle may be necessary to obtain the greatest degree of mobility, independence and self-care.

Scarring and Disfigurement Injury

While many injuries impact the internal muscles, tissues, bones and organs, scarring and disfigurement injuries are visually observable and serve as painful reminders of the traumatic event that caused the scarring and disfigurement. When dealing with scarring and disfigurement injuries, it is important that your personal injury lawyer obtain photographs, medical reports, potential expert reports and properly evaluate the value of the scarring and disfigurement based on the part of the body affected by the injury, the severity of the injury and how the injury will affect the victim’s quality of life.

Burn Injuries

A burn is a type of injury to skin or other tissues, caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation. Most burns are due to heat from hot liquids, solids or fire.

There are several degrees of burns which are classified by the depth of injury. These degrees include:

  • 1st Degree Burn – superficial, redness of skin without blisters;
  • 2nd Degree Burn – partial thickness skin damage and blisters present;
  • 3rd Degree Burn – full thickness skin damage where skin is white and leathery;
  • and 4th Degree Burn – similar to third degree burn but with damage to deeper structures, tendons, joints and bone.

Burn injuries can arise for many different fact patterns, but burn injuries are often seen due to: apartment building fires; workplace injuries; truck accidents and tanker explosions; motor vehicle accidents; electrical fires; defective products; locked fire exits; scalding water and pipes; and recreational fires (hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, night clubs).

Catastrophic Injury Attorney Dayton OH

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Four Types of Catastrophic Injuries & Their Profound Effects

As a Dayton, OH catastrophic injury attorney has much experience with, such injuries can have long-term or even permanent consequences. These severe injuries often result from accidents or traumatic incidents. In this listicle, we explore four types of catastrophic injuries and shed light on their profound effects.

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI):

Spinal cord injuries occur when there is damage to the spinal cord, leading to partial or complete loss of sensation and motor function. These injuries can stem from vehicle accidents, falls or recreational activities. The consequences of an SCI depend on the level and severity of the injury. Paraplegia and quadriplegia are common outcomes, resulting in the loss of mobility and independence. Individuals with SCIs often require assistive devices, rehabilitation, and lifelong care, which can significantly impact their personal and professional lives.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI):

A traumatic brain injury can happen due to violent jolt or blow to the head, causing severe damage. TBIs range from mild concussions to severe, life-threatening injuries. The effects of TBIs can vary widely, including cognitive impairments, memory loss, difficulty with concentration, mood swings, and even personality changes. In severe cases, individuals may experience long-term physical disabilities and require extensive rehabilitation. TBIs can occur due to falls, sports accidents, workplace incidents, or motor vehicle crashes, highlighting the importance of safety precautions in these settings.

Burn Injuries:

A burn injury is not only painful, but it can cause long-term harm and emotional trauma to victims who sustain them. These injuries can be caused by fires, explosions, hot liquids, chemicals, or electrical accidents. The severity of burn injuries is classified into degrees, with third-degree burns being the most severe. Extensive burns can lead to disfigurement, scarring, loss of mobility, and nerve damage. Beyond the physical pain, burn survivors often experience emotional trauma, anxiety, and depression. Rehabilitation and reconstructive surgeries are vital components of burn injury recovery, enabling individuals to regain functionality and confidence.


An amputation involves the partial or total removal of a limb for reasons such as accident or medical conditions. Whether as a result of a workplace accident, car crash, or medical necessity, amputations profoundly impact an individual’s life. The loss of a limb can result in significant physical limitations, requiring adaptations and prosthetic devices for mobility. Emotional and psychological adjustment is also crucial, as individuals may experience grief, body image issues, and a sense of loss. Rehabilitation and support from healthcare professionals and support groups play a vital role in helping amputees regain independence and rebuild their lives.

Catastrophic injuries can bring sudden and devastating changes to individuals’ lives, affecting their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, and amputations are just a few examples of the life-altering consequences of severe accidents or incidents. It is crucial to promote safety measures, raise awareness about prevention, and support research and advancements in medical and rehabilitative care to mitigate the impact of these injuries. By understanding the challenges faced by individuals with catastrophic injuries, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society for all. To find out what a trusted Dayton catastrophic injury attorney from  Cowan & Hilgeman can do for you, set up a consultation right away if you are in need of legal services after an accident.


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What We Can Do For You

Our personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for satisfied clients and often take cases other firms routinely reject. We are committed to results and take an individual approach to each case. One size does not fit all!

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"I can not thank Mr. Jack R. Hilgeman, Michelle and Amy. For taking my case.. Their professionalism and kindness was so appreciated. From the first visit I just knew I could trust that my case was in good hands. Many thanks to them. God bless them."
Janet Osborne-Hicks
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Meet attorney

Jack R. Hilgeman

Attorney, Jack R. Hilgeman, represents those injured due to the negligence of others.  Mr. Hilgeman has recovered millions in compensation on behalf of his clients and been recognized by national publications as a leader in Ohio personal injury law.  He consistently receives awards for outstanding client satisfaction. 

Mr. Hilgeman’s practice is limited to helping those harmed due to personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, product liability and wrongful death.  Mr. Hilgeman takes all cases on a contingency fee, meaning that the client must pay an attorney fee only if a judgment or settlement is obtained.  Clients only pay a fee if compensation is recovered in their case.   

We pride ourselves

on client satisfaction and strive

to fully explain:

  • All Compensation Available Under Ohio Law
  • Medical Bills – Who Pays and How to Get Them Paid
  • Lost Wage Repayment
  • Out-of-Pocket Cost Reimbursement
    • Collection of Medical Records and Bills
    • Value of Pain and Suffering
    • Expert Reports
    • Property Damage Repairs and Diminished Value Claims

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      12 W. Monument Ave., Suite 100
      Dayton, OH 45402

      New Clients: (937) 729-0000
      Existing Clients: (937) 222-2030