Catastrophic Injury

The Go-To Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys

No one wants to receive that call that their loved one or friend has been gravely injured or killed unexpectedly. Accidents happen every day leading to more than 145,000 deaths each year across the country. Most could have been prevented.

From car crashes to workplace injuries to defective manufacturing, our attorneys at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe have seen and tried them all. More than half of our team began their careers as prosecutors. They readily understand the importance of proving liability as well as how a civil personal injury or wrongful death case is intertwined with a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe has built a nationwide reputation as the best, thanks to our vigorous representation of victims. Across our four practice areas, truck crash, nursing home abuse and neglect, sexual abuse and bad faith, we have tried thousands of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. We fight for more than money. We fight for change. We have successfully required local, regional and national firms to make significant safety changes to policies and procedures. In addition, we have worked with local, state and federal governments to create and reform laws to better protect our citizens.

Verdicts and Settlements

39 million dollar settlement
36.4 million dollar verdict logo
Catastrophic Injury – 18 Million

Comprehensive Subject Matter Experts

Our attorneys at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe have experience with a wide range of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, including:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Sexual assault
  • Birth injury
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Industrial accidents
  • Brain damage and traumatic brain injuries
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Fatal automobile crashes
  • Distracted drivers
  • Electrocution
  • Amputation
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Burns and smoke inhalation
  • Falls

We provide compassion and vigorous representation to families and friends who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. One of our experienced catastrophic injury or wrongful death attorneys will work closely with your family to make sure others understand the extent of your loss. We understand no amount of money can reverse the loss, but we believe the proper use of our legal system to achieve accountability, change and monetary compensation can ease a family’s pain and suffering.

The attorneys at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe know how to explore and utilize all potential sources of recovery. Plus, we work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we obtain compensation for you. We will work hard to recover compensation for all your losses, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Thorough and Effective Litigators

Our catastrophic injury and wrongful death attorneys are committed to handling all of the details of your case so you can focus on healing and recovery. Our extensive courtroom experience makes us powerful advocates and persuasive negotiators. We are also known as compassionate advisers to people in need. We’re focused on advocating for full and fair compensation for our clients. Our attorneys seek accountability and justice even if you’re expected to recover from your injuries.

At Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe, we know how to effectively use evidence collected in a criminal investigation to pursue civil claims on your behalf while we analyze complex insurance coverage issues that often arise. We pride ourselves on taking the time to answer every question our clients have, and we address every issue in detail, including:

  1. How we handle underinsured and uninsured situations.
  2. Where we look to uncover additional lines of insurance from which to make claims.
  3. How we make sure medical bills and funeral bills are properly paid.
  4. How we help with health insurance claims for reimbursement in the event of a monetary recovery.
  5. We handle every call from any insurance adjuster or other party that relates to your claim.
  6. We go the distance, both in court and with you, to protect others down the road.

Client Story

John Douglas Wixom III

Wixom and his boss drove Wixom’s truck and a trailer full of construction debris into a landfill facility to unload the materials. As the two were preparing to unhitch the trailer, a landfill employee was maneuvering a 3·90C Trashmaster, a compactor weighing more than 100,000 pounds, through the facility to assist with the unloading.

The Trashmaster was supposed to be in reverse so that Wixom could maneuver between the back of the trailer and the front of the Trashmaster to attach chains and pull the trailer off the hitch. Instead, the machine heaved forward and pinned Wixom between the trailer and the Trashmaster. Wixom’s injuries included severe injuries to his right leg and a crushed pelvis.


Facing nearly $2 million in medical expenses and nearly a million in lost income, Wixom teamed with Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe in a personal injury lawsuit.


Noting that the “defendant fell below the standard of care by failing to implement safety policies and procedures for its employees and by improperly using machinery in a defective and unreasonably dangerously condition,” attorney Tim Dollar secured an $18 million dollar settlement for Wixom.

It’s important to contact us immediately if you or a loved one has been the victim of a catastrophic event. Investigating crime scenes and preserving critical evidence needs to be done as quickly as possible, ideally within 48 hours of the crash. We can often be on a plane the next day after we’re contacted. Initial consultations are free of charge and we work solely on a contingency basis.

Lawyers against Catastrophic Injury

tim dollar profile image

Tim Dollar

Founding Partner
Tim is considered one of the top trial lawyers in America.

More About Tim Dollar

jeff burns profile photo

Jeff Burns

Founding Partner
Jeff is one of the preeminent truck crash attorneys in the country.

More About Jeff Burns

tim becker profile image

Tim Becker

Founding Partner
Tim is known and revered as one of this nation’s leading truck crash attorneys.

More About Tim Becker

Tom Hershewe profile image

Tom Hershewe

Tom is one of the Midwest’s leading bad faith insurance litigators.

More About Tom Hershewe

jj burns profile image

J.J. Burns

J.J. has a reputation nationally as a go-to-expert on truck crash litigation.

More About J.J. Burns

jill kanatzar profile image

Jill Kanatzar

Jill is one of the more experienced sexual assault attorneys in the region.

More about Jill Kanatzar

Rachel Stahle

Rachel Stahle

Rachel has significant experience litigating cases involving nursing home neglect.

More About Rachel Stahle

Josh Becker headshot in suit seated in office

Josh Becker

Josh has a comprehensive knowledge of personal injury.

More About Josh Becker

Lauren Dollar

Lauren is a gifted attorney with experience prosecuting sexual abuse, and child injury and death cases.

More About Lauren Dollar

Jordan Dollar

Jordan has wide-range of litigation experience in insurance bad faith, wrongful death and catastrophic injury.

More About Jordan Dollar

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered catastrophic injury?

A catastrophic injury is an injury with “direct and proximate consequences” that “permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work.” In simpler terms, a catastrophic injury is an injury that is so serious that its effects leave the victim with permanent damage. Having a catastrophic injury means losing a vital part of your person, whether it’s a limb, the ability to walk, or the ability to form a whole thought.

The cause of a catastrophic injury Is usually a traumatic event, including a falling sign at an airport, truck crash on a snowy day or a mechanical device malfunction.  It can be any incident that either permanently or majorly hampers a person’s life. Common types of catastrophic injuries include spinal cord injuries, broken bones, amputation, traumatic brain injuries, electrocution, and organ damage.

How do you bring about a personal injury lawsuit?

If you or your loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury, you should contact an experienced attorney, like Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe, who can help you understand not only your legal options, but also how to handle medical bills and other issues related to your injury. The quicker you can contact an attorney after the accident, the better.

Our team goes to work immediately collecting and preserving critical pieces of evidence. Our proven track record in and outside of the courtroom is due to our exhaustive research and discovery process. Not only do we want to help ease your financial and emotional pain and suffering, we also want to ensure what happened to you, doesn’t happen to anyone else ever again.

How can you prove pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering is “the physical and mental distress suffered from an injury but also the aches, pain, temporary and permanent limitation on activity, potential shortening of life, depression…”

We look beyond the physical injuries to the person’s life. It is vital to consider what they loved doing that they no longer can. Does their injury no longer allow them to work, enjoy time with family and the daily events of their life?

For our clients, we show how this catastrophic injury has altered their life now and forever. We show the suffering this person and their family has had to endure due to someone else’s mistakes. We are the voice of victims, and work tirelessly to ensure the same mistakes that lead to tragedy, don’t happen again.