What Are Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?
A catastrophic injury is life-altering. Not only does it tend to require long-term medical treatment, but it also often leaves its victim with the inability to live life as they had in the past.
While the American Medical Association defines a catastrophic injury as one which causes severe injury to the spine or the brain, in the law, this definition can be much broader. Some catastrophic injuries prove to be fatal, often resulting in a wrongful death claim.
Other catastrophic injuries can cause a permanent disability, chronic pain, and lengthy medical treatments; some lead to a marked change in the circumstances of the victim’s life. There is no single, set definition of the term in personal injury law, and whether an injury is considered catastrophic will depend largely on the unique facts of each case.
What Are Some Common Examples of Catastrophic Injuries?
There are many different types of catastrophic injuries. For example:
- A traumatic brain injury resulting in lifelong cognitive, speech, movement, or emotional difficulties
- A spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis or the loss of control over body functions or systems
- An internal or external injury leading to respiratory problems
- Serious chronic pain resulting from an internal or external injury
- The loss or amputation of a limb
- The loss of digits
- Severe burn injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Internal bleeding, or ruptured or punctured internal organs
- Serious diseases, including cancer
- Compound breaks and fractures requiring surgery and the placement of hardware in the body
- Wrongful death
What Are Some Examples of Accidents that Can Lead to a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury can happen at any time, under many different circumstances. The following are just some examples of accidents that can lead to catastrophic injury:
- Car accidents
- Trucking or 18-wheeler accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Accidents on the oil field or drilling rig
- Injuries caused by dangerous or defective products
- Maritime or offshore accidents
What Are Some Examples of Damages You Can Recover If You’ve Suffered a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury often requires lengthy, intensive, and significant medical care, often followed by various forms of physical, occupational, and other therapies. This means victims face many different expenses, including the cost of hospitalization, medical care, prescriptions, medical testing and imaging, specialist visits, and the costs of therapy and counseling.
Moreover, victims of a catastrophic injury may find that their lives will never again be the same. They may be unable to work for a time, resulting in the loss of wages or income. They may need to seek different employment or forgo employment altogether, resulting in lessened earning capacity. Victims may need to make significant and costly changes to their lives — for example, customizing their homes in order to adjust for a permanent disability or accommodate mobility limits. They may even face higher insurance costs as a result of the catastrophic injury they suffered.
Recovering compensation is possible in many of these cases. You may be able to obtain out-of-pocket costs, such as your medical and hospital expenses or lost wages. You may also be able to obtain general damages, which are not so easily quantifiable but nevertheless can pose significant financial issues. For example, you may be able to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of activities you can no longer do, and a general decrease in the quality of your life as a result of your injury.
Why is it Important to Seek Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Cases involving a catastrophic injury can be complicated and lengthy. They can involve various legal and factual issues, which a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help resolve. An experienced lawyer’s role in catastrophic injury claims is multi-faceted. They can help build your case based on your unique facts, help preserve important evidence, negotiate on your behalf with the other party and their insurance company, help ascertain the true value of your damages, and present your case in court if a fair settlement is not possible.
By seeking help from an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can focus on your recovery and building your life back up after a catastrophic injury, while your attorney will focus on the ins and outs of your claims and recovering compensation.
How Can Johnson Garcia Help with Your Catastrophic Injury Case?
With over 35 years of combined experience, we have helped clients with catastrophic injuries recover compensation. Our practice offers a warm and supportive environment, focusing on our clients’ needs.
We strive to negotiate on your behalf toward a favorable settlement so that you can focus on getting better and putting your life back together after a catastrophic injury. If the other side is not negotiating fairly, the personal injury attorneys at Johnson Garcia will file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to trial, if needed. If you have suffered a serious injury, do not hesitate to contact Johnson Garcia for a free consultation.