What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury
What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury?
Personal injury law is vast and covers many different types of accident claims, including motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and many other scenarios that give rise to personal injuries. In some cases, injuries may be only mild, but in others, they can result in significant, sometimes even catastrophic injuries.
What Are Some Examples of Catastrophic Injuries?
According to the American Medical Association, a catastrophic injury is one that causes severe injury to the spine or the brain; however, in the law, this definition can be much more encompassing.
Some catastrophic injuries can be fatal, while others can cause a permanent disability or lead to a marked change in the circumstances of the victim’s life. In the world of personal injury law, there is no single, set definition of this term, and whether an injury is considered catastrophic will depend largely on the unique facts of each case.
There are many types of catastrophic injuries that occur, such as:
- A traumatic brain injury resulting in lifelong cognitive, speech, movement, or emotional difficulties
- A spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis, chronic pain, or the loss of control over body functions or systems
- The loss of a limb
- Severe burn injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Ruptured or punctured internal organs
Catastrophic injuries can occur in many types of accidents. Motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, falls, construction accidents and injuries during recreational activities are just some examples of unexpected events that can lead to catastrophic injury.
How Do Catastrophic Injuries Affect the Life of the Victim?
After suffering a catastrophic injury, the victim’s life will likely never be the same. An injury of this extent can mean significant medical bills, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medical imaging and testing costs, prescription medication costs, medical equipment, and expenses associated with therapy or rehabilitation. Catastrophic injuries often require ongoing medical care and attention, and they can also mean long periods of hospitalization or nursing care.
Additionally, the victim of a catastrophic injury will likely never be able to enjoy the same standard of living as they did before the accident. For starters, they may be unable to work, losing wages or income as a result, and they may have diminished earning capacity for the rest of their lives. Moreover, the victim may experience considerable pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. They may be unable to engage in the activities they previously enjoyed, and their general quality of life may be drastically affected.
It is important to note that the impact of catastrophic injuries is relative—they may affect victims differently, depending on the circumstances, the extent of the injury, and the mark the injury will leave on the victim’s life. For example, someone who performs physical labor may be severely impacted by the loss of a limb, leaving them unable to do their job.
What is the Process of Recovering Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury?
To recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered as a result of a catastrophic injury, you will generally need to show that another party was responsible for causing the injury, as well as needing to show damages.
You will also need to show that the other party has breached a duty of care, directly causing damages to you as a result of their actions or inaction. For example, if your catastrophic injury resulted from a trucking accident, you will need to prove that the trucking company is liable for the events that led up to your accident. Typically, this is accomplished by filing a claim of negligence against the party responsible.
A catastrophic injury claim can quickly become complex, and it will be necessary to negotiate with the other party and their insurance company. Should negotiations not lead to a successful settlement, you will need to present your case in court in order to recover compensation.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with catastrophic injury claims can be invaluable. They will communicate with the parties, negotiate with insurers, and present your case on your behalf in court. Moreover, they will be able to accurately assess the full extent of your damages and help you prove them so that you can work towards a fair and reasonable settlement or resolution.
How Can Johnson Garcia Help with Your Catastrophic Injury Case?
Our client-focused practice creates a warm and welcoming environment where we can focus on your needs. Our reviews from our clients and our track record speak for themselves. With over 35 years of combined experience, we have helped many clients with catastrophic injuries recover compensation.
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 willing to negotiate reasonably, 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.