Any form of accident may result in some kind of injury.
For instance, minor accidents may cause cuts or wounds. In many cases, however, accidents may also result in severe injuries. And when it’s caused by someone else’s negligence, a person may pursue a catastrophic injury lawsuit.
When your injuries are so severe that you’re left with permanent damage, you may be compensated for the life-altering harm that a certain accident has caused you.
Read the article to learn more about catastrophic injuries, what types of harm would be classified as catastrophic, and how you can take legal action if you or a loved one is a victim.
How can an injury be classified as “catastrophic”?
A catastrophic injury is an injury that’s so severe that it leads to long-term or lifetime disfigurement or disability. Sustaining this kind of injury may prevent you from performing your duties in the workplace and even your daily activities in life.
Catastrophic personal injuries also necessitate a lifetime of necessary medical treatment, personal care, and repeat surgeries or other procedures. A catastrophic injury may come in the form of deformity or loss of physical or mental capacity. These injuries may be considered as catastrophic:
- Traumatic brain injury or other severe head injuries
- Loss of limb (amputation)
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injury, especially if it led to partial or total paralysis
- Severe burns
Aside from bodily injuries, however, the law also acknowledges mental and emotional trauma as catastrophic injuries. These may include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others.
Most Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Recognizing the most common causes of catastrophic personal injuries may help victims pursue the compensation they need. This is especially true if their injuries were caused by negligence.
Some situations that can lead to catastrophic injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Construction accident
- Slip and falls
- Pedestrian accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Medical malpractice
- Product defects, such as defective drugs and medical devices
Other Factors That Lead To A Catastrophic Injury Classification
While it may be possible for some victims to recover from catastrophic injuries, these accidents often lead to lifelong issues that can have an impact on the victim’s physical and mental health.
From pain that cannot be relieved by medications to a life-altering injury that limits your mobility and requires round-the-clock care from a caregiver, the injured person isn’t the only one who’s affected in these cases.
There are other circumstances that can result in a catastrophic injury classification.
Impact on Family Members
After an injury so severe, family members are often thrown into the role of caregiver. And while some may gladly embrace this role, it can still negatively affect families through loss of income and the future ability to earn.
Some members of the family may need to sacrifice and quit their jobs to care for the critically injured. However, for those without experience in caring for an injured person, this can quickly take a toll on their bodies.
It can also end up affecting their mental health as they struggle to make ends meet while trying to help their loved ones with their everyday needs.
Long-Term Side Effects
Unlike a typical personal injury claim, having a catastrophic injury case means that your life has likely changed forever. The duration of suffering from side effects and potential complications can be very long, if not permanent.
A catastrophic injury victim requires a lifetime of ongoing medical treatment and medical expenses to treat impairment as well as to undergo repeat surgeries.
What types of expenses are recoverable in a catastrophic injury claim?
There are compensatory damages or expenses that a victim may claim after suffering from a catastrophic injury. These include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Assistive devices
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Assistance from caregivers
- Counseling for emotional distress
- Ongoing physical/occupational therapies
- Loss of wages and future earning capacity
Just like most personal injury cases, your settlement will be determined on a case-by-case basis. This means that there’s no predetermined settlement amount for a certain catastrophic injury claim.
Some factors, however, may affect the value of your settlement amount. These include:
- Your medical bills
- Lost wages
- Duration and amount of necessary medical treatment
One of the major factors in determining your settlement is your medical bills. The more serious the injury, the greater your medical bills. After all, you may have undergone surgeries, needed rehabilitation, or required permanent use of a medical device or prescription drug.
These damages can affect the value of your settlement. And while financial compensation can’t bring back loss of function, it can cover your medical bills and compensate for your pain and suffering.
What You Can Do After A Catastrophic Injury
After suffering from a severe injury that diminished your quality of life, you should see a healthcare provider first for your immediate recovery.
Next, if your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can explore the possibility of pursuing legal action with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
But we know how frustrating it may be for you to suffer from a lifelong injury and to consider taking legal action at the same time. But that’s where we come in — you can contact us today to discuss your catastrophic injury case. Rest assured that we will do our best to assist you in finding the right attorney for you.