Car crashes, truck crashes, motorcycle crashes, there are all kinds of accidents that can lead to people sustaining serious, even catastrophic injuries. While there is no universal definition of what exactly constitutes a catastrophic injury, there are some common examples and general guidelines that usually apply to this type of injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, there will also be special considerations for your personal injury case.
What Is Considered to be a Catastrophic Injury?
In the most general sense, a catastrophic injury is one that is so severe in nature that it causes a person to suffer from a long-term, disabling or debilitating condition. One of the difficulties in formulating a universal definition of catastrophic injury stems from the fact that classifying an injury as catastrophic will largely depend on the impact the injury has on a particular person’s life, as well as the lives of his or her loved ones. Looking to determine if an injury should be classified as catastrophic per se will thus entail a fact-specific analysis of the impacts the injury has and will continue to have on a person’s life.
While a particular injury being categorized as catastrophic can vary depending on the victim, a catastrophic injury will usually involve a substantial loss of mental or physical ability. It may also involve a permanent deformity or severe scarring. Some injuries that are often considered catastrophic in nature include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in full or partial paralysis
- Substantial trauma to the spinal column
- Loss of limb
- Severe burns
- Severe scarring
- An injury resulting in loss of motor skills or function (such as those requiring the use of a cane or wheelchair permanently or for an extended period of time)
In general, sustaining a catastrophic injury will mean severe medical intervention, extensive follow-up care, and a very lengthy recovery period. It is not uncommon for those who survive a catastrophic injury to require full-time care for the rest of his or her life and to never be able to sustain gainful employment again.
Because of the impacts and the requisite medical care for a catastrophic injury victim, the damages in these kinds of cases tend to be well above and beyond what you may see in another type of injury case. This comes with some extensive hurdles that are unique to catastrophic injury claims.
Large damages mean that insurance companies will put up an even bigger fight to avoid paying out on such a costly claim. Documentation and proper calculation of damages are critical. The cost of medical care, future medical care, rehabilitation, counseling for trauma, compensation for loss of enjoyment of life as well as pain and suffering, and other damages sustained by the injury victim must be detailed and supported by substantial evidence. These injury victims have a legal right to recover the losses they sustained in an accident and catastrophic injury losses are extensive, to say the least.
Personal Injury Attorney
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