There is no legal definition for “catastrophic injury” based on a predetermined list of injuries. Rather, a court of law considers the outcome of the injury in defining the severity. So, there can be confusion about what the term means and when it’s applied in personal injury lawsuits. This article seeks to explain which injuries are typically treated as catastrophic, how these injuries may come about, and the compensation recovered in catastrophic injury cases.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries share two common attributes: they are injuries that are both sudden and extremely serious in nature. The gravity of the injury takes a toll on the injured victim in many ways—physically, financially, and emotionally. Catastrophic injuries often lead to loss of income and the injured person’s ability to provide for themselves. They might leave the person with a permanent disability or severely scarred or disfigured. These injuries are not always permanent, but no matter what, they take a long time to heal—it could be months or even years before the victim sees progress.
Some common factors associated with a catastrophic injury are paralysis, loss of a limb, organ damage, multiple bone fractures, and severe burns. Injuries to the spine, spinal cord, or brain are frequently considered catastrophic.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are many causes of catastrophic injuries. They may be a consequence of car accidents, construction accidents, dog attacks, falls, medical errors, or even sports. In fact, football, cheerleading, and ice hockey are the most dangerous sports when it comes to the risk of serious injury.
Since catastrophic injuries are sudden, it can be impossible to prevent them. However, it’s crucial to take action to prevent injuries, such as being mindful of your surroundings, wearing your seatbelt, and obeying safety guidelines.
Recovering Compensation for a Catastrophic Injury
If the injury is the result of another person’s negligence, the injured victim can recover compensation for their medical bills and pain and suffering. Catastrophic injuries are still technically personal injuries, but victims recoup more compensation than those involved in a typical personal injury case might. That’s because the greater the victim’s suffering, the more compensation they deserve for their injury.
Due to the serious nature of a catastrophic injury, it’s important to find both medical and legal help right away so expenses are taken care of. Equally important is finding a lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries.