- Practice Areas
- Results & Testimonials
- Video & Media
Chances are high that you’ve heard the term catastrophic injury at some point. A news segment may claim that a bus crash left passengers with catastrophic injuries, or a commercial for a personal injury law firm might state they represent clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries. If you’ve ever wondered, “What exactly is a catastrophic injury, and what causes it?” keep reading.
Usually, for an injury to be considered catastrophic, it must occur unexpectedly and suddenly, leaving the victim with physical damage that will affect them long-term. Catastrophic injuries often impact the victim’s quality of life for the rest of their life or are life-threatening.
Sometimes a catastrophic injury may be caused by an unavoidable accident; other times, the injury can be blamed on someone’s negligence.
Victims of motor vehicle accidents can receive severe injuries. For example, truck accidents where semis collide with passenger cars often result in physical harm to the victim due to the size difference between the vehicles. Individuals in motorcycle accidents also risk suffering catastrophic injury since motorcycles offer no physical protection during a collision.
On average, six million automobile accidents happen annually in the United States. While many collisions will result in no or minor injuries, an average of two million drivers will suffer permanent injuries from car accidents every year.
Workplace accidents frequently result in wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits since someone else’s negligence often leads to an employee’s injury. In addition, high-risk job locations, such as construction sites, have more risk of an employee experiencing a catastrophic injury at work. When physical damage permanently prevents the victim from performing their job, they can seek compensation for lost income and the medical care they need due to the accident.
No patient seeking medical treatment expects their caregiver to injure them, but unfortunately, numerous patients have received permanent damage from the care provider that was supposed to help them. Performing amputations on the wrong limb, leaving instruments inside patients after procedures, and making a mistake while delivering a baby can all result in catastrophic injuries to the patient.
For example, birth injuries can have debilitating lifelong impacts and leave an infant with brain damage, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. In addition, mistakes made during medical procedures, like leaving instruments inside the patient, can cause internal bleeding and potentially life-threatening infections.
You can pursue compensation for personal injuries even if they aren’t catastrophic. Still, successful catastrophic injury cases typically result in a greater settlement for the victim than standard personal injury cases. If you’re unsure whether your situation is a catastrophic injury, you’ll want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. From a medical and legal standpoint, a catastrophic injury is usually determined to be an injury that impacts the victim in one or more of the following ways:
Since victims of catastrophic injuries suffer more than victims of standard personal injuries, they deserve more significant compensation. If you are going to file a personal injury claim for a catastrophic injury, you will want to have a skilled personal injury lawyer representing you. Representation by a seasoned legal professional is the only way to ensure you have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
While catastrophic injuries are varied, some common types of catastrophic injuries occur more frequently than others. For example, car accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, worksite accidents, and other’s negligence can cause the following types of catastrophic injury:
Severe neck and spinal cord injuries can remove a person’s ability to live their life the way they did before their injury. Also, they will likely need extensive medical treatment after the accident and possibly for the rest of their lives.
The medical bills associated with treatment can place the injured person under financial strain. Additionally, since a neck and spinal cord injury can limit an individual’s ability to work, they will be dealing with lost wages while trying to recover from a severe injury.
A spinal cord injury will turn the injured person’s life inside out. Spinal cord injuries can cause bowel and bladder control problems, respiratory and circulatory problems, exaggerated reflexes, chronic pain, and even paralysis. Individuals with severe spine damage will find their injury wholly alters their daily lives, preventing them from enjoying activities they once relished.
When an accident occurs while a doctor delivers a baby, the results can be devastating. If the injury occurred because the doctor made a mistake, parents could seek recompense for their child’s injury. Birth injuries such as brain and nerve damage can impact a child long-term and hurt their quality of life.
Disfiguring injuries qualify as catastrophic injuries when they fundamentally change a person’s appearance in a way that would be considered negative. Severe burns, scarring, amputation, and other such injuries can all be considered disfiguring injuries depending on their severity and location.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered catastrophic because it has long-lasting repercussions on cognitive function. Brain injuries may affect a person’s motor control and processing abilities or leave them with severe emotional issues, which is why they are considered one of the more devastating types of catastrophic injury.
Permanent loss of sight or hearing is considered a catastrophic injury. If the individual loses one of their senses due to the injury, it will typically be considered catastrophic. It does not matter whether the impairment is caused by physical trauma to the eyes or ears or a brain injury.
Since every catastrophic injury case is unique, there isn’t a set amount victims can expect to receive for their losses. Numerous factors are considered when calculating compensation for a catastrophic injury lawsuit, including the following:
You have the right to seek compensation if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s negligence or willful misconduct. A personal injury lawyer can help prove the extent of your damage and the losses it has caused you.
Contact Wendt Law Firm P.C. at 816-542-6734 and schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and compassionate lawyers. Our team is committed to getting the best possible outcome for your claim and is prepared to seek justice on your behalf.