What is a catastrophic injury?
Severe injuries requiring extensive medical attention are typically termed “catastrophic”. Catastrophic injuries often damage the nervous system, which can cause other health problems. In addition, the stress of these injuries can cause depression or other mental disorders. Examples of this type of injury include:
- Brain injuries.
- Spinal cord or nerve injuries, including paralysis.
- Accidental amputation.
- Severe burns.
- Multiple fractures.
Are these injuries permanent?
Not always. However, many non-permanent catastrophic injuries will still require months or years of recovery. The long-term impact of a catastrophic injury may take a long time to become fully apparent, especially when a child is injured. In addition, emotional trauma can take a long time to resolve.
How are catastrophic injuries caused?
Nearly any type of accident can result in a catastrophic injury. The most common causes include:
- Vehicle accidents.
- Construction or other workplace accidents.
- Sports injuries.
- Defective products.
Remember: it is the victim's injury, not the cause that determines whether an injury is catastrophic.
If I've been injured, what kind of compensation can I receive?
Injured persons can recover damages for a number of financial losses, including:
- Medical and caregiving expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering, including a loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of spousal relations
In some cases, punitive damages can also be added. These damages are in addition to other damages, and are meant to punish bad or grossly negligent behavior. Damages can seem extraordinary at first, but remember that this money compensates for a number of extremely important losses, including medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. While money cannot restore the loss of part of a person's life, it can help to reduce any additional worries. If you have been catastrophically injured, you should consult an attorney with experience in catastrophic injury cases as soon as possible, in order to protect your legal rights.