Thousands of people get injured every single year and must rely on the services of a personal injury lawyer in order to settle their claim. While most of these people will eventually recover from their injuries and resume their usual life, some of them will be permanently affected by that one accident.
In this case, they will have to request the services of a catastrophic injury lawyer. These individuals specialize in dealing with cases of catastrophic injuries. Namely, an injury that leaves a person with permanent injuries and forces them to depend on long-term medical treatment.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll talk about the specific characteristics that turn a simple personal injury case into a catastrophic one.
Catastrophic Injury – Definition
The most common definition used for catastrophic injuries states that they permanently prevent a person from performing any gainful work. In short, a victim of a catastrophic injury is no longer able to maintain a job and, thus, support themselves and their family.
With such an injury, an individual is affected as a whole. First, they have a lifetime of wages that they lose, a plethora of bills that can be quite expensive, as well as the emotional impact that the injury has had on them.
A catastrophic injury can make it difficult for a person to hold a job in the least severe case, while more serious cases can make them depend on a daily caregiver.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injury
Most experts consider catastrophic injuries those that disrupt the body’s central nervous system. Some of these injuries include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Severe Burns
- Multiple Bone Fractures
- Organ Damage
- Exposure to hazardous substances and/or chemicals.
Any injury that causes physical trauma to an individual can evolve into a catastrophic injury. However, it is well known that motor vehicle and truck accidents are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries.
Things That are Taken into Consideration
To determine if a personal injury is in fact a catastrophic one, a couple of things will be taken into consideration. The difference between the two is mostly one regarding scale, but not limited to it.
- Scale of Damage – catastrophic injury claims are larger in value, mainly because of the degree of physical injuries. These injuries can include both economic and non-economic damages.
- Duration of Damage – obviously, catastrophic injuries have a long-lasting and more significant effect. In some cases, the victims may end up with medical conditions for the rest of their life.
- Need for Greater Expertise – personal injury cases are usually handled by common personnel, while catastrophic injuries will require medical experts, as well as expert testimony and medical documentation.
- Degree of Opposition – given that the victim could be awarded millions of dollars, it goes without saying that the opposing party will defend their case vigorously, instead of trying to reach a settlement.
The Bottom Line
Long story short, if you’ve been injured in an accident and are left with a medical condition that will persist throughout your life, or for a long period, then you can file for a catastrophic injury case.
Keep in mind that your case will most likely end up in a trial that will be long-drawn, exhausting, and stressful. It is recommended that you have an attorney by your side, who can take care of most things, so that you can focus on your health and recovery.