A catastrophic injury sounds like something out of an action film or an action-packed novel. It probably doesn’t sound real, but catastrophic injuries are real and they are very serious. A catastrophic injury is among some of the most life-altering and devastating injuries that a person can face in their lifetime.
So how do we define a catastrophic injury? What causes a catastrophic injury? And when is a lawyer or attorney needed? All these questions and more will be answered below.
How is a Catastrophic Injury Defined?
There is no universal legal definition for a catastrophic injury as a catastrophic accident and the injuries that come with it might not always be the same. The definition that is mostly used is as follows- “A catastrophic injury is one where the consequences of the injury permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”
In simpler terms, a catastrophic injury is a very serious injury that changes the victim’s life in several ways. This means that the victim might have previously led a very active lifestyle full of work, exercise, and other activities that gave them a joy to not being able to work, exercise, or do much of anything else because of their catastrophic injury. And with these injuries being permanent, their life has been changed forever, causing psychological damage among other damages to their life as well.
What are Catastrophic Injuries? And How Do They Change a Victim’s Life?
The word catastrophe stems from the Greek word katastrophē, which means sudden turn or when everything changes. And that’s exactly what a catastrophic injury is- It’s an injury that changes everything for the victim.
Catastrophic injuries fall under three categories: Cognitive injuries, physical injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Each injury can impact the victim’s life differently, but each is just as bad as the next. Cognitive injuries are the most costly in terms of emotional health and financial loss. Cognitive injuries come from serious brain injuries that take away the victim’s ability to form new memories, speak, or work among other issues this injury can bring. Physical injuries include: Amputation, severe burns and fractures, organ damage, paralysis, and other physical damage or issues. Spinal cord injuries impact the spinal cord, which creates permanent mobility issues for the victim. This means the possibility of needing a wheelchair depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury.
The loss of our mental and physical health can seriously impact our lives. Losing one or both can severely impact our quality of life. The decline of our mental health can leave someone who once had a cheerful disposition and an impeccable memory feeling depressed, anxious, and having a hard time recalling facts and memories they previously had no trouble with. If you’ve ever forgotten something, you know how frustrating and stressful it can be, so imagine dealing with that on a daily basis- It takes a toll on a person.
With the loss of our physical health, it impacts every aspect of our lives. Work becomes harder or impossible to do. If the victim was someone who jogged or exercised regularly, they won’t be able to do those activities for a long time or possibly ever again. They might need crutches or a wheelchair in order to get around, meaning they won’t be able to move around like they once could.
This decline in mental health and physical movement can also impact the lives of their loved ones. Spouses or parents might quit their jobs to provide their loved one with 24/7 care, or they might have to take on extra work areas or an additional job to hire a caregiver for their injured loved one. Even if the person can partially recover from the injury, there is still a long road to get to that recovery, which can be frustrating for them. This person who was working hard and had a lively personality is now left to feel like a financial burden without purpose and those feelings can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts.
How Can I Be Compensated for My Catastrophic Injury?
If your catastrophic accident was caused due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages you suffered as a result of their actions. To do this, you must first determine what caused the accident and who the responsible party was. To prove the accident was caused by their negligence, you must show what duty the other party owed you and that they failed to do so, causing your injury.
If you are considering filing a claim and seeking compensation for your catastrophic injury, here are a few things you need to know:
- Keep a record of everything. Any photographs of the accident scene, testimonies from witnesses about the accident, your medical records and documents showing your treatments, etc, have a copy of all that on hand. Having all of this information strengthens your claim and may entitle you to a higher amount of compensation.
- If your injury puts you out of work for any amount of time or permanently, then you may be able to get compensation for those lost wages.
- If your injury caused severe emotional and psychological damage that required you to attend therapy, go on medication, etc, you may be entitled to compensation for that as well.
If you’ve suffered from an injury due to a catastrophic accident, here are some of the many damages you can seek compensation for:
- Medical bills & expenses related to this specific injury (current and future)
- Lost wages and career opportunities
- Any counseling needed to work through the emotional trauma of the accident
- The need for a temporary or permanent caregiver to help with everyday chores and life
- The need for disability services such as a mobile aid
With the help of an excellent catastrophic injury lawyer, you can receive the compensation you deserve for your catastrophic accident injury. Scott Senft, with his decades of experience and commitment to his clients, is the lawyer to help you receive that compensation. Call him today at 877 291 HURT (4878) and get your free consultation!