What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
Per 42 USC § 3796b, the legal definition of a catastrophic injury is an injury with "direct and proximate consequences" that "permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work." In simpler terms, a catastrophic injury is an injury that is so serious that its effects leave the victim with permanent damage. Catastrophic injuries are usually the result of physical harm to the brain and/or spinal cord which can have a severe short- and long-term impact on an individual's functional capabilities.
Whatever the case, if you have sustained injuries serious enough to be long-term and debilitating or that caused you a deformity, you have suffered a catastrophic injury.
Having a catastrophic injury means losing a vital part of your person, whether it's a limb, the ability to walk, or the ability to form a whole thought. For any accident that results in catastrophic injury to even one person, a catastrophic injury lawsuit and settlement can be pursued. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can legally be compensated for the wrongful and life-altering harm that has been done to you.
You are entitled to a catastrophic injury settlement for a number of reasons:
- First, the more serious the injury, the greater the medical expenses. You may have had surgeries, need rehabilitation, or you may require permanent use of a medical device or medication.
- Second, if the injury put you out of work, you may be entitled to compensation for those lost wages.
- Finally, you may also be entitled to compensation because of the emotional damage that you suffered.
The Types of Catastrophic Injuries
In general, catastrophic injuries come in three types:
- Physical injuries include amputation, burns, fractures, and damage to orthopedic function or tissue.
- Spinal cord injuries exclusively affect the spinal cord, creating permanent mobility issues for survivors.
- Cognitive injuries are among the most costly of catastrophic injuries. Cognitive injuries arise from brain damage that takes away a person's ability to work, speak, or form new memories.
Each and every catastrophic injury impacts the survivor and their entire family. Taking care of someone with mobility or cognitive limitations is emotionally taxing, forcing working spouses to quit their jobs and devote themselves to around-the-clock care full-time. In cases where a spouse can't quit their job, they'll need to make enough money to hire a caretaker, which is an exorbitant cost for most families. A catastrophic injury means a limited future for survivors and their families, and that's unacceptable.
If you would like to learn more about how our firm can help you rebuild your future, do not hesitate to call us today.