A personal injury accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Those few seconds can change the life of the victim forever. When catastrophic injuries occur, the victim may not be able to do things that they used to do. A catastrophic injury victim may have a legal right to claim compensation for their injuries, damages, and altered lifestyle.
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What Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?
Injuries are considered catastrophic if they significantly change the course of a victim’s life. An injury may fall into this category if it is extremely severe, if it is permanent or if it is disfiguring. Injuries may occur to a number of different body parts and functions in order to be considered catastrophic. What they have in common is that they are disabling to the point that the victim is not able to continue with life in the same manner, even following a period of reasonable recovery.
When a victim suffers from catastrophic injury following a personal injury accident, they may have a right to claim financial compensation. The question is whether someone else is responsible for the accident. Even when the injury isn’t intentional, if a person acts with negligence or a lack of reasonable care, it may meet the standard for financial compensation. The victim may work with a catastrophic injury attorney to make their case and claim a monetary payment.
Different Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Some examples of catastrophic injuries may include
- Birth Injury – Injuries may occur to a mother or child during the birth process
- Amputation – Physical trauma and secondary infection may necessitate removal of a limb or loss of a body part
- Spinal cord injury – Severance of the spinal cord may result in whole or partial paralysis
- Loss of hearing or sight – Loss of one or more senses can make it impossible for a victim to perform daily self-care tasks or work in a normal manner
- Eye injury – Injuries to the eye may be painful as well as limiting
- Facial injury – Facial trauma may cause scars; these scars can change the victim’s appearance and may require constructive surgery.
- Nerve damage – Nerve damage can be extremely painful. It may create sharp or radiating pain throughout the body
- Paralysis – Paralysis may be catastrophic when it is full or partial. The victim may require significant physical and occupational therapy to help the victim live as independently as possible within new limitations
- Brain injury – A catastrophic brain injury can be hard to detect. However, if they are not appropriately treated, they may cause life-threatening secondary complications. A traumatic brain injury attorney can help the victim explain the value of a claim involving brain injury
- Neurological damage – Neurological damage may impact the brain, the spinal cord and, in turn, the entire body. Careful diagnosis must be made to ensure that the victim’s damages are fully explored for fair compensation
- Crush injury – Crushing accidents may damage vital organs. Recovery may be uncertain. The victim can receive legal advice for how to identify and value injures
What Are the Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries?
Common causes of catastrophic injuries may include:
- Car accidents – A car accident at any speed may result in serious injuries
- Trucking accidents – Because of its heavy weight, a truck can produce catastrophic injury
- Pedestrian accidents – Pedestrians are particularly susceptible to suffering severe injuries because of their relative size compared to a motor vehicle
- Sports accidents – Even with developments in safety gear and protocols, sports accidents still produce serious injuries
- On-the-job accidents – Victims may be hurt at work because of understaffing, inadequate training, trying to work too quickly or a lack of equipment maintenance
- Boating accidents – Boating accidents may occur because of speed, inattention or intoxicated operation of a boat
- Trampoline accidents – Trampoline use may create a variety of injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injury
- Motorcycle accidents – Motorcycle accidents may result in severe injury to the motorcycle rider or a passenger in another vehicle
- Fires and explosions – Fires and explosions may create burns and other injuries
- Defective products – Goods that malfunction because of poor design, inadequate warnings or mistakes in manufacturing can cause harm
- Medical malpractice – Healthcare professionals cannot always be counted on to provide competent, careful service
- Horseback riding accidents – A sudden fall can cause trauma, including broken bones, brain injuries and other internal damages
- Falls from heights – Falling from a height can produce severe injuries because of increased speed upon landing
- Violent crime – Assault and battery can cause debilitating injuries for victims
- Bicycle accidents – Bicyclists face many dangers from drivers on the road
- Jet ski accidents – Jet ski accidents may result in organ damage, broken bones and brain injuries
How are Catastrophic Injuries Different from Other Injury Claims?
Catastrophic injuries are different from other injury claims in that it is crucial to determine the long-term value of the claim. Compensation for a serious injury doesn’t just mean payment for the trip to the emergency room. The victim may claim compensation for the severity of their injuries that last a lifetime. However, there is serious work to do with the help of a catastrophic injury law firm to value these damages and ensure that the victim is fairly compensated.
How Do You Prove Catastrophic Injuries?
To prove catastrophic injuries, the victim relies on a combination of lay and expert witnesses. They must prove that the other party is responsible for the accident and that the accident caused the injuries. They call upon their treating physician and healthcare team, as well experts, who can speak to what injuries have occurred and their impact far into the future.
What Is the Average Injury Settlement?
An average injury settlement reflects economic losses, including medical treatment, property damages and lost work. Plus, the victim receives a fair amount for pain and suffering. This amount is based on the severity of injuries. It’s hard to say the exact average injury settlement because every case is based on the specific injuries that occurred in that case.
Why Hire an Attorney for Catastrophic Attorneys?
Hiring a catastrophic injury attorney ensures that your case is in good hands while focusing on your recovery. Receiving fair compensation after a catastrophic injury can make a significant difference for a suffering victim. The attorney knows how to pursue the case, and they have expert training to work towards a positive outcome to maximize compensation for the victim and ease the burden of the legal system.
Kyle Bachus is one of the founding partners of the Colorado law firm of Bachus & Schanker, LLC. He provides exceptional advocacy and support to clients throughout the state and across the country who have serious, pressing, and complex legal issues. He is committed to the rights and safety of their community and the consumers who make up their community.