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What makes an injury catastrophic?

All serious injuries can have great physical, emotional and financial costs. Catastrophic injuries, however, can result in permanent disabilities that affect every aspect of an individual’s life. Furthermore, catastrophic injuries often affect far more than the victim. They also have a significant impact on the victim’s family members, who must make sacrifices to ensure that their loved one receives adequate care and attention. This can cause financial and emotional burdens.

Examples of catastrophic injuries

There are many types of serious injuries that can be classified as catastrophic if the symptoms are long lasting. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries: Devastating injuries to the neck or back can result in trauma to the spinal cord. Since the spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to the rest of the body, spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 273,000 people currently living with spinal cord injuries in the United States and there are approximately 12,000 new cases each year.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Mild concussions do not typically result in catastrophic brain injuries, but severe damage to the brain can have permanent consequences. Victims of catastrophic brain injuries often suffer from physical and mental disabilities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually
  • Burn injuries: Severe burns can result in permanent disfigurement and nerve damage. Burn injuries are considered catastrophic when a significant portion of the body is permanent damaged.
  • Internal organ damage: In a car accident or devastating fall, it is possible to sustain severe internal damage. When the heart, lungs, liver, spleen or other organ is permanent damaged, it could affect every aspect of the victim’s life.
  • Multiple bone fractures: A single bone fracture can heal over a period of weeks or months with proper treatment. When someone suffers multiple bone fractures in the same accident, he or she may experience long-term effects. Some victims of multiple bone fractures never regain their strength and mobility and experience a lifetime of reduced physical abilities.
  • Amputations: Loss of limbs is a significant catastrophic injury. Such injuries may occur as a result of car crashes or on-the-job injuries. Injured victims are often unable to work or return to their jobs after an accident that involves an amputation. Medical expenses and cost of equipment such as prosthetics can also add up very quickly.

Causes of catastrophic injuries

There are many ways in which an individual may suffer catastrophic injuries. Car crashes are among the most common causes of catastrophic injuries. Many of the most severe permanent injuries result from rollovers, head-on collisions and t-bone collisions. This is why it is vital for vehicle occupants to wear a seatbelt at all times. Regardless of what or who caused your injuries, there are legal options available that could help you get the support you need and rightfully deserve.

Receiving fair compensation

Catastrophic injuries can have an enormous impact on victims and their families. It often affects the victim’s quality of life as well. Many victims of catastrophic injuries suffer from psychological issues such as depression and may even undergo personality changes resulting in stress and frustration for their family. This is why it is important that victims are provided support for their suffering in addition to compensation for their physical injuries.

Victims of catastrophic injuries have the right to pursue financial compensation for their losses. Damages that may be recovered through a successful claim include:

  • Lost current and future wages
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment
  • Physical pain and suffering (past, present and future)
  • Mental anguish (past, present and future)
  • Damages for permanent disfigurement or deformity and associated embarrassment
  • Past, present and future medical bills
  • The cost of rehabilitation services for the future

When you have suffered a life-changing injury, the first step is to make the best recovery you possibly can. In the case of a catastrophic injury, a full recovery is not possible. However, there are rehabilitation techniques that can help injured victims regain their quality of life to a certain degree. Vocational programs can even help them find a job they can perform. Many of these programs are expensive.

Our goal is to help these victims and their family members reclaim their lives and obtain a sense of justice and financial security. Please contact us at 202-899-5815 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

There is absolutely no fee to call our office and discuss your unique medical malpractice or catastrophic injuries with a member of our team. There is no fee for visiting with us and no hourly fee for the time we work on preparing your case, taking discovery and depositions, court appearances, and trial when necessary.

A contingent fee simply means that we do not get paid unless you recover a verdict or settlement. Our attorney fee is contingent upon you getting a recovery. It is a percentage (%) of the amount obtained through settlement or by trial.


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