Catastrophic injuries are incredibly severe injuries which cause long term or permanent disability. This classification of injury is so serious because it forces a person to completely change how they go about living their life. Catastrophic injuries lead to the loss of the ability to work, if not a total inability to care for oneself without assistance.
In cases in which a catastrophic injury was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person or company, victims are entitled to significant compensation in order to cover their lost wages, medical bills, and other lifestyle changes they require. Taking care of a catastrophic injury is expensive and taxing, and therefore requires significantly more effort to file a personal injury claim, not to mention cope with. Here we look at the most common types of catastrophic injuries and how they may affect your life.
Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, is caused by a severe blow to head. In the world of personal injury, TBI often results from car accidents, slip and falls, and assaults in premises liability cases. While they can be mild, a severe TBI can result in catastrophic injuries. The resulting brain damage can cause lifelong cognitive difficulties, personality changes, paralysis, and/or coma. While the damage varies wildly depending on the cause and severity of the injury, victims of the worst forms of brain injury can be permanently disabled, calling for a live-in nurse or other caregiver to tend to them at all times.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can result in several painful and/or significant effects, including respiratory problems and loss of bladder or bowel control. Paralysis is one of the most serious and commonly recognized spinal injuries. Paralysis can be full or partial, so it can affect people to different degrees.
The most serious forms come in two types:
- Paraplegia: Paralysis of the legs and lower body
- Quadriplegia: Paralysis from the neck down, which affects all four limbs
Both of the above would qualify as catastrophic and—especially in the case of quadriplegia—can significantly limit a person’s mobility and ability to perform daily tasks. A person disabled by paralysis may be confined to a wheelchair and require at-home nursing care.
Third-degree burn injuries completely penetrate a person’s skin down to the muscle and even bone. Not only can these injuries cause disfigurement, but a bad enough burn may lead to infection, nerve and/or muscle damage, lung damage, and/or permanent disability. Severe burn victims may suffer loss of mobility and function as well as psychological trauma.
Fortunately, regardless of what treatment and care a catastrophic injury survivor requires, they should be able to recover enough in damages to pay for whatever they need for the rest of their life. However, filing and fighting for a personal injury claim can be incredibly taxing, especially if you are suffering from catastrophic injuries. To ensure you or your loved one receives the maximum compensation possible, hire a lawyer.