Understanding Catastrophic Injuries

April 17, 2018

In personal injury claims, victims are sometimes injured so severely that they are unable to work for a long period of time, and sometimes they are never able to return to their old jobs.

Clearly, when an injury is catastrophic the injured party will seek a greater amount of damages—both economic and noneconomic—than when an injury is temporary. And catastrophic injuries often leave both physical and non-physical scars, all of which need to be taken into account when determining the current and future needs of the victim.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

Precisely what qualifies as a “catastrophic injury” is a moving target. Current state law doesn’t get into an explicit definition, describing a catastrophic injury only as one “including, but not limited to, loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burn, or severe head injury.” That’s led to some debate over what does and doesn’t qualify as catastrophic, especially when it comes to psychiatric injuries.

The definition in federal law doesn’t provide detailed guidance because it only characterizes an injury by the end result: “an injury that permanently prevent(s) an individual from performing any gainful work.”

But between those definitions and general practice, it’s usually agreed that severe burns, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries (including paralysis), major organ damage, and severe broken bones qualify. Incidents that result in serious psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, are also usually considered.

Causes of Catastrophic Injury

We might expect that catastrophic injuries only happen in industrial workplaces and a few other settings, but the truth is that they can happen under many circumstances—almost too many to mention.

Work accidents can cause them, of course, but so can car and truck accidents, public transportation crashes, and even situations that don’t seem like they could escalate to that level of severity, such as slip-and-fall accidents, defective product issues, and even dog bites. Most accidents of all kinds don’t reach a catastrophic level, but it can happen.

Orange County Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

The costs related to a catastrophic injury are equally catastrophic. Immediate medical expenses will give way to rehabilitation and long-term care needs. A person affected in this way will often lose all future income as an effect of the injury, and yet living expenses and other needs continue to accumulate.

That’s why when you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury it’s vital that you work with someone who understands how to help. Each situation is different, but the attorneys at Kohan & Bablove, Injury Attorneys have the experience needed to approach every catastrophic injury case effectively.

Give us a call today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a no-cost, no-pressure consultation to discuss your case and learn more.