The term “catastrophic injury” is used in the legal field to describe the most severe injuries a person can suffer. While some may use it to describe a broader range of injuries than others, the implications are typically the same. Catastrophic injuries permanently and significantly alter a person’s health and quality of life.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have experience representing clients with some of the most serious injuries imaginable. We understand how important a personal injury claim is to our clients, and we fight to make sure they get the care and the compensation they deserve.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Brain Injuries – A jolt or blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury. The most serious traumatic brain injuries can have terrible consequences for a victim, including memory loss, speech difficulties, paralysis and learning disabilities. Brain injuries are often permanent and debilitating.
The three leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls, being struck by or against an object and motor vehicle crashes. These injuries can occur on our roads, in our homes or in our workplaces. They can be extremely painful and costly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the estimated economic costs of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States is $76.5 billion every year.
Spinal Cord Injuries/Paralysis – There are an estimated 282,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in the United States. The two leading causes of these injuries are vehicle crashes and falls, combining for nearly 70 percent of spinal cord injuries. One of the conditions most commonly associated with spinal cord injuries is paralysis, which is one of the most costly and limiting complications a person can suffer.
Brain and spinal cord injuries are both considered catastrophic injuries, though some attorneys and medical experts also classify long-term, impairing injuries as being catastrophic. Examples include:
Amputations – Around 45 percent of lost limbs are due to trauma, such as a workplace accident or vehicle collision.
Hearing Loss – Hearing loss is widespread in the United States, the third most common physical condition after heart disease and arthritis. When severe hearing loss is suffered because of a hazardous environment like a noisy workplace, a sufferer might be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation.
Deformities – When someone suffers a deformity because of another’s negligence, they can take legal action to win payment for their suffering. Deformities can be painful, traumatic and lead to great deal of emotional turmoil.
How Catastrophic Injuries Happen
Serious injuries can happen to anyone in nearly any environment. Here are some of the most common:
- Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of catastrophic injuries. Most crashes – over 90 percent – are caused by human error, such as distraction, impairment or recklessness.
- Slips and falls are also leading causes of both head and spine injuries. Falls can occur in the home, in public spaces or in workplaces. Workplace falls are a major concern in industries like construction.
- Serious injuries can also be caused by dangerous products. Examples include defective car parts, faulty batteries or defective medical devices.
Determining Compensation in Catastrophic Injury Cases
Because these injuries are so severe and have such a massive impact on sufferers, the stakes involved in a personal injury claim are much higher. When pursuing a claim, a person with a catastrophic injury will need to consider several different factors. Damages in a claim include medical costs, such as bills for treatment, ongoing care and medication. But determining damages also includes lost income, loss of work ability, pain, suffering (physical and emotion) and other costs associated with injuries.
If the injured person contributed income for a family, damages might also include the financial burden the injury placed on their loved ones. In cases where a catastrophic injury results in death, survivors can file a wrongful death claim to recover costs, including medical bills, lost income and end-of-life costs.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury and wish to consider your legal options, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC to learn more. We offer free consultations and earn no fee unless we win your case.
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