Catastrophic Injury

Any injuries sustained when driving or at the workplace can cause pain and emotional and financial damages. However, some permanently impact one’s life and leave them unable to perform their day-to-day activities. Such injuries are classified as catastrophic. 

If you have sustained injuries that left a deformity or a long-term impact, you suffered from a catastrophic injury. 

But to file for a claim and get fair compensation, you must first understand what constitute a catastrophic injury. This article explains. 

What Is A Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is any injury that leaves the victim with a permanent or life-long disability. The injuries are very serious and prevent individuals from performing their day-to-day activities. Usually, victims’ functional capabilities are severely cut short as some are unable to work, while others require round-the-clock care.   

Some of the causes of catastrophic injuries include the following: 

  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Fires and explosions
  • Sports accidents
  • On-the-job accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Trucking accidents
  • Defective products
  • Boating accidents

A catastrophic injury victim is entitled to compensation for the damages and pain caused. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Medical costs from the time of injury and future medical treatment
  • Lost wages, including future income loss
  • Additional care expenses
  • Death expenses
  • Punitive damages depend on the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred.

Types Of Catastrophic Injuries

What constitutes a catastrophic injury includes the following:

1. Traumatic Brain Injury 

A traumatic brain injury occurs when the victim’s brain is hit hard, penetrated by an object, or subjected to rapid rotation. While some brain injuries may be fatal, some may result in a locked-in syndrome, affecting their sensation, memory, thinking, or emotions. According to the extent of the injuries, some patients fully recover, while others have permanent disabilities.  

2. Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord is impacted with force, disrupting its ability to send messages between the brain and other body organs. The body becomes paralyzed from the injury site downwards, resulting in partial or permanent disability. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries leave a permanent disability on the victim, impacting the rest of their lives.

3. Limb Amputation

Losing a foot, hand, leg, or arm can impact a person’s ability to walk, drive, or care for their loved ones. Although physical therapies and prosthetics can improve one’s life after amputation, they cannot restore lost body parts.  Additionally, coming to terms with the loss can have a huge mental impact on the victim, adding to the problems they may need to face for the rest of their lives. 

4. Severe Burns

Victims of severe burns usually undergo lifelong disfigurement and physical and emotional pain. The burns are also excruciating and life-threatening and can lead to disability.  

5. Skull fractures

Fractures of the skull are classified as catastrophic as they pose a significant threat to the health and mobility of the victim. 

Usually, the fracture affects the brain and spine, two organs that can cause permanent disability and paralysis if injured. Additionally, skull fractures require specialized treatment that can result in permanent disability if not handled with care. 

Understanding Catastrophic Injuries 

If you are involved in an accident and are wondering what constitutes a catastrophic injury, you must understand the injuries you sustained. The catastrophic injury leaves a permanent or long-term disability that affects one’s quality of life. The victim cannot perform daily chores and may require personalized care 24/7. 


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