Injuries from accidents are always devastating. However, one can develop life-changing complications. Such injuries are called catastrophic injuries.
Individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries should be compensated by the party that harmed them. An Athens catastrophic injury lawyer at Rafi Law Firm can help with a fatal injury case. We help victims get what they deserve after the damage caused by a catastrophic injury.
The following guide contains information about serious injuries, so keep reading.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is a severe and life-altering injury that causes long-term physical, financial, and emotional harm to the victim. The impact of these injuries is profound and enduring and can lead to permanent disability and impairment. Common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
Spinal Cord Injury
- It refers to the damage of the spinal cord, which may cause paralysis, such as paraplegia paralysis of the lower part of the body.
Traumatic Brain Injury
- These are severe brain injuries leading to memory loss, cognitive impairments, and changes in one’s behavior and personality.
- Injuries that cause failure or damage vital organs like the heart, liver, and lungs.
Severe Burn Injuries
- Massive burns leading to permanent scarring and may require multiple surgeries as well as skin grafts.
Severe Orthopedic Injuries
- Joint injuries and complex fractures that cause the victim chronic pain and mobility problems.
- The Loss of one or more limbs, affecting one’s mobility and independence.
- Neurological disorders and Loss of sensory functions are also common catastrophic injuries.
What Causes Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries can be caused by accidents and incidents resulting from high-impact forces. The injuries result from sudden and unforeseen events and can lead to devastating consequences for the victims. The following are causes of catastrophic injuries.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Truck, car, and pedestrian accidents are also a major cause of catastrophic injuries. Rollovers, high-speed collisions, and large vehicle accidents can result in severe spinal cord injuries, head injuries, and numerous fractures.
- Falls from very high heights and on hard surfaces can cause catastrophic injuries like fractures, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Falls mainly affect older people, construction workers, and others operating in hazardous environments.
- Medical errors and negligence during medical procedures can cause catastrophic injuries. These can include organ damage and paralysis.
- Some jobs are super risky, which means accidents at the workplace can lead to catastrophic injuries. Causes of severe injuries at work include chemical exposures, heavy machinery accidents, and falls from heights.
- Intentional acts of violence, such as shootings, can leave individuals with catastrophic injuries.
- Using defective products like faulty machinery can cause catastrophic injuries.
Fires and Explosions
- Fires and explosions can happen in residential or industrial buildings, causing catastrophic injuries like burns.
- Accidental electrocutions can also cause catastrophic injuries like cardiac arrest.
Catastrophic Injury Statistics
Statistics related to catastrophic injuries offer valuable insights into the impact and prevalence of severe injuries. These statistics will most likely vary by region and country. The following are general catastrophic injury statistics for the United States.
Spinal Cord Injuries
More than 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases are recorded annually in the United States, and the leading causes of these injuries are acts of violence, motor vehicle accidents, and falls.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries contribute to roughly 30% of all injury-related deaths in America. The United States reported around 2.87 million brain injury cases in 2014.
2 out of 1,000 people undergo non-traumatic amputations in the United States.
Approximately 45,000 people are hospitalized for burn injuries yearly in the United States, and more than 1 million burn injuries require medical attention annually.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of catastrophic accidents. There were more than 36,000 fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in 2019.
Violence Related Injuries
Violent acts like assault can cause catastrophic injuries. Firearm-related injuries are the most common in the United States.
The United States also recorded 5,333 fatal workplace injuries in 2019.
What Types of Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?
There are numerous catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Severe burns
- Facial injury leading to deformity
- Brain injuries
- Loss of sight
- Hearing loss
- Spinal cord damage that causes paralysis
- Severe burns
- Severe organ damage
- Neurological damage
Not all injuries are catastrophic, and the classification depends on the severity and long-term impact on the victim’s life.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered with a Catastrophic Injury Case?
Victims and their families can recover various damages as compensation for losses and expenses incurred because of a catastrophic injury. Here are some damages that can be recovered by speaking with an Athens catastrophic injury lawyer at our firm:
- Victims may be reimbursed for lost wages resulting from the injury. They can include past and future income the individual would have earned if the injury did not occur.
- Compensation for all medical costs related to the injury, for example, surgeries, medications, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
Pain and Suffering
- These are non-economic damages meant to compensate the victim for emotional suffering, physical pain, and diminished life quality because of the injury.
- If the incident causing the catastrophic injury led to property damage, victims might receive compensation for repairing and replacing the damaged property.
Disability and Impairment
- Victims may also be compensated for permanent disability and impairment resulting from the catastrophic injury.
- In cases where the responsible individual’s actions are super reckless and intentional, punitive damages may be awarded to prevent a repeat of the same in the future.
Why Do I Need a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer?
Individuals affected by catastrophic injuries should hire a catastrophic injury lawyer for these reasons.
Severe injuries lead to Loss of income, huge medical expenses, as well as other financial constraints. An attorney can help one fully assess the damage’s extent, considering both economic and non-economic losses.
Most catastrophic injury cases are complex as they involve legal and medical intricacies. An experienced lawyer understands everything about personal injury law, meaning they can help victims build a strong case and easily navigate the legal system.
Involved parties may decide to hold negotiations and avoid going to trial. The victim will require a qualified attorney as insurance companies may try to minimize payouts, and in some cases, they could deny claims.
If there’s no agreement on a settlement, the lawyer will prepare to take the case to trial. They will present all evidence and argue the case before a jury.
An experienced attorney understands all nuances of these kinds of injuries and how to prepare a compelling case to improve the chances of success.
And because a catastrophic injury is emotionally and physically draining, a victim needs the space to focus on recovery. With an attorney handling the case, one can concentrate on recovery and rehabilitation.
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Case
An individual must follow a couple of steps while seeking compensation after suffering a catastrophic injury. Below is more information about the process.
Speaking with an Attorney
Before taking any steps, the victim should consult an attorney. Details of the case, such as how the injury occurred and its impact, are usually discussed during the first consultation.
Conducting an Investigation
The lawyer helps conduct an extensive investigation to collect all evidence relevant to the case. It can involve collecting medical records and witness statements and speaking to experts who can assess the level of injuries.
An attorney helps the victim determine the party legally responsible for the catastrophic injuries. The liable entity can be another person or a company.
Working Out the Damages
The next step is to calculate the damages suffered, for instance, the cost of treatment, pain, suffering, and lost income.
An attorney helps the affected individual to negotiate with the insurance company until a suitable settlement is reached. The catastrophic injury lawyer advocates for the victim’s interests and strives to secure a fair settlement covering all the damages.
Filing the Lawsuit
If no settlement is reached after negotiations, the attorney files a lawsuit on the client’s behalf. He marks the beginning of the formal legal process.
All parties present their cases on the day of the trial. The judge checks the evidence and arguments and renders a verdict.
Catastrophic injury cases can be lengthy and complicated, but with assistance from qualified experts, the process moves smoothly, and victims finally get justice.
Can One Recover From a Catastrophic Injury?
Although not impossible, an Athens catastrophic injury lawyer at our firm would understand that recovery from a catastrophic injury can be a long and challenging journey. Factors like the severity of the injury and quality of medical care determine the extent of recovery. Here are critical issues related to recovery from a catastrophic injury.
Victims require immediate and ongoing medical treatment to manage catastrophic injuries. Medical professionals like physical therapists and neurologists play a critical role in the patient’s recovery.
Rehabilitation is crucial to recovery, including physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
Victims of catastrophic injuries can experience mental health issues. Emotional support from therapists, family, and friends can assist individuals in coping with psychological and emotional challenges.
Catastrophic injury survivors may need assistive devices like mobility aids and prosthetic limbs. The tools help the victims adapt to new circumstances and enjoy independence.
It’s important to note that recovery after a catastrophic accident depends on the affected individual. While some individuals may make significant progress, others may face challenges. But, if there are resources, the necessary support, and determination, the victim will advance positively.
What is the Difference Between Catastrophic Injury and Personal Injury?
Personal injury encompasses various injuries or harm caused to a person due to another party’s intentional actions, negligible or reckless behavior. These injuries vary in severity and include minor injuries like bruises, sprains, and cuts. Incidents like slips, dog bites, and car accidents are some causes of personal injury.
Catastrophic injury is a category under personal injuries. They are characterized by their severity and life-altering impact on people’s lives. Fatal injuries include severe burns, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and organ damage. These injuries require specialized treatment and rehabilitation. Besides catering for medical expenses, An Athens catastrophic injury lawyer at our firm would seek compensation in a catastrophic injury case in order to help with long-term care, home modification, and assistive devices.
Contact a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Athens with Rafi Law Firm!
Catastrophic injuries are usually severe and can completely alter an individual’s life. Victims should seek compensation to ensure they can access all the necessary support as they recover. Contact the experienced lawyers today at Rafi Law Firm for any help you need to handle catastrophic injury cases.