What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?

In personal injury law, individuals are able to file catastrophic injury claims for specific injuries. An injury is catastrophic when it’s so severe that is leads to long-term debilitation or permanent disability. This disability often leads to a pile of medical bills—both emergency and future costs—and victims often have to quit their jobs when they can no longer perform their duties.

Catastrophic injuries usually involve some loss of function or a deformity. The most common types include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: When your head or brain suffers an injury after a jolt, blow to the head, or penetration in the skull, this can be considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While some TBIs are mild, like concussions, others can be serious if not treated immediately and monitored. In 2014 alone, there were 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, according to the CDC.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A person’s spinal cord can be damaged when the vertebrae in your back are struck or broken, revealing your vulnerable nerve endings. When a person suffers nerve damage, permanent changes can occur in their ability to feel sensations or move parts of their body. Permanent paralysis is the most common result and can prevent a person from moving their legs or all of their limbs, depending on where they were struck on the spinal cord.
  • Burns: Some burns that people receive in fires or explosions are so severe that they tear through skin, muscle, and bone, often requiring extensive cosmetic surgery and skin grafting. Some burns even damage your nerve endings and prevent sensation in the affected area. These lead to scarring that can impact your quality of life.

Loss of limbs in accidents or crushing injuries that require amputation in surgery are also considered catastrophic injuries. An individual who loses an arm, for example, and works a manual labor job will likely have to transfer industries or quit working altogether.

Accidents That Lead to Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can result from a range of accidents, but our lawyers have seen many of them come from car crashes, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice. Head-on collisions are more serious than rear-end crashes because they involve two drivers hitting one another from the front, putting their heads at risk of being struck or penetrated.

Slip and fall accidents can be dangerous when a person trips on wet or slippery flooring and lands on their heads or backs. Injuries can also be catastrophic when a person falls from heights, like if they fall down a flight of stairs. Finally, errors made by medical professionals can be serious when they involve high stakes situations like surgery or sharp equipment.

Why You Need Medical Attention After an Accident

Though some catastrophic injuries are immediate in the event of an accident, like losing an arm, some are more gradual and can take days and even weeks to appear, which is why it’s recommended all individuals seek medical attention after an accident. Falling on your back, for example, may mean you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury that can lead to you losing movement in one of your limbs if you fail to get it checked out by a doctor.

Getting treated also means you’ll have access to more information that our lawyers can use to help your case. By getting a hold of your medical records and receipts, we can calculate the extent of your damages and have hard evidence to show that you suffered injuries at the hands of another person’s negligence. It’s especially important that people with catastrophic injuries collect evidence, as it’s likely you have a high amount of damages and a lot at stake for your future. With over 120 years of collective experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources you need to overcome your situation and secure the compensation you need.

Whether you’ve received severe burns or brain damage, you deserve to be compensated for all the pain you’ve suffered after your accident. Call our Indianapolis catastrophic injury lawyers today at 317-488-5500.

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