What Makes an Injury “Catastrophic”?

spinal cord injuryCar crashes and other types of accidents can and do cause injuries. However, the severity of those injuries can vary. A victim may suffer a minor, serious, or catastrophic injury. For example, a victim may walk away from an accident with some minor cuts and bruises, or may have a broken leg that the doctor expects will fully heal. Or, a victim may be in an accident that causes damages to the spinal cord and is so severe that it leads to quadriplegia.

So, what is considered a “catastrophic” injury?

Generally, this term means that the injury will have a life-altering outcome, whether it causes damage to the victim’s physical mobility, organ functionality or cognitive abilities. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), a catastrophic injury is one that causes severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain and which may also include skull and spinal fractures. This type of injury could require invasive surgeries, years of medical treatment, daily excruciating pain and possibly permanent disability or disfigurement.

The term “catastrophic injury” may be used to describe many types of injury. Examples of the most common catastrophic injuries include:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
• Spinal Cord Injuries
• Compound Fractures
• Internal Organ Damage
• Permanent Brain Damage
• Severe Burn Injuries
• Amputation/ Loss of limbs
• Loss of Senses (hearing, eyesight, etc.)

man in wheelchairThese injuries will change the course of your everyday life. Following a serious accident, there is a good chance that you will be out of work, unable to remain living independently, unable to take part in hobbies you once enjoyed, maintain any intimate relationships or fully interact with family and friends.

It is always important to receive necessary medical care as soon as possible following any type of accident. This is particularly true in cases involving catastrophic injuries.
Obtaining treatment for a catastrophic injury can be a large financial burden which may even lead to severe debt. This may be due to the victim’s inability to ever return to work.

To recover for your losses, you must prove that the negligence of the other party caused your injuries. If successful, you may recover damages for your catastrophic injury, which may include:

• Past and future medical expenses
• Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
• Continuing medical care (which may be temporary or permanent)
• Physical and emotional pain and suffering
• Loss of consortium (loss of affection, companionship, intimacy and services around the house)
• Punitive Damages
• Custodial Care Expenses (home care or domestic services)
• Value of loss of enjoyment of life

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury after an accident, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office) or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com.

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