What Defines a Catastrophic Injury?

In some instances, car crashes and other types of accidents may cause injuries that require individuals to go to the hospital and get medical treatment. They may be in recovery for weeks or months, but after a certain period of time, they are able to return to work, stop medical treatment, and continue relatively similar lives that they did prior to their accidents.

Unfortunately, this is a best-case scenario for accident injury victims. Some accidents are so severe that they cause injuries that never heal or injuries that impact individuals’ lives forever. These types of injuries have long-standing, crippling, or permanent effects on the person who suffers from the injury as well as their family members.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

In personal injury law, a catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that permanently prevents the injured party from maintaining a job needed to financially support themselves and/or their family. In general, there are three main types of catastrophic injuries:

Physical Injuries

These include amputations, burn injuries and scarring, severe fractures organ damage, vision or hearing loss, and other damage related to orthopedic function or tissue.

Spinal Cord Injuries

These include anything that exclusively affects the spinal cord and creates permanent mobility issues for the survivor, such as full or partial paralysis that requires the lifelong use of a wheelchair.

Cognitive Injuries

These injuries are some of the most costly in terms of the emotional and financial cost. This typically occurs from brain damage, such as the result of a traumatic brain injury, that takes away a person’s ability to speak, think, talk, or form new memories.

Common Causes

Sadly, many catastrophic injuries are caused due to the negligence, careless, or recklessness of another individual. Such accidents that could lead to these injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction site injuries
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective and dangerous products

Proving Fault

To successfully win a personal injury lawsuit for a catastrophic injury, your personal injury attorney must show that four elements are present:

  1. A legal duty of care was owed. An individual had a legal obligation to prevent injuries from occurring.
  2. The legal duty of care was breached. That individual failed to perform their duty of care.
  3. The breach directly caused injury. The breach of duty of care caused injury to a person.
  4. The injury resulted in loss. The injured party must show that the negligent actions and resulting injury caused substantial financial loss to the injured individual and/or their immediate family.

Potential Damages

It’s hard to put a price on an injury that leaves one’s life forever changed. Because catastrophic injuries are so life-altering, these injured individuals are usually entitled to seek multiple times greater the amount of compensation. Such damages include:

  • Extensive medical expenses
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma

Loss of quality of life

  • Punitive damages

Regardless of how you sustained your injuries, you deserve justice for what you have endured. You don’t have to go through this alone. The catastrophic injury attorneys at Marciano & MacAvoy are here to help look into the details of your case and determine who is liable to compensate you for your injuries. By receiving the compensation you need and deserve, you can start rebuilding your life and your future.

We understand that some injuries may mean you are unable to leave your home or wherever you are undergoing medical treatment. If you’re located in the Philadelphia-area, we can come to you. Remember that the statute of limitations for Pennsylvania personal injury cases is two years, so the time to act is now.

Contact Marciano & MacAvoy at   (215) 960-0789  or fill out our online contact form for a free case review.

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