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Catastrophic Injury: Types, Causes, and Compensation



Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic injuries typically have life-altering effects and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Generally, these are injuries to the brain and spinal cord. Besides the significant impact on an individual’s life, a catastrophic injury case also results in emotional and financial burdens. Read on to learn more.

What Are the Types of Catastrophic Injuries?

Severe injuries that are considered catastrophic are those that result in lifelong disabilities, long-term care, and more. Some of the most common ones include the following:

  • Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury occurs due to a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that interrupts normal brain functions. It can result in long-lasting cognitive and physical effects, such as memory issues, communication difficulties, and behavioral changes. It may also lead to loss of consciousness, coma, or even death.

  • Spinal Cord Injury

This injury is caused by damage to the spine due to trauma, sports injuries, or medical malpractice. Depending on the spinal cord injury’s location and severity, it may result in paralysis, loss of sensation, and respiratory system complications.

  • Severe Burns

Severe burns often result from fires, explosions, and exposure to radiation or chemicals. These can impact a person’s physical, psychological, and social functioning, as the injury may cause emotional distress, disfigurement, and scarring. Burn injuries may also require high medical costs for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

  • Amputation

This refers to the removal of a body part due to a severe injury or a life-threatening medical condition. It can cause significant physical and emotional trauma, loss of function, and the need to adjust to prosthetics and adapt to a new lifestyle.

What Are the Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries may occur in various situations. Aside from different types of accidents, there are other potential reasons. Here are some of them:

  • Workplace Accidents

Some workplaces, such as construction sites, come with safety hazards that may lead to catastrophic injuries. Besides the working conditions, injuries often occur as a result of inadequate safety protocols and malfunctioning equipment.

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

Crashes involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles can lead to brain and spinal cord injuries. Vehicular accidents are often caused by reckless or distracted driving, intoxication, or external factors, such as extreme weather conditions.

  • Medical Malpractice

This occurs when medical professionals neglect to provide adequate care and make mistakes during diagnosis, surgery, and more. Medical malpractice may lead to catastrophic injuries, such as loss of sight or hearing or organ damage.

Consulting with a skilled St. Louis brain injury lawyer who specializes in catastrophic injury cases can help victims navigate the complex legal process and secure the compensation they deserve.

  • Sports Injuries

Engaging in high-impact sports or activities, such as football and soccer, where trauma and falls are common, can lead to catastrophic injuries. Often, serious accidents may cause bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and brain trauma.

  • Acts of Violence

Being involved in violent crimes, such as assault and robbery, may result in head traumas, stabbings, gunshot wounds, and other severe physical injuries. Experiencing such events may also lead to psychological traumas.

How Are Catastrophic Injury Cases Compensated?

Getting involved in an accident that led to catastrophic injuries allows you to seek compensation for your damages. To better navigate the legal proceedings of a catastrophic injury case, it would be best to seek professional help. Some factors that affect compensation are:

  • Medical Expenses – A catastrophic injury usually involves extensive medical interventions, hospital stays, surgeries, and long-term rehabilitative care. These costs can be overwhelming and result in financial burdens for the victim and their family.

  • Lost Income – This is considered if the injury leads to the victim’s inability to work, making it impossible for them to pursue their current career and earn income. This loss can be especially severe if the person is the primary breadwinner.

  • Pain and Suffering – Besides physical pain and suffering, catastrophic injuries may lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, significantly affecting the victim’s life. So, these are also considered for compensation.

Catastrophic injuries can have lifelong consequences and impact on a victim. So, pursuing legal action and seeking appropriate compensation is crucial. By learning about catastrophic injury cases, you can better prepare yourself in case you or a loved one gets involved in a severe accident. Speaking with an experienced attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve.

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