There is no official legal definition for “catastrophic injury.” What has been agreed upon, however, is that this type of injury usually leads to a negative, long-term impact on a person’s life. For some people who suffer from a catastrophic injury, the outcome is a permanent disfiguration or disability, either or both of which are accompanied by a lengthy and difficult recovery process. The recovery may involve numerous surgeries and medical treatment for the rest of the person’s life.
A person who suffers from a catastrophic injury will likely not be able to return to work for an extended period of time, if at all. Receiving proper compensation for this type of injury is of the utmost importance, which makes choosing the right attorney to handle the injury claim extremely vital.
Difference between a catastrophic injury and less severe injuries
If a person is found to be at fault for causing a catastrophic injury, he or she may be named a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit and required to pay compensation to “make the plaintiff whole.” Generally, the compensation will come in the form of money, with the amount received being intended to cover the costs of any medical and recovery expenses that the victim has incurred or will incur in the future. The amount of compensation money required to be paid tends to be incredibly high when a person suffers a catastrophic injury, and the determination of the appropriate amount requires a great deal of legal experience and foresight.
Types of injuries considered catastrophic
An injury that occurs suddenly and results in a long-term or permanent disability or injury is considered catastrophic. Many injuries that fall into this category include damage to the central nervous system, which often results in damage to other systems in the body. Examples of catastrophic injuries:
- Multiple bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burn injuries
- Brain injury
- Serious head trauma
- Dismemberment injury
- Accidental amputation
- Foot injury
- Eye injury
What is the recovery process like?
A person who suffers a catastrophic injury will most likely go through a recovery process that requires expensive and time-consuming treatment. The financial costs can be overwhelming, making it all the more important that compensation be obtained. Victims of catastrophic injury seek compensation for medical expenses (past and future), lost wages (past and future), and pain and suffering (for the physical and emotional impact of the injury sustained).
What leads to a catastrophic injury?
There are many ways in which a catastrophic injury can occur; however, the most common causes include:
- Vehicular accident
- ATV accident
- Negligent surgery
- Construction accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sporting accidents
- Military accidents
- Falling or flying objects
- Diving accidents
Treatment process for catastrophic injuries
Treating a catastrophic injury requires advanced medical attention. Ongoing medical attention will likely be necessary, including frequent doctor visits and follow-up surgeries. A qualified attorney can work with the doctors and medical experts involved in the recovery process to help ensure the victim is fully compensated.
Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries: Lawsuits and Settlements
Because of their challenging and complex nature, catastrophic injury claims require the specialized knowledge of a personal injury attorney who has experience in severe injuries and disabilities. The attorneys at Wapner Newman have nearly 40 years of experience as trusted advocates for personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We understand the level of investigation and detail necessary to successfully win a significant settlement for someone who has sustained a catastrophic injury, and our relationships with experts in the field will increase your chance of a generous jury verdict if it is necessary to take your case to trial.
At Wapner Newman we offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. We encourage you to contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form.