Catastrophic injuries are highly dangerous wounds that are the result of an unexpected accident. Personal injuries are common, but catastrophic injuries are rare and sometimes lead to wrongful death situations.
Among unintentional injuries, around 6% have been the cause of death. On average, 200,955 died from unintentional injuries in 2020.
These mainly included falls, motor vehicles, and poisoning. In the rare instance that you experience a catastrophic injury, you may need support to help you through such a difficult time. According to personal injury lawyer Fresno, you can receive compensation for the damages caused by a personal injury that was not your fault.
Main Types Of Catastrophic Injuries
You could experience catastrophic injuries in many different ways, but in most cases, they involve severe damage to one or more organs or injury to the nervous system.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
When you get hit at a high impact or fall from a tall height, you can get severe spinal cord injuries that can be catastrophic in nature. Spinal cord injuries sometimes lead to death and are often the main reason a catastrophic injury victim has paralysis.
An injury that causes spinal cord nerves to sever can result in hemiplegia or paraplegia, causing one-half or the entire body from the neck down to become paralyzed.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
When the head gets hit so hard that it causes internal hemorrhaging, bruising, or a concussion, this can also result in a catastrophic injury.
Traumatic brain injuries have long-term consequences and can cause cognitive impairment, vision loss, memory loss, mood swings, difficulty talking, poor concentration, and many other mental deficiencies. The victim may have a permanent disability as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
- Severe Burns
Third-degree burns are catastrophic, as well as second-degree burns that cover extensive areas of the skin because they hurt more than third-degree burns.
A severe enough burn can lead to death if it causes enough nerve and organ damage. Burns can destroy the muscles, bones, and tendons after penetrating the skin. Third-degree burns also require skin grafts and surgery to help the victim recover.
- Internal Injuries
Accidents caused by projectile objects impaling victims or high-impact crashes often result in internal injuries.
This is when the organs inside your body get ruptured or bruised after an injury. This can also be caused by broken bones that happen to turn inward and stab organs. Pneumothorax, torn heart tissue, and blood vessels can be torn or crushed. Some signs of internal injury include tenderness over the area, blood in urine, and clammy skin caused by shock.
Can You Receive Damages For Catastrophic Injuries?
If your catastrophic injury was caused by someone else due to their neglectful actions, then it is likely that you are owed damages. Because catastrophic injuries are far more severe than a typical personal injury case, the damages can amount to much more. This is because the level of pain and suffering is higher, and the medical bills can be far more expensive.
- Medical Bills
When seeking a settlement for catastrophic injuries, you can include past, present, and future medical bills in your settlement. This can include surgery, imaging scans, laboratory tests, medical devices, transportation to hospitals, additional clinic visits, physical therapy, etc. Even if the cost of your treatment is ongoing, your attorney can estimate this amount and include it in your settlement.
- Pain And Suffering
While recovering from your injuries, you may be experiencing severe bouts of depression, anxiety, shame, grief, embarrassment, and other dark emotions.
This can be because you are unable to participate in your favorite activities due to the pain, or you may simply be ashamed of your inability to be independent while injured. Your attorney will work with an insurance adjuster to apply the use of a multiplier to accurately estimate how much you should receive in damages.
- Wage Loss
You will have to take time off from work to heal after such a severe injury. When you are not working, this can reduce the amount of money you make, especially if you don’t receive paid time off.
It will be harder to stay afloat while you are paying for so many medical bills and unable to work full-time. The amount of money you don’t make during your time off can be included in your settlement.
What Can Happen In A Wrongful Death Case?
Catastrophic injuries often are the cause of wrongful death because the wounds are so severe. If you are the surviving family member of a wrongful death victim who passed away due to a catastrophic injury, there will be additional damages added to the total settlement.
The medical bills of the victim before they passed away can be included in the compensation if it was tied to their catastrophic injury.
Other damages can include funeral and burial costs, as these expenses can be a burden for surviving family members. Loss of consortium, loss of mentorship, loss of guardianship, and other damages based on the relationship the deceased had with remaining family members can be estimated with the help of an attorney.
There are many other damages that can be included, for example, if the victim had dependants. Ask your attorney what you may be eligible for after your loved one passed away.
Get Additional Help From A Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Once you’ve experienced a catastrophic injury, this can be a life-changing event that creates an unexpected burden physically, financially, and emotionally.
You may be struggling with medical bills that are far beyond your budget and may also be suffering financially while you are not working.
In addition to this, you may be dealing with emotional turmoil because of the physical pain and exhaustion of recovering from severe wounds. When encumbered with so many difficulties, it would be helpful to have an attorney at your side who can stand up to your right to receive fair compensation that accurately reflects how much you suffered in damages.