An accident can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone. So, while you may try to be as careful as possible in potentially dangerous situations like driving on the road or operating machinery at work, an accident may still occur, leading to injury.
Unfortunately, such injuries can take a toll on you physically, financially, and psychologically. In other cases, they can be so severe that they alter the course of your life. They can incapacitate you to a point you can no longer perform the work you used to or enjoy the day-to-day activities you previously used to.
No one should have to go through such traumatic events. Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries do happen. When they do, the victim can sue the liable party for damages. That is, medical bills, long-term rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and the pain and suffering of such injuries.
So, what kind of catastrophic injuries can you sue for? Here is a complete guide to catastrophic injuries and how hiring a lawyer can help:
What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is a particularly severe injury to the physical body. The impact on the victim is usually so serious that extensive and long-term medical treatment is required. In most cases, catastrophic injuries result in permanent damage, meaning most victims do not recover fully for the remainder of their lives. So, apart from long-term care, victims are often forced to change their lifestyles and careers.
That is why if you or your loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury, you should immediately get a personal injury attorney to advise you on how to fight for your rights.
4 Types of Catastrophic Injury That Lawyers Can Help You With
There are many kinds of catastrophic injuries. However, there are some common ones that often result in settlement. So, here are the 4 types of catastrophic injury that lawyers can help you with:
1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, is an injury to the brain tissues that results from a sudden and violent blow or jolt to the head. It can also result from an object, such as a bullet, cutting through the brain tissue. Symptoms of severe TBI can appear immediately, several hours, or even days following an accident and may include severe bruising, bleeding, persistent headache, loss of consciousness, and seizures, to name a few. Unfortunately, brain injuries often result in long-term complications or even death.
2. Neck & Spinal Cord Injuries
Severe neck or spine injury can affect your ability to control your limbs, thereby limiting your motion. In fact, serious damage to your spinal cord is likely to lead to partial or total paralysis. You can lose your ability to move your lower body, which is known as paraplegia, or all your limbs, also known as quadriplegia. Paralysis is, in most cases, permanent and affects all spheres of the victim’s life.
3. Third and Fourth-Degree Burns
Third-degree burns usually go through the skin, dermis, and into your deep tissues, while fourth-degree burns go even deeper into your muscles and bones. Both are life-threatening and come with severe pain, scarring, nerve damage, and disfigurement, to name a few. These burns are considered catastrophic injuries if they cover a large part of the body.
4. Severe Bone Fractures & Limb Loss
Accidents, especially crashes, often result in fractures. Depending on the impact during the accident, your bones can break so severely that you need several surgeries to repair the damage, or worse, you lose a limb. In either case, you can sue for damages for your catastrophic injuries.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
So, what exactly can lead to a catastrophic injury? There are numerous potential causes. But the main ones include:
Road accidents make up the bulk of personal injury cases, including catastrophic ones. They usually include biking accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, as well as pedestrian crashes.
Catastrophic injuries can also happen at work. Workplace accidents usually result from trips and falls, improper handling of hazardous materials, failing objects, faulty/ malfunctioning equipment, exposure to toxic fumes, and poor or neglected work conditions. Some industries are, of course, more dangerous than others. For instance, construction, warehousing, fishing, logging, and mining.
When seeking medical treatment, you trust that the doctor knows best and will restore you to health. However, it is not always the case. They can make mistakes, usually, negligently, that result in catastrophic injuries.
Medical malpractice is described as any act or omission by a medical professional during treatment that is not in line with accepted practices in the medical field and results in injury to the patient. The most common types of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, prescription medication errors, surgical errors, and birth injuries.
Sometimes, catastrophic injuries occur due to intentional acts of violence, such as shootings. Usually, these criminal and violent acts instantly and permanently change a victim’s life.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer to Handle Your Catastrophic Injury Case
So, why do you need a lawyer after a catastrophic injury? Can’t you just file for compensation by yourself?
Without a lawyer, catastrophic injury claims are challenging to prove and win. And if they are, the victim does not always get the deal you deserve. All in all, don’t expect the liable party’s insurance to play fair, so whatever they offer you will likely be too low. In worse cases, they may try to shift blame to you so they don’t have to pay a dime. Also, personal injury cases have a statute of limitations, which means if you wait too long, you might not be able to sue.
For these reasons, you want a lawyer with adequate experience to investigate your injuries, estimate your damages and file your claim promptly.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late- Call a Lawyer to Help You with Your Catastrophic Injury Claim
If you have been severely injured in an accident, you may have a right to sue for the costs, pain, and trauma you have gone through. The liable party or their insurance will be the defendants in the case. However, make sure you get a lawyer to have the best shot at winning maximum compensation.