personal injury

What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?

Any accident that causes an injury can feel like a catastrophe, but there are certain factors that separate a personal injury case from a catastrophic injury case. Most notably, catastrophic injuries take away the victim’s ability to work. According to 34 USC 10284:

’catastrophic injury’ means an injury, the direct and proximate result of which is to permanently render an individual functionally incapable…of performing work, including sedentary work.”

Because catastrophic injuries prevent people from earning money for themselves and their families, the damages in catastrophic injury cases are typically much higher. Compensation can help victims offset a lifetime of lost earnings and pay for months and years of medical care, physical therapy, assistive care and devices, and much more.

Although no amount of money can change what happened, damages can help victims adapt to new limitations, cope with disabilities, and afford the care and resources they need to survive and thrive.

What Are the Most Common Catastrophic Injuries?

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the most common catastrophic injuries. Both can result in paralysis and other complications.

Other catastrophic injuries include:

  • Serious burn injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement (especially on the face or genitals)
  • Amputation or limb loss injuries
  • Serious fractures (especially in older adults)
  • Illnesses like cancer and black lung

Overall, any injury that causes permanent disability can be considered a catastrophic injury.

If the complications of an injury have long-lasting effects on someone’s physical, mental, and emotional health and prevent them from working or living a normal life, that injury can be considered catastrophic.

If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim can file a catastrophic injury lawsuit.

How to File a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit

After a car crash or another serious accident, you may want to file a catastrophic injury lawsuit for yourself or someone you love. Due to the damages at stake, your first step should be speaking with an attorney.

Our team at Nichols Dixon can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and create a personalized strategy to help you recover damages.

We have experience on all sides of the law, a reputation as reliable and effective lawyers within our community, and offer results-driven representation to help you move forward.

Help is just a phone call away, so contact us at (405) 294-1511 today.