May 19, 2024

What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury?

While there are plenty of terrifying or even downright traumatizing injuries, few are specifically classified by experts as “catastrophic injuries.”

If you’ve recently been injured, it’s in your interest to know the classification of your injury, so you know what compensation you are entitled to under the law. It’s important to know not every injury which causes severe physical harm is considered “catastrophic,” so let’s answer the question: What constitutes a catastrophic injury?

Definition of Catastrophic Injury

Different sources have small differences as to what exactly constitutes a catastrophic injury. In fact, there is no universally accepted legal definition of a catastrophic injury.

However, one thing that different sources agree on is a catastrophic injury includes injury to the spine, the spinal cord, and the brain. If the skull is fractured, a limb is lost, or severe burn injuries are suffered, they also fall under the commonly accepted definition of “catastrophic.”

Generally, catastrophic injuries are those which result in long-term disability or disfigurement. As a result, they tend to require multiple surgical procedures and a long period (sometimes even a lifetime) of rehabilitation processes.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Here are some injuries that are generally accepted as “catastrophic.”

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries – These injuries happen when the brain is hit with blunt force, causing damage to the brain. It also happens when the brain is severely deprived of oxygen for a prolonged time. Traumatic brain injuries can severely affect a person’s cognition, speech, or movement for a long time, possibly even their entire life.
  • Loss of a limb – Anyone who loses a limb is bound to be severely traumatized. A person’s motor functions become severely impaired upon losing a limb, and their quality of life is never the same. Although modern technology now allows for prosthetics, with some even allowing a degree of sensation, nothing can actually restore the lost arm, hand, leg, or foot.
  • Spinal cord Injuries – The spinal cord contains bundles of nerves that connect the brain to the various body parts. It effectively serves as the gateway towards the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, partial or complete paralysis can occur. The effects of a spinal cord injury are usually permanent, and the worst-case scenarios involve extensive paralysis.
  • Burn Injuries – When the body suffers severe burns, it goes into shock and massive fluid loss as the body tries to repair the damage. Severe burns can also lead to a permanent loss of feeling and sensation in affected body parts, in addition to permanent disfiguration.


How an Attorney Can Help You After a Catastrophic Injury

The effects of a catastrophic injury are already devastating on a physical and emotional level. If you are a victim of one, you know you will be bearing the effects of the injury for a long time, possibly the rest of your life.

It is also quite financially damaging, as you cope with medical expenses and lost income. In these cases, the law entitles you to recover compensation from the liable parties who caused the catastrophic injury.

At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, our lawyers are experienced in handling catastrophic injury cases and can best assist you in proving your claims and recover full compensation under the law. We believe that you should not be a victim twice, first from the party at fault and second from the insurance company.

Call us now at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) for a free case review and consultation.

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