What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

Brain Injury from Car Accident

What is a catastrophic injury? This is a common question of concern among accident victims. If you have sustained a severe injury in your accident, when does it qualify as catastrophic? How does this distinction affect your personal injury claim?

Every accident injury can seem catastrophic to you as the victim, even if the effects are temporary. However, when it comes to compensation, catastrophic injuries are subject to special laws.

If you believe you have sustained a catastrophic injury, contact the Grand Junction Personal Injury Lawyers at Cimarron Ridge Legal Group to discuss your case.

What Qualifies as a Catastrophic Injury?

Any accident can lead to a severe injury. But what makes an injury catastrophic? Generally, a catastrophic injury is one that is so severe it causes long-term debilitation or disability. It might also refer to an injury that permanently prevents you from engaging in gainful employment and supporting yourself and your family.

Typically, a catastrophic injury often involves a loss of capacity or deformity, which could be mental or physical. Common such injuries are caused by the following:

  • Amputation or the loss of a limb
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Spinal cord injury or paralysis

Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries

While a catastrophic injury might arise from any accident, certain incidents tend to result in such injuries more often. Some examples include car collisions, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, medical errors, and defective product accidents.

Many catastrophic injuries are referred to as so because they disrupt the body’s central nervous system. Besides brain and spinal cord injuries, other areas of concern include burns, organ damage, and bone fractures.

When workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals and substances in the workplace, they might also sustain a catastrophic injury. Such cases can be handled under workers’ compensation or personal injury claims.

Effects of a Catastrophic Injury

A catastrophic injury can have emotional, physical, financial, and legal repercussions. Aside from the physical pain of the injury, you might have to pay enormous medical bills, which could extend to aftercare. Your injury could also prevent you from working, leading to a loss of a lifetime-worth of wages and your career.

In some cases, a person who has sustained a catastrophic injury might require retraining to equip themselves with new employment skills. This undertaking can be time-consuming and costly. If their injuries are too severe, they might even be unable to apply these new skills at all.

Beyond medical expenses and employment, a catastrophic injury could make it difficult for you to exercise, travel, or engage in your hobbies. Some people even have trouble performing daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Talk to a Grand Junction Personal Injury Lawyer

Can you receive compensation from a catastrophic injury? This question is just as important as what is a catastrophic injury. Essentially the answer is yes, but you will need the help of an attorney.

The Grand Junction Personal Injury Lawyers at Cimarron Ridge Legal Group are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims. We have over 70 years of combined experience, which we apply to helping you get the compensation you deserve.

If you have sustained a catastrophic injury, contact us at (970) 644-5194 to schedule a consultation.