Which Injuries Qualify As Catastrophic?

When you suffer injuries in a car crash or other accident, you likely think of the event as a catastrophe. While this may be true at a personal level, however, it may not be true at the legal level.

Per an article in The Lawyer Monthly, courts, personal injury attorneys and insurance companies reserve the term “catastrophic injury” for the most serious injuries that have lifetime consequences.

Catastrophic injury examples

Examples of a catastrophic injury include the following:

  • A traumatic brain injury that leaves you with lasting speech, balance, emotional control or other problems
  • A spinal cord injury that partially or completely paralyzes you
  • An eye injury that severely impairs your vision
  • A head injury that severely impairs your hearing
  • A crush injury that requires amputation of one of your limbs
  • A severe burn that leaves lasting disfiguring scars

Ongoing care requirements

A catastrophic injury in all likelihood will require you to obtain additional rehabilitative care after your release from the hospital. For instance, you may need long-term physical and occupational therapy to learn how to perform your daily tasks while using a wheelchair. Or you may need it to learn how to walk on your new prosthesis. Or you may need extensive education, possibly at an inpatient facility, to learn how to navigate a world you can no longer see clearly, if at all.

In other words, a catastrophic injury can result in massive medical and other expenses, not to mention your loss of income while recovering to the greatest extent possible. Fortunately, you have the right to hold the negligent party accountable. Whether by settlement or jury award, you may be able to pursue economic and non-economic damages to compensate you for your losses.