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What’s Considered a Catastrophic Injury?

a woman in a hospital bed

A catastrophic injury can change a victim’s life in an instant, and such an injury can happen in a variety of situations. Simply going out for a walk or performing chores around the home can result in a catastrophic injury.

Our Los Angeles trial attorneys discuss how catastrophic injuries happen and what you can do if you have suffered from one.

What Makes an Injury “Catastrophic”?

A catastrophic injury is unique for one key reason: a catastrophic injury forever prevents a victim from returning to their life as it was before the injury. Catastrophic injuries are truly life-changing.

Additionally, many catastrophic injuries affect the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord. As such, catastrophic injuries can be particularly devastating given the sensitive and critical nature of the central nervous system.

Since catastrophic injuries are permanent, those who suffer from them can often no longer care for themselves or return to work. Additionally, catastrophic injury victims often face substantial medical bills from the extensive treatment and care they require.

This is why it’s so important for catastrophic injury victims whose injuries were caused by another’s negligence to work with an experienced personal injury attorney so they can recover the compensation they need to care for themselves without falling into financial ruin.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

As mentioned previously, many injuries considered “catastrophic” affect the central nervous system, since it is likely that injuries affecting that system will be permanent. There are, however, several types of injuries that are considered catastrophic, including:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the result of a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.

TBIs are a serious public health problem in the United States and contribute to a significant number of deaths and cases of permanent disability annually.

The side effects that TBI victims may experience from their injury include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Persistent headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Sleeping more or less than usual

Spinal Cord Injuries

Nearly 18,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries each year in the United States. Such injuries can have devastating consequences, including partial to complete paralysis. Often, those who suffer from spinal cord injuries require live-in care and life-long use of mobility assistance devices.

Spinal cord injuries also increase the risks of other dangerous medical events including:

  • Reduced blood flow and heart rate
  • Blood clots
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Skin injuries and sores
  • Reduced bone density
  • Issues with speaking or swallowing food

Severe Burn Injuries

A severe burn injury can be one of the most painful injuries to endure. Depending on the severity of the burn injury, victims may experience a loss of feeling and mobility.

Devastating burn injuries often require long-term hospitalization, surgery, and inpatient care with specialized treatment.

Injuries Requiring Amputation

Approximately 185,000 people in the United States require an amputation every year. Many amputations result from traumatic injuries—such amputations are known as “traumatic amputations.”

Since traumatic amputations do not take place in controlled environments, serious complications may occur and result in long-term problems, including severe bleeding and infections.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can result from a variety of traumatic circumstances. Such situations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Auto and truck accidents
  • Bicycle and motorcycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Sports accidents
  • Violence and assaults
  • Severe infections

How to Recover Compensation After a Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic injury victims can easily fall into financial ruin due to the extensive medical treatment they require, as well as their inability to return to work and support themselves.

As such, it’s important for catastrophic injury victims and their families to understand that working with an experienced personal injury attorney is their best chance of avoiding this fate.

By working with a qualified attorney, catastrophic injury victims greatly increase their likelihood of recovering the compensation they need to receive high-quality medical care and long-term treatment.

The damages you may be able to recover through a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our team will work with you to recover such compensation and potentially establish a life care plan to ensure you are set up for a stable future. A life care plan will project your needs for:

  • Rehabilitation therapies
  • Assistive technologies
  • Adaptive and prosthetic devices
  • Transportation costs
  • Home accessibility modifications

Suffered a Catastrophic Injury? We’re Here to Help

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our Los Angeles trial attorneys are here to represent your best interests and recover the compensation you deserve.

Our firm has the experience and resources to take on the cases that smaller firms cannot. We have achieved multi-million and multi-billion dollar settlements for clients, and we’re here to help you through this difficult time.

Contact Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP at (866) 634-4525 to schedule a free consultation.