Surviving an accident can leave you with anything from minor cuts and scrapes, to a catastrophic injury from which you never fully recover. Whether you were involved in a truck accident, you suffered devastating burns in a fire or explosion, or you suffered a head injury from a fall, catastrophic injuries are serious and require life-long medical care and often nursing care just to get through the day.
What are catastrophic injuries?
A catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures. This is a subset of the definition for the legal term catastrophic injury, which is based on the definition used by the American Medical Association.
What are some of the common causes of catastrophic injury?
There are countless possible causes of catastrophic injury. Here are a few examples:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Falls from height
- Sport and recreational activities
- Construction accidents
- Medical mistakes
- Defective medical devices or drugs
Examples of catastrophic injuries
Here are some examples of different types of catastrophic injuries caused by the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of another individual:
- Traumatic brain injury can result in life-long cognitive dysfunction, abnormal speech and language, emotional difficulties, and limited ability to move their arms and legs.
- Spinal cord injury can result in partial or complete paralysis, respiratory and circulatory problems, exaggerated reflexes and spasms, chronic pain, loss of bowel and bladder control.
- Severe burn injury can cause infections, limb loss, disfigurement, and permanent disability depending on the location and extent of the burns.
- Limb loss in an accident can cause tremendous physical and emotional challenges for the amputee and his or her loved ones.
- Ruptured kidneys, spleen, liver or bowels from a car crash or other accident can cause internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening.
Lifelong costs associated with a catastrophic injury
If you sustain an injury which requires ongoing medical attention and long periods of hospitalization, you will be unable to work and in some cases unable to care for your own daily needs. The medical expenses, the cost of daily nursing care and other related expenses can ruin a person financially. Some of those costs include:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Continuing medical care
- Visiting nursing care
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Medical equipment such as a hospital bed at home, wheel chairs, a lift
- Costs to retro-fit a home to accommodate a wheelchair
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
One of the biggest challenges with a catastrophic injury is that the effects of the injury persist long after the accident. A person who suffered a spinal cord injury may develop respiratory problems long after the injury occurred, or a person who sustained a traumatic brain injury might seem perfectly normal in appearance, but faces challenges such as blinding headaches, memory loss, and cognitive difficulties which can make it virtually impossible for them to keep a job and to maintain personal relationships.
Sometimes people just assume that they will get enough compensation from the at fault party’s insurance company, but that is rarely the case unless you are working with a skilled personal injury attorney who knows how to engage with the experts who can calculate the long-term costs of your medical care into the future. You might not have any way of knowing what is a fair amount of compensation for your injuries and the ongoing damage that they are wreaking on your life.
At Crandall & Pera Law, our practice involves standing up for the rights of our clients who have suffered serious injuries because of someone else’s negligence. You reap the benefits of our decades of experience fighting for justice and winning compensation for our clients. For compassionate advocacy, you are welcome to call our Kentucky personal injury lawyers at 877-686-8879, our Ohio injury attorneys at 877-686-8879, or complete our contact form to make an appointment.
- Medical Malpractice in Kentucky
- Medical Malpractice in Ohio