Catastrophic Injuries Can Result in a Lifetime of Losses
Catastrophic injuries are injuries that result in serious, long-term effects for victims that result in some sort of functional disability. They often are the result of serious accidents like motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and industrial accidents, but can also occur in surprisingly minor accidents like slip and falls.
Because catastrophic injuries by definition result in long-term issues, victims often incur injury-related losses for the rest of their lives. For this reason, it’s vital that anyone that has sustained a catastrophic injury do everything they can to protect their legal rights. Common injuries that are classified as catastrophic include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries – When you suffer head trauma, your brain can hit the inside of your skull and your delicate brain tissue can suffer damage, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Because different parts of your brain control different types of functioning, the specific effects of a serious TBI will vary depending on the location of the injury in the brain and the severity of the damage. Victims of severe TBIs can be in a coma for weeks, and then they can have permanent impairments with cognitive and/or physical functioning. Victims often require extensive rehabilitation and experience limitations regarding work and self-care.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Along with the brain, the spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the body, as it helps to facilitate movement, sensation, and organ functioning, When you suffer trauma to the spinal cord, it can temporarily or permanently disrupt signals between the brain and the body, causing various levels of paralysis. Victims of complete spinal cord injuries will suffer total and permanent paralysis in the body below the point of injury, forever changing their lives. The lifetime cost of a severe spinal cord injury can easily reach into the millions of dollars.
Accidental Amputations – Losing a part of the body can be one of the most traumatizing and life-changing experiences that accident victims suffer. Some accidents cause traumatic amputations, while others cause burns or crush injuries that require a surgical amputation. Whether an amputation involves an arm, leg, hand, foot, or another body part, it can affect almost every aspect of your life. Amputation victims must relearn how to complete everyday tasks and may have to learn how to adapt to a prosthesis. Amputations can experience lingering pain and suffering as a result of their injuries, as well as ongoing medical costs for life.
Serious Burns – Third- and fourth-degree burns are some of the most painful injuries a person can sustain. These levels of burns damage all layers of skin, plus the tissue underneath. While a person may immediately be in shock, the treatment for these burns can cause lasting pain. Treatment often requires staying in a burn center for skin grafts and infection protection. Severe burns may result in the amputation of parts of the body. In most cases, these burns cause permanent disfigurement, which can result in mental and emotional suffering, as well.
Because of these significant potential losses, anyone who has suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident should speak to a highly experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.