Catastrophic Injury vs. Personal Injury

Posted By Shea & Shea || 27-Aug-2018

Not every injury is the same. In fact, some are more serious than others, resulting in life-altering, permanent disabilities that need continuous care and a lifetime of treatment. These types of injuries not only change the way an injured person lives for the rest of their lives, but also encumber the individual with a plethora of medical expenses without having the ability to earn a living.

The following is an overview of the differences between personal injury and catastrophic injuries:

The Severity of the Injury

Any type of injury a person sustains due to the negligence of another is called a personal injury. Whether its whiplash or a broken bone, it will be considered a personal injury in court. However, if the injury results in disability or disfigurement that is permanent in nature, a personal injury turns into a catastrophic one.

Future Medical Expenses

Although victims of personal injuries may require long-term medical treatment, the kind of care they receive is far less extensive compared to those with catastrophic injuries. Injuries such as paralysis and traumatic brain injuries require future medical appointments, lifelong medications, continuous rehabilitation and therapy, accommodations, specialized education, and daily living assistance.

Increased Damages

Due to the amount of medical care required for victims of catastrophic injuries, in turn, the damages are far greater than those in personal injury cases. Those who suffer permanent disabilities have increased economic damages (past and future medical care, lost wages, lost earning potential, etc.) and noneconomic damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.) than those who can fully recover from their injuries.

Testimony from Medical Experts

While most people understand the medical issues involved with personal injuries, catastrophic injuries are typically complex in nature because they require extensive, lifelong medical care. Due to the additional medical information required for catastrophic injuries, it is often important for the victim’s lawyer to seek the assistance of medical experts who could offer their professional opinions in regard to the seriousness of these injuries. Expert testimony is crucial to prove the necessity of future medical care and emphasizing how severe these injuries are for the rest of the victim’s life.

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in Northern California, schedule a free consultation with our San Jose personal injury attorney at Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation today.

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