Suffering a catastrophic injury forever changes the life of the victim–and their families. The very definition of “catastrophic” is something that causes tragic damage or intense suffering. As the name suggests, catastrophic injuries are severe, resulting in long-lasting disabilities, symptoms and decreased quality of life.
If you are in the middle of working through a catastrophic injury, either as a victim or a family member, this page can serve as your guide for what is the best legal approach in your situation.
Before we jump into the legalities of catastrophic injuries and how to fight injustice in personal injuries, here is a brief explanation of what is considered a catastrophic injury.
What Qualifies as a Catastrophic Injury?
In general, a catastrophic injury is defined by the level of damage it causes as well as the permanence of the injury.
Catastrophic injuries have severe long term effects and can limit an individual’s capability to perform simple or complex tasks. These injuries also tend to leave a person with permanent physical damage which completely upsets their lives, forcing them to leave the workplace or rely on others for care.
Typically, catastrophic injuries fall into one of three camps:
- Physical injuries such as amputations or loss of limb function resulting in permanent limitations.
- Cognitive injuries such as TBIs and others that alter the mental state of an individual.
- Spinal cord injuries which permanently affect a person’s mobility.
Here is a list of injuries that are commonly considered to be catastrophic injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries: these can permanently alter an individual’s cognitive state and have a lasting impact on a person’s cognitive, emotional and physical abilities.
- Severe burns: thermal fire burns are painful, debilitating, and can result in permanent tissue damage and limited mobility.
- Loss of vision or loss of hearing: the loss of any of your senses leaves you in a completely new world where you must learn to cope without functions that have been vital to your livelihood and career.
- Spinal cord injuries: these can lead to permanent limited mobility for an individual, necessitating expensive assistance with activities of daily living, and oftentimes making it impossible for the individual to return to work.
Think of it this way, if an injury places you:
- Out of the work field permanently;
- Alters your personality;
- Results in permanent physical pain;
- Limits your ability to move or function without assistance;
then it likely qualifies as a catastrophic injury.
What to do if You Have Suffered a Catastrophic Injury
Depending on the type of catastrophic injury, a victim may suffer from immobility, debilitating pain, confusion, depression, and anxiety along with devastating economic issues.
As with any serious injury, there are several steps that you should take immediately following the accident. These simple, actionable steps will ensure that you do not end up suffering, physically or financially more than is unavoidable.
Focus on your medical care
Catastrophic injuries are often extremely dangerous and should be medically looked after immediately. Qualified trauma centers are the first choice for patient who suffers a catastrophic injury. A rehabilitation center following discharge is the next step in seeking to recover as much function as possible is the best thing that you can do for your future health and well-being.
If your catastrophic injury came as the result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, you deserve legal protection that the law affords you.
It’s difficult at the moment of an accident to remember to take mental or physical note of what is going on but if you are able to, it can really help in the future legal process. Retaining evidence that corroborates the testimony of your injury is invaluable when it comes to building your case. Things to try and retain would include: your clothing; the motor vehicle or motor cycle, the helmet, or any product which you believe caused your injury. With cases concerning defects in motor vehicles (like airbags, seatbacks, seat belts) it is imperative to keep the evidence safeguarded.
This brings us to our next tip:
Get in touch with a catastrophic injury lawyer
A catastrophic injury lawyer will protect you against the company or individual responsible for your injury. A lawyer who specializes in this type of case will have facilities available to safeguard any important evidence.
Working with a catastrophic injury attorney is essential in making sure that you do not suffer more than you need to at the hands of another.
Protect yourself from the medical bills that come with catastrophic injuries and ensure that nobody in the future is injured the way that you have been by taking legal action against the wrongdoer.
What is a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer?
A catastrophic injury lawyer is an attorney who has substantial experience working with victims of the most serious of all injuries. He or she is extremely knowledgeable of the severity and variation of each injury case and helps victims understand their best legal course of action. These lawyers will have had numerous cases against various responsible corporations, drivers, manufactures or others responsible for the devastating injury.
Catastrophic injuries leave individuals with a host of new considerations to add to their lives, sometimes even making it necessary for caretakers to be hired and injury lawyers use their services to make sure that victims do not have to suffer unnecessarily.
Catastrophic injury attorneys ensure that victims are justly represented in court and that they are given fair treatment and compensation for their injuries.
Find a Reliable Catastrophic Injury Attorney Near You
Here at Shea & Shea, we offer legal services to those individuals and families devastated by a catastrophic injury. Whether it’s you, a family member or a friend, let us use our legal expertise to help.
Severe personal injuries are what Shea & Shea specializes in and our team is passionate about bringing justice to victims of catastrophic injuries to the best of our ability. We will stop at nothing to ensure that justice is delivered.
Working with our legal team will ensure that you know what actionable steps to take following a catastrophic injury.
Give one of our catastrophic injury attorneys a call to schedule your first consultation today. If the unthinkable happens, take control of your situation by getting in touch with a lawyer who understands the effects of these injuries. Find a law firm with the proven experience and track record as advocates for this devastating injury immediately.