It’s easy for each of us to consider any personal injury as serious. However, the law looks at the severity of an injury differently, and there are only a few categorized as catastrophic. Typically with catastrophic injuries, there are additional factors to consider filing a claim or a lawsuit for damages. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. in Kansas City stress that it’s imperative that people who suffer catastrophic injuries due to another party’s negligence not hesitate to pursue the compensation they need to care for their lifelong disabilities.
What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?
A catastrophic injury refers to a significant and life-changing injury. While it can be treated, it typically won’t be fully healed or reversed. Recognizing the different types of injuries considered catastrophic under the law informs a person’s rights to justice and proper compensation to cover daily ongoing care, the need for specialists and caregivers, and other aspects of managing a serious health condition.
The Impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Suffering a traumatic brain injury can have a lifelong impact on a victim. The immediate effects include short-term memory loss, headaches, nausea, pain, and even some cognitive difficulties. This injury also impacts orientation, balance, and coordination. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur in various negligent-related ways including, but not limited to:
- Car accidents. Someone suffers a TBI in a car accident when a passenger’s head strikes a part of the vehicle, and the jolt causes the brain to rattle inside the skull.
- Slip and fall. When someone is “up-ended” (their feet go above their head) during a slip and fall, they can land their head on concrete.
- Acts of violence. Whether the skull is penetrated or the injury is caused by trauma to the brain, acts of violence cause severe damage.
TBIs require long-term medical care and should be taken seriously, regardless of how mild they may seem initially.
How Severe Are Spine Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries vary considerably. Some victims suffer from bulging discs or whiplash, while others experience such trauma, they’re paralyzed. Spinal injuries lead to long-term disability, including immobilization of limbs and difficulty walking. Because of the lifelong impact of this condition, it’s important for individuals affected to take legal action to pursue extensive compensation.
What Happens After a Burn Injury?
Burn injuries lead to physical and mental pain and suffering. Skin grafts and other surgical procedures sometimes help relieve the pain, but there’s still a serious level of trauma. The most significant burn injuries can result in nerve damage—this means a victim may not feel the pain of the injury itself, but the mental anguish that comes with this type of injury can be seriously damaging. For any type of burn injury caused by negligence, the responsible party should be held accountable for their actions.
How Do Amputations Occur?
Amputations are sometimes related to various health conditions, but can also occur as the result of an accident or when there’s an infection in or significant damage to a specific limb. Should an amputation occur as a result of someone’s trauma or negligence, a victim can pursue compensation for damages associated with the injury. This can include the costs of medical care, a prosthesis, additional medical equipment, and the loss of enjoyment in life.
Serious Broken Bones
Broken bones can occur in falls from heights, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, large truck accidents, and nearly any other situation where negligence is involved. However, some broken bones are more complicated. For instance, broken ribs or a broken sternum often require multiple medical treatments, and the damage to the bones threatens stability in other parts of the body. Similarly, broken arms or legs may impact someone’s ability to work for months.
Organ Damage Can Be Fatal
In many vehicle crashes and other negligent acts, damage to the kidneys, liver, lungs, or other vital organs is severe. Consequently, the organ may shut down, requiring immediate medical attention. In some situations, if the organ is punctured (such as by a broken bone), internal bleeding may occur. If undetected, this becomes a fatal problem, so it’s important for emergency personnel on an accident scene to recognize signs of internal bleeding.
When a catastrophic injury is caused by someone else’s negligent actions, the victim of the accident has the right to pursue compensation. Choose a legal partner who understands the gravity of these situations and knows how to structure a comprehensive personal injury claim or lawsuit.