What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?

Catastrophic Injuries Explained

Any injury due to an accident or the negligence of another can be devastating. Some injuries, however, can literally change an individual’s life forever. The extent of an injury is central to all personal injury claims and the compensation that individual and their family is entitled to.

Cases are evaluated based on specific items such as medical bills and lost income when an injury keeps the victim from working, but the real value of a claim is typically based on the amount of general damage compensation allowed regarding ongoing health problems as a result of the injury.

Minor to moderate injuries are compensated in a comparable amount, but catastrophic injury claims can result in a major financial settlement when certain factors exist. Catastrophic injury claims can also be the basis for punitive damage lawsuits as well when it is proven that the defendant is guilty of gross negligence in a trial.

In order to validate these claims, it is important to understand what is meant by "catastrophic" injuries.

What Are the Medical Elements of a Catastrophic Injury Claim?

Catastrophic injuries fall into a specific class, but they can include several different medical problems and a wide range of personal physical damage.

They are generally associated with any of the following:

  • Permanent impairment
  • Total disability
  • Scarring
  • Limb loss
  • Shortened lifespan
  • Paralysis
  • Extensive pain-and-suffering and rehabilitation period
  • Multiple medical issues

Any of these conditions could apply in a catastrophic injury case, and many times the injured victim will experience multiple health problems when catastrophic injuries occur.

Each element can contribute to the overall value of a claim when they are evaluated for financial compensation, and multiple financial claims can be compounded when a personal injury attorney can prove negligence against the opposing party in court.

These medical issues are also considered non-economic compensatory items, and often the victim is eligible for whole damages unless the court determines a significant level of personal fault for any accident resulting in the injuries.

Potential Damages

Special damages are the first consideration in any injury claim, which are definitive financial damages based on medical bills and lost wages when the injured party is unable to work in the future. General damages are where the claimant is made whole in the compensation process, those being the claims for pain and suffering associated with ongoing medical issues.

Each element can amount to a significant sum when they are calculated for a lifetime, but certain factors can also still result in a discounted award based on personal fault or insurance coverage limitations.

Contact The Spence Law Firm

Always remember that cases stemming from catastrophic injuries are always serious and complicated legal matters that require the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney who understands how to craft a solid case for maximum damages while knowing what to expect in terms of a defense from the responsible parties.

The attorney you choose can make a major difference in the final outcome of your catastrophic injury claim. The Spence Law Firm is made up of a team of seasoned, compassionate, and aggressive trial lawyers with decades of experience fighting on behalf of each client we represent.

Wherever you are located, we will fight for your rights to just compensation.

If you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury due to another’s negligence, contact The Spence Law Firm at (844) 477-3623 or use our convenient online form to discuss your case.


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