Catastrophic Injury or Illness

A catastrophic injury or illness usually occurs suddenly and without warning. Injuries that are considered catastrophic, due to the enormous impact they have on the lives of the individuals who experience them, include the following: brain injury, spinal cord injury, accidental amputation, severe burns, multiple fractures, or other, neurological disorders. A catastrophic injury or illness very often causes severe disruption to the central nervous system, which in turn affects many other systems of the body.

Types of Injuries that could be considered catastrophic include the following:

•  Serious Head Trauma
•  Eye Injury
•  Shoulder Injury
•  Foot Injury
•  Neurological Disorders
•  Brain Injury
•  Spinal Cord Injury
•  Severe Burns
•  Accidental Amputation
•  Multiple Bone Fractures

 

Symptoms and Conditions

In addition to possible loss of movement, sensation, and communicative and cognitive abilities, the injury or illness may impact respiration, circulation, skin, the urinary system, the gastrointestinal system, and other body systems. Management of such an injury is complex and requires the expertise of a team of health professionals including physicians, consultants, nurses, therapists, and counselors. Clearly, the long-term needs of someone who has experienced this type of injury far surpass those of individuals with less severe injuries. Individuals may recover from some catastrophic injuries if they receive proper, early medical treatment; however, others may experience permanent disability, significant suffering, and reduced life spans.

 

Fault

If a catastrophic injury was caused by the negligent or intentional act of another, or by a dangerous or defective product, a personal injury claim by the victim will be an integral factor in determining his or her future quality of life, including the quality of the medical care and other support he or she will receive. Because of the huge financial implications a catastrophic injury has, one of the most important aspects of bringing a personal injury claim is the determination of the value of such a claim.

 

Long Term Implications

The long-term implications of many catastrophic injuries often do not surface or become apparent until years after the original injury. For example, individuals who are injured as children may experience changes in their abilities/disabilities as they grow, requiring surgeries or other medical intervention to accommodate their growth. Similarly, a burn victim might continue to undergo reconstructive surgeries for many years after the original injury.

 

Receiving Fair Compensation

Thus, an attorney who understands the long-term implications of such injuries will be better able to ensure the victims receive just compensation and sufficient resources for the future. A person whose earning capacity has been substantially impacted and who is likely facing a lifetime of care requires an experienced attorney, with specialized knowledge of his or her particular type of injury, to ensure that the injured person obtains all of the financial support he or she will need, possibly for decades to come.