When dealing with personal injury claims arising out of the wrongdoing of others, there have been attempts to categorize some injuries are serious and others catastrophic.
At Harris Law, I deal with both serious and catastrophic injury, and the the extent that there is any confusion as to the meaning of these terms, understand that there is no single standard. Many attorneys use these terms with some variations, so my opinion here is my own, although I am sure seasoned attorneys will agree as to how I classify catastrophic injury.
Catastrophic Injury is Life-Changing
Catastrophic injury includes life changing harms and losses. This often includes a lifetime of rehabilitation, therapy, overcoming physical and emotional challenges, very significant financial losses, such as medical bills and and lost income, and chronic pain, suffering, or limitations.
These harms and losses can arise in several outcomes or situations, such as:
- Spinal cord injury: paralysis, quadriplegia (tetraplegia), hemiplegia, paraplegia, or permanent paresis (weakness)
- Spinal cord fusion: vertebrae are fused to stabilize neck and reduce risk of permanent paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury: deficits in knowledge, understanding, personality change, or comatose state caused by damage to brain stem, cerebellum, cerebrum, occipital lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, frontal lobe
- Amputation: loss of limb such as arm or leg
- Organ failure: usually secondary to trauma which caused primary injury, this can also result from defective products
- Blindness: complete vision loss caused by trauma or TBI or defective drug
- Severe burns: those who survive third and fourth degree burns are disfigured and suffer tragic pain forever
- Extreme disfigurement: injuries to the face which dramatically change appearance are painful physically and mentally
- Child sexual abuse: molestation survivors suffer devastating physical and psychological injuries from unimaginable acts of violence
- Sexual battery: violence or rape upon children and adults causes unspeakable physical and psychological injury
Broken bones may be catastrophic injury, in my view, because the broken bones may cause additional organ or tissue damage, result in permanent disfigurement, lead to lifelong mobility problems.
Serious Personal Injury can Present Permanent Impairments
Personal injury can be very severe deserving significant compensation although not be catastrophic in nature. The type of injury and how that damage affects the victim are critical components in the assessment.
Moderate personal injury which may cause harms and losses:
- Broken bones which heal without surgery
- Fractures requiring surgery which heal well without complication
- injuries to muscles and tissues which gradually improve with permanent loss of function
Many of these injuries usually resolve over time without surgery. When surgery is required, the healing goes well without further damage or injury. The conditions may be permanent, but dealing with the harms are manageable and do not affect daily life in a drastic manner.
In moderate injuries, there is limited work loss and pain and suffering. In other words, the victim was definitely hurt but will lead a fairly normal life in the future.
Your Lawyer for Catastrophic Injury in Southwest Florida
The lifetime challenges for catastrophic injury survivors and their loved ones change everyone. Relationships change, life goals may change, and quality of life is greatly reduced by the pain and physical and mental impairments.
The costs associated with daily care and assistance of catastrophic injury survivors every day are enormous and spell financial ruin for most people. When the injuries were caused by a negligent person or business, whether by a car accident, motorcycle crash, construction accident, defective product, dangerous property condition, or child sex abuse, the responsible party should take ownership and pay full damages. At fault insurance companies do not see this obligation unless they are made to do so.
The money will not heal or take away the lifetime problems. In the best case scenario, all money compensation can do is provide the means to pay for expenses, access quality care, and provide security for the future. There is some comfort in knowing the resources are available to help the catastrophic injury victim through life, but there is no amount which can take away the damage done.
If you or someone you love has sustained a catastrophic injury as the result of wrongdoing, then contact me, injury lawyer David Harris. I have been a trial attorney and litigator since 1995, and have the skill, experience and drive to pursue maximum compensation for catastrophic injuries and losses. The consultation is free, and if I take your case, then know that I am personally involved in your quest for justice, answer your questions, and stand by you. You are never ignored or taken for granted here. Importantly, you do not owe fees or costs unless I win for you.