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When Is an Injury Considered Catastrophic?

When Is an Injury Considered Catastrophic?

When it comes to the area of catastrophic injury law, we find ourselves asking the question, “When is an injury considered catastrophic?” This question is a valid one due to the fact that a catastrophic injury can occur in so many different situations—ranging from the back of an EMT vehicle to out in the field at work.

That being said, in the legal world, there is still no universally accepted definition that explains what makes in injury catastrophic. Because of this, many people have been working to standardize what it means to be catastrophically injured. There have been working definitions put in place that many legal and medical professionals use to assess the damage done and classify severe injuries.

Catastrophic Injury Explained

Catastrophe comes from a word meaning "when everything changes." When thinking of catastrophic injuries we tend to think of injuries such as paralysis and quadriplegia. While these injuries are catastrophic, a catastrophic injury doesn’t necessarily have to cause immense pain or take place in an extreme setting.

Catastrophic injuries are defined by the amount they change our lives. Whether it’s a medical device or the feeling of not knowing your former self, catastrophic injuries change lives immensely. When a suffering victim is no longer able to return to their job and maintain a life that supports themselves or family, the injury is deemed catastrophic.

In addition to not being able to return to work, the victim may also miss out on activities such as exercise, traveling, maintaining hygiene, and even taking part in their favorite hobbies. This sometimes tends to lead to emotional damage as well. Victims may also suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems that cause additional pain.

Different Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Often times catastrophic injuries happen swiftly like a thief in the night—one minute you’re living your life and within the blink of an eye, everything changes and your life is never the same.

Some of the more severe catastrophic injuries are usually related to the central nervous system, due to the fact that the consequences of these injuries are more often than not life-altering.

These injuries may include:

  • Brain injuries

  • Exposure to hazardous substances

  • Spinal cord damage

  • Amputation

  • Extreme burns

While a catastrophic injury can occur anywhere that physical harm can be done, certain accidents tend to have a much higher rate of catastrophic injuries. For example, construction workers—they tend to do some of the most dangerous jobs in the country, it’s no surprise they have some of the most catastrophic injuries.

Some of the other types of accidents leading to a catastrophic injury are:

  • Swimming/drowning

  • Defective products

  • Motor vehicle accidents, especially with large vehicles involved

  • Medical device failure

  • Medical malpractice

Damages and Compensation

With all of the possible damage a catastrophic injury may cause, it’s understandable why you may read about so many six plus figure verdicts in catastrophic injury cases. The reality behind this is that while some may see a large payout as some sort of godsend—the victims of these injuries couldn’t disagree more.

In fact, we can tell you after working with catastrophic law, each and every victim we’ve worked with would gladly trade all the money in the world to live the life they once lived.

When you take into account the massive medical bills they have accrued, the rest of their lifetime of lost salary, along with the emotional and physical suffering involved—it becomes more clear that the payout is there to help the victim return to as normal of a life as possible.

We Would Love to Help in Any Way Possible—Call Us Now for a Free Case Evaluation

At Sachs Law, APC, you’ll find staunch Orange County attorneys who are truly focused on obtaining justice for our clients. We work around the clock to make the client-attorney relationship as personal and trustworthy as possible.

You deserve to have a skilled team on your side who can help you manage the necessary paperwork, protect you from the tactics of the responsible party’s insurance company, and guide you through the emotional journey ahead.

Our team is a shoulder to lean on when you need us most. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations so you can get a better understanding of what’s coming next without having to worry about the financial concerns. We’re also available 24/7 so you can reach us when it’s convenient for you.

Call us today at (949) 575-8744 and discover your rights and potential options. Your rights matter and we’re here to protect them every step of the way.


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