The most common types of catastrophic injuries are ones to your brain or spinal cord, burns and scarring, internal bleeding and organ damage, and the loss of a limb or vital body system. These injuries often cost you considerable time, expense, and energy to treat, leaving you with long-term—even permanent—consequences.
Catastrophic injuries are often grounds for legal action, either through an insurance claim or lawsuit. If you suffered one of these common catastrophic injuries or another injury that significantly affected your life, you can contact a personal injury lawyer in Rutherfordton to learn about proving the injury and your need for damages.
The following five types of injuries are not always catastrophic but can cause severe consequences. Your doctor and attorney can review the severity of your injuries to determine if they qualify as catastrophic for compensation purposes.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur when an object hits you, or you experience a sudden, violent jolt. Severe TBIs can cause coma, difficulty with motor skills, an inability to communicate, paralysis, and permanent disability. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that TBI sufferers require more extended hospital stays and have a higher in-hospital fatality rate.
TBI recovery is unique to each person, and severe TBIs often leave victims needing extra care for the rest of their lives. That’s why brain injury lawyers specifically help people who suffer from TBIs—the unique consequences require seeking unique compensation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries often lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), people who suffer spinal cord injuries are also at risk for skin, respiratory, digestive, and musculoskeletal diseases. Life expectancy is also lower for people with this type of injury.
A spinal cord injury lawyer can help seek damages for the lifelong costs and reduced quality of life and life expectancy.
Burns and Disfiguring Injuries
Burns from fires, chemicals, or explosions, as well as disfigurement and scarring caused by cuts or trauma, can become catastrophic due to extreme pain and psychological suffering. For instance, healed burns around joints can reduce mobility, while facial disfiguration can cause mental and emotional trauma. Both the physical and emotional pain of these injuries can qualify you for catastrophic injury compensation.
Internal bleeding and organ damage can sometimes turn life-threatening. For example, treatment for a bruised kidney might involve surgery. Moreover, after doctors treat your internal injuries, many victims face a long road to recovery. In some cases, there is lasting damage.
Loss of a Body Part
This common type of catastrophic injury includes:
- Loss of an appendage (e.g., leg or arm)
- Loss of an organ or organ system (e.g., kidney or spleen)
- Loss of a sense (e.g., sight or hearing)
For example, you might experience a blow to the head that causes you to lose your sense of hearing or sight.
Some of the following incidents are common causes of catastrophic injuries:
- Motor vehicle accidents like car wrecks, truck collisions, or motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace and construction accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Accidents while playing sports or recreational activities
- Military and combat scenarios
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If no one caused your accident, you may need to pay for your injuries through your health, auto, or other insurance coverage. However, if someone contributed to your serious injury, you could explore getting compensation through the at-fault party’s insurance or filing a lawsuit against them.
Insurance vs. Lawsuit
Since catastrophic injuries often cost so much, even if the other party has insurance coverage, their policy limits might not provide enough to pay all your bills.
For example, say you suffered a spinal cord injury after a driver who ran a red light hit you. Their insurance covers $30,000 for bodily injury per person and $60,000 per accident. However, according to the NSCISC, your first-year costs alone could range from $397,000 to $1.2 million.
However, if insurance doesn’t cover all your costs, or the other party wasn’t insured, you could pursue a lawsuit. Sometimes, you can even pursue more than one party if they share fault for the accident.
Compensation Is About More Than Paying Bills
Your medical bills aren’t the only loss you could recover following an incident. There are several types of damages you could receive for a catastrophic injury, including the following:
- Income you lost while you recuperated
- Reduced ability to earn an income in the future
- Pain and suffering, including ongoing or chronic pain
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to your injuries
- Disfigurement and the psychological burden it causes
- Losses in your personal life and relationships
A Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Assesses Damages and How to Recover Them
Suffering severe injuries often means you cannot look at your bills until months into your recovery, let alone figure out ways to pay them. However, you can hire a personal injury attorney to take care of this task along with others like the following:
- Collecting and preserving evidence
- Filling out and filing insurance paperwork
- Fielding phone calls and emails
- Keeping track of deadlines
- Reviewing settlement offers
- Handling a personal injury lawsuit
The catastrophic injury lawyers at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can do all this and more for you, all while being available 24/7.
Liable parties might question the cause or severity of your catastrophic injuries to avoid paying what they owe you. However, the team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can help you counter their attacks and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today if you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury and need help. You can call us for free anytime!