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Personal Injury

What Makes an Injury A Catastrophic Injury? What You Need To Know 

Injuries are common, especially when there’s been a car accident. In most cases, the injuries are minor bumps and bruises, but sometimes the injuries sustained in a car accident are more serious. Sometimes the injuries are even labeled catastrophic.

The problem many people encounter when they’re filing a claim is that they don’t know what a catastrophic injury is and how it will impact their claim.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is a severe, life-altering event caused by incidents like car crashes workplace accidents or medical mistakes. The injuries can be physical, emotional, or psychological in nature, and they often require long-term care and rehabilitation. For example, athletes who sustain catastrophic injuries are at risk for psychological problems, such as depression or feelings of isolation.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Skull fractures
  • Extreme dental trauma
  • Severe burns

In most of these cases, the physical injury is accompanied by both mental and emotional trauma which can impact the victim’s ability to heal.

The Long-Term Impact of a Catastrophic Injury

Every single person who suffers a catastrophic injury as the result of an injury will experience different long-term impacts from the injury. Some long-term results of a catastrophic injury that was sustained during an accident include:

  • Psychological trauma
  • Emotional trauma
  • Physical disability
  • Diminished cognitive function
  • Extensive paralysis
  • Inability to earn an income
  • Inability to care for themselves

Every person handles the change the injury introduces to their life differently. Some people are able to accept the severity of their injury, roll with it, and adjust their life accordingly. Others struggle to understand and cope with the changes. Others struggle daily to cope with their new reality. Catastrophic injuries often have a ripple effect. They start with the person who sustained the injuries and ripple outward and steadily impact everyone in the victim’s life.

How a Catastrophic Injury Impacts a Personal Injury Case

Catastrophic injuries make personal injury cases more complicated. Not because there are different laws surrounding catastrophic injuries but because there is a higher financial stake. So many more things have to be taken into consideration when a victim is dealing with a catastrophic injury. This is why you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case.


The victims who suffered a traumatic brain injury or who are dealing with mental and/or emotional trauma are often unable to communicate easily. Sometimes the victim has completely lost their ability to communicate, and other times, they simply lack the time or energy needed to stay in regular correspondence with their personal injury lawyer. Difficulties with communication make it difficult, but not impossible, for everyone to stay on top of the case. Communication problems must also be taken into consideration when formal meetings, such as disposition, are scheduled since the victim may require an interpreter or special equipment.

It’s Harder to Predict the Final Medical Prognosis

When a personal injury case involves a few broken ribs and sprained back, it usually doesn’t take long before the victim reaches max medical treatment. Knowing that the victim has healed as much as they’re going to makes it easy to figure out a suitable settlement amount.

It could take years before the victim of a catastrophic injury receives max medical treatment. When it comes to catastrophic injury most doctors are reluctant to even hypothesize what the final outcome will be. Not knowing how completely the victim or even what additional medical treatments they’ll need makes it impossible to calculate how large their medical expenses will be.

Catastrophic Injury Victims Usually Require Lifelong Care

While each case is unique, many catastrophic injury victims require lifelong assistance. This assistance can include help with household chores, transportation, daily nursing, and more. This care means additional expenses which will be a regular part of the victim’s life. Any settlement has to be large enough to accommodate the cost.

Are you an Immigrant? Catastrophic Injury Immigrant Victims Have a Fighting Chance Too

The good news is that if you are an immigrant who has been the victim of a catastrophic injury, you do have options. Hire an experienced family immigration attorney, and they can help you navigate the complex legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Lawyer Today

When you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in a catastrophic injury, enlisting the services of a compassionate lawyer should be one of your first priorities. They will handle all the legalities surrounding your case and work hard to get you the settlement you deserve, leaving you free to concentrate on recovering.

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