Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2017 at 5:42 pm
Being injured in an accident is a traumatic event. Even a minor injury cause result in severe pain and substantial economic loss. However, when is an injury considered “catastrophic?” Who decides whether your injury is minor, severe, or catastrophic? Unfortunately, defining “catastrophic” is not as simple as looking up the definition in a medical or legal dictionary.
What Are the Signs of a Catastrophic Injury?
The definition of a catastrophic injury is something juries and courts struggle to define. In many cases, “catastrophic” can mean that the injury results in a permanent disability. However, “catastrophic” can also be used to define an injury that requires months or a few years of rehabilitation and medical care. On the other hand, some people define “catastrophic” to mean an injury that results in severe pain and suffering.
Knowing whether you have suffered a catastrophic injury can be difficult. However, if any of the following describes your injury, you may have suffered a catastrophic injury.
- Your Injuries Resulted in Permanent Disability
- Permanent disability is often considered a factor in determining catastrophic injuries. Examples include head, brain, and spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis. Loss of a limb is another example of a permanent injury. Any injury that results in a significant limitation of your ability to work or care for yourself can fall into the category of catastrophic injuries.
- Substantial Medical Bills
- When determining if an injury is catastrophic, there is no “magical” dollar amount that equals catastrophic. Whenever a person is injured in an accident, we expect there to be some medical bills. However, as the cost of medical care increases, we begin to look at the injury as catastrophic. The reason being that more severe injuries result in higher medical costs. For example, a spinal cord injury may result in multiple surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, ongoing physical therapy, rehabilitation, and long-term medical and personal care. Therefore, the victim could be looking at millions of dollars in medical care over his or her life.
- Considerable Financial Loss
- Because catastrophic injuries usually prevent victims from returning to work for a long time, we associated catastrophic injuries with substantial financial loss. The loss of income can often cause a financial crisis for the family. In some cases, the family may be forced to sell assets or file bankruptcy. Trying to provide for the family’s needs can be overwhelming, and the stress can interfere with the victim’s ability to heal.
- Who Decides If My Injury Is Catastrophic?
As discussed above, there is not a standard for determining if an injury is catastrophic. We do not have an equation we can use to place a label on your injuries. However, because our Sacramento accident attorneys have extensive experience representing accident victims, we have considerable knowledge and skill in handling this type of personal injury claim. It is important to hire the right Sacramento accident attorney to protect your legal right to recover full compensation for your injuries.
Call The Tiemann Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, act now to protect your right to receive compensation from the negligent party who caused the injury. Our Sacramento accident attorneys evaluate your claim and take steps to protect your best interest. If you have received catastrophic injuries, our Sacramento law firm will fight for your rights.
Call our office at (916) 999-9000 or chat with a representative on our website to request a free legal consultation and no-obligation case evaluation.