What Qualifies as “Catastrophic” in a Personal Injury Case?

catastrophic personal injury case

Many different types of accidents qualify as personal injury cases. Personal injury is a broad area of law that encompasses negligence-induced incidents that affect victims’ livelihoods. While most cases follow a general pattern, catastrophic personal injury cases are unique in that they involve only the most severe injuries and losses.

The term “catastrophic” highlights the factors that make these cases distinct from other personal injury cases. A person can expect catastrophic cases to involve severe physical injuries in which sudden and great damage changed a victim’s life. The complexities often involved in these cases require the attention of an attorney with experience handling catastrophic personal injury cases.

What Injuries Qualify as Catastrophic?

Catastrophic injuries touch people’s lives in profound ways. These injuries often require extensive care, leading to a small fortune in medical bills throughout the victim’s recovery. In the majority of cases, families do not have the means to pay for treatment out-of-pocket.

To determine whether you might have a catastrophic personal injury case, identify your injuries and the extent to which they cause you and your family pain and suffering. Examples of injuries commonly associated with catastrophic injury cases include:

  • Head injuries like skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Severe burns
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Organ damage or loss of bodily function
  • Sensory impairment, such as the loss of sight or hearing
  • Multiple bone fractures
  • Nerve damage

Any one of the above injuries can drastically alter a person’s overall health and way of life. The extent to which an injury affects a person’s lifestyle is another indicator of a catastrophic injury.

Impact on Victims and their Families

Catastrophic injuries affect victims for much longer periods than non-catastrophic injuries. While a person may recover from a broken bone in 6 to 12 weeks, many catastrophic injuries can take months to years to heal. These injuries may require extensive surgery, rehabilitation, treatments, therapies, and medications. In the most extreme and unfortunate scenarios, victims may never return to the quality of life they enjoyed before their accident.

Victims and families endure considerable emotional and financial suffering after a catastrophic injury accident. Personal injury lawyers resolving catastrophic injuries in Orlando will often seek compensation for medical bills and the emotional labor these accidents require. Almost all catastrophic injury cases consider the impact the injuries have had on victims’ loved ones when awarding compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Hefty Damage Awards

Due to the steep costs associated with catastrophic injuries, awards for these cases tend to reach high figures. Personal injury awards are issued to help victims recover financial compensation for their losses. In catastrophic injury cases, the potential for substantial damages is considerable.

A successful catastrophic injury case can result in a hefty monetary award to cover for:

  • All medical bills associated with the accident, including the victim’s future medical needs
  • Lost income due to missed work and/or temporary disability
  • Lost future wages due to reduced earning capacity

In addition to economic damages like the ones above, those who suffer catastrophic injuries endure immense non-economic losses, such as a reduced quality of life, mental anguish, and physical pain and suffering. Your attorney will be able to provide estimates on what you might be able to recover for non-economic damages in your own catastrophic injury case.

Possible Challenges to a Catastrophic Injury Case

The stakes are high when resolving a catastrophic injury case. The party at-fault for your injuries will do everything possible to downplay the severity of your injuries and the extent of your suffering. Several challenges may arise during your catastrophic injury case.

Disputes. The insurance company representing the at-fault party has a keen interest in avoiding paying what is fair to help you overcome your injuries. Their goal is to do everything in their power to make your situation appear less serious than it really is. These corporations employ vast teams of lawyers to trivialize your claim. You need qualified representation to fight back.

Expert Testimony. Due to the complex medical nature of these injuries, it’s often necessary to call in expert doctors and specialists to vouch for you. Medical experts can provide insight into the nature of your injuries and make a case for the extensive treatment you will need.

Litigation. While most personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement, a catastrophic injury increases the likelihood that the defendant will cause the case to go to trial by refusing to provide a reasonable settlement. You need an experienced trial lawyer on your side in case this happens.

The Umansky Law Firm Fights for Catastrophic Injury Victims

Attorneys with The Umansky Law Firm work tirelessly on behalf of all car accident and personal injury victims to get them the compensation they need to get back to their way of life. If you have suffered considerable pain and suffering after a personal injury accident such as a car accident in Orlando, accepting a settlement offer from your insurance company will likely fail to provide the financial support you need.

Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience winning just compensation for personal injury victims. You deserve every penny you are legally entitled to receive by law after suffering in a catastrophic injury accident. Contact our firm at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.