Catastrophic injuries are severe and life-changing injuries that can have a profound impact on a person’s health, well-being, and ability to function. These injuries typically result in permanent disability or require significant medical intervention and long-term care. 6 of the most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Loss of limbs
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
Catastrophic injuries have severe consequences and may involve such things as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and severe burns. These types of injuries often require extensive medical treatment and can result in long-term disabilities or even death. The impact a catastrophic injury has on your life can vary greatly depending on the type of injury you have suffered.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Loss of Limb
Losing a limb, such as an arm or leg, in a catastrophic accident can be a devastating and life-changing experience. The loss of a limb or digit is referred to as amputation. Amputation can lead to permanent disfigurement, loss of gainful employment, and emotional and mental anguish.
Burns that are third-degree or fourth-degree and cover a large portion of your body are considered to be catastrophic. Suffering from catastrophic burns can lead to a lifetime of pain, nerve damage, loss of motion, disfigurement, and scarring. Someone who has suffered catastrophic burns will likely need skin grafts, plastic surgery, and rehabilitation.
Spinal Cord and Neck Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis. Paralysis is an inability to move limbs and muscles below the site of the injury. Paraplegia is the loss of movement of the lower extremities, while quadriplegia affects all four limbs. Severe spinal cord injuries can result in a lifetime confined to a wheelchair or ventilator. If you or a loved one have suffered a spine injury, a spinal cord injury attorney can help you receive compensation to help with medical expenses and other injury related expenses.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can occur when someone’s head is flung around in an accident. Traumatic brain injuries may be external or closed. Closed injuries happen when your brain moves and makes an impact against your skull, which can lead to swelling or bleeding that can cause severe damage to brain tissue. External injuries can impact the skull and cause open injuries. The severity of a traumatic brain injury can vary greatly depending on what led to those injuries and the way your brain was affected.
A traumatic fracture is a severe fracture that occurs when your bones get subjected to stress or high impact. A severe bone fracture might require several surgeries to correct, and may never be fully corrected. When a fracture cannot be fully corrected, you may suffer from a loss of mobility, nerve damage, and pain and suffering.
Internal Organ Damage
Blunt force trauma to the abdomen can lead to internal organ damage, such as a ruptured kidney and internal bleeding. Internal organ damage can lead to permanent impairment and disability. Some injuries associated with blunt abdominal trauma may not be apparent right away. This may lead to an increased risk of permanent issues and complications.
What Types of Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries are typically caused by accidents that involve high impact, extreme force, or other dangerous situations. Here are some types of accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries:
- Car accidents: Car accidents are one of the leading causes of catastrophic injuries. When cars collide at high speeds, the force can cause severe injuries to the head, neck, spinal cord, and other parts of the body.
- Falls: Falls from great heights, such as from a roof or a ladder, can result in catastrophic injuries. A fall can cause serious head injuries, fractures, and spinal cord injuries.
- Sports injuries: High-impact sports, such as football, hockey, and wrestling, can result in catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fractures.
- Workplace accidents: Some jobs involve working with heavy machinery or dangerous equipment, which can lead to catastrophic injuries if something goes wrong. For example, construction workers may fall from scaffolding, or factory workers may be injured by malfunctioning machinery.
- Medical malpractice: Medical errors, such as surgical mistakes or misdiagnosis, can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death.
What Is the Difference Between a Catastrophic Injury and a Personal Injury
A personal injury is a broadly used term that refers to any harm or injury caused to an individual, either physically or emotionally. A personal injury may include a wide range of injuries, such as cuts and bruises, broken bones, whiplash, or psychological trauma.
A catastrophic injury refers to a severe injury that has long-term and life-altering consequences. Catastrophic injuries can include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, fractured bones, and organ damage. These types of injuries often require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and support, and may result in permanent disability or disfigurement.
The key difference between a personal injury and a catastrophic injury is the severity of the injury and the impact it has on the individual’s life. Personal injuries can be serious and require medical attention, but they typically do not have the same long-term consequences that catastrophic injuries can have. Catastrophic injuries, on the other hand, are life-changing events that require significant medical care and support.
Calculating Damages for a Catastrophic Injury Case
The damages you might be entitled to after a catastrophic injury can vary depending on the circumstances of your case and the laws of your jurisdiction. However, some common types of damages available in catastrophic injury cases include:
- Medical expenses: Catastrophic injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, hospitalization, and ongoing therapy. You may be entitled to compensation for all medical expenses related to your injury, including past, present, and future expenses.
- Lost wages: If your injury has caused you to miss work or has left you unable to work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This can include both past and future lost income.
- Pain and suffering: Catastrophic injuries can cause immense physical pain and emotional distress. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as for any loss of enjoyment of life caused by your injury.
- Disability and disfigurement: Catastrophic injuries can result in permanent disabilities or disfigurement. You may be entitled to compensation for the impact that these disabilities or disfigurement have on your life.
- Loss of consortium: If your injury has affected your relationship with your spouse or partner, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, comfort, and sexual relations that they have experienced as a result of your injury.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, the party responsible for your injury may have acted with gross negligence or with deliberate disregard for your safety. When this happens, you may be entitled to punitive damages, which are intended to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
The amount of compensation an injured person can expect to receive varies based on a number of factors, including the extent of the damage, the liability of the other party, and if the injuries are permanent. It’s important to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to discuss your specific situation and the damages that may be available to you.
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim in Illinois
Filing a catastrophic injury claim in Illinois can be a complex process. Catastrophic injuries refer to serious, life-changing injuries that can affect a person’s ability to work and perform daily activities. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in Illinois, here are some steps to follow when filing a claim:
- Seek medical attention: Your health should be your top priority after a catastrophic injury. Seek immediate medical attention and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and recovery.
- Document the injury: Keep a detailed record of your medical treatments, expenses, and any other related costs associated with your injury. This will be important when filing a claim.
- Contact an attorney: Consider hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process of filing a claim. An attorney can also help you determine the value of your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Determine liability: To file a successful claim, you will need to determine who is responsible for your injury. This could be an individual, a company, or a government entity.
- File a claim: Your attorney can help you file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. Be sure to provide all necessary documentation, including medical records and expenses.
- Negotiate a settlement: The insurance company may offer you a settlement. Your attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement that covers all of your expenses and losses.
- Consider a lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may recommend filing a serious injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
You must file your claim within a certain time frame or you may lose your right to seek compensation. It’s best to consult with an Illinois catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines and requirements.
How Can an Illinois Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Help?
If you or your child have experienced a catastrophic injury in Illinois, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. This is where an Illinois catastrophic injury attorney or an Illinois child injury attorney can help.
Catastrophic injuries are severe injuries that can have life-altering consequences, such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and severe burns. These types of injuries often require extensive medical treatment and can result in long-term disabilities or even death.
An Illinois catastrophic injury attorney is a legal professional who specializes in representing individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. They have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complex legal system and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Here are some of the ways an Illinois catastrophic injury attorney can help you:
- Investigating the cause of the injury: One of the first things an attorney will do is investigate the cause of the injury. He or she will gather evidence, speak with witnesses, and consult with experts to determine who was at fault and how the injury occurred. This information is crucial in building a strong case and proving liability.
- Calculating damages: Catastrophic injuries often result in significant medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. An attorney can help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This is important when seeking compensation from the responsible party.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies are often involved in catastrophic injury cases, and they are known for offering low settlements that do not adequately compensate victims. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement that covers all your damages.
- Filing a lawsuit: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may file a lawsuit against the responsible party. They will handle all aspects of the litigation, including preparing legal documents, conducting discovery, and representing you in court.
- Providing emotional support: Catastrophic injuries can be emotionally devastating for victims and their families. An Illinois catastrophic injury attorney can provide emotional support and guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring you are not alone during this difficult time.
An Illinois catastrophic injury attorney can provide you with the legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. An Illinois attorney can handle all aspects of your case, from investigating the cause of the injury to negotiating with insurance companies and filing a lawsuit if necessary. In addition, an attorney can help guide you and provide support through the emotional aftermath of a catastrophic injury.