What Makes A Personal Injury Claim Catastrophic?
Overview of Catastrophic Injuries
Any harm suffered at the hands of someone else’s negligence is serious business that deserves legal attention. Medical bills and lost wages can pile up and make the aftermath of an accident a stressful time for anyone. But there is a special type of personal injury where the damages are so severe that the legal field has an entirely different category for it: the catastrophic injury claim.
What Is A Catastrophic Injury?
The legal category of a catastrophic injury has less to do with the type and location of an injury and more to do with the anticipated outcome of the injury. Some of these injuries permanently render a person incapable of work. Others subject the individual to a lifetime of lowered immunity, mental disability, susceptibility to infection, and repeated surgeries or medical care. A catastrophic injury permanently transforms a person’s life. This usually means permanent loss of income, a lifetime of expensive medical treatments and therapy, or both. If you are deemed to have suffered a catastrophic injury on the job you are entitled to a number of specific damages under workers’ compensation laws and negligence laws.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
While there can any number of situations where a catastrophic injury occurs, the most common fall into the following categories:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes periodic neurological disruption, severe sensory disturbances, or severely impaired motor function
- Severe spinal cord injury leading to paralysis of the arms, legs, or trunk
- An amputation that results in the loss of that appendage
- Second- or third-degree burns over 25 percent of the body
Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are the most common type, because of the role each plays in cognitive function and movement respectively. Brain injuries are often complicated medically and take months to years of treatment and recovery, where the person may not be able to function normally, much less work. Any blow to the head on the job should be taken seriously and a doctor’s treatment sought as soon as possible.
Burns are another major category that take lots of time and treatment for recovery. Whether it’s skin grafts to repair burned skin or breathing treatments for scarred lungs, severe burns also take a long time to recover from. While becoming blind might seem obvious, sometimes you don’t have to go totally blind for it to be a catastrophic injury. Partial blindness and restricted vision could render you unable to do the job you used to do, and therefore result in lost wages.
Seeking Damages as the Result of a Catastrophic Injury
If you believe you deserve compensation as the result of a catastrophic injury, the first thing you need to do is get any emergency medical care you may need as a result. Then, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will start collecting the necessary evidence to prove that your injury is severe enough to prevent you from performing the job you previously held or any work available in the national economy for which you are qualified. You will need to provide substantial proof that you require ongoing medical attention and that you are vocationally handicapped, and an experienced attorney will tell you and help you collect all paperwork and expert testimony you need to prove this. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to meet all deadlines and get you the full amount necessary for your injuries.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Catastrophic Injury Case in PA
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a catastrophic injury in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Marrone Law Firm, LLC represent clients injured because of catastrophic injury in Philadelphia, University City and throughout PA. Call 215-732-6700 or fill out our online contact form us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 532 Marlton Pike West 2nd Floor, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 as well as offices at 200 South Broad Street, Suite 400 Philadelphia, PA 19102.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.