6 Types of Catastrophic Injuries
When someone is seriously injured in a way that affects their ability to function the way they did before the accident, they may have experienced a catastrophic injury. In addition to the potential for a lifetime of pain and suffering, a catastrophic injury can prevent the victim from earning a living or becoming a parent because of permanent disability or impairment. In most cases, catastrophic injuries require extensive medical treatments, rehabilitation, and surgeries.
If your life has been turned upside down due to a catastrophic injury because of the negligence of another, seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. The injury attorney will discuss your legal rights and evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine next steps.
What is a catastrophic injury?
A catastrophic injury is an injury or illness affecting the body that is extremely serious and life changing. In most cases the injury causes emotional distress and mental anguish. Catastrophic injuries may be permanent or temporary; either way they require a considerable amount of medical treatment over months or years. In some cases, the full extent of the injury may not be understood for some time.
What types of accidents cause catastrophic injuries?
There are many types of accidents that may lead to catastrophic injuries. What determines the label is not the type of accident but rather the severity of the injury. Having said that, there are some common scenarios that carry the risk for life-altering injuries:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Birth injuries
- Defective products
The 6 Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries may affect important body systems such as the central nervous system, respiratory system, reproductive system, and others. The injuries themselves often fall into one of the following six categories.
- Loss of limb(s)
The loss of a limb (arm or leg) or a digit (finger or toe) in a tragic accident is called an “amputation” or “traumatic amputation.” The loss of a limb is a disfiguring injury that creates a lifelong disability, which can lead to loss of gainful employment and emotional and mental anguish, among other issues.
- Severe burns
A third or fourth degree burn that covers a large portion of the body is life-threatening. For those who survive, they often face a lifetime of pain, nerve damage, loss of motion, disfigurement, and scarring. There is the strong potential for disability that affects their ability to earn a living or live life the way they did before. Most will need to undergo skin grafts and plastic surgery along with rehabilitation to recover.
- Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
A severe spinal cord injury can result in paralysis. In some cases, a survivor may lose the ability to move their limbs and muscles below the site of the injury. Paraplegia results in the loss of movement of the lower extremities while quadriplegia affects the movement or sensation in all four limbs. Spinal cord injury survivors need a lifetime of care and may spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair or on a ventilator.
- Traumatic brain injuries
When our heads are flung around in an accident it can lead to swelling or bleeding that can cause severe damage to brain tissue. Because our brains control so much of how we function, a traumatic brain injury can lead to permanent physical and cognitive impairments. Even those who are able to recover often face extensive therapy and rehabilitation.
- Internal organ damage/internal bleeding
In a serious car accident, internal organ damage such as a ruptured kidney or internal bleeding is a possibility. Internal organ damage can lead to permanent impairment and disability. Those who recover may spend months undergoing treatments and surgeries, unable to work or lead a normal life.
- Traumatic fractures
A traumatic fracture is a fracture that may require several surgeries to correct and that may never be fully corrected. When a fracture cannot be fully corrected, the victim may be left with long-term loss of mobility, nerve damage, and pain and suffering.
Seek the help of a personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!