A catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, head or brain. Catastrophic injuries also include traumatic amputation and severe burn injuries. A catastrophic injury due to physical trauma may result in damage to the brain or nervous system resulting in physical and mental impairment. These types of injuries impact the victim and their loved ones in all aspects of living. Being a caretaker for someone with physical disability or cognitive impairment can be emotionally exhausting and relationship changing. Husbands or wives with careers may be forced to stop working to provide around the clock care, or a caretaker may be required full-time at a high cost to families. In some cases, catastrophic injury victims may not even be able to live at home, and may need to live in a nursing home or adult care facility for a long period of time or for life.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
There are three potential outcomes for a catastrophic injury:
Permanent severe functional disability;
Severe trauma with no physical disability.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries impact every area of life, with long-lasting and unpredictable consequences that can vary widely. There may be no visible evidence of an injury. For example, a previously upbeat and positive person may be anxious and severely depressed. A focused and sharp-minded person may find concentrating on simple tasks impossible. Speaking, understanding and communicating may be difficult. Working and studying may no longer be possible. X-rays and brain scans may not show the injury to the brain. According to doctors, as brain injury victims age, they are at increased risk for stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal injuries affect a person’s ability to walk and move about. Serious spinal cord injuries may cause complete paralysis and also affect the lungs, urinary tract and gastrointestinal systems. Victims of spinal cord injuries may require lifelong, around the clock care.
Not all burns are considered catastrophic, but they can be. Burn injuries cause severe pain, scarring and disfigurement, forever altering one’s appearance and may require multiple cosmetic surgeries. Burn injuries may be caused by vehicle fires, auto accidents and pedestrian dragging accidents, as well as portable chargers, portable heaters, and kitchen and cooking accidents.
Loss of Limbs / Traumatic Amputation
Approximately 2 million people in the United States live with limb loss, and 45% of limb loss is caused by trauma, with 185,000 amputations occurring each year. When limbs are lost in vehicular accidents, the injured victims may be permanently disabled.
Recovering Damages in a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit in Ohio
When a catastrophic injury is caused by another person’s negligent actions, a lawsuit may offer relief for the victim. A monetary settlement in a catastrophic injury settlement can include compensation for hospitalization and related medical bills, along with permanent disability and care for the rest of a victim’s life. Because so much is at stake in catastrophic injury cases, it is so important to choose a lawyer with experience recovering financial compensation for permanent disability. At GBM Law, we work with top medical experts, economic planners, and vocational experts to determine the impact of an injury over the course of a lifetime, including medical care expenses, lost wages or loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering, which may be substantial. In cases where a catastrophic injury resulted in a tragic death, a wrongful death claim may be pursued. Calculating damages correctly is critical to any personal injury claim.
Get a Free Catastrophic Injury Consultation
We understand you may have questions about your case. While your legal case may have very unique aspects, we can draw on our more than 30 years of insight handling personal injury and wrongful death law in Ohio to offer advice, resources, and answers. Consultations are always free. If you are unable to travel, we can meet with you at your home or hospital room.
For more information feel free to call us at (614) 222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form. As part of our contingency fee agreement, there are no fees unless we recover money for you.