Any type of accident can lead you to file a personal injury claim. After all, even minor injuries may be serious enough to require medical treatment, hospitalization, time off from work, and other costly repercussions.
However, certain types of injuries – generally those that result in severe physical, emotional and financial consequences — are categorized as catastrophic. Here’s what you need to know about catastrophic personal injury claims and how to fight for fair compensation.
When is an Injury Considered Catastrophic?
Catastrophic injuries are those that cause functional disability, irreversible damage to the body or significant life-altering consequences. A personal injury may also be considered catastrophic if it permanently prevents the victim from returning to work or performing any other substantial gainful activity.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal cord trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Multiple bone fractures
- Loss of sight
- Disfiguring burns
A catastrophic injury can have an immense impact on quality of life, and many victims suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental issues. In addition to all the pain and suffering, victims are often left with serious financial troubles.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries can occur as the result of an unusual event or “freak” accident. However, statistically speaking, some types of incidents are more likely to result in a catastrophic personal injury. These include:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
Regardless of how a catastrophic injury is incurred, victims can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for their losses.
Compensation in Catastrophic Personal Injury Claims
The value of a catastrophic injury claim depends upon the nature and severity of the injuries sustained. That said, the losses can be tremendous – and victims often face many, if not all, of the following consequences:
- Steep medical bills and never-ending treatment costs
- Continual pain, suffering and emotional anguish
- Expenses related to the treatment of mental trauma
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- An inability to enjoy once-loved hobbies and activities
- Difficulty maintaining personal relationships
By filing a lawsuit, victims can seek compensation for all of these. And because catastrophic injuries tend to have a devastating, life-long impact, the amount of damages awarded can be quite high.
Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Getting legal help isn’t required, but hiring an attorney is the best way for injured victims to obtain the financial compensation they need and deserve.
As we mentioned, claims for catastrophic injuries can result in significant losses – and insurance companies do everything they can to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out. If you’re severely injured, an attorney can help ensure your case is defined as catastrophic, negotiate a fair settlement and, if necessary, serve as your legal representative in court.
The highly skilled attorneys at William R. Rawlings & Associates have been fighting on the behalf of injured victims in Utah, California and Idaho for more than 35 years. To discuss your catastrophic injury case with a personal injury lawyer in Utah, contact our office and schedule a free consultation today.