Catastrophic injuries can occur in a variety of contexts. For example, if you’ve ever sustained severe injuries in an accident, you might be wondering if your injuries are catastrophic. While there is no universally accepted legal definition for catastrophic injuries, there are working definitions. Catastrophic injuries are especially extreme or severe injuries.
Personal injury claims involving catastrophic injuries can present unique challenges. The difficulty of catastrophic injuries comes in proving the current and future impact of the damages on the victim’s life.
Catastrophic injuries almost always increase the damages a victim can seek compensation, adding value to the case. Read on to find out about different potential catastrophic injuries and commonly seen issues with such matters.
Defining a Catastrophic Injury
A catastrophic injury can be defined as one that causes injuries that result in the individual being permanently unable to perform any gainful work. If a victim sustains so bad injuries they can no longer work or maintain a job, the injuries are catastrophic. In addition, the victim would be unable to support themselves and their family due to the injuries.
Such injuries are devastating from any standpoint and can bear legal, emotional, and financial burdens on the victim. After catastrophic injuries, the victim may lose a lifetime’s worth of wages and benefits due to their inability to work. Additionally, they could lose a sense of purpose in life after losing their ability to perform work. On top of all of that, they will usually have a mountain of incurring medical bills for any medical treatment related to the injuries.
In some exceptional cases, individuals who have sustained catastrophic injuries can take specialized training courses to re-learn employment skills and return to work. The newly learned skills would have to be catered to any new limitations resulting from the injuries. Sadly, those with severe physical or cognitive impairments may never be able to maintain employment again.
Often the effects of the catastrophic injury have implications far beyond just the victim’s work life. For example, severe injuries may diminish a person’s quality of life due to the inability to travel, exercise, or engage in hobbies they previously enjoyed. Catastrophic injuries can lead to disabilities that can change the entire course of a person’s life. Additionally, victims can suffer emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues from the stress of adjusting to living with a disability. The emotional anguish on top of the physical pain and suffering that victims may experience can be devastating.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries disrupt the body’s central nervous system and have consequences that experts consider extreme. Here are a few types of injuries that are considered catastrophic:
- Brain injuries or brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Amputated limbs
- Multiple bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Exposure to hazardous toxins, chemicals, or other substances
Catastrophic injuries are generally accepted as any incident that causes extreme physical trauma to the victim. Certain types of accidents tend to cause such severe injuries. For example, motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving motorcycles or commercial trucks, generally tend to contribute to a large number of catastrophic injury accidents.
Damages in Catastrophic Injury Law
The effects of catastrophic injuries can be far-reaching on the lives of victims. Persons who have suffered devastating injuries will suffer enormous losses but can potentially seek much higher damage compensation than a typical personal injury case. In addition, the lifetime of lost earnings and heaps of medical bills for ongoing medical treatment that victims endure can be crippling.
While no amount of money can make up for having to live the rest of your life with a disability from a catastrophic injury, it can help you gain back a bit of normalcy. You need an experienced Colorado catastrophic injury attorney to help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve to try to move on with your life as best you can.
Why You Need a Colorado Catastrophic Injury Attorney
It’s not uncommon to see insurance companies refusing to cover your medical costs while your claim is pending. Unfortunately, this leaves many people in difficult financial situations and unable to get the proper medical care they need to heal.
Insurance policies generally have a limit for catastrophic injury claims. For example, if you file a lawsuit against an individual rather than a large company, the at-fault party’s insurance may not cover your medical expenses. In such instances, you would need to file a separate lawsuit against the individual’s personal assets, assuming they exist.
Colorado is also a comparative fault state, meaning the injured victim could be partly at fault for the accident. The law will then reduce the damages according to how much responsibility the victim had in the accident. For example, consider an accident scenario where your damages are worth $200,000, and you are determined to have 10% fault for the accident. Therefore, the damage recovery you could seek compensation for would be reduced by 10% ($180,000).
Catastrophic injury cases are complex issues requiring expert legal and medical testimony. Protect yourself by getting the quality representation you deserve from an experienced Colorado catastrophic injury attorney. That way, you can pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Get Professional Help With Your Colorado Personal Injury Lawsuit
It’s not always an easy task to find a reasonable attorney. The stress of an injury or financial hardships can be overwhelming. A bad or inexperienced attorney will only add to your frustration. Make sure you find the right attorney who can represent you efficiently.
Furthermore, it’s imperative to have a detailed understanding of the facts and the relevant laws with any personal injury case. While money cannot make up for the stress and disturbance of a catastrophic injury, it can help you pay for costly medical bills and move forward with your life.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney today for a free consultation.