When an injury occurs, it is right for the victim to put all of their focus on their treatment and recovery but in case of serious injuries, they have no choice but to look at the bigger picture. Catastrophic injuries can leave you maimed and even permanently disabled in some cases, and one of the first steps that you need to take after sustaining such an injury is to file a lawsuit against negligent parties.
In 2019, there were 173,040 preventable deaths and about 48.3 million injuries in the United States. Some of the leading causes for these injuries and fatalities included falls, poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, and choking.
While catastrophic injuries are always going to be hard to deal with — no matter how prepared you are, you can develop a better understanding of such injuries and their causes, and exercise more caution.
What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?
Injuries are generally classified based on their severity — mild, moderate, or severe, but when it comes to lawsuits, categorizing it as a regular personal injury or a catastrophic injury is important. It can potentially change the direction of your lawsuit, and the process associated with it.
Injuries that leave behind lifelong repercussions, including temporary or permanent disabilities are categorized as catastrophic. While these injuries can often take place accidentally, in some cases, negligence can be involved. In such cases, a personal injury lawsuit can help you get the justice you deserve.
The kind of compensation that you can receive and the results of the lawsuit, heavily depend on the accident that caused the injury. Some of the most common causes of catastrophic injuries are:
#1 Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can be quite uneventful if they take place in a normal setting. But if gravity is not on your side, it is easy for you to incur severe injuries — especially if you land on your head, neck, or back.
Moreover, if the slip and fall accident takes place in a dangerous setting such as a construction site, a damaged property, or icy surfaces, the likelihood of serious injury skyrockets significantly. In all these cases, you can identify the party that indirectly led to the accident due to negligence, and sue them.
Say, you slip and fall while walking on an icy road after shopping from your local grocery store. Now you have a serious head injury resulting from the fall. In such cases, you can figure out whether the negligent party was the store or the city as both the parties have the responsibility to clean up the roads so that pedestrians can walk safely.
#2 Medical Malpractice
Medical personnel and institutions are considered to be the Angels of God in many ways. Even then, cases of medical malpractice leading to serious injuries or even death are more common than you think.
What’s more, physicians or medical parties win more than 70-80% of the medical malpractice claims, primarily due to lack of evidence proving negligence. Some of the common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Operating on the wrong person or body part
- Leaving object inside a patient during a surgery
All the above forms of medical malpractice can have devastating results such as internal bleeding, problems in organ functions, disabilities, or in some severe cases, even permanent brain damage. You can file a lawsuit against the medical party whose negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries.
#3 Motor Vehicle Accidents
More than 32,000 people lose their lives every year as a result of motor vehicle accidents, and 2 million others are injured because of them. So it is no surprise that motor vehicle accidents are one of the biggest causes of catastrophic injuries.
But here is the zinger: most fatal motor vehicle accidents involve drunk driving, the influence of drugs, or speeding. This shows that accidents are caused due to preventable situations and negligence.
So if you find yourself in a serious motor vehicle accident that has left you with injuries that are going to affect the quality of your life going forward — filing an injury lawsuit can be a good place to start your healing process.
Motor vehicle accidents can be in the form of truck accidents, multi-vehicle accidents, or motorcycle accidents. Every responsible driver should follow safety precautions and ideal driving habits recommended by the government to minimize the damage caused by a potential accident.
#4 Occupational Hazards
Every one of us has to work hard for a living, but some of us have to work in dangerous conditions with plenty of hazards that can cause potential injuries. In some cases, individuals deal with environments that are conducive to fire and explosions.
In plants or refineries where workers are exposed to significant hazards and dangerous machinery, negligence can lead to permanent injuries or damage. Such catastrophic injuries can lead to long medical bills, treatments and in severe cases, it can lead to a long rehabilitation period.
In such cases, you may even have to incur a loss of earnings and a major career gap which can impact the quality of your life for a long time. Filing a personal injury lawsuit in such cases will include considering these aspects and the costs associated with them while deciding on compensation.
Catastrophic injuries are aggravating — barring all exceptions. If you have incurred such an injury, it is important to firstly focus on your treatment and recovery. Plus, if the situation was caused by a negligent party, ensure collection of related evidence right from the very first moment. In the end, a personal injury lawsuit may not be able to alleviate your pain and suffering but surely facilitate the required funds to ease the ordeal for you and your loved ones. Ensure that you understand the major differences between a catastrophic injury and a personal injury before going ahead.