We see people walk away unscathed from serious accidents while others tragically lose their lives. We also see everything in-between, where survivors of catastrophic injuries are forever changed. Catastrophic injuries happen suddenly and unexpectedly, causing paralysis and disfigurement, and substantially impact a victim’s wellbeing. When someone else’s negligence causes a car crash, those injured can sue the responsible party to recover compensation for their losses. Compensation in catastrophic injury cases will be higher and requires a comprehensive look at the injured person’s future medical expenses and lost earning potential.
Catastrophic injuries can happen anywhere. They commonly result from car accidents, defective product usage, and slips and falls. In the aftermath, a victim and their loved ones will likely be overwhelmed by concerns about their recovery, and they may not know that taking legal action can ease the financial burdens they will face.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
When someone loses an arm, leg, or any extremity unexpectedly, it’s called “traumatic amputation.” Amputation surgery may be necessary after a limb is crushed in an accident. Sometimes an arm or leg is severed during an accident with no hope of reattachment. Losing a limb seriously impacts health and increases the risk of heart problems and the possibility of suffering from deep vein thrombosis. With the help of physical therapy and prosthetics, many amputees can recover, but their lives are forever changed. Limb loss can leave someone permanently unable to return to work, which needs to be taken into consideration.
Burn injuries are common after car crashes. Someone involved in a car accident might walk away with first-degree burns caused by airbag deployment. However, a person involved in an accident where a car catches fire can suffer from second-, third-, or fourth-degree burns. Accidents that cause fourth-degree burns have a likelihood of being fatal. These burns affect the skin and penetrate tissue, muscle, and bone. Recovering from burn injuries can require multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy; victims may need medical care for the rest of their lives.
When a car crash leads to brain or spinal cord injuries, paralysis can result. It is one of the most critical types of catastrophic injury. After a paralyzing injury, someone may have limited movement in a limb. In others, someone may be left unable to move any of their body parts. All types of paralysis are life-altering, regardless of severity, and treatment costs are high.
Brain injuries from accidents are common, with about 1.5 million people suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. A fall from a short height is enough to cause a traumatic brain injury, as is a blow to the head in a car accident. Some brain injuries are treatable, while others have no cure. Severe brain injuries can leave someone unable to walk or talk, and some brain injury patients need around-the-clock care after an accident.
Catastrophic Injury Compensation
Someone who experiences a catastrophic injury because someone acted negligently will be entitled to damages. In most personal injury cases, plaintiffs can recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Because catastrophic injuries may never heal fully, victims need to plan accordingly to receive adequate compensation.
Catastrophic injury cases can involve a life care planner, usually a person with some medical training such as a nurse. The planner assesses an injured person’s present and future needs and creates a care plan detailing all of a patient’s expected treatment. This will include medical devices, therapy and rehab services, home and vehicle modifications, and future medical treatment. If someone needs lifetime care because of a permanent injury, a life care planner will consider that in their analysis.
In many catastrophic injury cases, a victim is left unable to return to work for months or years. In the most severe instances, they’re never able to work again; in other instances, their injuries prevent them from performing their prior jobs, forcing them to take a less skilled, lower wage position. While they may be eligible for government disability benefits, they are entitled to also ask for damages for the loss of future earnings. A vocational expert helps quantify these losses. They have the knowledge to provide insight on whether a plaintiff will be able to work again and, if so, how their new wages will compare to their pre-injury earning potential. The life care planner will incorporate the vocational expert’s findings in the life care plan, which a legal team can present in court.
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury after an accident, you’ll need the help of an attorney skilled in these types of complex cases. Catastrophic injury care can cost millions of dollars over a lifetime, and accepting a quick settlement will leave you without the total payment you need to live a productive life. The attorneys at Curcio Law are experienced in helping people who have suffered catastrophic injuries and are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Curcio Law online, or you can call or text us at 703-836-3366 for a free consultation.
Justin Curcio joined Curcio Law in January 2020. Justin received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015. After passing the Virginia Bar in 2015, Justin was in-house counsel for an insurance defense firm (Allstate/Esurance/Encompass) for over four years before joining Curcio Law. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Contact Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.