What defines a catastrophic injury?

While you are recovering from any type of personal injury, it may feel frustrating, challenging and even excruciating. It is important for you to note, however, that an injury defined as “catastrophic” has key differences from most injuries.

According to FindLaw, a catastrophic injury is one that may result in long-term or permanent disabilities, or could result in death. A catastrophic injury would significantly impact your quality of life, prevent you from working and cause ongoing pain or discomfort. The following situations are examples of injuries that may qualify as catastrophic:

  • Internal injuries and broken bones after a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident
  • Loss of skin and muscle tissue after being thrown from a motorcycle
  • Scarring and disfigurement from a dog bite
  • Burns or scalding from a house fire or malfunctioning water heater
  • Paralysis or head trauma resulting from a fall
  • Lung damage after exposure to toxic chemicals at work

The complications of a catastrophic injury do not have to be immediate. For example, you may appear fine a few months after a severe concussion you sustained in a truck accident, only to develop memory loss, behavioral changes and problems with mobility several years after the traumatic brain injury. It can be difficult for doctors to determine the long-term impact of a serious injury, especially when it comes to brain injuries or organ damage.

Therefore, it is important to seek experienced counsel so you can pursue compensation for the many costs of living with a catastrophic injury.