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When Does a Case Classify as a Catastrophic Injury

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2019 | Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic injuries can result from a variety of different contexts. Not only that, the effect of these injuries represent themselves in different ways.

So what exactly is a catastrophic injury?

Keep reading to learn what constitutes a catastrophic injury and what you should do about it.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

The most common and widely-used definition of a catastrophic injury is one that permanently prevents a person from carrying out any form of gainful work. This means a person who suffers a catastrophic injury can no longer keep a job, meaning they’re unable to support themselves.

The consequences of an injury like this can be severe, especially when looked at from a financial, emotional, or legal view.

A person who’s sustained an injury like this has to worry about overwhelming medical bills. But because they can no longer work, they may not have a way to pay for it.

In some cases, a person who’s gone through a catastrophic injury can retrain themselves and find a new form of employment that matches their limited skill set. This training can be incredibly expensive, and many victims are unable to find any other form of work at all.

What Causes Catastrophic Injuries?

A catastrophic injury disrupts the central nervous system, but they can be caused by a number of things.

Here are a few examples of what a catastrophic injury might look like:

  • Severe burns
  • Brain injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Multiple bone fractures

Again, these are just a few examples. There are several other kinds of severe injuries that experts might classify as catastrophic.

But how does one get one of these injuries?

Individuals experience catastrophic injuries after going through some kind of physical trauma. Though there are a number of incidents that can result in these injuries, there are several accidents that are more common than others.

These are a few incidents that might result in a catastrophic injury:

  • Swimming pool accidents (like drowning)
  • Construction accidents
  • Defects in consumer products
  • Defective medical devices
  • Pharmacy errors

However, the most common cause of these injuries is vehicle accidents, especially ones involving large trucks or motorcycles.

What You Should Know About Comparative Negligence

Most jurisdictions in the United States follow a legal standard called pure comparative negligence. This means a victim is able to recover compensation based on their amount of fault.

In other words, if a victim was responsible for 30% of the accident, they can still recover the other 70%.

(The states Virginia and Maryland, along with Washington D.C., follow pure contributory negligence. In these states, even if the victim is only responsible for 1% of the accident, they cannot recover any form of compensation for the damages.

Getting the Right Help for a Catastrophic Injury

It’s always important to hire an experienced attorney for any legal matter, but it’s even more important when you’re dealing with a catastrophic injury case. If you live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C., this is especially true.

The defense will always argue that the victim was at fault. This can make you lose compensation for the damages, which is something you can’t afford.

Suffering through a catastrophic injury and looking for some legal help? Make sure you take a look at some of our services.