Catastrophic injuries can change an individual’s ability to perform basic daily tasks and work. Someone afflicted by this type of injury may also face considerable barriers to achieving their goals and performing the simplest tasks.
If you have sustained a catastrophic injury, the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter may be able to offer the legal assistance you need.
Catastrophic injuries are any injuries with proximate and direct consequences that may permanently stop you from performing any activities and gainful work. To keep it simple, a catastrophic injury is one so serious that it leaves you permanently damaged for life.
Most catastrophic injuries are caused by physical damage to the spinal cord and/or brain. These injuries can have severe short-term and long-term impacts on your ability to function in your daily life.
If you sustain an injury that is serious enough to cause deformity or is long-term and debilitating, then you have suffered a catastrophic injury.
A catastrophic injury can also mean losing a vital physical function or part. Examples of these include:
- Losing a limb;
- Losing your ability to walk; and/or
- Losing your ability to form a complete thought.
Some catastrophic injuries are harder to detect. For example, a person who has suffered head trauma may appear normal but may secretly be developing long-lasting internal disabilities. Some evidence of longer-term damage may include:
- Changes in their personality
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Losing the ability to concentrate
- Losing the ability to handle their financial affairs
What Does Pennsylvania Law Say
Pennsylvania law allows the victim of catastrophic injury to recover compensation from the party at fault. This compensation may include a damage award to cover your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, etc. You can even get a settlement to pay for the pain and suffering the catastrophic injury will cause you for the rest of your life.
Under Pennsylvania personal injury law, the person affected by catastrophic injury can file a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident due to their careless or negligent behavior. However, the statute of limitation by law is up to two (2) years.
This means that, if you suffered a catastrophic injury, you have two years from the accident to file a lawsuit against the party at fault. If the negligence of the other party caused devastating injuries, you could exercise your legal right to seek adequate compensation for your losses.
However, it is best to seek legal advice to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Catastrophic Injury
The common types of accidents resulting in catastrophic injury include:
- Boating accidents
- Cyclist and motorist accidents
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slips, fall, and trip accidents
- Pedestrian and motorist accidents
Types of Catastrophic Injury
The most common classifications of catastrophic injuries are:
- Severe Spinal Injury
The American Spinal Injury Association considers severe spinal injuries as catastrophic, including quadriplegia or paraplegia.
- Mobility Impairment
Any impairment causing you to permanently lose the ability to walk independently is a catastrophic injury. This type of injury may be due to partial or complete amputation, burns, crushing of your limb, and other severe injuries.
- Permanent Loss of Both Arms
If you permanently lose the use of both of your arms, it is a catastrophic injury. Please note that losing one arm is considered a partial impairment.
- Loss of Vision or Blindness
If you lose vision of both eyes or go blind, it is a catastrophic injury.
- Brain Trauma
A traumatic brain injury as an adult is also a catastrophic injury. This includes going into a state of coma for a month and severe lower or upper body disability for six months or more. Brain injuries can be difficult to fully appreciate as even smaller injury may cause disability after a year since your assessment for brain impairment.
- Combined Physical Injuries Causing Collective Severe Damage
If you sustained combined physical injuries causing 55% of WPI, i.e., Whole Personal Impairment, it is also a catastrophic injury. Such impairing conditions include chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Extreme Impairment
Extreme impairment caused by a behavioral or mental disorder is a catastrophic injury. These include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental health disorders.
A psychiatric catastrophic injury can cause other impairments in the areas of psycho-social interaction, functions, and independence and often require substantial psychological health care. However, you must remember that, to establish a catastrophic injury, you cannot combine psychiatric and physical impairment.
You cannot use pain symptoms to quantify the severity of an injury and classify it as a catastrophic injury. A pain caused by an injury is part of the same injury, and you cannot classify it as a separate impairment.
Catastrophic Injury in Children
The classification of catastrophic injuries is different for children. Catastrophic injuries in children, mainly brain injuries, may not fully become apparent until several years after sustaining an injury.
Other catastrophic injuries in children include spinal injuries, loss of limbs, blindness, etc. That said, the assessment of catastrophic injury in a child is similar to that of an adult.
Recover Damages for a Catastrophic Injury
We at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter can help you negotiate with the liable party’s insurance company and accumulate evidence of the other person’s negligence to support your catastrophic injury claim. These negotiations may help you receive a settlement amount sufficient to help compensate you for your losses.
In case a settlement is not the solution, we can assist in your case when it proceeds to litigation and, eventually, trial, and we can help you seek the damage compensation you deserve.
Improve Your Chance
We recommend the victim of catastrophic injury continue to get medical treatment to promote their healing. Moreover, this will serve as documentation for the extent of your injury. You should also avoid speaking to the insurance company on your own because they will try their best to pay you as little as possible for your claims.
If you have sustained a catastrophic injury, speaking to an insurance company without a personal injury lawyer can result in an unfair settlement.
Consult the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter Today
An accident resulting in a catastrophic injury can scar a person for life both physically and emotionally. If you believe that you or your loved one sustained a catastrophic injury, then you can place your trust in the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter. We can help you hold the negligent individual personally accountable for their actions and recover compensation for the irreversible damage they caused.
Contact us today to speak to our skilled personal injury attorney.
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