What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Injuries occur all the time, but not all of them are considered “catastrophic.” When classifying injuries, it is important to know the difference between a regular injury that a person may sustain and a catastrophic injury that could have long-lasting, even life-altering consequences. A catastrophic injury is one that will significantly affect the victim’s quality of life, their ability to perform daily activities, and their ability to work. Here, our Chicago personal injury lawyers want to discuss catastrophic injuries, particularly what types of injuries are considered catastrophic as well as what kind of compensation victims could receive if their injuries were caused by the actions of another individual.
Types Of Catastrophic Injuries
The law often defines catastrophic injuries as an injury that causes a victim to lose a vital part of their “person.” This legal definition may be confusing but is often understood to mean that a person loses their ability to walk, their ability to hear or see, loses a limb, or sustains a loss of cognitive function. Regardless of what type of catastrophic injury a person sustains, the general result is that the victim is left with permanent damage.
Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries that occur in Illinois include the following:
- Spinal cord trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Significant nerve damage
- Severe burn injuries
- Birth injuries caused by medical malpractice
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
Along with the traumatic physical consequences of the injuries listed above, a catastrophic injury can also be anything that significantly affects the cognitive ability of the victims. This means that a catastrophic injury may not necessarily be visible on the outside of the victim’s body but will nonetheless affect how that person learns, remembers, functions, and interacts with others.
Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries like the ones we mentioned here usually require long term medical care. The amount and level of care required will depend entirely on the nature of the particular injury.
Types Of Compensation Available For A Catastrophic Injury Case
If a victim sustains a catastrophic injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, they should be able to receive compensation from the liable party. Catastrophic injuries usually cause the victim to incur significant financial losses. Additionally, these injuries usually end up causing a financial burden on the family members of the victim as well.
If a catastrophic injury is caused by the actions of another individual, company, or entity, it may be necessary for an injury victim or their family members to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation. Some of the common types of compensation that victims may be entitled to include the following:
- Full compensation of all medical expenses caused by the injury
- Coverage of any long-term care needs
- Lost income if the victim cannot work
- General out-of-pocket expenses the victim and their family incur
- Coverage of emotional and psychological pain and suffering damages
- Loss of quality of life damage
- Loss of consortium damages for a spouse
The total amount of compensation available to victims and their family members in the aftermath of a catastrophic injury will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding each particular case. It is strongly recommended that victims and their loved ones work with a qualified Chicago personal injury attorney who can handle every aspect of their case and help maximize the amount of compensation they receive.