A catastrophic injury can forever change a victim’s life. Since catastrophic injuries are often permanent in nature, the road to recovery can be long, complicated, and painful. Below, we discuss what you may expect with a catastrophic injury.
What Counts as a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are those that prevent a victim from ever returning to their pre-injury state of life. Most catastrophic injuries involve the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. This is because these systems are some of the most sensitive in the human body and any damage to them is often irreversible.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Severe burn injuries
- Injuries requiring amputation
- Broken bones
- Loss of vision and/or hearing
- Organ damage
What Causes Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries can occur in any incident where the body experiences blunt force trauma or severe shock. Such incidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Unsafe premises
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Work injuries
Catastrophic injuries can cause a lifetime of pain and suffering. And, to add insult to injury, most accidents that result in catastrophic injuries are preventable.
Can You Recover from a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are complex, and it’s rare to make a full recovery from one. However, patients who pursue a variety of treatment options may improve their health significantly. Treatment options for a catastrophic injury may include the following:
Initial Emergency Treatment
Virtually every catastrophic injury victim will visit the emergency room after their accident. ER visits alone can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the treatment received. Common ER treatments include:
- Blood transfusions
- MRIs or CT scans
- Cardiac monitoring
- Tube placements
- Lab testing
Rehabilitation and Therapy
Most catastrophic injury victims will need to undergo a long rehabilitation process to regain the cognitive and physical abilities they had before their accident. This process may include the following therapies:
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy aims to ease pain and help a patient function, move, and live better. Specific treatments given during physical therapy may include massage, heat, or cold therapy, exercises or stretches guided by a therapist, and/or practice using an artificial limb.
- Cognitive therapy: Cognitive therapy is a form of focused psychotherapy that is used to treat a variety of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.
- Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain meaningful activities or occupations in a patient’s life. It can help a patient return to work or relearn how to care for themselves after an injury.
- Speech therapy: Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders. This type of therapy may help patients who lost their ability to communicate after their accident.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a Catastrophic Injury?
The long-term consequences of a catastrophic injury can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. In addition to the often painful injuries these victims experience, they may also suffer from severe psychological trauma from their accident. Such trauma can have negative impacts on their close relationships.
Additionally, catastrophic injury victims often require life-long treatment. The treatment options discussed above can easily cost hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars, particularly when spread out over a lifetime. To compound this issue, most catastrophic injury victims cannot return to work or support themselves financially. These two factors combined can quickly throw a catastrophic injury victim and their family into financial ruin.
Most families do not have the funds or assets to pay for these often unexpected costs. However, there may be legal options for these families to pursue in order to recover the compensation they need for their loved one’s treatment.
Recovering Compensation After a Catastrophic Injury
With the right legal team on your side, you may be able to recover fair compensation from liable parties. The damages you may recover funds for include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Damages may be recovered not only for the victim, but for their loved ones as well. This is particularly true if the victim was the main provider for the family.
Suffered a Catastrophic Injury? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by another’s recklessness, our North Carolina personal injury attorneys are here to help. At Lanier Law Group, P.A., we understand the permanent consequences of a catastrophic injury, and we make it our mission to help clients through this difficult time.
We have a strong track record of success in such cases, and we have recovered millions for our clients. Learn how we can help you, too.
Call Lanier Law Group, P.A. at (855) 757-4204 to schedule a free consultation.