Catastrophic injuries occur fast, without warning, and leave a victim suffering from long-term consequences and life-changing impacts. According to the National Safety Council, 55.4 million injuries occur each year, resulting in $1,158.4 billion in costs. Though not all of these injuries are considered catastrophic, many are.
Many people assume that a “catastrophic injury” might leave the victim suffering from paralysis or quadriplegia — or even a long-term vegetative state. Though these are both forms of catastrophic injury, the definition is much broader and can cover many other types of injuries as well.
Unfortunately, many are unaware of the exact definitions of catastrophic injuries and so may not realize when they have been affected by one. If you think you may have experienced a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of a company or person, it’s best to consult with a professional.
Should you decide to pursue a claim for your catastrophic injury (or the injury of a loved one), Carr & Carr’s team of legal experts is here to assist you in your catastrophic injury suit. You may schedule a call with our Oklahoma City team here.
What qualifies as a catastrophic injury?
A catastrophic injury is defined by the American Medical Association as “a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain and may also include skull or spinal fractures.”
Catastrophic injuries have permanent, lasting effects that alter a person’s life. The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research classifies catastrophic injuries in three ways:
- Injuries causing permanent severe functional disability
- Injuries causing severe head or neck trauma with no permanent disability
Generally, a catastrophic injury case can be pursued if the victim:
- Needs lifelong care
- Is permanently disabled
- Is not able to work as a result of their injury
What compensation has been awarded to catastrophic injury victims?
After receiving a catastrophic injury, it’s expected that there will be extensive medical bills. However, initial medical bills are often the least of an injury victim’s expenses. With a catastrophic injury, one might expect that you also incur costs for:
- Ongoing medical services
- New assistive devices
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Home renovations (to accommodate wheelchairs, assistive devices, etc.)
- Loss of income
- Caregiver loss of income OR cost to hire a caregiver
- Pain and suffering
Because of this, catastrophic injury cases are often involved, drawn out, and can equal massive sums of money to the awarded victim. However, it’s important to have legal representation on your side in order to avoid the stress and time it requires to pursue this kind of claim.
How can you pursue a claim for a catastrophic injury?
When a catastrophic injury is suffered, there may be other parties responsible. Oftentimes, the victim’s injury is a result of negligence on the part of another. That negligence may be medical in nature, such as a mistake in surgery, or it may be due to poorly manufactured equipment, a slip-and-fall, etc. Catastrophic injuries can also happen in your place of work.
Whatever the injury, if victims believe their injury resulted from negligence or intentional harm, they may bring a case to court. The first step in pursuing any case is to consult with a legal team or catastrophic injury lawyer. Your lawyer will calculate the financial, physical, and personal damages incurred by the injury, and use that data to inform the initial court claim.
If a plaintiff pursues a catastrophic injury case, it’s important to be aware of the potential ramifications of the proceedings. Unlike with minor injury cases, these cases may result in the award of large amounts of money. Therefore, the defense may attack a plaintiff’s character during proceedings.
However, if the catastrophic injury has resulted in permanent damage, whether physical, psychological, emotional, or financial, it’s important to have a strong lawyer on your side. There are many nuances in catastrophic injury cases, and a well-educated legal team will be your greatest asset.
Find a catastrophic injury lawyer in Oklahoma City
If you’ve suffered a serious or catastrophic injury and you reside in or near Oklahoma City, the Carr & Carr team is here to help.
Our lawyers have helped people with various injuries, including catastrophic brain and spinal injuries. These injuries occurred in automobile collisions, railroad accidents, oil field blowouts, plane crashes, elevator malfunctions, and slip-and-fall accidents, to name just a few circumstances.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury resulting in permanent and lasting damage, you may be entitled to compensation. Our legal team is here to assist you and fight for what you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact our Oklahoma City office and schedule your free consultation.