The term “catastrophic injury” is used frequently to describe the most debilitating injuries that result from accidents. Often, these are classified as severe brain injuries as well as damages to the spinal cord. However, the term may also be used for any type of injury that has life-altering consequences.
Identifying whether your injury is catastrophic or not could have a significant bearing on your personal injury case. Also, your medical road to recovery will depend greatly on the type of injury you have suffered. Outlined below are some of the key features of catastrophic injuries.
Defining catastrophic injuries
Catastrophic injuries typically share some characteristics in terms of both legal and medical definitions. Often, injured parties will lose essential functions of certain body parts, resulting in them needing assistance to perform routine tasks. Frequently, injured parties will experience severe cognitive decline, which may bring about significant psychological suffering.
Essentially, an injury that results in a drastic decline in a person’s ability to enjoy daily life could be classified as catastrophic.
Traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can refer to injuries such as concussions. However, they often include injuries that dramatically impact a person’s cognitive functions. Typically, for a TBI to be considered catastrophic, it would need to have the latter effect.
Spinal cord injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord commonly result in paralysis. Sometimes, this may be temporary. However, the impairments are often permanent. Common symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries may include the loss of a person’s ability to use their arms or legs. This can severely impact a person’s ability to carry out routine tasks and result in a patient requiring costly lifelong care.
Understanding how catastrophic injuries are classified could be in your best interests. If you have been injured in an accident, then it is important to know you have legal rights and protections.