Understanding Catastrophic Injuries
After a catastrophic injury, a person can be left with severe, permanent injuries, which can result in a lifetime battle of complications. Not only can this be devastating for the individual, but it can also be a lifetime challenge for their families as well — especially if the person injured is no longer able to work or has died as a result.
After sustaining a catastrophic injury, many people are confused about what their legal rights are and what they can do to help protect themselves and their loved ones. Here is some information that you need to know.
What’s the Difference Between a Catastrophic Injury and a Regular Injury?
To help you understand what makes a catastrophic injury so different from a regular injury, we will use a broken arm injury as an example.
If you break your arm, you will most likely recover from this injury after getting medical attention and following doctors’ orders. Once your broken arm heals, most likely, you will be able to return to work and resume other normal activities that you enjoy. Such is not the case when it comes to a catastrophic injury, as a full recovery is not typical and can cause life-changing damages, injuries, or illnesses. Read on to learn more about what types of injuries are considered catastrophic.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
The following are the most common types of catastrophic injuries and some examples of each.
Spinal Cord Injuries - Damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves within the spinal cord, which can lead to paralyzation.
Amputation - Surgical removal of a limb or any other extremity such as an arm or leg.
Eye Injuries - Loss of an eye, loss of vision, chemical burns in the eye, or retinal detachment.
Traumatic Brain Injuries - Trauma or blow to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.
Dismemberment - Loss of a limb or any other extremity such as an arm or leg.
Severe Burns - Typically categorized as second-degree or higher and covering more than 10% of the body. The severity of a burn can depend on the type of burns, such as an electrical burn or chemical burn.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
The following are the most common ways catastrophic injuries can occur. While any type of catastrophic injury can be sustained in any kind of accident, the below also outlines the most common types of catastrophic injuries associated with each.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents - Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of catastrophic injuries. Some of the most common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries/paralysis, burns, disfigurement, and internal organ injuries.
- Construction Site Accidents - Catastrophic injuries are not uncommon when it comes to construction site accidents. Some of the most common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, loss of a limb.
- Medical Malpractice - Many of the above-mentioned catastrophic injuries can be a result of improperly handled surgery, improper use of anesthesia, wrong diagnosis, and more. You can learn more about medical malpractice claims here.
- Defective Products - Whether a manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn, any individual can be put at risk of any catastrophic injury that was mentioned above.
- Sports Events Accidents - (such as playing football or basketball) While playing any sport can put you at risk of a catastrophic injury, contact sports have a higher risk of sustaining the following injuries: spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, head, and neck trauma.
- Acts of Violence - Brain and spinal cord injuries can occur from an assault with any type of weapon.
- Accidents During Military Duty - Whether during combat, training, or any other military event, some of the most common catastrophic injuries sustained by military members are traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries/paralysis, burns, disfigurement, and other internal organ injuries.
How to Reduce Your Risk of A Catastrophic Injury
A catastrophic injury can happen without warning. While there is no way to prevent a catastrophic injury entirely from happening, you can be mindful of your safety while you are at work, playing sports or driving. Here are some general tips to keep you safe:
When working on construction sites or in areas where you will be exposed to hazardous materials, be sure to wear safety gear such as helmets, gloves, as well as protective eye gear and clothing. It’s also critical to be aware of your surroundings and look out for any items that are in the walkways that could cause a trip or fall. If you notice any unsafe working conditions, be sure to report them to your employer so that it can be corrected.
When playing any type of sport, it’s important to remember to wear safety equipment that can protect you from sustaining an injury. For example, wear properly fitting helmets to protect your head as well as mouthguards, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear.
Safety While Driving
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top ways that catastrophic injuries can happen. By practicing defensive driving, you can reduce your risk of sustaining a catastrophic injury from an accident. When driving, stay clear of drivers who may be doing the following:
- Driving aggressively or erratically
- May be intoxicated
- Texting or talking while driving
- Not obeying traffic signals and other rules of the road
Is it Possible to Recover From a Catastrophic Injury?
While you may heal from a catastrophic injury, many secondary health issues can come along with a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries are just the start of lifelong potential challenges you or your loved one may encounter. The long-term pain can be difficult to endure, but treatment (not a cure) can help ease the effects of a catastrophic injury. For example, some of the additional health problems you may encounter include::
- Brain damage
- Chronic pain
- Nerve damage
- Loss of vision, hearing or speech
Contact a Corpus Christi Personal Injury Lawyer
After sustaining a catastrophic injury, it’s critical to understand your legal rights as well as understand how to proceed after such a life-changing event.
If you or a loved one has sustained a catastrophic injury, our Corpus Christi personal injury attorneys are here to help. At Bandas Law Firm, we understand the life-altering burdens that a catastrophic injury can have on you both physically and financially. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (361) 238-2789 to learn how we can assist you.