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What Classifies As A Catastrophic Injury? 

In some car accidents and other types of personal injury cases, accident victims are fortunate to walk away from the accident scene with only minor scrapes and bruises. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. 

In some accidents, victims suffer a catastrophic injury that forever alters their lives and image of the future. But exactly what are catastrophic injuries? And how does this classification affect your personal injury claim? An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can explain this information and answer your questions during a free case review. 

Catastrophic Injury Definition

The term catastrophic injury means different things in different contexts. For example, 42 USC § 3796b, which deals with national programs for families of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty, a catastrophic injury refers to “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.” 

In contrast, the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research defines catastrophic injuries as “fatalities, injuries that result in permanent functional disability, and serious injuries that result in temporary functional disability with full recovery. 

Regardless of which definition you use, catastrophic injuries are serious injuries that may result in the loss of a body part or function, disfigurement and scarring, or functional limitations that have a catastrophic effect on victims and their families. Some catastrophic injuries create mobility issues for survivors, while others lead to the loss of critical bodily functions, such as bowel and bladder control or sexual function. Still others affect a person’s ability to speak, reason, or form new memories. 

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

There are many different types of catastrophic injuries. Often, these injuries affect the brain or spinal cord, potentially hindering mobility and altering the victim’s personality. 

Common examples of catastrophic injuries include:

These injuries can significantly impact the daily lives of accident victims and their families. 

How Does Having A Catastrophic Injury Affect My Personal Injury Case?

Accident victims have a right to be fairly compensated for the injuries and losses they suffer because of someone else’s negligence

Catastrophic injury claims are often more valuable than those that involve minor injuries because they may involve the following:

  • More expensive medical treatment – Individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries may need multiple surgeries, hospital stays, and ongoing medical support to treat their condition. Sometimes, they require round-the-clock care or extensive physical rehabilitation and therapy. 
  • Long-term income losses – Catastrophic injury victims may suffer injuries that are so severe that they are no longer able to work. This can result in a significant loss of money they could have reasonably expected to earn during their lifetime. Even if they are somehow able to work, they may have to take a lower-paying job. They can seek compensation for these losses or reductions in their earning power.
  • Extensive pain and suffering – Catastrophic injuries can cause significant physical pain and suffering. They can also cause emotional distress because the victims are not able to return to their former lives or may have depression about their current situation. Victims can seek compensation for these emotional, mental, and physical damages.
  • Disabilities and impairments – A separate aspect of damages compensates victims for the decreased quality of life they experience due to their disabilities and impairments. 

Additionally, these injuries may negatively impact victims’ families. The victim may no longer be able to engage in sexual acts with their spouse or provide affection in the same way to their children. They can be compensated for these losses.

Contact the Jacksonville Personal Injury Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you need to move forward. An attorney can discuss how they can help with your catastrophic injury claim during a free consultation.

For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra personal injury law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location today.

We serve Duval County, St. Johns County, and its surrounding areas:

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 396-1100

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 822-4225

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081
(904) 675-1167

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