If you are injured in an Erie car accident, motorcycle crash, or truck accident, you may wonder if your injuries rise to the level of “catastrophic.” To an accident victim, any injury can be catastrophic.
According to Macmillan Dictionary, catastrophic is an adjective that means “causing a lot of damage, or making a lot of people suffer.” In reality, catastrophic may not mean the same thing to one person as it does to another person. In the legal field, there is not a universally accepted definition of a catastrophic injury.
Why do I Hear About Catastrophic Injuries?
If the law does not define a catastrophic injury, why do we even use the term? In many cases, we use catastrophic to define cases where the victim suffers an injury so great that it completely changes the victim’s life and the lives of his or her family forever. For example, an accident victim who loses a limb, suffers a spinal injury that results in paralysis, or sustains a brain injury that results in permanent brain damage may be considered to have suffered a catastrophic injury.
In each of these cases, the victim’s life will never be the same because of the injury. Furthermore, the lives of the family members will never be the same. The victim can no longer enjoy the same things as he did prior to the accident. In some cases, he can no longer care for himself requiring family members to provide personal care. The limitations or disabilities caused by the injuries fits the definition of catastrophic in that the injuries caused “a lot of damage” that resulted in “people suffering.”
In other cases, we use the term catastrophic to describe injuries that cause substantial financial damages for the victim and the victim’s family. While there is not a specific dollar amount we use to separate a catastrophic injury from other injuries, a catastrophic injury usually results in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in damages.
Because the victim sustains an injury that results in permanent disability or impairment, the medical bills, lost wages, and on-going medical treatments and personal care can quickly total millions of dollars, especially if the victim is young in age and expected to live for many decades. Attorneys often use medical and financial experts to document the anticipated financial losses based on the severity of the injury, the person’s prognosis, age, occupation, education, and life expectancy.
Do I Need an Attorney for A Catastrophic Injury?
Because the amount of damages is expected to be very high with a catastrophic injury, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Erie personal injury attorney. Catastrophic injury cases can be complex and require a certain level of experience and legal knowledge. The insurance company for the other party is not looking out for your best interest. You need an Erie personal injury attorney who will protect your best interest.
Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. Our Erie personal injury attorneys have the experience, skills, knowledge, and resources needed to handle a complex catastrophic injury case. We want to help you recover the maximum compensation available for your claim so you can continue trying to repair the damage caused by a tragic accident.