How does a personal injury case differ from a catastrophic injury case?

Personal injury cases can arise after nearly any type of accident. Car accidents, slip & falls, pedestrian accidents, and more can lead to personal injury lawsuits. Catastrophic injury cases only happen when the victim’s life is irrevocably changed by the injury they sustained in an accident. 

According to the American Medical Association, a catastrophic injury is an injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain. In order to be considered catastrophic, the injury must preclude the victim from ever living normally again. For example, a brain injury like a concussion is serious but not life-altering. An anoxic brain injury that cuts off oxygen for an extended period of time can leave the victim mentally stunted for the remainder of their life. While it is true that catastrophic injury cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury cases, it is essential to understand how these types of cases differ. 

A personal injury attorney will consider the following things when handling a catastrophic injury case:

  • The cost of medical expenses, both past and future. Victims of catastrophic injuries usually require extensive medical care for the remainder of their lives. Unlike recoverable injuries, catastrophic injury expenses are ongoing and must be accounted for. 
  • Lost future wages. If the victim of the catastrophic injury can no longer work in their field, their lost income potential must be accounted for. For example, let’s say that a teacher suffers a car accident and winds up with quadriplegia. He would be unable to teach effectively and would therefore deserve compensation for the career he is no longer able to pursue. 
  • Pain & suffering. Both the physical and mental toll of catastrophic injuries is astronomical. This isn’t a regular consideration for pain and suffering. This accounts for a life that will never be the same.

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, it is important to find an attorney who understands the significance of this case; and who is comfortable working in this arena. The legal team at Herrera Law is ready and willing to take on a catastrophic injury case. We see it as our duty to help you secure the most comfortable life possible following your horrendous accident.

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