The Importance of Recovering Compensation After a Catastrophic Injury
One of the most important things we know from handling catastrophic injury cases—and one of the reasons that life care planning is so important with all long-term injuries—is that there is a correlation between the type of long-term care a person receives and the length and quality of their life. The best example of that is the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.
Greg Abbott was catastrophically injured when a tree fell on him in Houston many years ago. Fortunately, he has since outlived his life expectancy by many years because he was able to make a significant financial recovery after his injury. That compensation was used to pay for all the care that he needed for many years.
As a result, he has lived a long and fruitful life, and he has become an important man in our state. He has served on the Supreme Court of Texas as an Attorney-General of Texas, and now he is Governor of Texas and has been for a long time. However, without the financial ability to deal with the comorbidities that come with paralysis—in other words, without the money to be able to make sure that pressure sores do not develop, and that any such condition that does develop is treated appropriately and quickly—his life expectancy would likely have been much shorter.
The same thing can happen to anybody who has had a catastrophic injury. If we can make a good financial recovery and structure it right, the injured person often gets much better medical care, and they live a long and full life.
Being at a Greater Risk of Harm
Lack of proper care, on the other hand, can have a variety of side-effects, some of which may not seem immediately connected. For example, a paralyzed person without the money to pay for necessary personal care may be unable to get themselves out of danger from accidents like car wrecks, or a criminal encounter. People who are going to commit violent crimes very often target people who are impaired.
Just having that impairment makes someone much more likely to sustain that type of violence. One of the preventative things that money from financial recovery can do is put a person in a situation where they are less likely to encounter those problems. Putting them in a place of safety can be the difference between life and death.
Putting them in a position where they are subject to a lot of crime because they do not have the financial resources to take care of themselves or live in a decent neighborhood can be a life-or-death decision, and we should not allow defendants to make that decision. The person whose bad choices have already taken something from this person should not be allowed to put them in a situation of increased danger going forward. All of those are factors that we consider when we have a catastrophic injury case.