What Distinguishes Catastrophic Injuries from Other Personal Injuries?
The primary thing that distinguishes catastrophic injuries from non-catastrophic injuries is the lasting effect on the injured person. A “catastrophic” injury typically results in long-term impairment, lack of function, or permanently alters the enjoyment and functioning of a person’s life.
Sometimes the difference between “catastrophic” and “non-catastrophic” is that the injury is significant enough that it lasts for the rest of their life. That being said, there are also a couple more factors that differentiate the two types of injuries.
Inability to Maintain Employment
Maintaining employment is a factor that is often more important to people than the money that they can earn from being employed. We often gain our sense of purpose, our sense of being, our sense of who we are through what we do. If a person can no longer do what they did before, they could lose their income from that job and their sense of who they are.
People get a sense of well-being from what they do, and a traumatic injury takes that away from them. A skilled lawyer could gather evidence to prove the injury sustained decreased the individual’s earning capacity and quality of life.
Permanent or Long-Term Effects
Most of the time, if someone has had surgery on their neck or back following an injury, it will limit their function, and in some cases, it does not fix the problem only repairs it. The difference between being able to fix and repair an injury—and subsequently, a determining factor in whether an injury is catastrophic—is permanency.
Over time, when someone has had their back surgically repaired, they may develop arthritis, experience additional pain, or even have muscular or nervous system failure develop because of the unnatural wear that occurs after the surgery. However, these symptoms are not always debilitating or permanent.
Surgeries can get people out of a lot of pain and do a lot of good, but there are some catastrophic injuries that a doctor cannot perform a surgery, or can only repair some damage rather than addressing a fundamental problem. In severe cases, some people are injured catastrophically, and nothing can be done for them. In other cases, an attorney could have a person that, due to other health issues like diabetes or a heart condition, cannot have surgical intervention to help resolve the problem or lessen symptoms.
All these factors must be considered when determining whether harm is truly catastrophic. If you suspect you are dealing with catastrophic harm, you may need assistance from an attorney experienced with these uniquely complicated cases. Speak with a lawyer from McCraw Law Group to discuss your case.