Any injury can have a major impact on accident victims and their families. But catastrophic injuries can be especially devastating. They can last a lifetime, lead to exorbitant medical bills, and prevent people from working and caring for themselves.
Fortunately, accident victims can file a personal injury claim to recoup their losses and expenses from the party who caused their accident. The attorneys at Tronfeld West & Durrett can help you file your claim to recover economic and noneconomic damages related to your accident and injuries.
What are the common causes of catastrophic injuries?
Catastrophic injuries may occur in any accident. This includes:
Whatever the cause, if another party is at fault, then victims and their families can pursue a personal injury claim. All claims require proving that the defendant was negligent and caused the accident and injuries, and that the claimant suffered damages.
Standard Injuries vs. Catastrophic Injuries
Both standard and catastrophic injuries may require victims to miss work for treatment and recovery. The difference is the degree to which the injury affects earning capacity, medical costs, and psychological and emotional health.
Typically, accident victims with minor injuries return to work after a few days, weeks, or months of recovery. While they may continue to experience some difficulties, they are usually able to work and care for themselves.
Those who suffer catastrophic injuries may experience more drastic damages:
- They may be unable to work again, or must change careers to accommodate a disability.
- They may require expensive, ongoing medical care. This might include in-home nursing care, assistive devices like wheelchairs, and medication.
- They may be unable to care for themselves or engage in activities they once enjoyed. This can have profound effects on mental health.
Types of Catastrophic injuries
Here are some common catastrophic injuries people suffer in accidents:
- Traumatic Brain Injury – Victims who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may experience headaches, memory loss, cognitive difficulties, and other symptoms. The long-term consequences depend on the severity of the injury. Those with severe TBIs may be unable to walk, talk, or perform everyday tasks. Those with TBIs may require long-term care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Loss of limb – Amputation is a difficult reality for some accident victims. Some suffer traumatic amputation, while others require surgical amputation after an accident. Adjusting to life without an arm or leg can be challenging. Some people find themselves needing to change careers and require assistive devices.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – The effects of a spinal cord injury depend on the location and severity of the injury. Accident victims may become partially or completely paralyzed. Paraplegia causes paralysis from the waist down; quadriplegia from the shoulders down. In either case, those with spinal cord injuries may require extensive therapy and at-home care, and may also lose some of their earning potential.
- Burns – People may suffer severe burns in electrical accidents, fires, vehicle accidents, and other traumatic accidents. Burns may require a long, painful recovery. Many burn victims require extensive treatment, suffer permanent disfigurement, and experience negative mental health effects.
Recovering Compensation for Catastrophic Injury
The physical, emotional, and financial difficulties that come with a catastrophic injury can be a lot to handle. A successful claim allows victims to recover compensation for these damages. Your claim may cover the following costs and losses:
- Medical expenses – This includes medical treatments, medications, hospital fees, and physical therapy costs.
- Lost wages – Many people who suffer a catastrophic injury will not be able to return to work for a long time after the accident. Compensation can cover lost wages during recovery.
- Loss of future earning capacity – Those who suffer catastrophic injuries may not be able to return to the same job they once had. Some may not ever be able to work again. Calculating lost earning capacity includes considering the age, skill level, experience, and education of the victim.
- Psychological and emotional trauma – Victims of catastrophic injuries may suffer a great deal both physically and emotionally. They may recover damages for any emotional trauma and mental anguish related to their injuries. Many people call these pain and suffering damages.
Recovering from a catastrophic injury can be overwhelming for both the victim and their family. The attorneys at Tronfeld West & Durrett help families in Virginia recover compensation for their damages. With years of experience handling personal injury cases, our staff will investigate the facts of your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve. For more information on filing your claim, contact our firm today at 804-358-6741.