Senior man has his neck held by an EMT after suffering injuries in a car accident

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is one that results in debilitating physical, emotional, and/or financial harm. These types of injuries often require extensive medical treatment and may leave the victim unable to work or take care of themselves.

Sadly, these types of severe injuries are often the result of accidents that can occur during everyday activities, such as driving a motor vehicle, operating a motorcycle, or even as a passenger in a car, bus, or another type of commercial vehicle.

Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that car accidents are one of the leading causes of severe unintentional injuries in the United States. What's more, unintentional injuries are the top cause of death for American residents aged 1-44 years old.

CDC data also states that in 2020, there were 2.1 million emergency department visits for car accident injuries from motor vehicle accidents affecting members of all age groups. Similarly, over 40,000 people lost their lives in car accidents in the U.S. that year.

Regretfully, serious injuries in car accidents cannot always be prevented. Even if you’re the best driver on the road, there is still a chance that someone else could unintentionally harm you in a crash.

If another person caused your catastrophic injury in a car crash or another type of accident, you might be able to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

This blog post will define a catastrophic injury, provide examples, and discuss the compensation that can be recovered in this type of case.

The High Cost of a Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic injuries are typically those that cause significant, lifelong harm to victims. They may result in paralysis, amputation, brain damage, or other serious harm. These injuries often require extensive and expensive medical treatment.

Unfortunately, medical care in the United States can be wildly unaffordable, so when a catastrophic injury occurs, it might also become a financial detriment to the victim.

In addition to the cost of treatment, victims of catastrophic injuries may also lose income if they’re unable to work. This can put a serious strain on the victim and their family.

Similarly, catastrophic injury victims often require ongoing care during recovery and even beyond, which means that a caregiver is typically necessary. Care of this nature is very costly and having a loved one step away from work to care for an injured victim can not only be expensive but take a significant toll on the well-being of the family.

As a result, catastrophic injury victims should seek help to recover compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit.

Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries

If you are successful in filing a personal injury lawsuit after suffering a catastrophic injury as a result of a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover various types of compensation. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The amount of compensation you are eligible to receive will depend on the specific facts of your case.

For example, if another driver was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation from their insurance company. If the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you might be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company.

In some cases, filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries may also be possible. This could be the other driver, a negligent property owner, or even a defective product manufacturer. If successful, you may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to other types of compensation.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries occur all across the country every day. Some common examples of catastrophic injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
  • Brain damage
  • Severe burns
  • Spinal cord injuries

These are just a few examples that occur most frequently as a result of a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, although this list is not designed to be exhaustive.

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injuries

In Los Angeles, there is almost no avoiding driving a car. Most Angelinos do not have the luxury of being able to walk to every destination they need to go to.

As a result, traffic congestion is inevitable. Accidents are bound to happen with so many people on the roads at any given time.

Sadly, motor vehicle accidents frequently cause severe harm to those involved, and catastrophic injuries are common. There are numerous types of car accidents that can cause a catastrophic injury, but some of the most common include:

  • T-bone collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions

These kinds of accidents often result in victims suffering traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that resulted in a catastrophic injury, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Some Catastrophic Injury Statistics

As stated, according to the CDC, over 2.1 million emergency room visits were due to serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents in 2020.

Medical expenses and other costs stemming from the loss of life or loss of quality of life totaled $430 billion in 2020.

Safety Tips to Prevent Catastrophic Injuries on the Road

Whether you drive a car, truck, SUV, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, or some other type of vehicle, it is important to drive defensively to avoid accidents. While it may be impossible to avoid certain accidents due to the behavior of others, there are some things you can do to help keep yourself safe from serious accidents.

Some defensive driving techniques you can use to help keep yourself safe from harm include:

  • Obey the speed limit.
  • Do not tailgate.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Use your turn signals.
  • Anticipate the actions of those around you.
  • Look twice for motorcyclists.
  • Don’t expect the other person to obey the law or use common sense.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Make eye contact with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other drivers when possible and necessary.

Unfortunately, even if you are the safest driver on the road, you cannot control the actions of others.

Contact an Experienced Catastrophic Injury Attorney

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and pursue the compensation you need and rightfully deserve for substantial losses due to a catastrophic injury.

If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation today. We can help investigate your case and determine who might be liable for your injuries. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and will do our best to fight to get you the compensation you deserve for the harm you have endured.

Contact our office today by calling (310) 683-2300 or filling out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to reach out to someone from our team right away.