Catastrophic injury is a subcategory of personal injury that classifies a severe, unexpected injury to a person that has life-altering effects for the victim and their family. Accidents that cause spinal cord injuries or result in paralysis commonly fall into this category as do brain injuries, but there are many different types of catastrophic injuries as well as causes.
If you or a family member are catastrophically injured in an accident due to another person’s negligence, you may have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages for financial, physical, and lost enjoyment of life. Continue reading to learn more about catastrophic injury, the laws that pertain to filing a claim, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can help you and your family on the road to recovery.
Determining Catastrophic Injury
Catastrophic injuries are determined not by how the injury was obtained but by the severity of the injury and the lasting effect it will have on a person’s life. In this way, the types of injuries that can be considered catastrophic are almost limitless. If an injury is so significant that it prevents the victim from living their life or will take years of care and rehabilitation, it may be considered catastrophic.
Some injuries such as brain damage and spinal cord injuries can be classified as catastrophic immediately, but less obvious injuries may take years to manifest or diagnose. The determination depends on the assessment of doctors and specialists.
Potential Causes of Catastrophic Injury
- Burns and explosions
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Oilfield accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Violent crimes
- Bicycle accidents
- Defects in premises
Types of Catastrophic Injury
- Burns and explosions
We have filed and successfully concluded numerous cases where burns have catastrophically changed people’s lives.
- Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
Accidents that cause damage to the neck or spinal cord are a common type of catastrophic injury. Falls are among the causes of neck and spinal cord injuries. Injuries that impact the spinal cord can develop a combination of serious medical issues including paralysis and loss of feeling in parts of the body, the loss of function or control of parts of the body or difficulty breathing, among other symptoms.
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury or TBI is usually a result of a severe impact to the head or the result of an object penetrating brain tissue. Depending upon the severity of the injury, victims may face cognitive or emotional issues as well as struggling with ordinary tasks, such as brushing their teeth or feeding themselves, that require motor control. High-impact accidents such as car or truck accidents commonly cause TBI. Bicyclists and pedestrians involved in car accidents are at particular risk for TBI due to the nature of the accident and the size and force of objects on impact. Even “slips and falls” have caused traumatic brain injury in our clients.
- Amputation or Limb Loss
If a person’s limb is injured beyond repair or keeping it would put them at further medical risk, amputation can be the best life-saving solution. Losing the use of one or multiple limbs due to an accident can drastically affect a person’s livelihood and quality of life. Effects of amputation include extensive medical procedures and therapies, prosthetic limbs, continuing pain, and emotional trauma. Amputations are commonly seen in crush injuries caused by work accidents, truck accidents, as well as train accidents.
Statute of Limitations
If you are hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a lawsuit against that individual or organization in order to seek damages. However, there is a limited time in which you can file a personal injury lawsuit, called a statute of limitations. These laws provide a deadline for a plaintiff to take legal action.
Statutes of limitation can vary from state to state, so it is important that you promptly seek legal advice. We have filed and successfully concluded cases for clients from 40 of the 50 states after determining the statute of limitation that applies.
For example, for many incidents that cause damage in Wyoming, a person filing a personal injury claim has four years from the time that the injury was sustained to file their lawsuit. There are shorter times, generally two years, for claims against health care providers and governments, There are some exceptions if it was impossible to discover the wrong within the time allowed. Some statutes require notice to the wrongdoer before you can even file a claim.
A statute of limitations does not require that your case be completed within the time allowed for filing, but by law, you must file your case within the time allowed. While two years or four years may seem like a long time, do not delay contacting an attorney. The sooner you begin working with experienced representation, the sooner you will be able to file your claim. There are many complexities that can arise as an attorney develops your case including exceptions in the law and in-depth investigations that will require time. It is imperative that you connect with an experienced personal injury attorney right away to ensure your case can be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations.
The point is “don’t guess” and “don’t delay” contacting a lawyer.
How We Can Help
We understand the significant effect a catastrophic injury can have on not only the victim but their entire family due to the nature of the incident and severe physical, financial, and emotional repercussions and concerns. It is our goal to help you receive justice for your injuries while you focus on recovery.
When called for, our catastrophic injury lawyers will go to trial to fight for a proper result, rather than simply settling out of court. We have obtained multiple record-setting verdicts on behalf of our clients including the largest verdict for physical injuries ever in Wyoming. The court awarded $22 million to a coal miner and his family after he suffered a brain injury and paralysis while working in a dangerous environment.
We have the experience and resources to investigate complex cases that take on large insurance companies, trucking companies, medical providers and product makers. We can discuss your rights and help you decide the best course of legal action for your case.
As with any personal injury case, if you were injured due to the negligence of another, it is important to seek legal representation as quickly as possible following a catastrophic injury.
Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm to discuss the details of your case and get the legal support you need to begin your path to justice.