Unfortunately, if you become involved in an auto or other type of motor vehicle accident, the result could be a variety of serious injuries. But which of these are truly catastrophic?
The first thing you need to know about catastrophic injuries is that, as explained by The Lawyer Monthly, this is not a medical term. Rather, this is a legal term used by personal injury lawyers and the insurance companies that represent negligent defendants to refer to the most serious, and likely life-changing, injuries that your auto accident can cause.
Catastrophic injury attributes
Most lawyers and insurance companies agree that, to qualify as catastrophic, your injury must result in at least one of the following:
- A lengthy hospital stay
- Major surgery
- Follow-up physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Life-changing long-term consequences
Catastrophic injury examples
No one denies that all of the following types of injuries definitely qualify as catastrophic:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Crush injuries requiring amputation of a limb
- Any injury that results in your substantial loss of vision or hearing
- Any injury that disables you, partially or totally, and prevents you from working
Catastrophic injury costs
It goes without saying that a catastrophic injury result in extraordinarily high costs and losses. These include not only the costs of your initial medical treatments, but also those that you likely will incur in the future, possibly for the rest of your life. They also include not only your physical injuries, but also the mental and emotional effects of them. Finally, they include your loss of income, both current and future, attributable to your injuries.