Most injuries upset the life of the victim for a few weeks or even a few months, but catastrophic injuries leave behind lifelong disabilities and impairments that severely impact the victim’s life. An injury of this type leaves a permanent change in the victim’s abilities to function physically or even mentally. Most people experiencing a catastrophic injury find themselves unable to hold down a job or to perform the same work they were doing prior to becoming injured. If someone else’s negligence caused your catastrophic injury, you have a right to collect damages from the at-fault party.
Many catastrophic injuries are injuries to the central nervous system, including spinal cord or brain, although catastrophic injuries may also involve the loss of limbs or digits, the loss of eyes or vision, deafness, or even internal organ damage. Tissue damage due to severe burns or lacerations can also leave behind permanent scarring, disfigurement and loss of sensation in affected areas. Car crashes, bicycle accidents, slips and falls, medical malpractice and even dangerous products can cause catastrophic injuries. Workplace injuries may be catastrophic, especially in the construction trade.
In the aftermath of a catastrophic injury, life is turned upside down for the victim. Most victims struggle financially with the loss of income, and they find themselves in need of assistance with basic living tasks. Some may require home health care, and others may need to stay in a rehab center to help them regain functionality or become accustomed to life with their new disability. The victim’s home may require modification to be able to accommodate a wheelchair. So many things change after a catastrophic injury, and ongoing expenses are typically high. For these reasons, seeking out a qualified and experienced catastrophic injury attorney is important.
If you sustained a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence or poor judgement, then you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable for:
In addition, if the act that resulted in your injury was particularly heinous, a judge may award you punitive damages. Punitive damages, unlike actual damages and noneconomic damages, seek to punish the at-fault party for their actions and serve as a deterrent to them to avoid such actions in the future.
Time is of the essence when it comes to filing your catastrophic injury claim. In the state of Pennsylvania, claimants have just two years from the date of injury to file any related claims. An exception to this is with medical malpractice, which allows two years from the date of the discovery of the injury.