Attorneys often discuss their ability to bring lawsuits in catastrophic personal injury cases, but the word “catastrophic” is not necessarily a legal term that you will find in state personal injury statutes. Instead, “catastrophic” is referring to the type of injuries and other damages that a victim suffers.
Because catastrophic injuries, by definition, will severely impact a personal injury victim’s life and livelihood for many years – and, in some cases, their entire life – it is important to work with an experienced attorney who has the skills necessary to win the recovery a victim of a catastrophic injury needs to support themselves and their family through the long years of recovery following the injury.
“Catastrophic” Refers to the Type of Injuries and Financial Losses Suffered
Again, “catastrophic” does not have a specific meaning in the law, but rather is a flexible term applied to personal injury cases where a victim experiences an injury that upends their life for many years. Common types of losses and injuries in a catastrophic personal injury lawsuit include:
- Spinal and spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Full or partial paralysis
- Inability to earn a living for years
- Need of personal caretakers over the long term
- Inability to drive (or need of specially outfitted vehicle)
- Long-term hospitalization
Catastrophic injuries can occur in a number of contexts, but common situations in which catastrophic injuries do occur include auto and truck accidents, sporting accidents (football and cheerleading are both leading sports for these accidents), intentional physical assaults (including fights and shootings), and recreation accidents.