Injuries are categorized as catastrophic because of the unexpected way they happen and how they leave the victim with lifetime consequences. Most people believe that only spinal cord injuries that leave the victim paralyzed as the only kind of catastrophic injuries. However, many types of these injuries happen without warning and at any place. Loss of sight, hearing, limbs, or the use of them are other types of catastrophic injuries. These injuries are so sudden that they turn the life of the victim upside down swiftly. The causes of these types of injuries are equally many. From road accidents, hospital malpractices, workplace accidents to falls in commercial buildings, catastrophic injuries can happen.
The costs associated with treatment and loss of income, as well as the suffering and pain the victim goes through, are very high. It is crucial to bring up a lawsuit against those responsible for the misfortune and get proper compensation to assist you in life. Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer who can help you know the next cause of action should be the first step after such an incident. Contact The LA Personal Injury Law Firm, and we will ensure you are well compensated for your injuries.
Various Types of Catastrophic Injuries
As earlier indicated, there are many kinds of catastrophic injuries. Some of these will include amputations, birth injuries, facial, eye, brain, crush spinal cord, sight, hearing injuries, among others. Causes of these injuries are equally limitless, with most of them happening as a result of road accidents, sporting accidents, boating, workplace, medical malpractices, fires, falls, and many more. Most victims of these injuries find themselves suddenly dependent on friends and family to do the most basic things.
Apart from the physical injuries, the victims suffer from psychological trauma as a result, which impacts their lives permanently. Even with financial compensation, the life of the victim does not get back to normal, but it makes it more bearable. Because many people do not understand the various kinds of catastrophic injuries, here, we will discuss them in great detail.
- Spinal Cord and Neck Injuries
The most common type of catastrophic injury known to many is the injury to the spinal cord. Vehicle accidents, falling from great heights as well as trampoline accidents, are some of the common causes of these injuries. Most spinal cord and neck injuries leave their victims paralyzed either partially or totally. Depending on how severe the injuries are, the victim may require specialized care for the rest of their lives. Deep-rooted emotional scars are also experienced by victims of these injuries that they may require therapy for a long time.
When a person suffers from a catastrophic injury, the lives of their loved ones are also affected. These injuries can be challenging to adapt to both the victim and their loved ones. There are various types of paralysis, as well as the level of their severity. Whether a person’s mobility is affected by an injury to the lower back or the upper back, caring for such a person is not easy.
Because injuries vary, discussing your situation with your doctor is vital to establish the kind of care and medical expectations you should be prepared for. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you need complete round the clock assistance, other medical procedures, and the type of physiotherapy.
Spinal cord injuries come in various types. Some of these include:
- Central Cord Syndrome – This type of injury causes damage to the middle of the cord. The injury can render your arms and sometimes the legs to lose their functionality
- Anterior Cord Syndrome – This injury damages the front part of the cord and results in loss of feeling or sensation below where the injury has happened
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome – This kind of injury causes damage on one side of the cord. Typically, it affects the movement of the injured side
- Posterior Cord Syndrome – This type of injury affects the back of the cord and causes victims to have coordination problems
Apart from the various ways a person can get their spinal cord injured, there are multiple levels to the degree of paralysis one can suffer. Some cases have seen victims regain partial mobility through physiotherapy, but others don’t. Some of the various types of paralysis a victim can suffer from include:
- Spasticity – this paralysis causes the victim’s muscles to be tight and stiff
- Hemiplegia – this paralysis affects the leg and arm of the victim typically but on a single side of the body
- Monoplegia – this paralysis impacts one limb
- Dysphagia – this type of paralysis usually impacts throat muscles
- Quadriplegia – this kind of paralysis impacts the legs and arms, it also extends to the abdominal area as well as the muscles of the chest
- Paraplegia – this paralysis affects both legs. In some cases, a person’s lower body is also affected as well as the pelvic area
The most severe of the paralysis types is the quadriplegia. As earlier discussed, this kind can affect a person from the chest muscles down to their legs. The degree of paralysis, in this case, can also vary. People suffering from C1 or C2 experience the most severe levels with those with C4 or over requiring a mechanical ventilator or other kinds of breathing aid.
The other kind of severe paralysis happens when a victim is injured underneath the beginning vertebrae on the upper back. A person living with this kind of paralysis can use their hands and arms, but their legs are paralyzed, confining them to a wheelchair.
Victims of these kinds of paralysis are likely to face challenges all through their lives. Some of them will be wholly dependent on caregivers for their survival, while others may be able to do a few things. Notwithstanding, anyone that suffers from injuries that can cause any paralysis has their lives turned upside down and will need to make adjustments to the same.
- Limb Loss and Amputations
Victims of catastrophic injuries that may result in the loss of limbs can be devastated. It may take a lifetime for a victim to adjust to living without a limb. Although with technology prosthetics have improved, the life of a victim will never be the same even with them. The cost of medical expenses is very high for the victim and their family and can lead to bankruptcy if they don’t get compensation. In addition to all this, the victim of this injury will have a life where he or she fits and refits costly medical prosthetics. Physical and occupational therapy also become part of their life. Getting proper compensation, although it will not bring the limb back, it helps to ensure that the life of the victim is comfortable after the injury.
The cost of medical care for amputation is very high. When the accident happens, the victim is rushed to the hospital immediately to save their limb if possible. If a medical malpractice results in a patient losing their limb, the patient is rushed to surgery immediately. After an amputation, the victim may require to stay in the hospital for an extensive amount of time for care. When the patient is healed, a rehabilitation program starts. The time the rehabilitation takes will vary depending on the loss.
When the patient is ready to be discharged from the hospital, they may be required to have follow-up doctor visits to monitor their progress. The patient may also be required to continue with more physiotherapy treatments that can last for years. The life of the patient is completely turned upside down with regular doctor appointments, fitting, and refitting of prosthetics, among others.
The causes of limb loss are varied. Factory accidents, road accidents, medical malpractices, falls, and many others are some of the causes of amputations. The cost of an amputation can be extravagant, but that’s nothing compared to what follows. This kind of injury can be costly to handle. Prosthetic limbs are incredibly expensive. Even lower-end ones can be hard to afford. As the years go by, there will be a need for constant adjusting of the prosthetics for the victim to be comfortable. The approximated cost of amputation is said to be about $91,000. This is exclusive of the care one needs for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, the quality of prostheticS is dependent on the patient’s budget. Technologically advanced prosthetics more so those of hands are costly to buy and fit. If one can afford better prosthetics, it will mean their quality of life will be better too. This makes it critical for one to speak to a personal injury attorney to ensure they get the best compensation possible for their injuries.
Being able to live without a limb is very difficult. Any catastrophic injury leaves a significant impact on the life of the victim. Even when one gets the most expensive prosthetic, it guarantees no good life neither are they a complete replacement of the lost limb.
Compared to other injuries, when an amputation happens, the victim will have lost a part of themselves that they cannot get back. After the wounds have healed, the victim may still have sensations and pain in the area that has been amputated. In some victims, this experience may be with them for the rest of their lives, affecting their quality of life.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can also be categorized as catastrophic injuries. In most cases, brain injuries happen together with spinal cord injuries. When a person suffers a catastrophic brain injury along with a spinal injury, it can be very devastating to both the victim and their family. Depending on how severe the injuries are, a patient may face lengthy hospitalization. In some cases, the victim may require specialized treatment in a special facility that may last a lifetime. In most catastrophic injuries through a road accident, most victims sustain spine and brain injuries that can be extremely traumatic at the same time.
Some of the common causes of these brain injuries include falls, workplace accidents, sports injuries, bike accidents, and slips, among others.
The medical term for traumatic brain injuries is intracranial injuries. These injuries happen when a person experiences extreme trauma in their head. If one suffers a severe blow to their head, a penetrating injury, or a jolt, it can result in a catastrophic injury of the brain. A person that suffers from a brain injury can suffer from lifelong emotional, cognitive, and mental challenges. In addition to this, victims can suffer from sight challenges, memory loss, depression, and hearing problems. Traumatic brain injuries are prevalent in road accidents that involve collisions with bigger vehicles.
The cost of treatment is very high. A victim starts with an initial hospitalization. However, depending on how severe the injuries are, the patient may have to undergo a series of surgeries. These surgeries can be very costly. Prolonged hospital stays are also part of the requirement with victims required to stay at the intensive care units.
In cases where the injuries are extremely severe, victims may live the rest of their lives through assistance by a caregiver or in specialized medical facilities. This is common in victims that will require respiratory support, and also, the type of care is not possible from their home. In addition to this, victims may lose their source of livelihood for extended periods because they are unable to work. Other victims may lose the ability to work for the rest of their lives and will depend on others for sustenance. This is even more devastating, where the victim was the primary breadwinner for the family. Lifelong treatments for the victim will also be costly for the family as well.
Most brain injuries will require extensive treatments and rehabilitation of the patient. Most people have to adjust to living with the catastrophic injury meaning their lives will never be the same again. The person is forced to spend the rest of their lives trying to get back their independence and can be frustrating. In addition to all these, the victim will suffer emotional and psychological trauma that will need therapy.
A traumatic brain injury can also cause other complications to the patient. These impairments are mostly neurological that may not be treatable. Some of these are urinary, respiratory, and gastrointestinal challenges. These complications can also lead to the patient requiring specialized care for the rest of their lives.
Catastrophic injuries also have various degrees of severity. In some, victims can suffer severe memory, emotional, and cognitive challenges that may be difficult to recover from while others with therapy, one can overcome them.
- Catastrophic Sporting Injuries
Any person involved in sports can find themselves getting a traumatic or catastrophic injury. Different sports pose different risks to those involved. Whether you are a professional sportsperson or a child or a student, one can get injured, and an excellent personal injury lawyer should help you get compensation.
Catastrophic injuries can happen to the face, brain, spinal cord, or even to the limbs, among other places. These kinds of injuries can have a lifelong impact on the victims. A child may have their cognitive development affected, their mobility and health can also be affected. This is possible even with older persons involved in sports. Some of these catastrophic injuries can be the end of careers, while others can be fatal.
There are different reasons why injuries occur in sports. Some of these reasons may be due to faulty equipment, unsafe facilities, performing without safety gear, among others. When injuries happen to the head and face can be catastrophic. Football is one sport where many head injuries happen. Traumatic head injuries can occur when a person hits the ground hard. Sometimes a player can also fall to an extent they hurt their spinal cord. If the fall is severe, it may result in damages that may cause paralysis.
Boxing is another sport that many people suffer head injuries from that can be catastrophic or fatal. A severe blow to the head can cause someone to have serious head injuries that can lead to more severe complications.
After a person experiences injuries in sports that are catastrophic, it is crucial to find out the cause, and if the injuries may have been avoided. In some instances, the equipment may be defective, or the safety gear is outdated, resulting in the injuries. Sometimes the coaches may not have been qualified to give instructions and made decisions that resulted in the injuries.
In sports, catastrophic injuries can also lead to deaths. If a person is irreparably injured during a game, an investigation must be carried out to establish the cause. If a person ends up dead during a sport due to an injury, their loved ones may need to sue for wrongful death. It is possible negligence led to catastrophic injury, which will make the victim deserve compensation.
Injuries in sports can also lead to loss of limbs. This is catastrophic and devastating for the victim and their loved ones. Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer is very important in such a case. You need to ensure that the victim is well compensated for making their lives more bearable.
- Catastrophic Medical Injuries
The last place a person expects to be injured is in a hospital or under the care of a doctor. Unfortunately, there are thousands of malpractice lawsuits all over the world. According to reports, after heart diseases and cancer, medical errors are third in causing deaths. Many people also suffer catastrophic and traumatic injuries as a result of medical malpractice. Many of these errors are due to negligence and can be avoided, thus sparing the patient pain and suffering.
There have been reports that surgeons leave objects inside patient’s bodies after an operation. Reports of operating on the wrong part are also very high. Although surgical procedures are risky, some injuries happen as a result of negligence on the part of the doctor.
Some doctors may delay to diagnose or perform the wrong diagnosis on a patient. His can severely compromise the health of the patient and in some cases, can lead to death. Negligence in the emergency room can lead to fatalities or making the injuries worse. These are some of the things that can cause catastrophic injuries in hospitals that would lead to death in some cases.
Other Catastrophic Injuries
As earlier defined, a catastrophic injury is one that happens suddenly and would change the life of the victim permanently. A fall can cause a person to experience a catastrophic injury. If one is climbing stairs in a commercial building holding on to the railing and it gives way, they may fall. If the height was significant, it might result in severe spinal injuries or head injuries. The owner of the building or the management can be liable for being negligent in the maintenance of the railings.
Sometimes in a workplace, an object can fly and land on a worker’s eye, damaging it completely. This is also catastrophic because it causes the person to lose sight in the eye or both eyes. Hearing is also another way a person can suffer a catastrophic injury. An accident in the workplace or working in a place where the noise is too loud that it damages the hearing of a person can also be devastating. The person can permanently lose their hearing, making it catastrophic.
Accidents in the workplace can cause catastrophic injuries. Supposing people work with dangerous chemicals, and they pour on a person’s hand, it is possible to cause a traumatic injury to the hand. This may lead to the worker losing the use of the hand, which will affect their lives permanently.
Impact of Catastrophic Injuries
Regardless of the cause and type of catastrophic injury, one thing they all have in common is the permanent change to a person’s life. When catastrophic injuries happen, the victims are never the same again. The injuries not only affect them physically but emotionally, and can lead to serious mental problems. The families of the victim are also affected and will often need counseling to deal with the trauma. Many victims of catastrophic injuries also lose their ability to earn an income, making them dependent on others. Rehabilitation for the victims becomes part of their daily lives and can be overwhelming.
Find a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me.
The emotional and physical trauma a victim of a catastrophic injury goes through is not easy to overcome. In a majority of cases, the life of the victims and their family is transformed completely. Some of these injuries are a result of carelessness, negligence, or misconduct of another person. Even when one is not able to get their lives back, they require living a dignified life. Getting compensation from those responsible will help make the victim’s life bearable to a great extent. Get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you get your rightful compensation. Find us at The LA Personal Injury Law Firm, and we will fight to get you rightfully compensated. Call us today on 310-935-0089, and we shall be glad to discuss your case with you.