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Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Posted in Personal injury on May 31, 2023

A catastrophic injury refers to a severe or significant level of damage, such as a bodily injury that causes a long-term or permanent disability. In personal injury law, catastrophic injuries can qualify victims for greater financial compensation than mild to moderate injuries for a lifetime of foreseeable costs. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a recent accident in West Virginia, it is important to protect your rights by retaining an experienced Fairmont personal injury attorney.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The brain is a vital organ that controls virtually every part of the body. It is responsible for conscious actions and movements as well as unconscious or involuntary life-sustaining processes, such as breathing. Damage to the brain in an accident can cause catastrophic harm to a victim. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, could affect the victim’s motor function and cognitive abilities temporarily or permanently. A severe TBI could cause irreversible brain damage and severe disability. In the worst-case scenario, a TBI can be fatal.

Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis

The spinal cord is another critical body part that, when injured, can cause a catastrophic level of damage to a victim. The spine is responsible for transmitting messages from the brain to the body. If the spinal cord sustains an injury, this could permanently disrupt the messaging system and cause paralysis: the loss of feeling or sensation and motor function below the point of injury.

The two most common types of paralysis are paraplegia and quadriplegia. Paraplegia is paralysis from the waist down, while quadriplegia is paralysis of all four limbs and the trunk of the body. Paralysis is typically irreversible. Victims who suffer serious spine injuries may be restricted to wheelchairs or the use of other mobility-assistive devices for the rest of their lives. They may also require around-the-clock care.

Amputation or Loss of Limb

Amputation refers to the removal of one or more body parts. Traumatic amputations can occur in catastrophic accidents, such as a workplace disaster that cuts off a limb. Amputations can also be caused by medical malpractice, such as a surgeon removing the wrong limb. Amputations result in a variety of physical debilitations that can interfere with a victim’s ability to earn a living wage. Furthermore, the loss of a limb can cause significant emotional distress, such as reduced quality of life.

Severe Organ Damage

The internal organs can suffer severe damage in many types of accidents, including a car accident or catastrophic fall. If an organ gets bruised, lacerated, punctured or otherwise injured in an accident, it could stop functioning correctly or fail completely. This can lead to severe consequences or death for a victim. Other internal injuries, such as internal bleeding (hemorrhaging), could also be catastrophic for a victim.

Multiple Bone Fractures

More than one bone fracture at a time is considered a catastrophic injury. Multiple bone fractures can render a victim unable to engage in daily activities or live independently while he or she is in recovery. A compound fracture, also called an open fracture, is also catastrophic in the amount of damage it inflicts on a victim. Serious broken bone injuries may cause lifelong damage, such as limited mobility.

Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement

If an injury results in permanent, significant scarring and disfigurement, this can constitute a catastrophic injury. A third-degree burn injury, for example, could create disfiguring scars on a large percentage of the victim’s body. Scar tissue may not only cause emotional harm in the form of an altered self-image but also physical effects, such as painful contractures and permanent nerve damage.

Why You Need to Hire an Attorney for a Catastrophic Injury

If you have suffered any type of catastrophic injury in an accident in West Virginia, contact an attorney at Manchin Injury Law Group for a free case consultation. You may be entitled to more financial compensation than an insurance company initially offers for a life-altering injury. Before you accept a settlement, consult with our lawyers to learn the true value of your claim.