Any type of accident, whether it involves a vehicle, sports, workplace equipment, etc. can cause serious personal injuries. Depending on the situation, victims may be able to recover within days or months after surgery or rehabilitation if a bone was broken, for instance. However, there are other kinds of injuries that are considered more severe. A catastrophic injury is legally defined as an injury with “direct and proximate consequences” that “permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”
This type of injury can have life-altering effects and in many cases causes the victim permanent damage. This can range from paralysis to brain damage to third-degree burns. Regardless of the specific injury, it alters the victim’s life in a way that usually requires compensation to cover medical costs or long-term care.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries are unique, but they not only impact the survivor in a significant way, but typically his or her family, too. It may require a family member to quit his or her job or take a leave of absence to care for his or her injured loved one. This can be emotionally and financially draining, especially if the victim requires 24/7 assistance. Even if a family member does not stay home, the family will likely have to hire a caretaker, which is a huge expense. A catastrophic injury can result in a limited future for survivors and their families.
Generally, catastrophic injuries can be classified as several different categories, such as the following:
- Physical: Examples of physical injuries include amputation, burns, fractures, organ or tissue damage, and loss of orthopedic function.
- Spinal Cord: These injuries only affect the spinal cord, resulting in permanent mobility limitations for victims.
- Cognitive: This type of injury arises from brain damage that restricts a person’s ability to speak, work, or create new memories. These are often the most costly kind of injuries, emotionally and financially.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Some of the common causes of catastrophic injuries include motor vehicle accidents, but they can also include workplace incidents, medical professional’s error, and faulty equipment. For example, an athlete can suffer a concussion if his or her protective gear is defective. Also, if an individual trips and falls due to unsafe workplace conditions, he or she can sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Below are some ways a person can sustain a severe and sometimes debilitating injury:
- Car, truck, motorcycle crashes
- Slip and falls
- Construction accidents
- Recreational/sports collisions
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
In many scenarios, an accident can be caused by negligence by another party. Property owners and employers in Illinois are required to provide a safe place for visitors and workers. Likewise, other motorists are expected to follow the rules of the road and drive safely. If anyone is found to be at fault for causing an accident, he or she can be held accountable and therefore liable for damages.
Contact a DuPage County Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury or illness due to someone else’s fault, you need to seek legal counsel. Depending on the circumstances of your case, negligence may have played a role in your injury. The Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. will thoroughly review the details of your accident to help determine liability. A dedicated Wheaton catastrophic injury lawyer can assist you in seeking compensation for your pain and suffering. Call our office today at 630-665-5678 to schedule a free consultation.