What Makes An Injury Catastrophic? (or, When Is a Personal Injury Considered Catastrophic?)
This is a common question and the answer starts with how a catastrophic injury is defined.
Catastrophic Injury Definition
The legal definition of catastrophic injury is based on the definition used by the American Medical Association (AMA). According to the AMA, a catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures.
In the legal field and in daily conversation, the definition of catastrophic injury is expanded to include a significant injury to a critical body part or organ, or a severe injury that dramatically impairs one’s ability to function in a normal capacity. Oftentimes, this definition includes traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, amputations, loss of eyesight, and more.
Catastrophic Injury Attorneys Providing Help For Victims Of Catastrophic Injuries
At the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., we understand the physical, financial and emotional pain that injured people must endure. Our mission is helping them get quality medical care and maximum compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries
We provide results-oriented representation in cases involving:
- Traumatic brain injuries — including concussions
- Spinal cord injuries of all types
- Burn injuries resulting from negligence
- Amputation and disfigurement
- Loss of eyesight
Call us today at 866-262-3670 for a free consultation. We have offices in Los Angeles, Monrovia, West Covina and Palm Desert, California.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
What are some of the common causes of catastrophic injuries? Because injuries can happen anywhere, there’s no single smoking gun. But in terms of prevalence, there are a few areas where catastrophic or severe injuries happen more commonly.
Catastrophic Injuries in Car Accidents
Car accidents are commonplace (anybody who sits in rush hour on I10 or the 405 freeways can readily attest to this). We helped a client who had a limb severed when her car was crushed by a semi-truck in Riverside County. Many car crashes (and other motor vehicle accidents) involve rotational force injuries, meaning your skull is not fractured, but your brain is adversely impacted by the impact (think about your head hitting the air bag, or a window). These symptoms of injuries are not always pronounced, so you need somebody who knows how to determine the extent of your injury.
Catastrophic Injuries in Sports
Certainly football has been at the height of the conversation for traumatic brain injury over the past few years. It’s no secret the potential damage that the sport can do to young, developing bodies. We helped a high-school football player secure a $5.2 million dollar verdict for his injuries.
But what many people don’t know is cycling has a significant amount of catastrophic injury associated with the sport. In fact, there are more concussions in bicycling accidents than there are from football (at least those that have been reported). Feel free to check out some of the statistics below.
Catastrophic Injuries in Cheerleading
Most people don’t associate cheerleading as a contact sport. But when you launch a person 10 feet into the air, or do flips and cartwheels over and through a tight crowd, injuries like concussion, spinal cord trauma, or loss of eyesight can happen.
Catastrophic Injury Workers’ Comp
Catastrophic injuries that occur in the workplace are particularly distressing. Many people sustain injuries while on the job – in fact, we have a whole team dedicated to helping injured workers file and fight denial of workers’ compensation claims. But sometimes these accidents are quite severe. Imagine losing a limb while working on a machine that had a faulty part, or was improperly maintained. This is why you need an attorney who understands both personal injury as well as workers’ compensation laws in California.
Catastrophic Injury Statistics
- During 2005–2014, a total of 28 traumatic brain and spinal cord injury deaths in high school and college football were identified (2.8 deaths per year). The most common playing positions of those fatally injured were running back and linebacker. Approximately 18% of identified high school brain injury deaths were preceded by an earlier concussion, which might have led to second impact syndrome.
- In the year 2000, 690 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles.
- In that same year, 51,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic-related crashes.
- A bicyclist died every six hours in the year 2002.
We Work With Life Care Planners
In cases involving catastrophic injuries, our firm often retains the services of a life care planner. This medical professional can create a comprehensive care plan spanning the expected life of the injured person. This plan will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the injured person. It will identify all of the medical care, rehabilitation services and personal services the person will need for the rest of his or her life.
Our serious injury attorneys will then work hard to obtain the compensation that can pay for these services, as well as maximum compensation for all other economic and noneconomic losses.
No Recovery, No Fee
We provide no-risk representation to our clients. In addition to free initial consultations, we take every case on contingency. That means you will owe an attorney fee only if we win your case, to be paid out of the settlement or jury award you receive.
Free Consultation — Contact Us Today
To schedule your free case evaluation with one of our experienced lawyers, contact us by calling 866-583-9564.
Every employee at our firm is bilingual in English and Spanish to better serve our clients.
Sources and Catastrophic Injury Resources
- California Legislative Information http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codesTOCSelected.xhtml?tocCode=lab
- “Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Fatalities Among High School and College Football Players — United States, 2005–2014” https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6552a2.htm
- Catastrophic Injury, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catastrophic_injury
- National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, https://nccsir.unc.edu/reports/
- org, https://www.hg.org/catastrophic-injuries.html
- org, https://www.brainline.org/article/bicycle-safety