Catastrophic injuries are severe spinal or brain injuries that result from an accident or trauma. These injuries often cause permanent disability and require lifelong care, which can be as emotionally taxing as they are financially draining.
If you or a loved one survived an accident that resulted in severe injuries, you can seek a Chicago spinal cord injury lawyer to look into your situation. Here are some essential facts about catastrophic injuries to help define your personal injury case.
When Do Catastrophic Injuries Occur?
Catastrophic injuries often occur due to a sudden, traumatic event such as a car accident, slip and fall, or sports injury. Car crashes occur more often, with approximately 858 traffic crashes in Illinois in 2019. These accidents can damage the spinal cord or brain beyond repair, resulting in paralysis or cognitive impairment.
Catastrophic injuries can also occur due to medical malpractice, such as when a surgeon operates on the wrong body part or leaves a foreign object inside a patient. Relatedly, defective drugs or medical devices can also cause catastrophic injuries if they lead to dangerous side effects or complications.
What Are Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?
Generally, injuries that classify as catastrophic include the following.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
About 1.5 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI) annually. When someone survives a car accident, they are likely to have bumped their head. In that case, parts of their brain may have sustained blunt force trauma. However, if the brain collides with the skull too forcefully, it can lead to more serious damage.
TBI effects vary between victims and can manifest differently. For instance, a survivor could develop difficulties with talking. Meanwhile, another person who survived the same accident could live with impaired cognitive function and memory.
Left untreated, these brain injuries could cause long-term effects and significantly lower the victim’s quality of life. Thus, it is critical to get a Chicago personal injury lawyer to help you get the full compensation you deserve.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Victims of this catastrophic injury sustained significant damage to their spine. Perhaps they slipped and fell (which affects over two million Americans yearly) because of a wet floor, landing on their backside and hurting their spinal cord. If the fall resulted in a vertebrae fracture, the victim may suffer from paralysis.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) damage can also affect other systems, such as the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, about 17,810 new SCI cases occur every year.
Since these types of injuries are so severe, it is essential to get a Chicago personal injury lawyer to help you win your case and get the maximum compensation you deserve. With these professionals on your side, you get access to the best medical care and treatments to improve your quality of life.
Severe burns can result from fires that break out in residential areas or car accidents. According to the American Burn Association, one American civilian dies of a fire accident every 2 hours and 41 minutes. Its recent statistics also reveal that 2,745 died in residential fires and 310 people died in vehicle crash fires.
These types of catastrophic injuries can cause physical and emotional pain. Also, the victim may have to spend a lot of time in the hospital for skin grafting procedures and other treatments to minimize the damage. Considering the irreparable damage that severe burns can cause, victims deserve to get the maximum compensation possible.
The loss of a limb is another catastrophic injury that could happen in car accidents, particularly if the victim was not wearing a seatbelt. According to the Amputee Coalition, about 185,000 amputations occur in the U.S. every year.
These types of injuries do not only have a physical impact. The victim also has to cope with the psychological trauma of losing a limb. They might need to relearn how to do simple tasks, such as brushing their teeth and combing their hair.
Adjusting to their new reality can be difficult to quantify. However, experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers will know how to get the maximum compensation for their clients.
Loss of Senses
Finally, this type of catastrophic injury can result from different types of accidents, including car crashes and slips and falls. For instance, if the victim hits their head hard enough, they could lose sight or hearing. Meanwhile, an electrical shock could cause the victim to lose their sense of touch.
Losing a significant level of one’s primary senses inhibits their ability to live a normal life. For instance, a victim who lost their sense of smell may not be able to taste their food properly. As such, Chicago personal injury lawyers will fight to get the best possible compensation for their clients.
Speak With a Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one survived an accident, it is essential to speak with a Chicago personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. These professionals will help you understand your legal options and ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Get in touch with our team today.