A phrase often used in the personal injury context, mostly by personal injury lawyers themselves, is “catastrophic injury” or “catastrophic injuries.” Experienced personal injury lawyers hold themselves out as handling “catastrophic injury cases”, but what does that really mean? The answer is not always clear.
Catastrophic, by definition, is something extremely harmful or severe. In the personal injury context, a “catastrophic injury” is an extremely harmful or severe physical injury to the body of a person, which may cause severe, and often permanent, pain and suffering, disability or death.
Catastrophic injuries often occur suddenly and without warning. The victim has no time to react and protect him or herself. Events that can cause catastrophic injuries include car accidents, truck accidents, train accidents and construction or other work-related accidents.
Negligence, or failure to use reasonable care, is often involved in an event that results in catastrophic injuries. Since catastrophic injuries require long-term medical care, and can result in permanent disability, it is important to contact an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer to help you recover the maximum amount in damages.
The term “catastrophic” is often relative. For instance, is nerve damage to a finger, and the partial loss of function to that finger, a catastrophic injury? Well, maybe not to a service professional whose employment, and everyday activity, is not impacted by the limited use of that finger. However, that same injury to a professional violinist may be devastating — i.e. catastrophic.
Some injuries are catastrophic no matter who they are incurred by. For instance, severe traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, can be devastating. The same holds true for severe burns, fractures, or other injuries involving a permanent injury or substantial pain and suffering.
To speak with a top personal injury lawyer in Chicago with experience handling catastrophic injury cases, call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500 for a free consultation.