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Car Accidents

When Is a Personal Injury “Catastrophic?”

As their name implies, a catastrophic injury is an injury that has particularly devastating consequences. When you suffer a catastrophic injury, it’s highly likely that your life may never return to normal, since you’ll probably have suffered permanent, debilitating damage. But what exactly makes an injury “catastrophic?”

At The Stewart Law Firm in Austin, we’ve helped many clients come to terms with their catastrophic injuries. Whether you or a loved one has suffered damage to your brain, spine, joints, or other body parts due to an accident, we can help you understand what this means for the rest of your life and how you can move forward.

Our team of Texas personal injury attorneys is dedicated to helping those who have suffered catastrophic injuries through no fault of their own, and we’re here to guide you in understanding the compensation you may be entitled to. Let’s take a closer look at this designation and determine what exactly it means.

Catastrophic Injury Definition

One of the most widely-accepted definitions for a “catastrophic injury” is an injury that permanently prevents someone from being able to perform any gainful work ever again.

In other words, this is an injury that is so severe and so impactful, that the person who sustains it cannot work in any way that they could reasonably expect to make a living ever again. This is particularly devastating because those who suffer these injuries also usually sustain heavy losses in the form of medical treatments, lost income, and more.

There is also often heavy emotional damage as well. Those who suffer catastrophic injuries often lose their sense of purpose that they got from their job and completing gainful work.

Others suffer painful physical or even cognitive damage that can not only result in emotional damage but can sometimes prevent them from performing even basic functions. Those who have suffered traumatic brain damage may find it difficult to remember things they once loved or even the faces of their loved ones.

In most cases, injuries like this that are suffered while on the job usually result in permanent total disability awards since the injured individual won’t be able to gainfully work ever again. Non-work injuries can also lead to major awards, but in both cases, you need an attorney on your side since the party responsible for paying will likely do everything in their power to try to disprove your condition and reduce or eliminate their liability for your injuries.

Examples of catastrophic injuries in Texas

It may be simpler to consider what isn’t considered a significant personal injury in Texas. For example, while falling at a store, a person may break their forearm attempting to brace themselves. We generally anticipate that a fractured arm will recover rather quickly in the absence of exceptional circumstances.

However, there are severe injuries that a person may never recover from. These are not an exhaustive list, but they include the following:

  • When their brain trauma is severe enough to put them into a coma, they’re referred to as “comatic” or comatose.
  • Spinal damage has rendered them unable to walk.
  • Body parts are being lost.
  • Facial scars are caused by cuts.
  • Injuries to vital body parts that impair their ability to function.

Workplace injuries in Texas that are considered “catastrophic”

The most difficult to prove cases involve work injuries.

There must be evidence that you have been employed in the line of work for which you are claiming before your injury. For example, a computer programmer who has lost the use of their hand and is therefore unable to type might have a strong case for receiving more than a typical personal injury compensation.

It’s easy to think of a big injury settlement as a windfall when you hear about people collecting millions of dollars. But consider being 20 years old and having to pay for lifelong medical treatment for the next 50 years. Costs mount up quickly, and a catastrophic injury settlement is designed to assist with some short-term and long-term costs.

Contact The Stewart Law firm in Texas today

If you or a family member has been involved in an accident that resulted in a catastrophic injury, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The Stewart Law Firm has successfully represented many clients who have suffered major injuries, and we can help you too.

We know how to investigate your case, build a strong argument, and ensure that you receive full compensation for all of your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

For more information or to speak to an attorney about your situation, contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today.

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