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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is Catastrophic Injury? | Legal Definition and the Victim's Rights!

While minor injuries can feel devastating, some types of injuries can change the victim's life forever. These are often referred to as catastrophic injuries, and they can interfere with the affected party's daily life, work routine, and social interactions. In case of negligence, injured people may be able to pursue compensatory damages.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee, have recovered billions of dollars for their injured clients. They have the expertise and knowledge to build a strong case and increase the victim's chances of obtaining compensation.


Those who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to another's negligence should reach out to the legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to discuss their cases and learn more about their legal options! They can also assist with questions such as what is a Contrecoup Injury?


Catastrophic Injury: Legal Definition and Its Types

Catastrophic Injury: Legal Definition and Its Types

Under the United States Code Section 3796b, any injury that has direct and proximate consequences on the victim's ability to return to employment is considered a catastrophic injury. 


A catastrophic injury can happen due to an accident, resulting in serious physical damage to the affected party's body. In most cases, the victim may experience permanent disability, which can be life-changing. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on questions like what if my personal injury was partially my fault TN?


Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Due to its legal definition, a catastrophic injury has a much larger net, encompassing many different types of injuries. These may include the following:


  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Amputation

  • Loss of vision and hearing

  • Facial injuries that result in extreme deformities

  • Severe burns

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Neurological or organ damage

  • Mesothelioma or other occupational illnesses


Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries


While catastrophic injuries often occur after motor vehicle accidents, there are many other causes of these types of injuries, some of which include the following:


  • Workplace accidents

  • Sports accidents

  • Medical malpractice

  • Defective products

  • Slip and fall accidents


According to the latest Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) facts and figures report, 17,810 people suffer from spinal cord injuries each year, and that is just one of many types of catastrophic injuries. 

While these types of injuries are rare, they can affect hundreds of thousands of people in the United States annually.


Can the Injured Victim Recover Damages Following Their Catastrophic Injury?


A catastrophic injury can significantly impair the victim's rights. From being unable to return to work to paying huge medical bills, suffering from lost wages, and experiencing other damages, these types of injuries can turn a person's life around.


It's not fair for the injured victim to go through intense pain and suffering due to another's reckless actions. Fortunately, personal injury law provides the affected parties with a legal remedy, allowing them to recover compensation by pursuing catastrophic injury claims or lawsuits and holding the negligent people accountable.


What Types of Damages Can the Injured Victim Recover Following Their Catastrophic Injury?


There are two main types of damages injured victims can recover following their catastrophic injuries, and these are as follows:


Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the victim, and these include the following:


Medical Expenses

A catastrophic injury may require extensive medical care and rehabilitation.


An injured victim may be able to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover surgery costs, rehabilitation and therapy bills, prescription medication expenses, hospital fees, and future medical expenses, among many others. These types of damages may vary from one case to another.


Lost Wages

When a victim suffers from a catastrophic injury, they may be unable to return to work for a period of time. In some cases involving permanent disability, it can impact the affected party's ability to resume employment.


Under personal injury law, the victims can recover lost wages and loss of future earning potential depending on the facts surrounding their catastrophic injury cases.


Property Damage

An accident can result in property damage, for which the injured victim can obtain compensation. A catastrophic injury lawsuit, for example, can include motor vehicle replacement or repair costs.


Non-economic Damages

Severe injuries can affect a person's physical health and adversely impact their mental and emotional state. These are often referred to as non-economic damages, as they are subjective.


Under personal injury law, injured victims may be able to pursue the following non-economic damages:


  • Pain and suffering;

  • Emotional trauma;

  • Mental anguish; and

  • Reduced quality of life.


Does the Injured Victim Need an Attorney for Their Catastrophic Injury Claim?

Does the Injured Victim Need an Attorney for Their Catastrophic Injury Claim?


Before a victim can reach a catastrophic injury settlement, they must gather evidence to prove liability, calculate the total damages incurred, build a strong case, and file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party's insurance company. That's not all, as the affected party must also face the insurer and their claims adjuster.


The legal process can be complicated to navigate, and insurance companies are often difficult to manage, which is why most victims accept the initial lower catastrophic injury settlement offer and move on with their lives.


However, the affected party often fails to understand that their catastrophic injury can lead to long-term medical and healthcare expenses. This can adversely impact their financial situation, especially when the settlement amount is not enough to cover the bare minimum fees.


It's essential for the injured victims in Nashville, Tennessee, to reach out to experienced catastrophic injury lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for legal representation. They can help in many ways, including the following:


Build a Strong Case

When a victim suffers a severe injury, they may not be able to gather evidence from the site of the accident. This can have a detrimental impact on their case.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have the resources to investigate an accident and gather the necessary evidence. They can contact witnesses and retrieve footage from CCTV cameras or dashcams.


Calculate Compensatory Damages

While economic damages are easy to calculate, it can be challenging to determine non-economic losses. Victims without legal representation often fail to calculate these types of damages, resulting in a lower settlement.


The Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have extensive experience calculating compensatory damages. They can reach out to medical experts to help determine the value of pain and damages incurred by the injured victim.


Negotiate with the Insurance Company

One of the major hurdles that injured victims are expected to overcome is dealing with the insurance companies and their claim adjusters. Without legal representation, the insurer may create hurdles and make it difficult for the affected party to obtain compensation for their mental and physical injury.


The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys consists of personal injury lawyers in Nashville TN who have previously worked for insurance companies. This allows them to use insider secrets to their client's advantage, increasing their chances of obtaining compensatory damages.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will handle the entire legal process and negotiate a fair settlement on behalf of the injured victim. They will take the catastrophic injury case to court if the parties involved fail to come to a mutual agreement.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Ready to Handle the Victims' Legal Battles!


Those who have sustained injuries due to another's negligence in Nashville, Tennessee, should call to schedule a free case evaluation with the experienced Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, as they may be eligible for compensation.

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