What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury in Texas?
Personal injury claims that involve catastrophic injuries incorporate much more significant damages that have far-reaching consequences – or can even be permanently debilitating. While such injuries are very severe, these cases can be even more challenging to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. It can also be difficult to accurately calculate the full extent of your damages – due to their grave nature and variable future effects.
Is My Injury a Catastrophic Injury?
The critical difference between an injury classified as catastrophic – as opposed to any other personal injury – is its long-lasting effects. A catastrophic injury generally leads to at least one of the following:
An impairment that is long term
The loss of some bodily function
A permanent decrease in the victim's enjoyment of life or an alteration in their ability to function in life
Sometimes, the fact that an injury is a lifelong injury will automatically qualify it as catastrophic.
However, two other elements often play a critical role in determining whether an injury is catastrophic, including:
Inability to Remain Employed – If an injury keeps you from returning to your career, it may help the court classify that injury as catastrophic. We gain much more from our jobs than only the paycheck we earn. If you have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into the pursuit of a career cut short by a catastrophic injury you acquired as the result of someone else's negligence, the inherent devastation is apparent. Many of us closely identify our sense of selves with our jobs, and this kind of blow can be particularly tricky, which can contribute to the classification of catastrophic.
Permanent or Long-Term Issues – If the injury in question cannot be fixed via treatment but, instead, can only be repaired to one degree or another, it could qualify as catastrophic. Neck and back injuries are good examples. While you can have surgery to help decrease your pain and improve your range of motion, you are very unlikely to be returned to your former physical health and stamina.
Whether or not your injuries are catastrophic is an important one that can guide how you are compensated—recovering to the best of your ability after a severe accident is critical to your ability to live your fullest life. Ensuring that your catastrophic injury is classified as such is of primary importance in this process.
Work Closely with an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should contact attorney Brett Pritchard today. He and his team have vast experience successfully establishing the catastrophic nature of injuries like yours – and obtaining the compensation that correlates with their severity. Your case is a serious matter, so please do not hesitate to contact us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.