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What Is a Catastrophic Injury?


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A catastrophic injury is a severe injury that results in long-term or permanent disability, significant physical impairment, or a shortened lifespan. These injuries often impact the victim’s life and the lives of their family members and loved ones. Houston catastrophic injury attorney Greg Baumgartner of Baumgartner Law Firm will explore what constitutes a catastrophic injury, the common causes of these injuries, and the legal options available to victims.

What is a catastrophic injury?

Definition of a Catastrophic Injury

A catastrophic injury is usually defined as an injury that causes a permanent disability or impairment that stops the victim from performing gainful work or enjoying their usual activities. Severe injuries often require long-lasting medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care. It can also lead to significant financial burdens due to the cost of ongoing medical care and the loss of income if the victim cannot work.

Coping with a catastrophic injury can be challenging, and asking for help is appropriate.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Some examples of catastrophic injuries include:

· Traumatic brain injuries (TBI):

These head injuries can result from a blow to the head that disrupts the brain’s normal function. TBIs can lead to cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, emotional and behavioral changes, and long-term complications.

· Spinal cord injuries:

Spinal injuries can result from damage to the spinal cord or discs in the spinal. They often lead to partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and other serious complications.

· Severe burns:

Burn injuries can result from exposure to heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation. Severe burns can cause extensive skin damage, infections, and other serious health problems. Look for a burn injury lawyer specialist for help.

· Amputations:

These injuries involve the removal of a body part, usually a limb or digit. Amputations can result from traumatic injuries or may be performed surgically due to a severe infection or other medical condition.

· Multiple fractures:

These injuries involve breaks in multiple bones. They often result from high-impact trauma, such as car accidents or falls.

· Organ damage:

These injuries can result from blunt force trauma, penetrating injuries, or medical conditions. Organ damage causes serious health complications and may require organ transplantation.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can happen in almost any accident, but some of the most common causes include:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and truck accidents are leading causes of catastrophic injuries. The high speeds and forces in these accidents can result in severe head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and other life-altering injuries. Common injuries from truck accidents can be severe injuries.

Even with safety measures like seat belts and airbags, the impact of a collision can cause serious harm.

Workplace Accidents

Construction accidents or workplace accidents can also lead to catastrophic injuries. Falls from heights, being struck by heavy machinery, electrical injuries, and exposure to hazardous substances are examples of how these injuries can occur. Despite safety regulations and protective equipment, workers in certain industries face a higher risk of catastrophic injuries.

Medical Malpractice

Medical errors can have devastating consequences, leading to catastrophic injuries such as birth injuries, surgical errors, and misdiagnosis of serious conditions.

Negligence by a medical provider can have lifelong effects on the victim’s health and well-being. Despite the high standards of care expected in the medical field, mistakes can and do happen, with potentially disastrous results.

Sports Injuries

While sports are a popular recreational activity, they can also result in catastrophic injuries. High-impact sports like football, hockey, and rugby carry a higher risk of severe injuries, including concussions, spinal cord injuries, and fractures. Even with protective gear and safety protocols, the physical nature of these sports can lead to serious injuries.

Acts of Violence or Intentional Torts

Intentional acts of violence, like assault or gunshot wounds, can cause catastrophic injuries. Intentional torts often require immediate medical attention and can result in long-term disabilities or even death. The intentional nature of these acts often adds a layer of emotional trauma to the physical injuries.

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. Seeking legal representation from a Houston catastrophic injury law firm can help you seek civil justice and compensation for your injuries. 

Personal Injury Lawsuits

In many cases, catastrophic injury victims can hire a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for their injuries. These lawsuits seek to hold the negligent party liable for their actions and recover compensation for economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Noneconomic damages are like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, and other damages. 

The process involves proving that the defendant was negligent, that this negligence caused the injury, and that the injury resulted in significant damages. Using treating physicians and other medical experts, a good attorney can obtain the medical evidence to support your case.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

If the catastrophic injury occurred in the workplace, the worker may be able to get workers’ compensation benefits. WC benefits can provide financial assistance for medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages, and disability. 

Social Security Disability Benefits

Catastrophic injury victims who are unable to work may apply in some situations for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits provide monthly income to individuals with disabilities that prevent them from gaining employment. Social Security process can be lengthy and requires substantial medical evidence, so consulting with a legal professional may be helpful.

Wrongful Death Claims

In cases where a catastrophic injury results in death, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death cases seek compensation for the damages and emotional losses of the surviving family.

Damages can include funeral costs, loss of support, mental anguish, loss of companionship, household services, and other damages.

Contact a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Houston, TX

Catastrophic injuries profoundly impact the lives of victims and their families. Understanding what constitutes a catastrophic injury, the common causes, and the legal options available can help victims seek the compensation they deserve. Call a leading Houston attorney as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, it is vital to consult with a qualified Houston personal injury attorney at Baumgartner Law Firm, who specializes in catastrophic injury cases, to protect your rights and pursue justice.

For answers or help about a serious injury accident or loss of a family member in an accident, contact Baumgartner Law Firm in Houston. Call (281) 587-1111.

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069

catastrophic injury attorney in Houston, TX, Greg Baumgartner

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About Our Law Firm

Baumgartner Law Firm is a Houston personal injury law firm headed by Greg Baumgartner.

Our firm was established in 1985 and has helped thousands of injury victims get maximum compensation for their cases. If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. (281) 587-1111.

Since 1985, Baumgartner Law Firm has limited our law practice to serious personal injury cases. Our legal team has won maximum compensation for thousands of accident victims and recovered millions of dollars for real people like you. The practice areas we focus on are the following:
·     Auto & Car Accidents
·     Catastrophic and Severe Injuries
·     Construction Site Accidents
·     Daycare Negligence & Child Injury
·     Dram Shop Lawsuits
·     Drunk Driving Accidents
·     Lyft Accidents
·     Motorcycle Accidents
·     Personal Injury
·     Truck Accidents
·     Uber Accidents
·     Work Injury
·     Wrongful Death

Helping these areas around Houston

Houston, Sugar LandConroeThe WoodlandsCypressSpring, Humble, KatyAtascocita, Kingwood and Tomball.