If you have been involved in a serious accident and suffered severe injuries, your injuries may be considered catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries are distinct because they are most often severe or even permanent. Whether you have physical or emotional injuries, there is a chance they may be permanent. Yet, to be characterized as catastrophic, they don’t necessarily have to be permanent.
What are catastrophic injuries?
While there is no legal definition of “catastrophic injury,” it is generally accepted that catastrophic injuries are severe and lead to long-term, and often permanent, conditions, disability or disfigurement. Catastrophic injuries typically require a difficult recovery process, multiple surgeries, and, in some cases, lifelong medical treatment. Frequently, a victim suffering a catastrophic injury will be unable to return to work for a substantial period of time, if at all.
Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries
The damages you can recover for catastrophic injuries are the same as those for personal injuries, except that they are usually more extensive. Common catastrophic injuries include present and future medical expenses, cost of rehabilitation services, current and future lost wages when applicable, permanent disability coverage, and compensation for pain, suffering and mental anguish. Another more common category of damages in catastrophic injury cases is known as “residual injury.” Examples of residual injuries are scarring or joint stiffness, which may be relatively small but can greatly increase your damages, as you will suffer from these conditions over a long period of time.
Obtain proper medical documentation
Especially if you have a residual injury, it is critical that your treating physician includes in your medical records that you may have some permanent or residual effect. This documentation is necessary to support your claim for damages, so simply ask that a notation be added. It is acceptable to ask your doctor to make the notation in order to support your insurance claim.
If you have questions regarding catastrophic injuries, or any other personal injury matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at Means Gillis Law, PC, either online or by calling toll free at (844) 870-1777.