Blog > Catastrophic Injuries > What is a catastrophic injury?

What is a catastrophic injury?

In the field of personal injury law, we are often confronted with the question of how to define or what constitutes a catastrophic injury. It is a term that is often thrown about loosely in a variety of situations, but determining what it means in the courtroom is often not clear cut.

The truth of the matter is that there is no legally accepted definition of what is a catastrophic injury, however, over the course of time, legal and medical professionals have formulated a working definition which helps us to categorize especially severe or grave injuries.

How to Define a Catastrophic Injury

One of the most widely used definitions of catastrophic injuries is one whose consequences permanently inhibit an individual from gainful employment. This means a person would not be able to hold a job that allows them to support either themselves or their family.

For obvious reasons, an injury as severe as this can be particularly devastating, not only financially but also emotionally. In many instances, this person is looking at hefty medical bills, a lifetime of lost employment and paychecks, and the sense of purpose and wholeness that we often derive from our jobs.

In some cases, an individual with a catastrophic injury may be able to retrain for another field of work, but often they have such severe physical or cognitive impairments that even that may be impossible.

The consequences of a catastrophic injury goes far beyond medial bills and gainful employment. If a person is too disabled to work, that normally means they will be too impaired to travel, exercise, to engage in previously enjoyed hobbies, or even the ability to care for themselves on a day-to-day basis.

This type of dramatic and profound change will also often lead to a host of emotional and psychological pain ranging from anxiety, depression, and beyond.

Some of the injuries most often associated with catastrophic injuries include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, amputations, multiple bone fractures, organ damage, and so forth.

These catastrophic injuries can arise from a variety of different situations and activities, but we often see cases that involve motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving motorcycle accidents or accidents with large trucks, construction site accidents, falls from heights, and so forth.

What to Do Following a Catastrophic Injury

Occasionally, a healthy person will read a news article or blurb about someone receiving a multi-million-dollar settlement for their injuries and wrongfully assume that the injured party received a financial windfall or got a lucky break.

It is true that the damages in a catastrophic injury case are often much higher than a standard personal injury case due to the far-reaching implications these injuries have had and will continue to have in the life of the injured party.

However, the reality of these damages is that when you consider a lifetime of lost earning potential, the staggering medical bills for treatment and rehabilitation, as well as the physical and emotional pain and suffering, you’ll see that these damages simply provide a bit of financial stability and security as they face crippling lifelong losses.

While every catastrophic injury case is different, one thing that all the victims share in common is that they would trade any amount of money to return to their life before the catastrophic injury. That isn’t possible, of course, but the legal system does provide some recourse when negligence leads to injuries as severe and life-changing as these.

If you or a loved one has been severely injured in an accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced New York City catastrophic injury lawyer, like the team at Greenberg & Stein. We believe that no one should have to pay out of pocket for injuries caused by another person, and that you have the right to receive compensation for a catastrophic injury.

The team at Greenberg & Stein has more than 75 years of combined experience and has handled all manner of catastrophic injury cases. While every case is different, you can be assured that our team will apply our years of legal experience to your claim in order to assure you receive the compensation you need and deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and more.

We offer a free consultation and a 24-hour phone line, so don’t hesitate to call us if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury in New York City. Call us today at 888-411-3966 for a no-obligation case evaluation to see what a topnotch catastrophic injury attorney in New York City can do for you.