A bump on the head is one thing; it’s a different story when it’s considered a catastrophic injury. These types of injuries occur without warning and affect victims for the rest of their lives.
These long-term impacts of catastrophic injuries include paralysis, brain damage or loss of limb. Other examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Birth injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of sight
- Facial injury
- Nerve damage
- Neurological damage
These injuries are often out of the blue and happen in the blink of an eye. The causes are almost limitless.
What causes a catastrophic injury?
Catastrophic injuries are especially common in serious car accidents.
Say you’re at a stoplight, it turns green and you begin to drive through the intersection when another car hits you from the side at high speed. The force of the impact is great enough that your brain hits the inside of your skull.
This injury may be invisible to the naked eye, but its effects are obvious. Damage to the brain can cause concussions, loss of consciousness and much more dire injuries.
Other common causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Falling from great heights
- Trampoline accidents
- Sports accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Violent crimes
- Horseback riding accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
What do I do after a catastrophic injury?
If you’re able to, immediately dial 911 for help. The sooner you can get to an emergency room, the better. After receiving treatment from a licensed medical professional, the next step is to contact a lawyer.
A catastrophic injury isn’t something you can just get up and walk away from; however, a good lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Is there a limit to how much I can get in damages?
Several states have caps on the amount of damages a jury can award a plaintiff. Florida doesn’t have any caps for a standard personal injury or pain and suffering. However, if you have a catastrophic injury caused by another person’s negligence, a cap does exist.
The most a plaintiff can be awarded in punitive damages is $500,000. The goal of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer, but it’s rare for a jury to award an exorbitant amount.
If a loved one has suffered from a catastrophic injury, don’t wait.
One minute your life is fine, and the next it’s turned upside down. If you don’t know which is way up, a Florida injury attorney can help guide you in the right direction.
Catastrophic injuries can take months—even years—to recover from. Some people never fully recover.
Medical bills pile up, you lose wages from not being able to work and you likely suffer from a disability that keeps you from getting your job back. In these dire circumstances, the best thing you can do is hire a personal injury lawyer to help fight for your rights.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: George Lorenzo
George Lorenzo is the founder of Lorenzo & Lorenzo, a top-rated and well-respected law firm in Tampa, FL that specializes in personal injury, auto accidents, premises liability and wrongful death. We understand the many ways in which a serious accident can affect your quality of life – financially, physically and emotionally. When facing legal action in court, the process can quickly become overwhelming, regardless of which side of the table you are on. Visit our website today.