What Classifies Catastrophic?

W. Bradley Parker
Protecting the rights of North Texas personal injury victims since 1985.

The Parker Law Firm

What defines an injury as “catastrophic?” The most widely used definition states that a catastrophic injury is one where “the consequences of the injury permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”  

But these injuries affect much more than victims’ work lives. Someone who is too severely injured to work will rarely be able to exercise, travel, participate in their favorite hobbies or athletic activities, and in many cases can no longer care for themselves on a day-to-day basis as they once did. These victims also often suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health issues.

Brad Parker says, “In the eyes of the law, this type of severe physical harm is best described as damages that pose lasting or life-long repercussions including painful recoveries, life-altering disability, impairment or permanent deficits.”

Common Catastrophic Injuries

Brad says, “The most common types of catastrophic injuries we encounter with our clients involve severe brain injury, amputation and paralysis. However, there are a variety of other types of devastating injuries that usually happen without any warning and completely turns our clients’ lives upside down.” These are some of the most common catastrophic injuries that occur:

  • Amputation
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Birth Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Loss of Hearing or Sight
  • Nerve Damage
  • Paralysis
  • Neurological Damage
  • Crush Injury

The Parker Law Firm

Causes of Catastrophic Injury

“Car accidents are without a doubt the No. 1 cause for the catastrophic injuries. In particular, commercial truck collisions are especially devastating. It’s also common to see severe accidents that happen in the workplace, especially involving falls from great heights,” Brad says. Listed below are the greatest potential causes for catastrophic injury:

  • Car Accidents
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Falls from Heights
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Sports Accidents
  • On-the-Job Accidents
  • Boating Accidents
  • Trampoline Accidents
  • Fires and Explosions
  • Defective Products
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Horseback Riding Accidents
  • Violent Crime
  • Jet Ski Accidents

Higher Stakes

Seriously injured victims face more severe damages than those with lesser injuries, and that means plaintiffs who pursue personal injury claims over catastrophic injuries face greater challenges in their case process. This includes securing needed compensation that accounts for substantial losses both in the past and the future.

It is advised that clients always finish treatment before a claim is settled, but what about those who experience a catastrophic injury that will require lifelong treatment? How can those victims begin to recover their medical expenses or lost wages?

Brad answers, “In these situations, we hire life care planners. They will evaluate and research the needed therapies, diagnostic testing, medical equipment, aids for independent functioning, prescription and nonprescription medications, home care/facility care, routine medical care, transportation, potential complications, surgical intervention and therapy services. This plan takes into account future needs, both therapeutic and clinical as well as prescriptions.”

Life planners use a procedure for gathering information to develop this long-term plan, including doing interviews with the client and their family members, reviewing medical records and supporting documents, investigating victims’ journal entries, tax returns, school records, employment records, consulting with treatment providers and medical experts, and researching various sources for treatment.

Brad says, “Because stakes are higher in catastrophic injury cases and medical details are more complex, we employ proven tactics and strategies to ensure our clients get the best outcome. We want to make sure they are getting the best medical treatment available by providing the family with more knowledge concerning treatments currently available and giving them specific questions to ask medical professionals. Our team is also familiar with different rehab facilities they may want to consider or evaluate.”


At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.

 

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