When an injury is catastrophic in nature, its severity can leave an individual with long-term medical conditions such as permanent disability, or a reduced life expectancy. Additional consequences of these injuries can include long-term stays in the hospital, multiple surgeries, long-term treatment protocols, recurring health problems, and extensive rehabilitation.
What causes a catastrophic injury?
The devastation of a catastrophic injury affects the victim and often many other individuals who know and love the victim. The entire financial and emotional impact of a catastrophic injury can overwhelm the person who is injured and their family. These injuries can occur due to motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, etc.), slips and falls, and a host of other types of accidents either on the job or during personal or recreational activities.
Examples of catastrophic Injuries
Serious illnesses, diseases, and trauma can result in catastrophic injuries. When a person’s physical body is impacted severely against a hard surface or the individual is exposed to fire, injuries that are catastrophic in nature can occur. Some examples include brain injuries, burn injuries, organ damage, spinal cord injuries causing paralysis, amputations, and certain types of fractures and broken bones. The acquisition of debilitating arthritis or cancer can also be defined as catastrophic.
Traumatic brain injuries
An all too common type of catastrophic injury is traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2013 alone, about 2.8 million people in the U.S. were sent to the emergency room, hospitalized or died due in part to the effects of a TBI.
TBIs can cause a wide variety of effects, including the impairment of:
- Cognitive ability
Often caused by violent shaking of the body in a vehicular accident, internal injuries can sometimes go undiagnosed for a number of days after the incident. They are often only discovered and diagnosed properly after a doctor’s examination. Bruising of internal organs is one type of internal injury. These injuries are very dangerous because they can potentially develop into more severe, life-threatening conditions.
Spinal cord injuries
A traumatic injury of the spinal cord is certainly catastrophic in nature. There are approximately 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) each year. Motor vehicle collisions are responsible for the vast majority of spinal cord injuries. These injuries fall under the category of partial paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia. They can impose lifelong debilitating effects upon the individual that can lead to everything from respiratory problems and pressure sores to scoliosis and spasticity.
Burn injuries can occur in a variety of ways, including in motor vehicle accidents. Each year more than 1 million burn injuries require medical attention. Of these injuries, about 20,000 consist of major burns covering 25 percent or more of the body, according to the CDC. Some of the most serious burns can lead to scarring, infection, and disfigurement.
After sustaining a catastrophic injury in OK, medical care professionals have the responsibility to help you achieve the highest level of physical recovery possible. Rehabilitation services or vocational programs are available to help you or your loved one reach this goal.
If you have sustained a catastrophic injury as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another party, our Oklahoma City catastrophic injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears are here to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, initial consultation about your case, call our law office today at 405.212.9234 or complete our contact form.
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Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More