Catastrophic injuries can change a person’s life in more ways than one. From the personal to the professional, the physical to the emotional, suffering a catastrophic injury in a car accident can affect every corner of your life. Intimate relationships may be changed, as well as your ability to work certain jobs and perform day-to-day tasks. Financial circumstances may also be drastically affected by a catastrophic car accident injury—especially if a person can no longer work or take care of themselves. Families may need to seek out other resources when the injured person was their main breadwinner. Even without the question of lost income, medical bills and continuing care costs can quickly pile up high after a severe car accident.
When you or a loved one are injured in an accident, CarAccident.Law is a leading industry resource that can connect you with a local car accident attorney. Let us help you better understand the insurance claims and civil lawsuit processes for catastrophic car accident injuries. A catastrophic injury lawyer on our team can pursue compensation on your behalf.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic car accident injury does not always mean permanent disability, although it often does. A catastrophic injury is characterized by severe and long-term adverse health effects. Some catastrophic car crash injuries may be irreversibly damaging.
Catastrophic injuries typically encompass severe harm to the spine, spinal cord, or brain. They may also mean the loss of an appendage, permanent disfigurement to a person’s physical appearance, or a loss of ability to function the way they did before the auto accident.
Types of Catastrophic Auto Accident Injuries
The United States sees millions of car accidents every year, with over 120,000 non-fatal motor vehicle accidents involving severe to moderate injuries reported in the State of Massachusetts alone just over the last several years.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): TBIs can be as minor as a concussion and as severe as lasting or terminal brain damage. Traumatic brain injuries may be closed or penetrating, but either can cause severe and irreversible damage. The CDC lists car accidents as one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries throughout the United States. TBIs are one of the leading causes of death throughout the nation, as well.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can cause lasting pain and even take away your ability to perform certain tasks. For those who rely on hands-on labor for work, a spinal cord injury can have severe repercussions for their financial stability, as well as their future employment. Otherwise, spinal cord injuries such as herniated discs, fractures, whiplash, and contusions can be unpleasant and painful events for anyone.
- Paralysis: Paralysis is a catastrophic and sometimes irreversible injury that can result from a car accident. Paralysis victims may require ongoing care or extensive physical therapy in order to cope.
- Burn injuries: Burn injuries are especially common in motorcycle crashes, due to the rider’s minimal protection from the road. A burn injury may be considered catastrophic when it permanently alters or disfigures a person’s appearance, or causes severe damage and a long recovery period.
- Nerve damage to the neck or spine: Nerve damage to the neck or spine can result in lasting pain and an inability to perform certain tasks. Nerve damage is unfortunately common due to the sudden nature of car accidents and is considered a medical emergency when it is connected to whiplash.
- Amputations: In some severe motor vehicle accidents, amputations may take place or be considered medically necessary. Because amputations are often a last resort, individuals who require such surgery may have accrued other substantial medical bills before the need for amputation was confirmed. Continuing care, follow up visits, and prosthetics may all be considered as additional damages in a car accident lawsuit.
- Organ damage: Not all car accidents cause organ damage, but sudden rear-end accidents or high-speed crashes can be particularly risky. Organ damage can be caused by internal bleeding or penetrating wounds.
- Loss of vision or hearing: Loss of vision or hearing can significantly alter the scope of your abilities, as well as your enjoyment of everyday life after an auto accident. If you or a loved one have suffered from loss of vision or hearing due to a catastrophic car accident, you deserve to have a highly skilled and experienced lawyer by your side to win you a settlement that fully accounts for your or your loved one’s pain and suffering.
What Causes a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries often result from blunt force trauma, such as the impact of a car accident. For example, a car driver who collides with another motorist, pedestrian, or cyclist has great potential to cause spinal damage or a traumatic brain injury.
While a car does not have to be traveling at high speeds to cause catastrophic injuries, speeding can cause what would otherwise be minor injuries to compound into catastrophic injuries. Other common risk factors are motorcycle crashes, bicyclist collisions, or accidents involving pedestrians. Because all of these parties are less protected from the road, a car accident involving a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian is more likely to result in a catastrophic injury or wrongful death.
Other contributing factors that can compound an accident’s severity and add to your injuries include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving, reading directions, having conversations, eating, or listening to music
- Impaired driving, such as driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or painkillers
- Inclement weather
- Poor roadway conditions or design
- Sharp turns, trees, boulders, or natural elements that contribute to a crash
- Aggressive driving
If you or a loved one are dealing with a catastrophic car accident injury because of another driver’s careless or reckless behavior on the road, consider speaking with the diligent team at CarAccident.Law. You can greatly benefit from speaking to a catastrophic injury lawyer about different options for pursuing compensation and recovering damages associated with your or your loved one’s injuries.
Car Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries
Motor vehicle injury facts from the National Safety Council show that angled collisions between two vehicles are the most dangerous kind of crash today. Angled collisions cause the greatest number of deaths – approximately 9,000 in 2021. Head-on and rear-end collisions follow closely (in that order) to cause the next highest amount of damage in reported car accidents nationwide.
The following types of car accidents commonly cause catastrophic injuries:
How Can a Catastrophic Car Accident Injury Impact Your Life?
Victims of catastrophic car crash injuries often face a great deal of physical and emotional suffering after a severe auto accident. For catastrophic car accident injuries that can be healed, recovery is often non-linear, with many unexpected costs, hurdles, and barriers that arise throughout the process. For many, however, catastrophic injuries never heal completely, leaving them with a permanent disability. According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, the highest rate of motor vehicle crash-related disability affects people from ages 35 to 64. Because of this, quality of life, as well as earning potential and productivity, can be affected long after a catastrophic car accident.
The effects of long-term catastrophic auto collision injuries can be devastating on someone’s body and mind. For example, a person with serious physical injuries might endure ongoing medical treatment, surgeries, and rehabilitation that consumes much of their life. It is also common for victims of catastrophic car accident injuries to experience emotional and mental trauma such as anxiety, depression, and memory loss long after a collision.
Catastrophic auto accident injuries might also force a person out of work if they are severe enough. An individual who cannot perform their job due to catastrophic impairment will incur lost wages in addition to the costs associated with ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitative care. They may also need to make expensive modifications to their home and vehicle to accommodate their new limitations.
Recovery from a catastrophic motor vehicle accident injury looks different for everyone. If you or a loved one have been catastrophically injured from a car crash, you may be able to improve your circumstances and help yourself and your family through the situation by taking appropriate legal action. The catastrophic injury lawyers of CarAccident.Law offers helpful legal guidance and representation to help ensure you take the proper steps after a serious car accident.
Catastrophic Injury Recovery Process after a Car Accident
The recovery process from a catastrophic injury after a car crash often involves visits to different doctors, input from different medical experts, and some form of lasting rehabilitative care. You may find yourself needing physical, vocational, speech, and/or mental health therapy in order to get yourself back on track to enjoying life, let alone considering returning to work. Families and partners may need to make adjustments to their schedules, expectations, homes, and transportation in order to help support a catastrophic injury victim’s “new normal.”
All of these elements of the recovery process can incur additional costs, and unfortunately, they can add immense additional stress onto victims of a catastrophic car accident and their families, at a time when they need to rest and prioritize their own well-being. No one wants to haggle with insurance companies, file paperwork, or even launch into a legal battle when recovering from a catastrophic car accident injury. Don’t take on the process alone. The experts at CarAccident.Law can connect you to a catastrophic injury lawyer who can fight for your financial well-being, so you can focus on your personal and physical recovery.
Does Insurance Cover Catastrophic Car Accident Injuries?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) typically covers a certain amount or percentage of medical expenses and lost wages, in addition to covering vehicle repair or replacement costs. If you live in a state that requires you to carry no-fault auto insurance, your insurance policy likely includes coverage for injuries after an accident. However, there are policy limitations, especially when serious injuries are involved and extensive medical treatment is needed.
Simply put, the average car accident insurance payout may not consider or be able to cover the total costs of a catastrophic injury. Insurance claims are inherently limited in the amount that they are able to contribute to a victim’s recovery. Filing a lawsuit with the help of a catastrophic injuries lawyer may be the best way to recover the full scope of your losses after a severe car accident.
Unfortunately, it is common for insurance companies to deny claims after a crash, especially those involving catastrophic injuries and large payouts. An all-too-common technique from insurers is to draw out negotiations, so that the injured party is more likely to accept a lowball settlement offer. One of the benefits of working with an experienced attorney after a catastrophic car accident injury is that they can put pressure on your insurance provider to give an adequate settlement offer, fight back against underhanded tricks, and even take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to offer you an adequate amount.
Our team can determine the value of your claim, help you navigate the insurance process, and negotiate with your insurance company so that you can recover as much as possible. If insurance does not cover your or your loved one’s expenses, consider consulting with a catastrophic injury lawyer who can help you with your claim and a possible civil lawsuit.
Is a Civil Lawsuit Necessary for a Catastrophic Car Accident?
It might take months or years to recover from a catastrophic auto accident injury, if recovery is even possible. During this time, even a good insurance policy might not cover enough expenses to support your long-term health and medical needs. In the event that a catastrophically injured person’s no-fault auto insurance policy does not cover the full extent of their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses, a civil lawsuit can help cover the difference.
Catastrophic injury claims often warrant the award of “future damages,” or those that are projected to last well into someone’s future. Calculating a catastrophically injured person’s potential future damages requires the testimony of expert witnesses who are familiar with such effects. The catastrophic injury lawyers of CarAccident.Law have the resources necessary to enlist the help of medical and vocational experts to give their professional opinions about the extent of someone’s severe damages and how they may continue to impact their future.
Additionally, some damages, such as pain and suffering, are generally not covered by insurance. The only way to account for all of these additional needs, as well as to seek punitive damages after a catastrophic injury from a car accident, is by filing a civil lawsuit.
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When to Contact a Car Accident Attorney after a Catastrophic Injury
Every state imposes a different filing deadline on car accident lawsuits. For example, Massachusetts law requires car accident victims to file a personal injury claim within three years of an accident. Regardless, the sooner you contact a catastrophic injury lawyer, the better. Memories may fade, evidence may be lost or destroyed over time, and witnesses may move away if you wait too long to begin compiling your case, even for a severe car accident injury.
The catastrophic injury attorneys in CarAccident.Law’s network can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable through a car accident lawsuit. By working with a catastrophic injury attorney after a car accident, you can pursue comprehensive compensation for your or your loved one’s needs. Get started by retrieving your accident report for FREE, and documenting your injuries and expenses as soon as possible. One of our expert catastrophic injury lawyers can help you follow through both of these steps and handle your claim from there.
Learn More about Catastrophic Car Accident Lawsuits
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO FILING A CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT
Use this guide to better understand how to file a catastrophic car accident lawsuit. A lawyer with CarAccident.Law can help you succeed in your case.
Discuss Legal Remedies with a Catastrophic Injury Attorney
CarAccident.Law is ready and able to help you and your family through this challenging time. Our team can help you identify any and all liable parties, negotiate with insurers, plan for long-term expenses, and gather the necessary evidence to establish liability against the at-fault driver on your or your loved one’s behalf. We want you and your family to focus on recovery while we handle the legal process.
While catastrophic car accident injuries can change your life forever, we can help your family recover in other ways. Lean on CarAccident.Law for all your car accident-related needs, from insurance protection and claims, to civil lawsuits to claim valuation. Connect with a local catastrophic injury lawyer through CarAccident.Law, and get a free consultation and legal advice to decide whether a civil lawsuit is appropriate for your situation.