What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

In personal injury law, a catastrophic injury is one that results in permanent serious physical or mental limitations. These types of injuries are often the result of negligence. Catastrophic injuries often happen during crashes that involve semi-trucks or motorcycles. 

According to the National Safety Council, crashes of this type peak in the early summer months from noon (or around lunchtime) to around 4:00 pm. However, you still have to be careful year-round, especially since the highway is an open road to all types of vehicles. Whether crash prevention involves a large semi-truck or another vehicle like a motorcycle, safety is an issue.

In these cases, negligence occurs when someone is hurt due to another person's carelessness -  or their failure to take reasonable precautions against foreseeable risks. If you've suffered from a catastrophic injury due to someone else's actions, you should speak with an attorney about filing a personal injury claim. 

A lawyer can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, missed work, physical therapy costs, and other expenses related to your recovery. 

Physical Limitations after a Catastrophic Injury

Physical limitations may include amputation of a limb, movement limitations after a spinal cord injury, and other permanent changes to your body. If you've suffered a physical limitation as a result of a catastrophic injury, you may need assistance with everyday activities. For example, if you've suffered a leg amputation, you may need a mobility device in order to get around.

Physical limitations may also qualify you for additional compensation if your injury occurred at work and your employer’s workers’ compensation benefits are insufficient to cover your medical bills and other expenses. 

Mental Limitations After a Catastrophic Injury

Mental limitations may include cognitive impairments, such as declining mental capacity; mood disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder; or psychological conditions, such as anxiety. 

Mental limitations are frequently challenging to prove in court because they are more subjective than physical limitations. However, if you've sustained a traumatic brain injury, you may qualify for compensation that allows you to hire a caregiver to assist you with your daily living activities. 

Typically, you'll need to provide evidence that you've been diagnosed with a serious condition, such as permanent cognitive impairment, and that the condition stems directly from your injury. You'll also need to supply medical records, police reports, and other documentation to help your attorney build a strong case. 

You may also need to undergo additional testing to establish the extent of your impairment. A catastrophic injury attorney can help you navigate this process, so your condition is properly documented and assessed. 

Recovering from a Catastrophic Injury

If you've suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else's actions or negligence, hiring a personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy costs, and other expenses related to your recovery or a disability.

Depending on the nature of your injury and the extent of the damages, this process may take several months or even years to complete. An attorney can also represent you in court if the other party isn’t willing to negotiate a settlement. 

Contact a Catastrophic Injury Attorney about Your Personal Injury Claim

At Salam & Associates, we are committed to helping severely injured victims obtain the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with a New Mexico personal injury attorney, call us or email [email protected] right away. Our lawyers are licensed in New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, and D.C.


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