What is a Catastrophic Injury?

catastrophic injury patient arriving at a hospital in a NY ambulance

While some injuries from an accident may be relatively minor, such as a light abrasion or superficial laceration, others are so severe that they permanently alter the life of the victim.

Catastrophic personal injury law deals with cases that result in serious, long-term injuries or wrongful death, and the repercussions that follow an accident.

At Finz & Finz, P.C., our team of personal injury lawyers have dedicated their careers to fighting zealously for injury victims. We rely on years of experience inside and outside the courtroom to pursue the best possible outcome for our clients. As a result, our law firm has recovered over $1 billion on behalf of our deserving clients.

We accept complex catastrophic injury cases in New York City, Long Island, and throughout New York State. Call us now or contact us online for a free case review to have our lawyers begin working on your catastrophic injury case.

Catastrophic Injury Law

New York law generally defines “serious injuries” for auto accident victims as those that result in:

  • Dismemberment
  • Fractured bones
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Medically determined injury or impairment that is not permanent in nature but prevents the victim from performing most of their routine daily activities of living for at least 90 days within the first 180 days following the accident
  • Permanent limitation of the use of a body organ or member
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
  • Significant disfigurement
  • A significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
  • Death

However, the catastrophic injury law, for both auto accidents and non-auto accidents, also considers the effect that these injuries have on the victim.

These injuries may cause life-altering consequences, such as:

  • Exorbitant medical expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Severe mental or emotional distress
  • Past and future pain and suffering

How Do I Know If I Have a Catastrophic Personal Injury Case?

Catastrophic injuries may impact a variety of body systems, such as the circulatory, nervous, respiratory, or urinary system. These types of injuries often require full medical teams that are devoted to providing comprehensive care to victims. The teams may include doctors, nurses, surgeons, and therapists. Many catastrophic injuries result in permanent disability, reduced quality of life, and lifelong pain.

If someone else’s negligence caused your accident – such as a car or semi-truck accident, a slip and fall injury, or a defective product – financial recovery may be possible. It’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced New York catastrophic personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a viable claim.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Some of the most common catastrophic injuries that may result from the negligence of others include:

  • Amputation – Accident victims can lose arms, legs, fingers, toes, or other body parts in car accidents, work accidents, and other personal injury incidents. This can disrupt a person’s ability to function as normal and impede their ability to work. The person may also suffer from long-lasting emotional effects. Because amputations are permanent, the accident victim will continue to live with the physical and emotional limitations caused by this injury for the remainder of their lifetime.
  • Internal injuries or organ damage – Internal bleeding, punctured lungs, or ruptured kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, or bowels can sometimes result after physical trauma. When these or similar catastrophic injuries occur, surgical attention or an organ transplant may be necessary. Victims who require transplants may have to wait for years before they are able to receive a healthy organ.
  • Severe burn injuries – Burn injuries can result in infections, disfigurement, amputations, and permanent disability. Several rounds of painful skin grafts may be required to repair the damage. If the burns are extreme, irreparable nerve damage may result.
  • Spinal cord injuries – A sudden impact to the spine may dislocate or fracture spinal vertebrae. Approximately 37 percent of spinal cord injuries are caused by auto accidents, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. However, these injuries can also occur in falls, construction accidents, or other traumatic accidents. Some of these accidents cause partial or complete paralysis and may result in the inability of victims to perform basic life tasks.
  • Traumatic brain injuries – A sudden impact to the brain, like that from an impact caused by a motor vehicle accident or fall, can result in a brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can vary in severity. The most serious can result in lifelong cognitive dysfunction, altered personality, and the onset of social problems.

These are just a few examples of catastrophic injuries, but there are many more. A catastrophic personal injury lawyer can assist you if you or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of someone else.

Why Retain a Catastrophic Personal Injury Lawyer

A catastrophic injury lawyer can assist you with every aspect of your case, including:

Investigation – A catastrophic personal injury claim often requires extensive and time-sensitive investigation. More than one at-fault party may be legally responsible for the injuries you sustained. Our highly experienced catastrophic injury lawyers can conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of the accident and identify all responsible parties and potential sources of insurance coverage.

Calculate Losses – Catastrophic personal injuries may require a lifetime of care. Our knowledgeable catastrophic personal injury lawyers can work with economic experts to develop a life care plan that factors in the various ways that your life will be affected because of the catastrophic injury, and how you will pay for care.

Some of the damages for which you may be able to receive financial compensation include:

  • At-home nursing care
  • Continuing medical care
  • Counseling expenses
  • Daily nursing care
  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical equipment
  • Medication
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical therapy
  • Renovation expenses to retrofit your home to accommodate your disability

We work with industry-leading experts who can help us determine how your accident was caused, what the full impact of your injuries are, and how your injuries will likely affect your earning capacity and future.

Assertive Negotiation – Our skilled attorneys will leverage the evidence we gather in our investigation and the strength of the case we develop to negotiate aggressively and persuasively for the maximum compensation you need and deserve. We’ll work hard to seek the best possible outcome for your case.

Litigation – Our highly experienced catastrophic injury lawyers will prepare your case for trial and advocate vigorously for your rights before the judge and jury. When you retain Finz & Finz, P.C., you can trust that we will fight for the full compensation that you need and deserve. This is our never-ending commitment to you.

Contact the Injury Lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. Today

Learn more about how we can help you recover from your injuries by scheduling a free consultation with Finz & Finz, P.C. today.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.