Understanding California Personal Injury Law: When Is an Injury Considered Catastrophic?

After a serious injury in a California accident, you might hear the term “catastrophic injury” used. What does this mean? And how does it affect your own accident and how your accident is handled? Read on to learn what this term means in California and how it can affect your personal injury case. Then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation.

There is No Legal Definition of a Catastrophic Injury

First, you should know that there is not a legal definition that means that an accident is catastrophic. However, when it comes to personal injury law, this term generally means an injury that will permanently and/or significantly change a person’s life and their future. A catastrophic injury can be one that causes a disability, that shortens a person’s life expectancy, that decreases their quality of life, or that requires life-long medical care.

Head Injuries Are Often Considered Catastrophic Injuries

Even though some people might refer to a concussion as a “minor” head injury, there is really no such thing. Research is continually showing that any level of head injury can have long-term effects. That said, a traumatic brain injury, or one that causes immediate brain damage, is more easily classifiable as a catastrophic injury due to its immediate consequences.

This type of brain injury can occur due to something protruding into the skull and penetrating the brain or due to the brain hitting the side of the skull after a sudden stop – such as in a car accident. These injuries can result in long-term complications.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Just as there is really no such thing as a “minor” brain injury, there is no such thing as a minor spinal cord injury either. A major injury can result in a loss of feeling in certain parts of the body, excruciating pain, neurological disorders, weakness, respiratory issues, and loss of motor function. A spinal cord injury can also cause paralysis.

Amputations and Loss of Limbs

If a person loses a part of their body, this is generally considered a catastrophic injury. This would include loss of an arm, leg, hand, finger, foot, or toe. In some cases, the limb is lost at the scene of the accident, and in others, the limb might have been severely crushed or otherwise injured in a way that requires its amputation.

Call Today for a Free Legal Consultation

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident that was the fault of someone else, we recommend contacting The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker now at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. We will take the time to find the right outcome for your case. Call us now to get the peace of mind that you have an experienced attorney on your side.