A considerable number of California personal injury claims and lawsuits involve what is known as a catastrophic injury. The reality is that that the term “catastrophic injury” does get thrown around and is sometimes used in situations in which a victim’s injuries do not really rise to that level. If a person is pursuing a California personal injury claim, having a basic understanding of what is meant by catastrophic injuries is advisable.
Definition of catastrophic injuries
According to the American Medical Association, a catastrophic injury is one that occurs to the brain, spinal cord or spine. This type of personal injury can include skull or spinal fractures.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research utilizes what can be called a broader definition of catastrophic injury. A number of different types of injuries are classified as catastrophic under the definition put forth by this organization:
- Fatal injuries
- Permanent disability injuries
- Serious injuries like a major head injury or fractured neck
- Heatstroke due to exercise
- Sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac disruption
Classification of catastrophic injuries
Catastrophic injuries tend to be classified in one of two ways. First, there are direct catastrophic injuries that arise from circumstances like blunt force trauma. Second, there are indirect catastrophic injuries by some type of systemic failure. These include such events as sudden cardiac arrest or some type of immediate respiratory issue.
Due to the nature and consequences often associated with a catastrophic injury, a person suffering from this type of issue may experience long-term effects. An individual with a catastrophic injury may be left out of work and dealing with a permanent disability or impairment. A person with this type of injury may also experience unremitting pain and suffering. It’s possible to pursue compensation for all of these damages in a personal injury lawsuit.