What Is The Difference Between Personal Injuries & Catastrophic Injuries?

Victims who suffer injuries caused by the negligent actions of another person or entity have the right to recover financial compensation through personal injury lawsuits. These civil legal actions provide injured parties with a chance to hold at-fault parties liable for the harm they caused.

Since damages differ from case to case, and typically vary depending on the seriousness of injuries, personal injury cases are generally distinguished according to the nature of a victim’s underlying injuries. Injury claims often fall into two major categories: personal injury and catastrophic injury.

Personal injuries can be serious in nature; however, they are usually only temporary. Victims of personal injury are able to make a full or near-complete recovery, allowing them to return to work or perform their day-to-day activities once they are completely healed, with few or no lingering effects from the accident.

By contrast, catastrophic injuries are those injuries which have a long-term, life-altering impact on the victim. These types of injuries typically result in permanent disabilities that affect the victim’s entire life, requiring costly medical treatments, rehabilitation, and even in-home care long after the injury has occurred. Furthermore, catastrophic injuries also affect those who depend on the victim for care and support, such as spouses and children.

Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Severe burn injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of hearing or vision
  • Crushed or broken bones

Since catastrophic injuries are those where victims suffer severe physical injuries, victims often incur greater damages. For instance, victims who sustain permanent injuries as a result of their accidents generally have greater noneconomic damages than those who are able to make complete recoveries. This is because permanent disabilities can create daily challenges in the lives of these victims, make them dependent on loved ones or caregivers for assistance and treatment, and prevent them from enjoying activities and hobbies they once performed. Additionally, victims of catastrophic injuries can also recover future economic damages, including future medical needs, and future noneconomic damages, such as future pain and suffering related to the disability or serious injury.

Since the stakes are extremely high in catastrophic injury cases due to the complexity and severity of the injury, it is imperative that victims and their families obtain experienced and skilled legal representation from a highly-qualified personal injury attorney. Our Rochester personal injury lawyer at King Law can evaluate your case and develop an effective case strategy to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

For more information, contact us and request a free consultation today.


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