The Effects of Catastrophic Injuries

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January 31, 2019

Hospital Bills

Catastrophic injuries can affect a victim in a number of ways. The first being large hospital bills. If you find yourself in a position where you have sustained a catastrophic injury, you will typically be transferred immediately to a hospital. Once you are in a hospital, the care necessary to resolve or, you know, save your life, with respect to a catastrophic injury, may be costly. Hospital stays of over a day are likely to cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

Along with your initial emergency hospital visit, follow-up care to resolve your injuries will also be extremely costly. This includes follow-up care with physical therapy offices, other physicians and specialists, including neurosurgeons, or neurologists, orthopedic doctors, etc. This follow-up care could last for several weeks, several months, or several years, depending on the nature of the catastrophic injury.

Economic Losses

Along with these medical costs, most catastrophic injury cases will involve a claim for other economic losses. A primary economic loss that is seen in catastrophic injuries is lost wages. If you sustain a catastrophic injury in an accident and miss extensive time at work, you are entitled to your lost wages in a claim for personal injury.

In addition to lost wages, other related economic damages may be claimed. For example, if you require transportation services because you can no longer drive, this can be a claim that you make in your personal injury case when you sustain a catastrophic injury. Commonly, we see clients that sustain injuries to the lower portion of their body, which leave them unable to drive–we see lots of Uber or Lyft charges being accrued to get them back and forth to treatment.

Loss of Future Income

In addition to costs that are accrued within a few years of a catastrophic injury, you may also have claims for future costs and future bills as a result of a catastrophic injury. For example, if a doctor requires that you receive a future surgery, you may be able to make a claim in relation to your personal injury matter for this future surgery. Because many catastrophic injuries are permanent in nature, clients oftentimes have claims to make for loss of future income and lost earning capacity claims.

If your doctor writes a disability slip, stating that you can’t work for months to a year, you can make a claim for this time in relation to your personal injury claim.

Similarly, life care specialists and other experts may testify in your claim to talk about your lost earning capacity and your future lost earning capacity. Perhaps you are a laborer who uses lots of physical exertion at his or her job, if you sustain a catastrophic injury, which leaves you unable to do that, and this is your specialty or trade, you may have a claim for lost earning capacity.

In addition, another example would be if you sustain a traumatic brain injury and your brain is a primary function of your job, let’s say you are an accountant, for example, you may have a claim, again, for lost earning capacity.

Non-Economic Damages

Taking a step to the other side called non-economic damages, things such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, fear, claims of that nature can be made as well when you sustain a catastrophic injury. Pain and suffering, although it is capped, substantial amounts can be awarded in relation to a catastrophic injury for pain and suffering.

Similarly, if you’ve sustained a catastrophic injury, it is likely that you went through a lot of fear and anxiety and other related mental health issues, and you can make personal injury claims for these non-economic damages as well. The same goes for inconvenience.

Loss of Consortium

If your family member was not involved in the accident wherein you sustained the catastrophic injury, there are still ways that your family can recover, and there are still ways that your family can be impacted by your personal catastrophic injury.

If your family member was not involved in the accident wherein you sustained the catastrophic injury, there are still ways that your family can recover, and there are still ways that your family can be impacted by your personal catastrophic injury.

Loss of consortium is a claim that a family member, primarily a spouse, can make with respect to your own catastrophic injury. Claims for loss of consortium relate to a loss, a deprivation of benefits of your relationship. For example, household chores help, loving help, benefits of that nature. You can also make a claim that your sexual relationship has decreased as a result of a catastrophic injury.

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