If you manage to survive a catastrophic car accident, you’re often left to deal with life-altering injuries.
A catastrophic injury can heavily impact your life in terms of finances, work, and even relationships. In this post, we tell all about catastrophic accidents, including how they occur and what to do in case you or a loved one is a victim of a catastrophic car accident in California.
What is a Catastrophic Car Accident Injury?
The legal definition of a catastrophic injury is an injury with direct, permanent consequences that hinder you from performing any meaningful work. Most catastrophic injuries that occur from severe car accidents impact a significant part of your body — be it your limbs, spinal cord, or cognitive ability such that you can’t function normally.
However, some minor car injuries may also develop into catastrophic injuries later. These often occur when medical complications arise during treatment, leading to permanent impairment.
Catastrophic Injuries That Occur After a Car Accident
Below are the common catastrophic injuries that occur from car accidents:
Spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries are the worst injuries you can develop after a serious car accident. An injury to your spinal cord can render you completely or partially immobile for the rest of your life, depending on severity. If the injury is in the neck region (quadriplegia), you may be unable to move all four limbs and will probably be on a ventilator your entire life.
Conversely, if the injury is on your lower back (paraplegia), you may be able to move your hands but not your legs. Either way, all outcomes of a spinal cord injury are painful, expensive, and alter your way of life.
Traumatic brain injuries
Car accidents can cause numerous types of brain injuries. If an accident causes you to hit the dashboard or headrest, you may suffer internal bleeding. Similarly, an object can also penetrate your skull during the accident, causing brain damage. Or, your brain might swell due to the force of the impact caused by the crash.
Whatever the reason for brain damage, one thing is for sure – anytime your brain suffers an injury, it swells or bleeds, which causes brain tissue damage. This may render you unable to walk, talk, or think impartially.
Burn injuries are common if a car accident causes the vehicle to catch fire or explode. Injuries from burns can range from minor to life-threatening, depending on the accident’s severity. Examples of burns that may arise include:
- First degree burns
- Second-degree burns
- Third-degree burns
First- and second-degree burns may not become catastrophic if you receive treatment in ample time. However, third-degree burns often extend to large portions of your body, leaving you permanently damaged and disfigured, even after skin grafts, plastic surgery, and other rehabilitative treatments.
Internal organ damage
Internal organs are extremely sensitive. The force of the impact created by an accident can cause internal damage to critical organs such as the liver and kidney. Worse, internal damage is often hard to detect since you may feel okay outside until the damage is too far gone for any treatment to help.
For example, if your spleen ruptures, causing an internal bleed, after a car accident, you may suffer catastrophic organ damage or die if the bleeding isn’t detected in time.
Common Types of Car Accidents That Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Although rare, rollover accidents account for 35% of all fatal car crashes in the United States and numerous catastrophic injuries. Usually, rollover accidents occur when a vehicle tries to make a bend at high speeds. However, a car may also rollover after colliding with another vehicle or object.
Collisions with two or more vehicles can cause serious injuries due to the multiple impacts of vehicles at various angles. Examples of catastrophic injuries that may occur after multiple vehicles collide include spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and paralysis. The reason multivehicle or pile-up accidents
When one driver fails to yield right of way to another driver, the result is usually a T-bone accident. T-bone or side-impact accidents occur when a vehicle drives into the side of another vehicle. This type of collision often results in traumatic brain injuries, deep lacerations, and internal bleeding.
Rear-end collisions are the most common car accident in urban areas and on busy roads. While they’re not fatal, rear-end collisions can cause catastrophic injuries, depending on the distance and speed of impact between the vehicles involved. Common injuries witnessed after a rear-end car accident include fractures, concussions, and whiplash.
Contact an Aggressive Car Accident Attorney at JLF Law Firm
Catastrophic accidents cause a chain of problems to unfold in your life. The most significant change that a catastrophic injury brings is financial. You’ll need thousands of dollars for treatment and rehabilitation that comes after. You’ll also require money to sustain yourself since you may not work again.
Our car accident attorneys at the JLF Law Firm can help you pursue compensation for the intensive and ongoing treatment if you’re permanently disabled from a car accident. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case if you’re in Los Angeles County, California.
FAQs on Catastrophic Car Accident Injuries
What should I do after a catastrophic car accident?
Try to gather as much evidence as possible for filing a compensation case. An auto attorney can do this for you while you’re in the hospital.
Can you receive compensation for catastrophic injuries?
If you can prove your catastrophic injury claim against the at-fault individual, you may qualify for several damages. These include medical costs, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.