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Common Catastrophic Injuries


Burn Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, and More //

According to U.S. Code Title 24 §10284, “’catastrophic injury’ means an injury, the direct and proximate consequences of which permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.” Essentially, this means any injury that takes away your ability to work is catastrophic in nature. While a broken bone may not be catastrophic, a broken hip very well could be.

Any injury can be a catastrophic injury – depending on how it affects you, whether or not you will heal, and, most importantly, how it impacts your professional life.

That being said, some injuries are almost always catastrophic.

These common catastrophic injuries include:

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back and carries important messages to and from your brain. When it is harmed, you may lose the ability to send signals from your brain to other parts of your body. This frequently results in full or partial paralysis.

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are typically caused by trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents and falls. Car crashes are the leading cause of SCIs for young adults and accidental falls are the leading cause of SCIs for adults over 65. Many people also sustain SCIs during sporting accidents or intentional acts of violence.

Because SCIs can take away movement and muscle function and lead to other serious complications, they are usually considered catastrophic. Many people require extra care and assistance after sustaining an SCI – and catastrophic injury lawsuits can help them afford the resources they need.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of acquired brain injury that occurs when sudden trauma damages the brain. Closed TBIs occur when there is a blow, bump, or jolt to the head, and penetrating TBIs happen when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.

Concussions are the type of TBI most people are familiar with, but symptoms of a TBI can range in severity. More serious TBIs can result in permanent disabilities, including:

  • Problems with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning)
  • Problems with sensory processing (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell)
  • Problems with communication (expression and understanding)
  • Behavioral or mental health problems (depression, anxiety, etc.)
  • Personality changes
  • Unresponsive states (such as stupor, coma, and persistent vegetative state)

Any of these disabilities can prevent you from working, which can create serious financial difficulties.

When your injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not have to struggle alone.

Read our blog to learn more about the Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury, and how our firm can help you move forward.

Serious Burns

Burn injuries can happen whenever your body’s tissues are damaged by chemicals, heat, electricity, sunlight, or radiation. If a burn injury affects a sensitive body part, like your face, or a large area of skin, however, it may be a catastrophic injury.

Depending on their severity, burns can lead to swelling, blistering, pain, permanent scarring, and even shock and death. First-degree burns are the least serious and only damage the outer layer of skin, but second- and third-degree burns go deeper, with third-degree burns destroying skin entirely.

After burn injuries, you may need skin grafts and other treatments, and you may have to keep your body covered for an extended period.

If you need time off work or cannot return to work after your injury, the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli can help.

Fractures, Amputations, and Other Catastrophic Injuries

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, any injury can be catastrophic. When adults over 65 fracture their hip, for example, they are often unable to walk and their likelihood of falling again and/or passing away rises dramatically. Similarly, a model or actress with permanent scarring may be unable to continue working in their chosen profession.

Further, losing an arm, hand, foot, or leg can have an enormous impact on people’s careers. While some may be able to adjust to their injury, others will not.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury and you’re wondering whether or not it’s catastrophic, it never hurts to ask. Attorney Charles R. Gueli is available 24/7 to answer your questions.

When it comes to catastrophic injuries, details matter – and we can help you evaluate and expand upon your case.

Call us at (516) 628-6402 or contact us online anytime to schedule a free consultation.

We can get through this, together!

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