Understanding Catastrophic Injuries Sustained from Auto Accidents
An auto accident can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved. Unfortunately, some of these accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, which can be life-altering and even fatal for victims.
Catastrophic injuries are permanent or long-term injuries that affect a person’s ability to perform gainful work (see 42 U.S.C. § 3796b). A person can sustain such an injury in a number of accidents, including medical malpractice, premises liability accidents, workplace accidents, and motor vehicle accidents. Below, we take a look at some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries that are caused by auto accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The most common type of catastrophic injury is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI is caused when head trauma occurs due to being in an auto accident. The severity of a TBI can range anywhere from mild to severe, depending on the force of the impact and other factors.
The types of TBIs typically fall into two primary categories: closed brain injuries (i.e. injuries that do not penetrate the brain or result in breaks in the skill) or penetrating brain injuries (i.e. injuries that pierce the brain and/or skull). Common types of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Brain hemorrhages
- Intracranial hematomas
- Coup-contrecoup brain injuries
- Diffuse axonal injury
- Second-impact syndrome
Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, impaired speech or vision, seizures, or even coma. If you or someone you know has experienced any of these symptoms after an auto accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Spinal Cord Injury
Another common type of catastrophic injury caused by auto accidents is spinal cord injury (SCI). When trauma affects the spinal cord—which carries nerve signals between the brain and body—it can result in paralysis as well as other physical disabilities such as loss of sensation in certain areas or organs in the body. While there have been cases where people have recovered from SCIs with therapy and rehab treatments over time, many victims are left permanently disabled due to this type of injury.
Burns & Disfiguring Injuries
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you can suffer burn injuries. You can sustain:
- First-degree burns because of skin exposed to seatbelt rubs or powder from your airbags.
- Second-degree burns because of hot metal in the accident.
- Third-degree or fourth-degree burns because of a fire that breaks out or chemicals at the scene of the accident.
Third- and fourth-degree burns are the most severe burns. Third-degree burns affect the outer and second layers of skin as well as nerves. Fourth-degree burns can also damage the muscles and burns, and in severe cases, they can be fatal.
Burns are a type of disfiguring injury, which is an injury that affects a person’s appearance. Other disfiguring injuries include:
- Facial injuries
- Severe lacerations
Finally, amputation injuries are another form of catastrophic injury that can occur due to an auto accident. These types of injuries occur when either internal or external forces cause limbs or appendages to be severed from the body—such as arms or legs—and they often require surgery to repair them properly.
In some cases, other injuries, like burns or crushing injuries, can require that limbs be medically amputated. Amputations are also irreversible and can lead to permanent disability for victims if not treated quickly enough. In addition to surgery, these injuries often require physical therapy and adaptation to other aspects of a person’s life.
Contact Our Firm for Legal Counsel
Catastrophic injuries caused by auto accidents are serious matters that require immediate attention from both medical professionals and help from experienced attorneys alike. Victims and their families need to understand how these types of injuries may affect them long-term so that they can make informed decisions about their future healthcare needs and legal rights following such an incident.
If you or someone you know has suffered any kind of catastrophic injury due to an auto accident, please contact the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli. With over 25 years of legal experience, our firm can help you:
- Understand your legal rights
- Understand the various legal options you have after suffering because of medical negligence
- Calculate your damages
- Investigate the incident to establish liability
- Minimize your liability and maximize your compensation
- Offer you legal support
Learn more about how our firm can help you by scheduling an initial consultation today. Call (516) 628-6402 to get started.