Key Points of This Article:
- Defining catastrophic injuries
- Common types of catastrophic injuries
- Causes of catastrophic injuries
- Compensation you can recover for a catastrophic injury
When a person is injured in an accident in Detroit, they would typically file a personal injury claim to recover damages such as medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain & suffering. However, every state has limits on how much money you can recover after an accident. Generally, the more severe the injury, the more money you will be awarded in your settlement.
There are some injuries, however, that warrant a significantly higher settlement amount than others—and these are called catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries are often life-altering; thus, the injured victim deserves to be adequately compensated for their potential life-long suffering.
For this reason, it is important to understand what a severe injury is exactly and how to prove that you are suffering from one. In most cases, this requires the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, particularly one that is familiar with your state’s specific laws.
A catastrophic injury lawyer in Detroit, for example, will know the state’s definition of a catastrophic injury, what the Michigan no-fault insurance benefits will cover, and how to help you prove that you are suffering from a catastrophic injury to ensure you get the full compensation amount that you deserve.
If you suspect that you are suffering from a catastrophic injury, our Detroit and Michigan Personal Injury Attorneys can assist you. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has years of experience handling all kinds of cases, and our dedicated Detroit car accident lawyers know what it takes to prove the extent of an injury to ensure our clients win their case and get the settlement they deserve.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
So, what is a catastrophic injury exactly? In most states, including Michigan, a catastrophic injury is considered a serious injury that leaves a person impaired. The primary difference between a regular personal injury versus a catastrophic injury is the extent of the injury and life-long alterations. For example, a person can suffer from a severe injury that is devastating, but if that person will eventually recover without any permanent impairments, then their injury will likely not be viewed as catastrophic.
To be considered as having a catastrophic injury, a person generally has to meet certain thresholds. Specifically, the injury must meet the following criteria:
- Require long-term care
- Alter the quality of life
- Leave the individual permanently disfigured or disabled
- Impair the individual’s ability to earn an income
It is necessary to make these distinctions to prove that you are suffering from a severe injury if you want to recover enough money to adequately compensate you for the more severe and extreme damages you have suffered.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries
While there is no set list that is provided by each state for injury examples, there are generally some injuries that are more commonly considered catastrophic. These include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Loss of limbs and amputation
- Severe burns covering a significant portion of the body
- Loss of eyes and ears causing a person to be partially or completely blind or deaf
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
- Organ damage
- Loss of bodily functions
A catastrophic brain injury, such as a TBI, is one of the most common types of catastrophic injuries. This is because brain injuries can cause severe brain damage that can alter a person’s neurological functions and physical functions. Common catastrophic brain injury symptoms can include:
- Extended loss of consciousness
- Severe and persistent headaches
- Uncontrollable nausea and vomiting
- Pupil dilation
- Speech impairments
- Difficulty waking from sleep
- Extreme mood changes
- Fluids leaking from the ears
- Weakness and numbness in extremities
- Loss of coordination
Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
There are countless ways that a catastrophic injury can occur, but the most common causes include:
- Head-on collisions
- High-speed car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Dog attacks
- Slip and fall accidents
Compensation for Severe Injuries in Michigan
When you initially file a claim for a catastrophic injury, there is no pre-determined amount as each individual situation can vary. While overall, a person with a severe injury will be permanently impaired in some way, each person’s suffering is different, as is how the injury has specifically altered their life.
This is why it is crucial for injured victims to work with an attorney. You need professional representation that can help you prove the extent of your specific injury and all that you have or will suffer to ensure you are not awarded a generalized amount.
In Michigan, if damages exceed $585,000 for a catastrophic injury claim, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) will step in to provide additional compensation based on the victim’s individual situation. The MCCA was created to help alleviate the stress placed on no-fault insurers to compensate victims in extreme circumstances.
Again, however, this additional compensation is not easily awarded. You will need to provide sufficient evidence with the help of an attorney to convince the courts or insurance company that you are, in fact, suffering from a catastrophic injury.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm: Michigan Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffer from a severe and life-altering injury after an accident in Detroit, our catastrophic injury lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help. For over 40 years, our attorneys have handled a number of accident cases, including those involving catastrophic injuries. We care about the wellbeing and comfort of our clients and will fight tirelessly to advocate for your rights to ensure you are adequately compensated for your pain and suffering.
Call our Detroit, Michigan personal injury lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) to speak with an experienced attorney. Our consultations are free and confidential, and you’ll pay nothing until we settle your catastrophic injury case.