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What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in Florida?

EMTs working on a man with a catastrophic injury

Car crashes, medical malpractice, and other accidents can all result in a catastrophic injury. If you have suffered this most severe type of injury, you can file a claim against any negligent party that caused the accident to obtain compensation.

Cases involving a catastrophic injury typically involve a large amount of damages and they are also incredibly complex. As such, insurance companies zealously fight back against them, making it very difficult for accident victims to obtain the compensation they deserve. Below, one of our Miami personal injury lawyers examines what a catastrophic injury is, and how you can receive the full settlement you deserve.

Defining Catastrophic Injury

Florida law defines a catastrophic injury as one that results in long-lasting or permanent impairment, disability, disfigurement, or scarring. A catastrophic injury will change your entire life. You may not be able to maintain your standard of living if you cannot return to work right away, and you may also not be able to enjoy the things you did before the accident. If you sustained a catastrophic injury due to another person’s carelessness or wrongful actions, you can file a personal injury claim against them to obtain compensation, which is legally known as damages.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries come in many forms. The most common examples include:

  • Spinal cord injuries: Partial or full paralysis, circulatory or respiratory problems, loss of bladder or bowel control, exaggerated spasms and reflexes, and chronic pain are just a few types of catastrophic spinal cord injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Trauma to the brain can result in life-long speech problems, cognitive dysfunction, limited mobility, and more.
  • Serious burns: Burns are some of the worst types of personal injuries. They are more prone to complications, such as infections, and they significantly limit the mobility of the burn victim. Burns are also extremely painful and treatments are often very invasive.
  • Amputations: An amputation occurs when any appendage is separated from the rest of the body. Appendages include not only arms and legs, but also fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Amputations sometimes occur at the scene of an accident while in other cases, an appendage must be surgically removed because it is so severely damaged it cannot be repaired.
  • Internal injuries: Internal bleeding, perforated organs, and other internal injuries are often life-threatening, particularly when they are not discovered and treated right away.

What Causes Catastrophic Injuries?

Any accident can result in a catastrophic injury. However, there are some that are more likely to cause severe injuries than others. They include:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Sports and recreational activities
  • Construction accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective drugs or medical devices
  • Workplace accidents
  • Assault
  • Dog bites
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Truck accidents

The above accidents and intentional acts are preventable and you should not have to suffer any more than you already have. A Miami personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim so you obtain the full and fair settlement you deserve.

Why are Catastrophic Injury Claims so Complicated?

Any personal injury claim has the potential to become complex, but this is particularly true when catastrophic injuries are involved. The factors that complicate a catastrophic injury case are as follows:

  • Greater damages: Catastrophic injury cases usually have much higher damages than other types of personal injury claims due to high medical expenses and long-term disfigurement or disability. Insurance companies try very hard to fight these claims so they can protect their profits.
  • Expert testimony: The medical treatment required to treat catastrophic injuries is usually highly complex. These cases typically require testimony from medical experts who can advise on the scope of your damages or your ongoing medical needs.
  • Future medical needs: Immediate treatment for a catastrophic injury can be complicated but they will also require medical treatment in the future. A personal injury claim should make you as whole as you were before the accident, which means you deserve compensation for your future expenses, as well.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Miami Can Help You Claim a Full Settlement

Catastrophic injuries are the most complex in personal injury claims. You need a Miami personal injury lawyer who has experience with these cases and the complications they present. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our seasoned attorneys have helped many accident victims claim the full settlements they deserve and we will put our expertise to work for you, too. Call us now at (786) 504-7842 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can assist with your case.