Catastrophic injuries aren’t just painful; they can also make living a normal life impossible. For some, the financial impact of catastrophic injuries hurts even more than their physical wounds.
You may scramble to pay the bills because you can no longer work. Thoughts of losing your home or filing for bankruptcy may haunt you day and night.
If you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident, learn what to expect financially below. You’ll also determine whether you can seek damages from the person who caused your injuries, with the help of a catastrophic injury lawyer.
Catastrophic Injuries Can Have Costly Consequences for Victims and Loved Ones
Catastrophic injuries commonly cost victims thousands or even millions of dollars. But accident victims aren’t the only ones who suffer — their families may also struggle with the financial burden.
Emergency treatment can cost a fortune, and that’s true even if you have the finest health insurance money can buy. You’ll still shell out cash for a lengthy hospital stay, surgery, medication, and more.
And the financial impact of catastrophic injuries doesn’t let up once you’ve left the hospital. You’ll probably need to see a doctor often during the recovery process. On top of that, you’ll be expected to pay for physical therapy if you can’t walk after an accident.
You might also need to pay for someone to care for you at your home. Many people with serious injuries hire a caregiver to assist them with bathing, grooming, and feeding themselves. The cost of such a caregiver can easily reach hundreds of dollars per day.
The sudden loss of a paycheck when unable to work can be terrifying. Even a well-funded savings account can’t tide you over forever. When that runs out, you could find yourself in serious financial hardship.
When you return to work, your boss might announce that you can no longer perform your job duties. You may have to take a lower-paying role doing other tasks, adding insult to injury.
Many industries aren’t friendly to those with disabilities. You could choose to train for work in another field, but that might cost money you don’t have.
Physical and Mental Effects of Catastrophic Injuries
The financial impact of catastrophic injuries isn’t your only problem after an accident. The physical and mental effects of catastrophic injuries can also significantly affect your quality of life.
Spinal injuries can cause much more than back pain. With a severe enough injury, victims end up partially or completely paralyzed. They may be unable to walk and rely on a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Even a mild concussion can cause headaches, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and a loss of consciousness. Mild concussions tend to improve in a few days. More serious TBIs cause problems that continue for months or longer.
People with a serious TBI may suffer from permanent memory loss. They may be unable to recognize family and friends. This is very distressing for both the victim and their loved ones.
Victims might also develop personality changes. A person who was once kind and friendly might become angry, irritable, and impatient. These changes can drive away loved ones and destroy social networks, which only adds to feelings of depression and loneliness.
Not all catastrophic injuries happen due to an accident. Labor and delivery complications can cause catastrophic birth defects and injuries for babies, too.
For instance, babies who lose oxygen to their brains can develop cerebral palsy. These babies may go on to suffer from intellectual disabilities, speech problems, hearing impairments, and an inability to walk.
Birth injuries can happen even if the mother has a picture-perfect pregnancy. If you suspect that medical malpractice caused your child’s birth injuries, call a catastrophic injury lawyer for help.
Broken bones usually heal well, but compound fractures and other serious breaks may not heal as expected. Poorly healed bones can prevent victims from walking properly or doing their jobs.
Compound fractures break through the skin, leaving victims susceptible to infections. If an infection is bad enough, a doctor may even need to amputate a limb to save the person’s life.
Mental Health Conditions
People who suffer from catastrophic injuries can see their lives change in the blink of an eye. Victims who were once fiercely independent now find themselves relying on others for care. They may feel depressed and worthless because they can no longer provide for their families.
Many catastrophic injury victims develop anxiety and other mental health problems. They might feel irritable, frightened, or angry all the time. Some people who develop mental health issues self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.
It’s common for accident victims to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD doesn’t just affect veterans. Anyone who witnessed or experienced a traumatic event can develop PTSD.
Can You Hold Someone Financially Responsible for Your Catastrophic Injuries?
If someone was to blame for your catastrophic injuries, you probably want to know whether you can sue them and seek compensation. The good news is that, yes, you can. An attorney will work with you to calculate damages and assign a figure for how much your case is worth.
You may be able to recover damages for:
- Lost wages if you can’t work
- Job retraining
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Physical therapy and other rehab services
- In-home care
- Home modifications, such as a wheelchair ramp
In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident so they can start building your case immediately.
How Can a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Help Your Case?
An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can gather evidence to prove the financial impact of catastrophic injuries in your case. If they cannot reach an out-of-court settlement, the lawyer will represent you when the case goes to trial.
Contact Khalil Law Group at (714) 617-7870 for a free consultation on your case today.