A catastrophic injury is one that will never heal or will never allow the victim to function the way he or she did prior to the injury. The injury will not only have an impact on the victim, but will also impact the victim’s family. Catastrophic injuries are physically, emotionally, and financially devastating to everyone involved.
If you or someone you love has been catastrophically injured, the responsible person or company should be brought to justice. As Kansas City injury attorneys who are also medical doctors, we at Cullan & Cullan truly understand just how impactful a catastrophic injury can be. We use our legal and medical knowledge to fight for fair compensation for the seriously injured, including their lifelong care.
To find out how we can help you, call (816) 253-8606. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingent fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you do.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
The following are examples of catastrophic injuries:
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury: This results when the brain is deprived of oxygen. It can occur because of medical negligence surrounding the birth of a child. It can also occur as the result of cardiac arrest resulting from a blunt force striking the heart or heart attack, or due to near drowning.
- Brachial Plexus Injury: A brachial plexus injury is an injury to the nerves that travel from the neck or spine, to the shoulder, and down the arm to the hand. The nerves can be completely torn off the spinal cord, thereby destroying all function, or severely stretched, leading to severe pain, weakness and atrophy.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy affects an individual’s muscle tone and development, leading to issues with movement and posture. Cerebral palsy is most often a result of birth injury, typically when some event occurs that limits blood supply or oxygen flow to the brain. Cerebral palsy can also be caused by traumatic brain injury and, in some cases, may be genetic.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: All brain injuries are serious, but a catastrophic brain injury can result in memory loss, diminished cognitive and emotional functions, blindness, loss of hearing, significant issues with motor skills, and altered personality.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Substantial trauma to the neck or back can result in compression fractures, herniated discs, which can lead to partial or total paralysis.
- Paraplegia: Often referred to as “partial paralysis,” paraplegia involves the paralysis of the lower half of the body. Paraplegia is often caused by spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, or disease.
- Quadriplegia: Full or complete paralysis, quadriplegia is the impairment of all four limbs. Quadriplegic individuals are unable to move from the neck down, often as a result of a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.
- Burn Injuries: A catastrophic burn injury is one that covers much of the body and often results in nerve damage, muscle damage, and permanent disfigurement.
- Internal Organ Injuries: Damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, or other organs can have a significant impact on the victim’s quality of life and physical abilities.
- Amputation: Some accidents result in so much physical trauma to the body that a body part will have to be removed. Parts of the body that are most often dismembered or amputated include the arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
- Multiple Bone Fractures: When many bones are broken at the same time, it can result in a significant decrease in physical abilities. Many victims of catastrophic bone breaks are never able to fully regain strength and mobility.
- Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, CRPS is an irreversible condition that is incredibly painful. The pain is often described as a severe burning, electrical, and or shooting. It can cause severe pain in the joints, muscle atrophy, and spasm. A patient’s skin can be so sensitive that they can’t stand to even come into contact with a light touch (such as a sheet over them at night).
- Tardive Dyskinesia: A horrific disorder which can result in severe involuntary, uncontrollable, and repetitive body movements. These can include involuntary movements of arms, legs, hands, body, lip smacking, lip pursing, puckering, tongue protrusion, grimacing, rapid eye blinking, inability to control moving the head and other problems.
- Cauda Equina Syndrome: CES occurs as a result of nerve damage at the bottom of the spine. When the bundle of nerves located in this area is damaged, individuals may experience severe, radiating pain in the lower back and legs, as well as loss of bladder control and other problems.
- Meningitis: There are two types of meningitis – viral and bacterial/fungal meningitis. While both are dangerous, bacterial meningitis is particularly life-threatening. Symptoms often mimic the flu, but can lead to irreversible brain damage and death if treatment is delayed.
- Stroke: A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygen to the brain is reduced or cut off entirely. Strokes can occur for a variety of reasons and may have life-altering consequences, such as loss of movement, loss of speech, and inability to function on one’s own.
- Pulmonary Embolism: Pulmonary embolism is a blockage or an artery in the lung(s) that has moved from another location in the body – a blood clot in the leg / deep vein thrombosis. A pulmonary embolism can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, lack of oxygen and death.
What Causes Catastrophic Injuries?
Traffic accidents are perhaps the most common cause of serious and catastrophic injuries. Victims of car accidents are particularly at risk of suffering life-changing injuries if they were riding their bike, walking, riding in a speeding vehicle, or involved in a crash with a large tractor-trailer. In such cases, it must be determined who was responsible for the crash and if negligence was a contributing factor in the collision.
Victims may sustain serious trauma in a slip-and-fall accident, near drowning, a construction accident, or an incident involving a defective product or medical negligence. Regardless of the cause of the injury, it is important for your Kansas City catastrophic injury attorney to determine liability so that you can receive financial support for all current and future medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, disabilities, and other damages.
Contact Cullan & Cullan today at (816) 253-8606 for your free case evaluation.