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What constitutes catastrophic injury after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Car Accidents

Surviving an Oklahoma motor vehicle collision doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to walk away unscathed. Even a minor incident can cause severe emotional trauma. In addition to emotional distress, a severe car accident may result in catastrophic injuries that require a lengthy and arduous recovery.

What constitutes a catastrophic injury? While there is no set legal or medical definition to clarify the issue, there are several conditions that are typically present when a patient has this type of injury.

A catastrophic injury often involves the brain or spine

If you’re involved in a car accident, you might suffer injuries due to blunt force trauma. Especially when traveling at highway speeds, the impact of a collision can cause severe damage to various parts of your body, particularly your brain or spinal regions. When a severe injury affects these areas of the body, they are “catastrophic.”

You would also be in this condition if you suffer internal injuries, such as organ damage or multiple bone fractures or amputation of one or more limbs. Severe burns are also a condition that constitutes a catastrophic injury. It is, of course, possible to suffer numerous catastrophic injuries at the same time. Obtaining quality medical care as soon as possible after a collision may increase your chances of achieving a full recovery. However, some injuries have far-reaching and lasting effects.

This type of injury often has permanent implications

Surviving a catastrophic injury in a car accident doesn’t guarantee that you will achieve a full recovery. In fact, such injuries often have lasting consequences, such as paralysis or impaired cognitive skills from spinal cord damage, a skull fracture, or bleeding or swelling on the brain. You may live with a partial or full disability, which can affect your life in many ways, including preventing you from being able to work.

Recovering from a Minnesota car accident can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging. A catastrophic injury, especially, often requires ongoing medical care, such as multiple surgeries and physical therapy. Such injuries often spark mental health problems, such as depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If another driver’s negligence was a causal factor in the collision that resulted in a catastrophic injury, state law allows you to seek restitution by filing a personal injury claim in civil court. This enables you to seek compensation for damages, which can help alleviate the financial strain associated with the incident.