While a minor injury can change a life, it doesn’t always cause permanent injury. A catastrophic injury commonly means a permanent disability, either physical or mental. There are several types of catastrophic injury a person in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, may experience.
Traumatic brain injury
While most people can recover from a minor brain injury, catastrophic injuries involving the brain are more serious. The most current stats from the Center for Diseases Control show 2.87 hospitalizations were caused by TBIs in 2014.
These injuries often cause extended periods of consciousness loss, internal brain bleeding, clotting, and bruising, often affecting cognitive function. TBIs occur from the impact of the brain hitting the skull when it hits a hard surface, such as concrete.
Loss of limb
Loss of limbs, or amputations, are catastrophic injuries that involve losing complete function from disfigurement or loss of blood circulation. Some common causes of amputation and disfigurement include fractures from accidents, road rash from concrete or airbags, and burns.
While surgeries have advanced to provide some limb repair, the emotional impact and shock are devastating. According to stats, about 2 million U.S. citizens have lost one limb and 45% occur because of traumatic injury.
Spinal cord injury
The spinal cord has the important function of sending nerve signals to the brain, so any injury interrupts the task. One out of 54 million people in the U.S. suffers from spinal cord injury annually, which equals 17,730 new cases every year.
Permanent spinal cord damage is complete and an incomplete spinal injury means the spine still has some function. A common spinal cord injury is a herniated disc, which causes damage to the gel-like cushions in between each vertebra.
Since a catastrophic injury often requires surgery, medical care, and life adjustments, patients can recover damages. Some damages a patient can recover include lost wages, economic damages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.