Defining Catastrophic Injury in Legal Terms

A catastrophic injury has specific legal definitions. These may relate to the nature of the personal injury or the outcome that the patient is likely to expect.

Nature Vs. Outcome Of Catastrophic Injuries

Very often, this kind of injury is one to specific body parts. These might include the skull, spine, neck, or spinal cord. This definition actually comes from the American Medical Association, but it is only one subset of the way the term is often used legally.

The law defines a catastrophic injury by it’s anticipated outcome. They would cause a permanent disability that would severely change the way that the injured person might work or even live. This definition doesn’t define particular injuries, but the way that the injury would impact the injured person’s life in the future.

In some cases, catastrophic injuries might also be fatal accidents. In other cases, they might result in other complications because the injury makes the victim more vulnerable to other injuries or diseases.

Why Define Catastrophic Injuries By The Law?

If an individual suffered an injury like this, he or she might need lifelong medical care and also suffer from a loss of income. Family members might need to take time to help care for the injured person too, or it might be necessary to pay caregivers. Typically, such terms are defined by lawyers, judges, and insurance companies because they seek some compensation to a party or parties who may have caused this injury or contributed to it.

Some examples of these kinds of lawsuits could include car accidents or at-work accidents. The injured person or that person’s family may seek to collect damages in court or through a settlement in these cases. In most cases, awards for these types of cases come from settlements, but some of the lawsuits do end up in court.