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Physical and Psychological Impairments that Result in a Catastrophic Injury

Mar 6, 2020 | Initial Consultation, Legal Articles

Moussa Sabzehghabaei

Personal Injury Lawyer

The law defines a catastrophic impairment as a combination of psychological and physical impairments that result in a whole person impairment (WPI) of more than 55%. This WPI rating is calculated following the American Medical Association guidelines. If a victim has suffered a brain injury, the psychological and physical components of the injury will be assessed and a rating given to determine if the injury can be classified as catastrophic.

Common Injuries in a Pedestrian AccidentThe main challenge when dealing with brain injury is that the psychological and physical aspects of the condition can be hard to separate. For instance, an individual may suffer psychological impairment such as depression as a result of the brain injury or due to the symptoms such as headaches and lack of sleep.

Due to the overlap of psychological and neurological causes, there is a possibility of double counting when assessing a victim’s mental status impairment. The result is that the impact of impairment may end up being overstated. At the same time, failure to include the mental status impairment on each aspect may amount to ignoring or underestimating the victim’s condition.

Assessment methods used in TBI cases

There are two main types of assessment protocols that may be used to determine the level of impairment in adults.

Standardized assessment methods: The clinician may recommend using standardized assessment tools depending on the severity of the neurological damage and the individual’s level of alertness as well as other factors such as whether there are any visible physical, sensory or cognitive deficits. Individuals who have severe deficits cannot be successfully assessed using this method.

Non-standardized assessment: After a traumatic brain injury, the patient is likely to perform disproportionately better or worse in day to day activities compared to disabilities that are predicted using the standardized assessment methods. With a non-standardized assessment procedure, the purpose is to identify the individual’s ability to perform in domains where there are no standardized tests or the ones existing are very limiting. These tests can uncover some helpful information for the communication partners of the victim and discover outcomes that require intervention.

Get the help of a brain injury lawyer

Brain injury lawyers have specialized in the field of traumatic brain injury cases. These are experts who focus on victims and families who have survived serious brain injuries and medical malpractice cases. With an experienced lawyer who has a history of presiding similar cases, you can maximize your settlement award. At Grillo, we are known for our advocacy and extensive experience in the area of traumatic brain injury.

We have worked with survivors in Canada and beyond to build a strong case that ensures they get full and fair compensation for injuries sustained. We prosecute brain injury cases for TBI survivors of all ages. From infants who have suffered serious brain injuries during the process of birth to young people, adults with families and senior citizens, our team will investigate and develop a strong case to ensure your claim is proven and justice is served.