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Catastrophic & Non-Catastrophic Injuries – What is the Difference?

Feb 15, 2020 | Legal Articles

Moussa Sabzehghabaei

Personal Injury Lawyer

When involved in an accident, one’s injuries may be classified as catastrophic or non-catastrophic depending on several factors. How the law classifies injuries will impact the level of compensation that might be presented should your case settle or if you prove your case at trial.

Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
What are catastrophic injuries?

Injuries are classified as catastrophic if they impair the victim’s ability to lead a normal life, the same way they did before the accident. Victims of catastrophic accidents are often unable to take care of themselves or continue with their day-to-day activities after the accident. When a person is involved in an accident that results in a catastrophic injury such as an amputation, brain damage or a spinal cord injury, their life is never the same afterward. These injuries involve months of rehabilitation, long recovery periods and a lifetime of home care, which can be quite costly for them and their family.

Unfortunately, many claims can involve serious injuries but not meet the legal tests to be deemed catastrophic. Without an experienced lawyer, you may not recover the level of compensation that you deserve to adjust to life after the accident. An experienced catastrophic accidents lawyer can help you prove your injuries and file a successful claim so you worry less about medical expenses and lost wages and you begin focusing on getting your life back on track.

Will you be entitled to benefits without catastrophic injuries?

If you were involved in a minor car accident, you may still be entitled to benefits even if you didn’t sustain catastrophic injuries. These benefits may include medical and rehabilitation benefits as well as compensation for lost income and attendant care. For those victims who have sustained more serious injuries, the damages awarded may cover housekeeping and home maintenance costs as part of their tort claims along with compensation for any short-fall in benefits not covered through one’s accident benefits coverage.

How a lawyer can help

The rules and testing governing catastrophic injury claims are very complex. It is important to find a lawyer who understands the complexities of personal injury law and has extensive experience representing clients in similar situations who have sustained catastrophic injuries. An experienced lawyer can ensure your medical team gathers the relevant evidence to ensure sufficient evidence is presented to prove your claim.

What is your claim worth?

The amount that you are entitled to after a catastrophic injury accident will depend on several factors such as who was at fault for the accident. Many accident benefits policies cover $1 million in accident benefits coverage. On top of your accident benefits settlement, you are entitled to payment for your pain and suffering and future losses and expenses through your tort claim against the at fault motorist and their insurer.