Two types of claims are commonly filed after an accident: standard personal injury and catastrophic injury claims. While similar in process, there are some significant differences between the two.  

What is The Type of Injury?

Standard personal injury claims typically involve relatively minor injuries that do not cause long-term or permanent disability. Examples include sprains, strains, and soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash and broken bones. These types of injuries typically do not require extensive medical treatment and do not result in significant lost wages.

Catastrophic injury claims, on the other hand, involve severe and often permanent injuries. Examples of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, and paralysis. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, hospitalizations, and ongoing rehabilitation. They also often result in significant lost wages, as the injured person may be unable to work or will require a different type of employment due to their disability.

What is the Expected Recovery Time?

The recovery time for a catastrophic injury is typically much longer than for other types of injuries. It can mean years or a lifetime of ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy. For example, a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury may require extensive cognitive and physical therapy, as well as ongoing medical care. All of which can take several years and involve multiple surgeries and hospitalizations. Similarly, a person who has suffered a spinal cord injury may require ongoing physical therapy, assistive devices, and adaptations to their home and workplace to accommodate their disability.

In contrast, other types of injuries, such as minor soft tissue injuries or fractures, typically require a shorter recovery time of weeks or months. While these injuries can still require medical treatment and rehabilitation, they are less severe and do not need long-term or constant care.

Determining an Injury’s Repercussions 

The repercussions of a catastrophic injury are generally much more severe than those of other personal injuries. Catastrophic injuries can have a long-term impact on the victim’s life. They may be unable to work, engage in recreational activities, or even perform basic daily tasks. This can lead to significant emotional and financial stress for victims and their families, especially since the costs of medical treatment can be astronomical and may not be fully covered by insurance.

Both catastrophic and other personal injury accidents can have a significant emotional impact on the victim. They may experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their injury. However, catastrophic injury victims and their loved ones are more likely to experience long-lasting emotional distress and pain due to the sudden change that impacts every aspect of their lives and relationships. 

Difference in Compensation

Catastrophic injury victims may require ongoing medical care, be unable to return to work and suffer a significant impact on their quality of life. As a result, the compensation for catastrophic injuries is typically much higher than other personal injury cases, and insurance companies will fight harder to avoid paying out large settlements or awards. 

Seek Legal Support After a Serious Injury

Both personal injury and catastrophic injury claims can have high stakes, financially and emotionally. Therefore, it is critical to recover the compensation you need to cover your losses. A Charleston, West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney can handle every aspect of your case for you and ensure you have a solid case and receive the compensation you deserve.