Work accidents happen all the time.
In most cases, victims just have to take some time off work and go through a relatively short recovery before they can come back to their job. However, for some, their injuries are so severe that they impact the rest of their life, preventing them from “performing any gainful work” ever again.
Let’s go through what defines a catastrophic injury, how they are classified, and what one should do to recover compensation for those injuries.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
One of the simplest definitions of a catastrophic injury can be found in the U.S. legal code (42 USCS § 3796b.) A catastrophic injury means “an injury, the direct and proximate consequences of which permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work”. An injury that has such an impact on someone’s life has definitely done a lot of damage to that person and to those around them.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
A simple classification of catastrophic injuries is the following:
- Physical injuries: amputations of limbs, permanently lost functionality of limbs, lost fingers, severe burns, etc.
- Spinal cord injuries: paralysis
- Cognitive injuries: lost ability to speak, to form new memories, or to work
As you can see, work accidents that could result in catastrophic injuries are very serious and occur suddenly, leaving the victim impaired immediately or soon after the incident. Such injuries can be inflicted by falls from a great height, maneuvering heavy machinery, being crushed by heavy objects, or being in a car crash.
Getting Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries
The life of a victim who suffers from a catastrophic injury will never be the same again. Losing the ability to perform gainful work usually means that everyday tasks cannot be performed either without assistance or at all. Besides losing their means of living, survivors will likely need special medical assistance for the rest of their lives. They will also have a lower quality of life, suffer from emotional damage and comorbidities, and may not be able to work anymore.
Speaking with an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney is paramount if you want to ensure that you will get a fair settlement.
While you and your family focus on adapting to the new life you will have, let your attorney handle the legal part and work to get you the compensation you need.
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