What is a catastrophic injury?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might have the right to sue the at-fault party for compensation to help cover expenses otherwise known as economic damages. Economic damages include things such as medical expenses, lost wages and future earning potential.

However, in certain states, you must have suffered what is known as a “catastrophic injury” in order to sue for non-economic damages. Common non-economic damages include what is commonly referred to as “pain and suffering” and mental anguish.

What is considered catastrophic injury in California?

Under California State code §3796b, a catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work. Basically, the injury has to be severe enough that a person’s life, career and family are forever changed. Common catastrophic injuries include:

A catastrophic injury usually leads to a lifelong disability which requires ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitative treatment, ongoing therapy, long-term care planning and sometimes permanent assistance. If the catastrophic injury is severe enough, some victims do not recover from their injury and their friends and family can struggle financially to provide care for their loved ones.

Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Like with most personal injury cases, the injury has to come from another person’s negligence or recklessness and not be a pre-existing injury. Common causes of injuries through negligence include:

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. The best course of action is to contact one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys for a free consultation regarding your case. Contact us today by calling us or filling out one of the contact forms.