If you or a loved one has been injured and is in search of professional legal help, the terms “catastrophic injury claim” and “personal injury claim” have most likely come up. Although these may seem as though they are essentially the same type of claim, there are key differences between the two that may be difficult to discern at first glance. Fortunately, our attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC are here to discuss these differences to help you determine which category your claim would fall under.
Primary Differences Between Personal Injury and Catastrophic Injury Cases
The Severity of the Injury: Lifelong or Long-Term?
The type of injury at the center of the claim is the main differentiating factor between a catastrophic injury and personal injury claim, as the former deals with injuries that are more severe than the latter. For instance, a few common examples of injuries that tend to be regarded as catastrophic include but are not limited to:
- Third-degree burns
- Orthopedic injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe spinal cord injuries
All these injuries are expected to last a lifetime. On the other hand, personal injury claims tend to focus on injuries that may take a long time to heal and greatly disrupt a person’s day-to-day life, but it is expected that eventually these wounds will heal. A few examples of these injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Mild burns
- Mental pain and anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
As you can see, these injuries are still very serious and can affect a person for a long time to come, but through proper treatment and therapies, a full recovery remains possible. Therefore, to put it simply, the discerning difference between the two types of claims is that catastrophic injuries are lifelong while personal injuries are temporary.
A Difference in Complexity
Besides the severity of the injury, these claims vary in terms of complexity in the following ways:
- The amount of compensation requested: Claims for injuries that are catastrophic will seek higher compensation because more damages have incurred and can be expected to continue to incur, such as lifelong medical checkups, treatments, and accommodations, as well as a reduced earning potential, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
- The impact on the injured person’s family: Typically, the family and loved ones of the catastrophically injured individual will have to make lifelong sacrifices to care for them. While they may be more than willing to do this, it does cost them money and time, and it could change the trajectories of their lives. Meanwhile, personal injury claimants may also need support from their loved ones but not for as long.
- The stakes of the case: Both types of claims can have high stakes, but the stakes for personal injury claims are undeniably lower due to the nature of the injuries involved. Thus, catastrophically injured claimants often face more challenges when pursuing a claim — such as a litany of disputes from the defense and the need for a medical professional’s diagnosis and expert testimony — because the defense is usually reluctant to pay enough money to cover a lifelong injury.
Grewal Law PLLC: Helping Seriously Injured Accident Victims
Backed by a legal team with more than a century of combined experience, Grewal Law PLLC is a full-service law firm in Michigan that provides legal representation to victims of serious, life-threatening accidents. Well-versed in a range of practice areas, we have the means to dive headfirst into complex cases without wasting any time. Our passions for public safety and justice are informed by our award-winning legal knowledge and skill. Put experienced lawyers who truly care on your side.
Contact Grewal Law PLLC online or call us at (888) 211-5798 today for a free consultation.