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What Makes an Injury Catastrophic?


Under federal law, an injury becomes catastrophic when it takes away your ability to work and earn a living. According to Title 34, §10284 of United States Code (34 USC 10284):

’catastrophic injury’ means an injury, the direct and proximate consequences of which permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”

Still, some states have slightly different definitions for catastrophic injury, especially when it comes to their workers’ compensation statutes.

In South Carolina, the best way to and understand a catastrophic injury is with examples.

At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, for instance, we handle the following catastrophic injury cases:

All too often, these types of injuries do not allow for full physical and emotional recovery. We consider them catastrophic because victims are extremely unlikely to return to their pre-accident conditions. Another way to define catastrophic injuries is to identify them as injuries that result in long-term or permanent disability and/or disfigurement.

Catastrophic injury cases are different than regular personal injury cases due to damages.

Damages in a Catastrophic Injury Case

Some injuries result in medical bills and time away from work, which are expensive, but pale in comparison to the costs associated with a catastrophic injury.

Catastrophic injuries are often life-threatening, prevent you from working entirely, and require long-term or lifelong care and assistance.

Damages in catastrophic injury cases account for:

  • Hospitalization
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Assistive care and devices
  • Missed wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Changes to your quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • And more

The financial awards you receive in a catastrophic injury case are designed to help you adjust to your injuries and losses. If you cannot earn money for yourself and your family, your damages should address this. If you need to remodel your home to make it more accessible, damages can help. In serious cases, damages can replace your income and provide c phare and comfort for the rest of your life.

No amount of money can change what happened, but the right resources can help you live a full and meaningful life, even with your disabilities and/or disfigurement.

Do I Have a Case?

If you suffered any of the injuries or losses we have discussed in this blog due to someone else’s negligence, you likely have a legitimate case.

We cannot give say for sure nor give you any legal advice, however, until you contact us for a free consultation.

Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC has more than 125 years of combined legal experience. We have been serving clients since 1999, and we can help you, too.

Call us at (843) 968-0886 to set up your free case review.

If we do not win, you do not pay, and we are ready to shine a light in the darkness and help you through this difficult time.