A catastrophic injury for a child can be any parent’s nightmare. It can change your child’s life forever. It can cause long-term suffering that may require many years of special care for the child.
Other than the emotional stress, it can also affect your family financially. The cost of rehabilitation for the injury may go up to seven figures. Some health insurance may not be enough to cover the medical costs.
A catastrophic injury can happen due to a third party’s negligence. In this case, a parent may pursue a claim for financial compensation. According to catastrophic injury lawyer Matt Tharney, it is important to know your rights. You could seek compensation for medical expenses or other damages.
Children of all ages are at risk of suffering from injuries. It is important to know what makes up a catastrophic injury and the ways it could happen. Below are some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury
This long-term brain injury is one of the common causes of death or disability in children. It is dangerous as the child’s nervous system, besides the brain, is in the development stage. It can happen due to a fall or while playing sports.
Most children who sustain traumatic brain injuries find it extremely tough to lead a normal life because chronic brain damage affects every aspect of their lives. Playground property owners must check each ride on a daily basis and ensure that it is properly functional and safe for children.
Spinal Cord Injury
Damage to the spinal cord can disrupt the communication between the brain and the body. It can cause partial or complete paralysis to the victim. Vehicle accidents such as bicycle or bus collisions are among the most common causes of this type of injury.
Defective products such as defective car seats from a negligent manufacturer could also be a cause. Despite undergoing expensive treatments, many children who sustain severe spinal cord injuries can’t fully recover. They are left with no option other than leading the rest of their lives with a severe disability.
It is the most common household injury. Many consider this injury as catastrophic if it results in scarring and disfigurement. Some severe cases of burn may also cause the loss of limbs. Rehabilitation could be costly and take a very long time.
Catastrophic injuries because of burns and scalds make one experience unbearable pain and suffering. The common type of burns that children in most households sustain is thermal burns. These burns occur when one comes into close contact with hot liquids/steam, hot metals, or flames.
Chemical Injury: Poisoning
It happens when a toxic substance interacts with the body’s system. It can severely damage the brain and nervous system. Some children who experience this type of injury may still suffer complications from lingering after-effects. Chances of sustaining a severe chemical injury are more when there’s no guardian around a child while it plays or eats a meal.
It is imperative to take the child to a pediatric trauma center without any delay after discovering that it is vomiting due to the ingestion of a poisonous substance. Parents or caretakers should always keep an eye on children’s activities so that they do not touch or consume poison unknowingly. It is also vital to keep solvent cleaners like ammonia, bleach, etc., and acid away from children’s reach.
Loss of Limb
This specific type of catastrophic injury refers to the removal of a limb, such as an arm or leg, from traumatic amputations. Severe fractures with crushed bones that cannot be repaired can result in the loss of limbs as well.
Other than the physical pain, it could also affect the victim emotionally. Recovery from such an injury could be difficult. Most victims will have to relearn how to perform their daily activities. Children often become susceptible to sustaining catastrophic injuries when the hired childcare providers fail to take proper care of them.
All the injuries mentioned above are serious as they cause disability, reduction in life expectancy, or require lifelong medical care. If recklessness by another party is the cause of the injury, you could seek compensation for the damages caused. It can be used to cover surgery and rehabilitation expenses. Some victims may require permanent use for medical devices, which they can claim as well.
If the injury had resulted in death, the victim’s family has the option to pursue compensation through a wrongful death suit. A catastrophic injury claim should not be taken lightly, even if it cannot undo the victim’s suffering.