If someone you love has been diagnosed with a catastrophic injury, it means that they have an injury that is life-changing in a major way. They may have a significant brain injury or serious spinal cord injury. They may need long-term support and health care.
Often, these serious injuries are a result of collisions. Some will involve large trucks, like semitrucks, box trucks and other commercial vehicles.
Did you know that around 500,000 truck crashes happen each year in the United States? Those crashes often lead to fatalities, but when they don’t, victims may be left with catastrophic injuries. Looking at statistics between 2009 and 2015, the rate of injuries caused by large-truck crashes increased by 62%. That’s certainly alarming.
What should families taking care of patients with catastrophic injuries expect in the future?
It is hard to say exactly what a family should expect. Even catastrophic injuries will vary from one person to another. However, serious brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can lead to life-altering consequences. Someone with a brain injury may have to relearn how to speak or may have permanent changes in ability. Someone with a catastrophic spinal cord injury may be completely paralyzed or deal with significant, chronic pain.
Families can expect that their loved ones will need ongoing medical care and attention for many months and years immediately following the collision. Though medical care needs may be reduced over time, some patients will need care for the rest of their lives in at least one way or another.
While some people with catastrophic injuries are able to return to work, such as those with paralysis who are able to learn new skills, that doesn’t mean that they all will. Some people will have permanent changes in ability or be unable to learn new skills. There are also complications of these injuries that may arise even months or years later, which will need medical attention and support.
It’s difficult to see a loved one go through so much pain and suffering. Catastrophic injuries are life-changing, but remember that your family can seek the compensation that is needed to support your loved one.