Catastrophic injuries can strike at any time, leaving a victim with horrible pain and trauma, an abrupt end to their ability to work, and no clue of what the future holds. In addition, any injury of this magnitude has a ripple effect, touching the lives of everyone close to the victim. After a catastrophic injury, the victim’s entire support structure is likely to experience significant life changes. It’s important to consider the effects an injury has on them while negotiating a personal injury settlement.
Not sure what comes next after a catastrophic injury? The team at Reeves & Mestayer is here to help. Call us at 228-374-5151 to schedule a consultation now.
The Physical Impact is Long-Lasting
The term “catastrophic injury” is reserved for those injuries that will have a long-term or even permanent impact on a person’s independence, capacity to live life as they did before, and treatment options. Because of this, the physical impact on the victim and their family members can be profound. The accident victim may struggle to ambulate and care for themselves as they did before, and on top of that, they may constantly be in pain.
This loss of independence and mobility also strains the physical health and limitations of their family members. If the individual can no longer move around on their own, their spouse or other adult family member may be responsible for moving them with a Hoyer system, gait belt, EZ-Stand machine, or another mobility device.
Such work can be very demanding on the back and overall strength of a caretaker. The caretaker may also be responsible for helping them with bathing, using the restroom, and other personal care tasks, all of which take a physical toll.
Mental and Emotional Trauma Often Occur
Mental trauma is extremely likely after a catastrophic injury. The injured individual may experience high levels of stress caused by the sudden loss of independence and previous way of life, as well as the unpredictability of their future.
Catastrophic injuries often have an unclear outcome, and an injured individual might know their prognosis for weeks, months, or even years. This type of uncertainty can wear away at your mental health and wellbeing, especially when you combine it with a sudden lack of physical freedom.
Of course, this type of trauma also affects family members. Those thrown into a caretaker role may struggle with viewing their loved ones in a different light and wondering if they are ready to take on this role. They may also struggle with mental health concerns if the family is suddenly left in a tight financial position or if caretaking pushes their schedule to the limit.
It’s important to note that family members often mourn the loss of the life they once had. They had plans and dreams that involved their injured loved one, and now those plans may be on hold or completely canceled. This is a normal part of the grieving process. Both the injured person and their close loved ones may want to seek out counseling to help them navigate this challenging time.
Financial Stress is Practically Unavoidable
Given the huge changes victims experience physically and mentally, it’s no surprise that they and their families may suffer financially as well. The victim of a catastrophic accident may lose their ability to work completely, dealing a harsh blow to their family. This may require their partner—who may also now be their caretaker—to work more hours or take on a more demanding job.
Even if that’s possible, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses often prove to be too much. It’s not uncommon for people who endure catastrophic injuries to be forced to file bankruptcy after an accident.
Financial stress shouldn’t keep you from getting the medical care, mental health treatment, and rehabilitative support you need. Nor should it prevent you from providing for your family and meeting their needs. That’s one of the main benefits of a personal injury claim.
If someone else is liable for your injuries, you can fight for full and fair compensation that covers your medical expenses, long-term care costs, lost wages, and other expenses. However, fighting for just compensation in a situation like this requires the help of a skilled legal professional.
Plan Your Next Steps with Reeves & Mestayer
We understand how devastating a catastrophic injury can be to you and your family. The team at Reeves & Mestayer is ready to fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. Let’s set up a time to talk. Call us at 228-374-5151 or reach out to us online to talk more about your needs.