Catastrophic injuries can change a person’s life in many ways. When we think of the word “catastrophic,” we think of significant damage, and this perception typically also applies to injuries. These types of injuries could come from serious accidents and often lead to short- or long-term disability. But where does a broken bone fall in this picture?
Broken bones typically only take somewhere from a few weeks to a few months to heal and let you get on with your life. Most of the time, someone with a broken bone can continue the majority of their activities with adjustments. But that is not always the case. In fact, a broken bone certainly can be a catastrophic injury, depending on the severity of the break and how it impedes someone’s life.
In this guide, we talk more about broken bones and catastrophic injuries. If you’re suffering from a broken bone and are concerned it may qualify as catastrophic, the best thing to do is find a qualified personal injury lawyer in Fort Wayne to review your case.
Catastrophic Injury Explained
There are codes in Indiana law that specifically define a catastrophic injury. This injury is labeled as any type of severe injury that significantly impacts the ability to live independently for a year or more. Some disabilities (i.e., blindness, deafness, paralysis, etc.) that are caused by injuries are also included in this definition.
Breaking a bone may qualify if the injury requires you to need additional assistance for your daily needs for an extended period of time. Those daily tasks include personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, and more. If the broken bone severely impacts your life in this way, it may be classified as catastrophic.
How Do Broken Bones Affect You?
Some broken bones are minimal and will heal relatively quickly, but that doesn’t mean they all will. What if a broken bone leaves you unable to really enjoy life or handle routine tasks and take care of your needs? Perhaps that broken bone causes you to not be able to work, drive, or even do your own laundry.
In some cases, broken bones can be severe, and some breaks have far longer effects than others. Consider something like a fractured thigh bone or femur, which could take more than six months to heal – and you may not be able to walk during that time. Surgeries for broken bones can easily cost more than $20,000.
When a fracture or break is severe, it can be painful and long-lasting. In the end, you’re left trying to figure out how to work or take care of yourself and you’re stuck on the couch or in bed while you heal. In the meantime, you have endless bills rolling in.
Compensation for an injury like this might help with your everyday expenses as well as your medical expenses.
Broken Bone Compensation
Breaking a bone from any type of accident might be cause for compensation. It simply depends on the situation. Were you in a situation where another individual was negligent in some way? Perhaps an unsafe work environment or a car accident? In those cases, you can typically seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages related to the injury.
Every situation is different, but the key point is whether or not someone acted in a negligent manner. For example, maybe you were going for a walk. You followed the rules or walked on the sidewalk, but a car lost control and struck you. Your injuries are likely to be severe, and you will probably have more than one broken bone. This is likely a catastrophic injury eligible for compensation.
Filing a claim holds a negligent party responsible for the damages that they caused, and it provides you with some relief as well.
The Burden of Proof
In order to prove negligence, there will be some steps to follow. Working with a lawyer will certainly be helpful. It will be up to you (and legal counsel) to prove that the other party was negligent in some way that led to the accident.
Check out these examples of evidence that may be needed:
- Witness testimonies
- Proof of accident (security footage, photos, etc.)
- Evidence of responsibility
- Medical records
- Medical testimonies
- Proof of costs, including bills or lost wages
- Personal testimony about the impact of injury
Seek the help of an experienced and trustworthy personal injury lawyer in Fort Wayne to better understand your options and work through the process of the case.
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