When is an injury considered ‘catastrophic’?
‘Catastrophic injury’ is a widely used term but it’s not always used correctly. Many times we hear about ‘catastrophic injuries’ in various contexts – in the news, ER rooms, during sports events broadcasts, etc. One may wonder – when is the injury considered ‘catastrophic’? Unfortunately, there isn’t just one correct answer, as the universally accepted legal definition of a catastrophic injury doesn’t exist. There is however a commonly used specification that describes the injury as a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures, loss of a limb and severe burn injuries that leads to a permanent or long-term severe functional disability or disfigurement. Such injuries often require post-acute rehab and involve a lifetime of medical treatment, multiple surgical procedures and an extensive and difficult recovery process.
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