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What Qualifies As A “Catastrophic” Injury In Florida?


Injuries can and do happen in any number of Florida accidents, and they run the gamut from cuts and bruises to long-term disabling harm. However, certain injuries are often referred to as ‘catastrophic’ when it comes to personal injury cases. While no real legal definition of ‘catastrophic injury’ exists for all types of cases, it is still a relative truism that if you can establish a particularly catastrophic injury, you may have an increased chance of recovering the compensation you need.

Hows And Whys

Catastrophic injury is defined specifically for two types of injury cases: medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation. In both cases, the underlying requirement for an injury to be catastrophic is its permanence. Examples might include a spinal cord injury causing paralysis, the loss of a limb, or severe ‘episodic’ neurological disorders. In workers’ compensation cases, catastrophic injury is usually referred to as ‘total permanent disability,’ but the characteristics will be the same.

Far and away, the most common cause of catastrophic injury is motor vehicle accidents. It is perhaps understandable, given how much weight is being thrown around (particularly in rollover accidents). Workers’ compensation accidents are also highly likely to cause serious injury, though some industries are obviously more prone than others. Among the top 10 violations of safety law reported to the Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA), three of them are related to the construction industry. Regardless of how your accident came about, if your injuries are severe, you have the right to seek compensation.

Each Case Is Different

Most of the time, if you have suffered a catastrophic injury, you would file a claim with either your insurer, or the insurer of the person who (allegedly) caused your injuries. Depending on the nature of your accident, the insurer will differ – if your injuries happened in an auto accident, for example, you are required to file a claim  with your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which you are required to have under Florida law, to the tune of at least $10,000.

There is no specific law which states that someone with a catastrophic injury is entitled to a certain amount of damages, but at the same time, it is much more likely that someone with a catastrophic injury will recover a higher monetary amount. This is simply because the costs associated with such an injury are often much higher than those for a more minor harm – surgeries, rehabilitation, lost wages, and the like. It is important to establish your injuries as clearly as possible, and to draw as clear a picture of the defendant’s alleged negligence as can be drawn.

Contact A Tampa Catastrophic Injury Attorney 

Being injured is never a welcome event, but experiencing a life-changing injury can alter every facet of a person’s outlook. If you have been so unfortunate as to experience this type of accident, contacting a Tampa catastrophic injury attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group is a good idea, so that you can get any questions you may have on the issues answered. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.





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