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What Counts as Catastrophic Injury?

On Behalf of Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC May 13, 2020

You should seek medical attention after a car accident, even there is only a slight suspicion you might have an injury. Any change in your condition could mean there are some underlying issues. This article does not address the medical severity of accidents.

In fact, seeking medical attention could be a prerequisite to determining the legal consequences of your injury. Here are a few things you might want to consider.

The expense of injuries

According to a recent report from the Department of Transportation, car accidents in Washington that result in catastrophic injuries or death cost an average of $2.9 million. By contrast, minor injury cases cost somewhere in the range of $10 to $60,000.

Of course, it takes a long time for federal and state agencies to tabulate this type of data, so rising medical costs and inflation could have significantly raised these amounts. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, individual catastrophic injury cases often deviate significantly from averages.

The role of insurance

Insurance adjusters have a well-earned reputation for making low offers at the beginning of negotiations. Accepting one of these offers could be especially damaging if you had catastrophic injuries — specifically because each situation is so different.

Multiple millions of dollars could seem like a generous offer for an insurance settlement, but you should always look at the details of your case before accepting anything. Keep in mind that the damage to your life may go beyond disability and medical bills. You deserve full compensation.

It could be hard to hear that your injuries might not constitute a catastrophic case. That does not mean they are insignificant. Whether your case concerns $20,000 or $2 million, you still deserve a chance to put your life back together.