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What Are Serious Injuries and How Can They Impact Your Life?

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Chuck Geerhart

At The Law Office of Chuck Geerhart, one of our focuses is on helping our clients who sustained serious injuries recover from them and move forward with their lives.

We help people get the compensation they need so that they can focus on recovering from their serious car accident injuries, serious head injuries, and other serious physical injuries.

With that said, however, many may wonder, What exactly are serious injuries? “Serious” is somewhat of a subjective term, so different people will invariably define it differently.

We’ll outline a general definition of what serious injuries are and a few examples of how serious injuries can impact your life.

Defining Serious Injuries

Because everybody’s definition of “serious injury” can differ, let’s look to a source of authority on the matter to help narrow it down.

The US government’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) outlines a fairly specific definition we can start with. The serious injuries definition in 49 CFR § 830.2 says that serious injury is one that

  • Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date of the injury was received;
  • Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose);
  • Causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage;
  • Involves any internal organ; or
  • Involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.

In reality, this is probably too specific of a definition for us to use for our purposes. However, we can identify a common thread in the list: all the noted serious injuries involve, to some degree, a potentially long and painful recovery.

Thus, we can think of serious injuries as injuries that can have a long-term impact on an individual.

We can also identify the common thread through CFR’s definition of serious injuries in the guidelines for another federal body: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA requires employers to report all severe workplace injuries sustained on their premises.

They define severe injuries as injuries that result in amputation, in-patient hospitalization, or the loss of an eye. While the OSHA definition is even more specific than the CFR definition, the common thread remains the same.

Whether we call them severe injuries or serious injuries, they all can have a significant long-term, life-altering impact on a person’s life.

Just About Any Injury Can Be Serious

With our working definition, we can say that just about any type of injury can end up being “serious.” It all depends on how much the injury affects your life.

Here, we will sketch out a few examples of serious injuries. In some circumstances, these might be minor injuries. However, a seemingly minor injury can end up quite serious.

Serious Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. Any sort of trauma to the head can cause a TBI. Even a simple concussion can cause a TBI.

TBIs vary in severity. The most severe TBIs can cause death, hemorrhaging, and permanent disability. A TBI can affect one’s quantitative reasoning, reading, perception of any of the five senses, and even emotional regulation.

Sometimes these effects are only temporary, but they are permanent in some instances. TBIs that result in permanent brain damage are some of the most serious injuries around.

Serious Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries, including neck injuries like whiplash, are another category of injury that can be quite serious. Sometimes, people can recover from minor back and neck injuries fairly quickly.

However, if a minor spinal injury goes untreated, it can develop into a permanent issue. Permanent spinal issues can affect our ability to move significantly. People who suffer from serious spinal injuries often say that even the most mundane of daily activities can turn into an ordeal.

With a serious spinal injury, something as simple as brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom can be difficult. And those are people who still can move on their own to some extent.

Spinal injuries can easily lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. Any injury that can cause paralysis is serious and can turn your life upside down.

Serious Hip Knee and Joint Injuries

Hip, knee, and other joint injuries can bring life-altering effects that are similar to those caused by spinal injuries. While joint injuries don’t typically cause paralysis like spinal injuries can, they can significantly impact your ability to move around and live independently.

Joint injuries are often degenerative, which means they get worse over time. In fact, many former high school football players end up with joint problems later in life due to the abuse their bodies experienced on the gridiron.

This is particularly true when an injury is ignored or otherwise minimized in the immediate aftermath. The sooner you receive treatment for any joint injury, the greater the chances that you can fully recover from it.

Call The Law Office of Chuck Geerhart for Help Recovering from Your Serious Injury

If you suffered a serious injury in California, you will want to make sure that you recover all the damages you are owed.

While it is easy to account for current or past medical bills, It is sometimes difficult to account for the various treatment costs you may have to bear in the future.

At The Law Office of Chuck Geerhart, our founding attorney has helped countless clients recover from their serious injuries and move forward with their lives. 

Because he regularly deals with serious injuries, Chuck knows how to accurately account for future medical costs. This is an essential element of any serious injury claim.

After all, serious injuries often cause long-term damage. If you don’t include those costs in your settlement, you will have to pay them yourself, which is wrong.

Don’t get stuck with a bill that you shouldn’t have to pay. Instead, make sure your settlement covers everything you need to recover from your injury. Call us today for your free consultation! 

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