Mental Health Matters: Addressing the Emotional Toll of Catastrophic Injury

All injuries come with consequences. When those injuries are minor, moderate, or even severe, there is typically an opportunity for full healing and recovery – or at least partial recovery. Victims can return to “normal life” and activities after medical treatment and time.

Catastrophic injuries are different. They can leave victims with physical or cognitive losses (or both) along with extreme emotional distress. For helping pursue financial compensation for the emotional and physical losses associated with a catastrophic injury, reach out to The Stoddard Firm for experienced legal representation from an Atlanta catastrophic injury lawyer.

How Our Team Can Help

The Stoddard Firm is dedicated to meeting clients’ needs. We offer personalized representation and treat you like a person, not a case number.  We will design a customized legal strategy to fit your specific case. Our attorneys understand Georgia’s personal injury laws and legal process and are fierce negotiators. This means we will fight to secure a substantial settlement with the at-fault party’s representatives without going to court, but we are more than ready to take the fight to the courtroom if need be. No matter what challenges your case presents, we are prepared to meet them, as our case results show.

What Makes an Injury “Catastrophic”

Catastrophic injuries are life-changing, and victims only experience limited recovery, if any. For example, a limb amputation is a catastrophic injury. Clearly, victims cannot generate new limbs; and even if they can use prosthetics, they must adjust to life with a changed body and changed abilities.

Serious and extensive burns also fall into the catastrophic category. Victims are left disfigured, often with limited mobility and use of the affected parts of their bodies, and may require continuous medical care. Other types of catastrophic injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Loss of sight or hearing.

The common factor among all catastrophic injuries is that they change victims’ lives. Victims lived one way before their injury but can no longer live life the same way after the injury.

Consequences of Catastrophic Injuries

The visible consequences of catastrophic injuries are immediately apparent, but they are certainly not the only consequences. Victims suffer in both visible and invisible ways, and all of that suffering deserves acknowledgment. A skilled, compassionate Atlanta catastrophic injury lawyer from The Stoddard Firm will not overlook any elements of your suffering when pursuing compensation through a catastrophic injury claim.

Physical Consequences

Physically, catastrophic injuries leave victims in substantial pain. Sometimes, this pain is chronic. Other results often include limited mobility or total loss of independent mobility. A catastrophic injury to one part of the body can also affect multiple body systems. For example, trauma to the brain can damage respiratory, sexual, and other physical functioning.

Cognitive Consequences

TBIs often cause irreparable brain damage. Victims may no longer have the capacity to learn, remember, process information, or make sound judgments. And since the brain controls communication within the body, other systems are often rendered non-functional by a TBI. Further, victims can exhibit changes to their personality.

The physical and cognitive losses lead to other significant losses. Victims often lose their independence. They may not be able to move through daily life without assistance or may need around-the-clock care. They may not be able to operate a vehicle and have to rely on others or public transportation.

Victims may also lose the ability to participate in activities, hobbies, vacations, or special events. Exercise routines or involvement in team sports may not be a possibility anymore. Some venues or homes may not be equipped to accommodate their needs, leaving them unable to engage socially.

The High Emotional Toll of Catastrophic Injuries

Pain, loss of independence, and physical and cognitive functioning bring profound emotional suffering for victims of catastrophic injuries. Victims often grieve for their lost abilities and the future they imagined and experience a range of other psychological and emotional responses.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD “is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Severe anxiety
  • Uncontrollable thoughts and intrusive memories about the event
  • Heightened emotional reactions to things that remind victims of the event
  • Hopelessness and fear of the future
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships and feelings of detachment
  • Avoiding situations, places, or activities somehow reminiscent of the event
  • Negative thoughts about self, others, and the world in general
  • Emotional numbness and lack of interest.

Accidents causing catastrophic injuries are powerful events capable of triggering PTSD. The symptoms affect all aspects of life, interfering with job responsibilities, social interactions, family relationships, and the victim’s overall outlook.

Anxiety and Depression

Victims of traumatic spinal cord injuries have an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression, according to research reported by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Possible reasons for increased risk include deterioration of body functioning, such as sexual and urinary control, negative expectations for the future, and changes in cognition.

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) states that while depression affects 1 in 20 Americans, it affects 1 in 5 people affected by spinal cord injuries, estimating rates of depression among victims as ranging from 11% to 37%. Those suffering from TBIs also experience anxiety, depression, and potential changes in how they experience and respond to emotions, according to the MSKTC.

General Emotional Distress

Victims of catastrophic injuries have to adjust to new limitations and come to terms with facing a future full of unknowns. It makes sense that the experience causes general emotional upheaval.

TBIs can affect a victim’s ability to remember or may slow down their processing, making it difficult for them to keep up with conversations or follow instructions. As a result, victims may respond with frustration, despair, anger, or extreme worry. Among other sensations, burn victims report . . .

  • Feeling sad and anxious
  • Disturbed sleep and trouble staying asleep
  • Feeling self-conscious over changes in appearance
  • Difficulty managing physical therapies
  • Worries about the future.

Get the Financial Justice You Deserve

The extreme emotional toll of a catastrophic injury demands financial acknowledgment. Count on the Atlanta catastrophic injuries attorneys at The Stoddard Firm to calculate your losses with care and work to hold the party who caused your injuries accountable for compensating you for your emotional losses. Contact us for a free consultation today.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury LawyerMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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