A 33-year-old woman sustained serious injuries after a hit-and-run left her sprawled in the middle of the road the morning July 4, 2013. Diana Pena and her boyfriend of five years ran out of gas in Riverview, and as she tried to cross the road, a 26-year-old man crashed into her and drove away. Pena was rushed to the hospital with the possibility of being paralyzed and endured surgery on her legs, pelvis and back. She faces at least a year of rehabilitation after her operations are over.
What is a catastrophic injury?
Some injuries are so severe that they require extensive medical care and support. Catastrophic injuries often result in damage to the central nervous system, which can permanently affect bodily functions. Catastrophic injuries are a leading cause of death in America and include:
Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that about 200,000 Americans currently live with SCI, with 12,000 to 20,000 new cases each year. Auto accidents cause 46 percent of new SCI cases, and falls cause 22 percent.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
According to the CDC, at least 1.7 million Americans suffer TBI each year. TBI is a contributing factor in 30.5 percent of injury-related deaths in the country.
The American Burn Association reports that 450,000 burns necessitating medical treatment occurred in the United States in 2012, and vehicle crash fires caused about 300 deaths.
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, about 1 in 50 people live with some form of paralysis in the United States — about 6 million people.
According to the National Limb Loss Information Center, about 1.7 million Americans live with limb loss, and about 1 in 200 endured an amputation.
Catastrophic injuries require the most extensive recovery time, medical attention and expenses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lifetime care providers
- Ramp installation and wheelchair lifts
- Lost work
- Treatment for depression
If your injury was caused by someone’s negligence, the person can be held responsible for your incurred expenses. If you have questions about your severe injury, an experienced personal injury attorney in Florida can inform you of your legal options for compensation and justice.