According to Safety National — a large workers’ compensation coverage provider that covers nearly one-third of self-insured employers nationally — the most common claims for catastrophic injury include:
- Motor vehicle accidents (24% of all catastrophic injury claims, according to Safety National)
- Falls (24% as well)
- "Struck by" accidents, which include being struck by machines, falling objects or vehicles (20%)
- Acts of crime (10%)
- Severe burns (8%)
As the wide-ranging nature of these five common catastrophic injury causes reveal, there are many ways an injured worker can be subjected to severe and life-changing injuries in the workplace. While these accidents are almost always tragic in nature, modern medical advances have helped improve the quality of life for workers suffering from catastrophic injuries.
That said, these advances are not inexpensive. While these advancements can lead to life-changing improvements and quality of life for seriously injured workers, the technology itself can be extremely expensive for employers to cover.
The New Possibilities Provided by Medical Advances Are Matched by Rising Costs
Even just a few decades ago, a workplace accident that led to an amputation, paraplegia or brain injury would change a person’s quality of life or life expectancy greatly. Today, thanks to prosthetics, innovative new therapies and similar progress, employees who suffer catastrophic injuries can go on to live a better life with only slightly-reduced life expectancy rates.
This astonishing progress, however, comes at a financial cost. As medical progress increases, so do the costs needed to pay for the latest in medical care. Naturally, this also means that the cost of catastrophic injury claims have also risen markedly in the years since these advancements arrived.
In the 1990s, catastrophic injury claims in excess of $5 million were relatively unheard of, albeit a couple of extreme injury cases resulted in costs over $5 million. Today, however, catastrophic injury claims are even exceeding $10 million, in part because of the fact that medical advancements have improved survival rates for catastrophic injury victims.
With extended life expectancy rates and improved patient outcomes, it is realistic to expect that the costs of these claims will only increase.
What Does This Mean for Your Catastrophic Injury Claim?
If you have been injured in a catastrophic workplace injury, you deserve compensation that will help you maximize your quality of life and outcome as a patient. Technology exists that can significantly improve your life expectancy and daily life, but receiving the funds to afford this quality of care is absolutely essential.
For this reason, it is in your best interests to not agree to a settlement for your catastrophic injury claim without talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer first. Our nationally recognized team at The Ledger Law Firm will negotiate a fair settlement that maximizes the compensation you are owed and protects your right to the care you deserve. And, in the unlikely event that the insurance company or employer will not negotiate fairly, we will represent your interests at trial.
If you are ready to receive the compensation that is owed after a catastrophic injury in the workplace, our team at Ledger Law is waiting to hear from you. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your workers’ compensation claim today.