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NYC Catastrophic Injury: Overview and How To Find a Lawyer

While all injuries can have terrible consequences, catastrophic injuries are especially debilitating for their victims. This is due to the special nature of catastrophic injuries.

As will be further explained, catastrophic injuries are more severe than other types of injuries. However, the circumstances under which they occur can differ greatly.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of any injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses – personal, financial, and otherwise. The best way to secure your rights after an accident is by hiring an experienced lawyer who will help you build a case.

Because catastrophic injuries can leave individuals with long-term health and financial deficits, enlisting legal aid in filing a claim is absolutely critical.

To learn more, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers. at (516) 342-2200 and speak with one of our highly skilled attorneys now. We are here to help you understand catastrophic injuries and how to hire the right lawyer for your case.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

Catastrophic injuries can be much more detrimental than other types of injuries.

While the term catastrophic” can be used in a variety of contexts, in the context of catastrophic injury,” it refers to extensive damage and losses suffered by a victim. Per the law, catastrophic injuries are defined as injuries that permanently prevent an individual from working or partaking in normal day-to-day activities.

Not only are these types of incidents physically debilitating, but they may also lead to financial losses. This is especially true when the affected individual is the head of their household.

Catastrophic injuries are also the most fatal of all physical injuries. In New York City, almost 8,000 deaths a year can be attributed to catastrophic injury.

Catastrophic Injury: Types and Causes

While a wide range of catastrophic injuries can occur, in New York City, most can be attributed to a handful of common incidents.

The following are a few that you should be familiar with.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are injuries that impact how the brain works. Oftentimes, they lead to permanent brain damage.

Because damage to brain cells cannot be easily reversed or remedied, traumatic brain injuries can lead to long-term physical and/or mental impairment and, in certain cases, even death.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Like the brain, the spinal cord cannot be easily repaired once damaged.

Because the spinal cord is vital to human function and mobility, spinal cord injuries can lead to lifelong disability.

Broken Bones and Fractures

While broken bones and fractures can range in severity, depending on the circumstances of an accident, they can lead to extreme impairment as well as excruciating pain and suffering.

This is especially true for fractures in the head, face, hips, or back. The extent of these types of injuries often depend on the age, state of health, and other factors relating to the injured person.

Loss of Limb

While over 2 million people in the United States have lost a limb at some point in their lives, limb loss can prevent an individual from partaking in normal day-to-day activities.

Many victims of limb loss can lead long, long healthy lives after being injured. Others, however, may suffer from long-term health problems that, in turn, contribute to unmanageable financial losses.

In addition to those mentioned above, other catastrophic injuries include the following:

  • Disfigurement in physical appearance due to scarring or burns.
  • Loss of sight or hearing.
  • Damage to muscles that can result in physical weakness or loss of mobility.

Different types of accidents can lead to these severe and/or long-term injuries. In New York City, the most common accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Fires
  • Medical malpractice

Your injuries and the circumstances in which they occurred are critical in establishing a case when it comes to filing a claim and receiving any compensation. This is why you should only hire the best. For a free consultation, dial (516) 342-2200 and speak with an experienced Schwartzapfel Lawyers attorney now.

Choosing the Right Type of Lawyer for Your Case

One of the most important steps in pursuing a catastrophic injury case is hiring the right lawyer. Accordingly, the earlier you enlist legal aid for your claim, the better it will be for you and your recovery process.

There are many different types of lawyers that deal with catastrophic injuries. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to choose a lawyer that specifically deals with the specific type of injury you incurred.

The following are a few types of lawyers to take into consideration:

While many personal injury lawyers are qualified to deal with different types of personal injury cases, some are more experienced than others in dealing with a specific type of case.

As such, while it may be enough to hire a general personal injury lawyer, consider hiring a more specific attorney if your case is complicated or if liability may be hard to prove. Reach out to our team here at Schwartzapfel Lawyers at (516) 342-2200 to find a match for you.

Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim

After any accident, there are certain steps you should take before filing a claim.

While some of these steps involve ensuring the safety of an individual immediately after an accident occurs, others are important for securing evidence and establishing a case.

Medical Treatment

The first step you should take after any accident is to seek out medical assistance right away.

From examining your injuries, a qualified medical professional will be able to see that you receive all necessary medical care at that time. Moreover, the process will ensure that medical records tied to the accident are secured.

Secure Evidence

After seeking medical attention, the next step is to secure any evidence relating to the case.

Often, this includes information about the accident as well as witness statements from those who were present when the accident occurred. You’ll also want to gather information from any first responders. Additionally, you should take pictures and/or videos of the site of the accident (provided the scene is safe and you are not in harm’s way).

Proving Liability

One of the most complicated steps in filing a claim involves establishing liability for an accident. If you cannot prove responsibility, you may not have enough evidence to file a case.

This step involves establishing a safety rule between a responsible party and the injured person, as well as proving that a breach of this rule occurred.

For example, someone driving has a responsibility not to harm other drivers on the road. If someone is driving dangerously or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are likely breaking that safety rule.

How To Find a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in NYC

New York City is home to many competent lawyers who are equipped to help you win your personal injury case. However, while there are many great lawyers out there, the best one is one that suits your specific needs.

After you’ve determined what type of lawyer you want to hire for your case, the next step is to find the one that’s right for you.

When looking for a lawyer, you should keep the following factors in mind:

Commitment to the Case

Remember: Your lawyer works for you. As such, it is their job to cater to the needs of your case and do all that is in their power to achieve the best results.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a catastrophic injury, you should be able to rest and recover while your lawyer takes care of the legalities.

If you are worried that a lawyer will not prioritize your case, consider hiring a different one.

Accessibility and Trustworthiness

Your lawyer should be communicative and trustworthy. After all, they will have access to a lot of personal information and important details for your case.

You should be able to easily get in contact and communicate with your lawyer and trust that they will do their duty in keeping your information secured.


The right lawyer will have experience in cases like yours and a proven track record of successful verdicts and settlements. As such, you should always be sure to ask any prospective lawyer about their case history before hiring them.


All injuries can negatively impact their victims, but catastrophic injuries are unique by way of the extent and severity of their physical effects, as well as the pain and suffering they commonly cause. Moreover, these types of injuries often lead to long-term health and financial problems, which is why filing a claim for compensation and benefits is especially important.

If you or someone you know have been a victim of a catastrophic injury, you will likely want to consider hiring a lawyer to file your claim while you rest and recover.

Hiring the right lawyer can also increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve and are entitled to by law.

If you are looking for a lawyer but unsure of where to start, you can book a free consultation with a member of our team today.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we always prioritize our clients and can provide you with the lawyer that best fits your needs.

Don’t wait. Protect yourself and your financial future today by calling us now at (516) 342-2200.


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You™™

42 USC § 3796b – US Code Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare § 3796b | FindLaw

All Injuries in New York State | New York State Department of Health

Limb Loss Statistics | Amputee Coalition

10 Leading Causes of Injury Death, New York City | New York City Department of Health

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