We rely on our senses to help guide us through life; particularly our hearing and vision. If you lose one of these senses (even partially) in an accident, it can be devastating. Your life will never be the same—and you’ll likely need a lot of time and guidance to relearn basic skills with your new disability.
When it comes to personal injury cases, do these injuries qualify as catastrophic?
Sensory Loss and Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injury is typically defined as a permanent, life-changing injury. We often think of catastrophic injuries in terms of extreme problems, like losing a limb in an accident or suffering extensive burns in a fire. However, sensory loss can qualify as catastrophic. There’s generally no way to heal the injury, and it will forever affect the victim’s quality of life. Even if you can use vision and hearing aids, significant sensory loss alters your life for good.
For example, losing your vision can greatly impact your mobility. You may not be able to safely navigate familiar spaces, and will no longer be able to drive. You’ll need to get new assistive devices and learn how to function without your sight. Vision loss will likely affect your employment, your hobbies and friendships, child-rearing, and your overall quality of life. Hearing loss has similar effects. Whether you require assistive devices or the help of American Sign Language to communicate, it can greatly impact your employment and quality of life. On top of that, most victims who suffer these types of injuries suffer from depression and trauma as they adjust to this new way of life.
Why Does it Matter?
Classifying your injury as catastrophic means that your lawyer can make a greater demand for damages. In Ohio, noneconomic damages are capped unless your injuries qualify in one of these two categories.
“(a) Permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system;
(b) Permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for self and perform life-sustaining activities.”
In short, if your hearing or vision loss is substantial enough, there’s no limit to what the judge and jury can award you in noneconomic compensatory damages. Your lawyer will evaluate your case and let you know whether you have a reasonable chance of overcoming the damages cap.
Speak with an Ohio Personal Attorney Today
Have you lost your hearing or vision as a result of someone else’s negligence? You may be eligible to recover compensation from the responsible parties. Call me at 877.944.4373 right away for a case evaluation. Let me fight for you: I’ll Make Them Pay!®