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Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld

Relentlessly Protecting California Workers' Rights Since 1956

What Sets Catastrophic Injuries Apart from Other Injuries in a California Workers’ Compensation Claim?


What Sets Catastrophic Injuries Apart from Other Injuries in a California Workers’ Compensation Claim?

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our Santa Barbara workers’ compensation attorneys know the importance of California injured workers’ access to paid medical treatment and wage replacement disability benefits after getting hurt at work.

When workers suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them severely disabled, access to permanent partial and permanent total disability benefits can mean the difference in their physical, mental, and financial stability and suffering a secondary trauma of assuming the medical costs and lost wages on their own.

Our California workers’ compensation lawyers have protected the rights of California workers since 1956 and can help you and your family pursue the unique benefits associated with your catastrophic injury needs.

What is the Difference in Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Catastrophic Injuries?

When someone gets hurt at work, their workers’ compensation benefits are based on the severity of the injury. For example, if someone suffers a broken arm in a slip and fall, the injury will typically heal with the proper medical care and time away from work. In these cases, the nature of the injury and how the body is healing will dictate when the injured person can return to work.

Conversely, when a California worker suffers a catastrophic injury, it can permanently prevent them from performing gainful work in any capacity.

A catastrophic injury appears in California state workers’ compensation laws that do not directly define what types of injuries are catastrophic, only stating they are “A medical condition due to a disease, illness, catastrophic injury, or other medical problem or medical disorder that is serious and persists without a complete cure or worsens over ninety days and requires ongoing treatment to maintain remission or prevent deterioration.”

Examples of catastrophic injuries may include, but are not limited to:

  • Blindness.
  • Damage caused by chemicals to the lungs, kidneys, heart, or liver.
  • Loss of a limb.
  • Loss of hearing.
  • Paralysis.
  • Severe burns.
  • Severe fractures to large bones such as the upper arm or leg.
  • Severe head injury.
  • Trauma to the chest or stomach leading to organ damage.

Catastrophic injuries are often accompanied by:

  • Interference with a person’s day-to-day activities and ability to work.
  • Loss of the use or function of a limb or organ.
  • Permanent or long-term pain.
  • Permanent, lifelong disability,
  • The need for around-the-clock care.

A catastrophic injury implies you will need lifelong disability services and support, which require increased workers’ compensation benefits to ensure you get the ongoing medical care, wage replacement benefits, and additional support you need to regain control of your life.

We can help.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our California workers’ compensation attorneys, have six physical offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and Visalia, and our top-tier technologies provide a virtual reach to serve clients throughout California. We offer free in-person, telephone, and virtual consultations to offer straightforward legal advice for your unique needs.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your critical case. 

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