If a loved one is taken to a Level 1 trauma center after a serious car crash, chances are they’re suffering what is called “polytrauma.” That means they’ve suffered multiple serious injuries that involve more than one organ and/or system.
Someone who is involved in a catastrophic collision, for example, may suffer numerous severe fractures or even amputations, damage to their organs (including the heart), spinal cord injuries and/or traumatic brain injuries. Polytraumatized patients sometimes have serious burns as well. Polytrauma isn’t always fatal. However, those who survive often have “life-changing or life-limiting injuries,” as recent study puts it.
While many polytraumatic injuries are the result of violent attacks or explosions – including those experienced in war – one of the most common causes is traffic collisions. Crashes involving cars or larger vehicles and people on foot, bike or scooter can leave victims with polytrauma. Falls from a high level can cause these injuries as well.
What’s involved in treating polytrauma?
Immediate, comprehensive diagnostics and treatment are necessary in the event of polytrauma, which is why it’s important to get patients who have been severely injured to medical facilities that are equipped to serve them properly. Orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, burn specialists, cardiologists and other types of doctors are often involved in a comprehensive treatment plan for polytraumatized patients once they’re stabilized. Of course, physical, occupational and other types of therapy are almost always a part of a longer-term treatment plan.
Understanding the long-term implications
If you are a loved one of someone who has suffered polytrauma because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness (for example, an at-fault driver), your focus will be on their health and medical care. As you anticipate the likely enormous medical expenses that their situation will inspire, it may be tempting to take the first settlement offer you receive from an insurance company.
It’s crucial, however, to consider the long-term costs and damages involved before committing to a plan of action. They may be unable to work for an extended period. They may need modifications to their home to make it accessible. It can all be too much to process. By getting experienced legal guidance as soon as possible, you can help ensure that you get a fair settlement and that all of the appropriate parties are held accountable.