Polytrauma is a specific medical term that describes the condition of someone who has sustained multiple traumatic injuries in an accident. For instance, in a car crash an individual may suffer serious burns over large portions of his or her body in addition to a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The critical nature of an injury is evaluated in the U.S. medical community through a scale referred to as the Injury Severity Score (ISS). Polytraumas have scores of 16 or greater on this scale. The U.S. military has used the medical designation of polytrauma in recent years to categorize injuries sustained by military personnel in the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. As well, it is used as a standard medical term for multiple traumatic injuries sustained by civilians resulting from various activities, whether related to work or recreation.
Over the years many members of the military have not survived after sustaining multiple serious injuries. Advances in protective gear and medical technology in recent years as increased the survival rates of both soldiers and civilians who have sustained polytrauma.
Accidents that typically result in polytrauma
Motor vehicle accidents are the major cause that leads to polytrauma among civilians. The high speeds and sudden impacts that occur in many types of car crashes too often lead to this disastrous outcome for injury victims. For military personnel, some of the most serious threats that lead to polytrauma injuries include blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and grenades.
For both military and civilian personnel, polytrauma often involves a combination of TBI with other debilitating injuries such as serious eye damage, hearing damage, amputations, spinal cord injury, and severe burns. In addition, some individuals experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in conjunction with polytrauma.
Beyond car wrecks and military related blast incidents, additional causes of polytrauma include:
- Knife wounds
- Physical altercations
- Gunshot wounds
- Falls from elevated heights
Claiming damages in the wake of polytrauma injuries
The damages resulting from polytrauma injuries are often quite extensive due to the inherent physical and mental devastation involved. Therefore, it is important when seeking a claim for damages that elaborate and detailed proof is provided to spotlight the negative impact the injuries have had and are having upon the victim.
A broad-based, interdisciplinary approach is usually taken to help victims of polytrauma recover from their injuries as much as possible. Multiple clinical care professionals will ideally coordinate together with a combined treatment strategy to help the patient regain physical and mental capabilities as well as quality of life.
As an injured plaintiff who has received a comprehensive diagnosis of polytrauma, you along with your attorney may gather extensive evidence, including testimony from physicians and other medical experts handling your treatment. All of this information can serve as proof to establish a claim for damages.
The Chattanooga personal injury attorneys at Wagner & Wagner can help support you in your claim for compensation if you have suffered polytrauma through another person’s negligence. We cater to clients in Chattanooga, Cleveland, North Georgia, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today at 423.799.3532 or use our contact form to request a free consultation.