What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury or Illness?
Law Insider defines catastrophic injury or illness as:
an injury or illness that is expected to incapacitate the employee for an extended period of time, or that incapacitates a member of the employee’s family, which incapacity requires the employee to take time off from work for an extended period of time to care for that family member, and taking extended time off work creates a financial hardship for the employee.
Catastrophic injuries and illnesses are severe, long-term medical conditions in which recovery is prolonged or unlikely. In the legal sense, they are due to another person or organization’s actions, negligence, lack of care, or faulty product design. Many states do not have rigid definitions of the “extended period of time,” but catastrophic injuries and illnesses typically result in 30 or more lost workdays.
While “catastrophic” is often used to relate injuries and illnesses to lost work and wages, it can also describe limitations in personal and family life.