What is considered a catastrophic injury?

What is considered a catastrophic injury?

If you have been involved in a motorcycle, car, or truck accident, or have suffered a fall from a great height, you may be dealing with all sorts of injuries. You may have been lucky enough only to get some minor bruises and bumps, or maybe you had some broken bones and bleeding. However, others suffer extensive and severe injuries from which they may never fully recover. These are injuries that completely change the lives of those suffering from them and affect their families, who often end up bearing the responsibility of their care. Although there is not a universal definition for a catastrophic injury, your Lakeland personal injury attorney will know if the injuries you or a loved one are living through and will help you file a claim to recover the damages you are entitled to.

What makes an injury catastrophic?

In general, catastrophic injuries are those that involve the head, neck, or spinal cord. This is simply because, when these body parts suffer an injury, the damage tends to be irreversible, thoroughly impacting the quality of life of those suffering from them. As a result of the catastrophic injury, the victim may no longer be able to walk, earn a living, or perform even the most basic functions of everyday life without receiving help.

What are other side effects associated with a catastrophic injury?

Catastrophic injuries are associated with extreme and long-lasting physical pain and mental anguish. Thus, these injuries are accompanied by extensive medical attention and ongoing physical therapy with their respective bills. Also, loss of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life are common facts.

What are the most common types of catastrophic injuries?

Among the most common types of catastrophic injuries, you will find:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

These injuries are not only severe, but they also range in the amount of impact they have on the victim’s life. When the brain is injured, there can be permanent physical and cognitive disabilities, changes in behavior, or the victim may live out their life in a minimally conscious state. They may be in a coma or be in a vegetative state.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cords can be injured completely, causing permanent damage, or they can be injured partially, varying in type and severity. These injuries may result in paraplegia or tetraplegia. Also involved are the loss of movement and sensation, sexual dysfunction, inability to control bladder and bowel movements, and a series of other medical complications and conditions.

Severe Burns

If burns are just superficial, they do not constitute a catastrophic injury. Second-degree burns will make the affected area swell and look red and blistered. Third-degree burns require comprehensive and long-term medical care, while a fourth-degree burn will cross the skin barrier and enter the muscles and bones, destroying nerve endings along its path. Victims of third- and fourth-degree burns are considered to be suffering from catastrophic injuries. They will have to deal with major pain, the constant risk of infection, disfigurement, and a slew of physical limitations that will affect them for life.


Losing a hand, an arm, or a leg s traumatic enough. On top of the psychological trauma, the victim will have to heal from the surgery and its accompanying risk of infection. Physical rehabilitation and the possible use of a prosthetic limb will also require patience, time, emotional support, and extensive financial output.

Damage to Internal Organs

The liver, kidneys, lungs, and other internal organs can suffer injuries during an accident. In some cases, surgery may also be required. If the damaged organ cannot regain its full function on a permanent basis, the person may need an organ transplant, for which they may have to wait a long time.

Seeking Damages After a Catastrophic Injury

Legal cases where catastrophic injuries are involved may result in much higher damages than those generally awarded in typical personal injury claims. Even though some of these lawsuits result in multi-million-dollar settlements, giving the impression that the victim is now set for life and has nothing to worry about, the reality can be quite different. The pain and suffering these victims experience is such that most would gladly give every last cent back if they could only go back to the life they lived and knew before the accident.

Still, that does not mean that victims of catastrophic injuries who are still undergoing extensive medical treatments or those who are having to learn to live with the consequences of their injuries should not seek to recover the compensation they so badly need at this time. Reaching out to an experienced catastrophic injury attorney who will review your medical records and conduct an investigation into the accident is the first step towards understanding the value of your claim.

Asheley Rice

I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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