What Is Considered A Catastrophic Injury?

Catastrophic injury lawyer in Atlanta

Surviving an accident can leave you dealing with all types of injuries—everything from minor bumps and bruises to broken bones to catastrophic injuries you never fully recover from.

Though many injuries can be severe, few are considered catastrophic.

Catastrophic injuries completely change your life.

Here are the Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries.

Whether you were in a severe car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you suffered burns in a fire or explosion, or you fell from a height, catastrophic injuries are very serious. They require life-long medical care and nursing care just to get by.

However, there isn’t a universal definition of what makes an injury catastrophic.

Fortunately, though, there are some working definitions used by lawyers and insurance companies of what a catastrophic injury could be that are acceptable for most legal and medical purposes.

In the article below, we will discuss what may be considered a catastrophic injury.



What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury? 

If a significant injury like a bone fracture or one that requires surgery may not be considered catastrophic, what will?

Catastrophic injuries often occur to the neck, head, or spinal cord. When these body parts are injured, it can often cause irreversible damage and significantly lower your quality of life.

You may not be able to work, walk, or even perform everyday functions on your own after the accident.

Catastrophic injuries can occur in several ways.

They can occur in motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, or sports accidents.

A violent encounter could leave someone paralyzed, blind, or deaf, while an injury at a construction site could cause dismemberment, disfigurement, severe burns, or other types of severe injuries.

No matter where or how your catastrophic injury occurred, the long-lasting effects are the same.

You will experience long-term physical pain, mental anguish, extensive and ongoing physical therapy and medical bills, loss of earnings and earning capacity, and an overall decrease in enjoyment of life.  

A catastrophic injury claim will focus on getting you the help you need in the short term as well as throughout the rest of your life as you deal with the physical and financial repercussions of this type of injury.

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Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries

A few of the most common injuries that are often considered catastrophic include:

  • A Spinal Cord Injury: Spinal cord injuries can be complete, which is permanent damage, or incomplete, which is partial damage. Complete spinal cord injuries can lead to issues like paraplegia or tetraplegia. The effects of an incomplete spinal cord injury will vary greatly in type and severity. If you do suffer a spinal cord injury, you will likely deal with the loss of sensation, loss of movement, sexual dysfunction, an inability to control your bladder and bowel, and an increased risk of other medical conditions.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): TBIs, a very severe head injury, will also range in severity. A severe TBI is usually associated with permanent cognitive and physical disabilities, behavior changes, or a minimally conscious state. They could also lead to a vegetative state, coma, and even brain death.
  • Amputations: An amputation is the loss of a hand, arm, foot, or leg. Just recovering from an amputation can be traumatic in and of itself. You’ll have to heal from the surgery, which poses a high risk of infection. You will also require physical rehabilitation to relearn how to perform daily tasks.
  • Severe Burn Injuries: First-degree burns are the most superficial and aren’t considered a severe injury. A second-degree burn will cause the affected area to look swollen, red, and blistered. Third-degree burns require extensive medical care. A fourth-degree burn will go through the skin and into the muscle and bone, destroying nerve endings in the process. A victim of a third or fourth-degree burn will face significant pain, risk of infection, disfigurement, and long-term physical limitations.
  • Internal Organ Damage: One or more of your internal organs can be damaged in an accident, including your heart, lungs, liver, kidney, etc. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, you may need surgery. The damaged organ may not function at its normal levels for a period of time or permanently. If the organ can’t be saved, you may be forced to live without it or require a transplant.

Damages in A Catastrophic Injury Claim

Because of the implications for the lives of the victims and the enormous losses that result from catastrophic injuries, legal cases usually involve much higher damages than your typical personal injury case.

We often hear of multi-million dollar settlements and think an accident victim is set for life.

The reality is much different.

When you add up the toll of a lifetime of lost earnings, enormous medical bills, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering the victim has and will endure, these “life-changing” verdicts simply grant the accident victim some degree of financial stability after their catastrophic injury.

One truth that can be shared from the world of catastrophic injury law is that every victim would gladly trade the amount of money they won from the at-fault party to get the life back they had before the accident.

That isn’t possible, though, so catastrophic injury law is their only hope for some semblance of justice and compensation.

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Let a Catastrophic Injury Attorney Help You Pursue Damages

If you were recently involved in a catastrophic accident and you are dealing with a long-term or permanent disability or disfigurement, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

A catastrophic injury lawyer will have the skills and knowledge of personal injury laws that will be necessary to win your personal injury claim.

The Mabra Law Firm has years of experience successfully handling serious, catastrophic, and complex personal injury cases.

A personal injury attorney with the Mabra Law Firm will speak with you and review your medical records so they can advise you as to the severity of your injuries under the law and how that will impact the valuation of your personal injury claim.

To schedule your Free Consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney at the Mabra Law Firm, click the button below.