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Which personal injuries are considered catastrophic?

Nowhere in any statute or medical dictionary will you find a one-size-fits-all definition of catastrophic injury. The Lawyer Monthly reports, however, that, as used by courts, personal injury attorneys and insurance companies, this term refers to the most serious types of injuries you could sustain in a car accident, work-related accident or any other kind of accident. 

For example, the following types of injuries almost universally qualify as catastrophic: 

  • Spinal cord injuries that leave you partially or totally paralyzed 
  • Traumatic brain injuries that leave your mobility, speech, balance, etc. severely impaired 
  • Crush and other injuries that require amputation of one or more of your limbs 
  • Head and eye injuries that leave you with substantial or total vision impairment 
  • Burn injuries that leave you with disfiguring scars 
  • Any injury that causes severe damage to one or more of your internal organs 

In other words, catastrophic injuries have a lasting impact on your life and lifestyle. 

Catastrophic injury damages

It goes without saying that if you sustain a catastrophic injury, you likely will spend substantial time in the hospital. Upon discharge, you likely will require further rehabilitation. All of this translates into enormous medical and other costs. In addition, if your injury leaves you partially or totally disabled, you also will lose the ability to earn the income you did prior to your accident. 

You can recover compensation for all of these losses and more when you decide to sue the person whose negligence or wrongdoing caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. Admittedly, no amount of money will adequately compensate you for having to deal with the effects of a catastrophic injury for the remainder of your life. However, receiving a large settlement or jury award may help you achieve closure, plus give you a sense of justice rendered against the at-fault party.