Types of Catastrophic Injuries

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

According to 42 U.S.C. § 3796b, a catastrophic injury is considered the consequence of an injury that permanently prevents a person from being able to complete gainful work. A catastrophic injury can also refer to injuries that cause permanent, detrimental damage to a person’s life; these injuries occur without warning and can have a lasting impact on a person’s daily life and relationships. A person can sustain a catastrophic injury in any number of accidents, including vehicular accidents, medical malpractice cases, and premises liability cases.

What Are Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?

Many injuries can be considered catastrophic. Common types of catastrophic injuries include (but are not limited to):

  • Amputations. During an accident or because of damage sustained in an accident, a person may suffer the loss of a limb or vital body part. Amputation, scarring, or permanent disfigurement are considered catastrophic injuries because of the impact they have on a person’s health and quality of life.
  • Internal organ injuries. Abdominal injuries and/or powerful blows to the body can lead to several types of internal injuries, including organ damage. Organ lacerations or internal bleeding can lead to severe complications. Common types of internal organ injuries that can be considered catastrophic include punctured lungs, lacerated spleen, pierced bowels, etc.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are injuries that are caused by trauma to the head, such as a bow, bump, or jolt. These injuries can range in severity, and more severe TBIs can have a serious impact on a person’s life. After suffering such an injury, a person can lose certain senses, have difficulties with their thinking, memory, and reasoning, struggle with emotional responses, and lose language and communication ability.
  • Severe burns. Burns are classified as first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree depending on the type of damage and severity of the burn. Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and can affect organs, muscles, and bones; third-degree burns can affect a person’s seat glands, bones, nerve endings, and underlying tissue. These burns can affect a person’s quality of life, appearance, and more.
  • Paralysis. Spinal cord damage or paralysis is another common type of catastrophic injury. If a person becomes partially or totally disabled, their quality of life, ability to work, and relationships can be affected; they may also require specific medical care like rehabilitation.
  • Birth injuries. A birth injury is a physical injury that is sustained by a mother and/or child during the birthing process. Birth injuries that children can sustain include (but are not limited to) spinal cord injuries, intracranial hemorrhages, and cerebral palsy. Mothers may sustain a ruptured uterus, post-partum hemorrhages, and other injuries that have a lasting impact on them. Birth injuries sustained by children or mothers can require ongoing medical care and can cause a lot of pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and other lasting issues.
  • Permanent loss of hearing or sight. Many vehicular accidents (as well as other personal injury incidents) can lead to the eyes or ears being permanently damaged. In some cases, these injuries may require extensive surgeries and/or ongoing medical care.

Get Legal Help Today

Backed by over 25 years of experience, the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. is equipped to help you pursue legal action if you suffer a catastrophic injury in an accident. You can fight to be compensated for economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental distress
  • Lost wages
  • Physical therapy and other medical expenses
  • Diminished earning capacity

Learn more about how we can help you by discussing your case with our attorney. Call (720) 809-8262 or complete this online contact form.