Understanding Catastrophic Injuries and the Right Steps to Take

Catastrophic injuries often happen unexpectedly due to unforeseen circumstances such as accidents. The body suffers significant physical damage as a result of that event. Unfortunately, some victims of catastrophic injuries do not survive, while many others end up with deformities they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Since most catastrophic injuries are irreversible, complete recovery is almost impossible. While several reasons exist for catastrophic injury, the actions or inactions of another person are a significant cause. So what is the right step to take if you are in such a situation? This article examines the different types of catastrophic injuries, their causes, and the best way to address them legally.

The Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Below are a few (but not all) types of catastrophic injuries:

  • Amputation
  • Spinal cord impairment resulting in partial or total paralysis
  • Blindness
  • Loss of hearing
  • Nerve damage
  • Facial scars
  • Neurological damage
  • Severe internal organ damage
  • Fatal burns often between third-to-fourth degree
  • Brain injuries

The Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

There are several causes of catastrophic injuries. Find below some of the most common causes:

  • Motor vehicle/road accidents: this form of an accident includes motorcycle accidents, car collisions, truck accidents, railway accidents, and pedestrian crashes
  • Air accidents: these include plane and even hot-air balloon crashes
  • Water accidents: an example being a shipwreck
  • Sports accidents
  • Product defects
  • Workplace accidents
  • Medical malpractice in laboratories: for example, injuries sustained at birth 
  • Falls

How a Catastrophic Injury Can Impact Your Rights

As a catastrophic accident victim, you can file a claim against the person or business responsible for your injury(ies) to seek compensation for your damages. “Fatal injuries may have diverse effects on your case. For example, they may affect the reimbursement you are eligible for when filing a personal injury lawsuit and how you recover damages for car accidents in no-fault areas,” says attorney Roger K. Gelb of Gelb & Gelb, P.C.. Find out more about no-fault accident cases below.

What Does the Statute of Limitations Say Regarding Catastrophic Injury Cases?

Catastrophic injury claims must be filed within a certain period for the case to be valid. You must submit your claim before the statute of limitations in your state expires. In contrast to regular injury claims, catastrophic injuries typically do not have an extended period. It is recommended that you take action before it gets too late to obtain your funds.

Reimbursement for Catastrophic Injuries

You sustain more significant losses when you experience catastrophic injuries, with increased medical bills, continued medical costs, and additional suffering and pain. Given the extent of your damages as a result of these catastrophic injuries, you should have a right to be paid more money as compensation.

Compensation for catastrophic injuries must include payment for these losses: 

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress 

The reimbursement you get must be sufficient to cover the actual costs of your injuries, your impaired living standard, and the loss of past relationships with your partner, friend, or family members.


Experiencing catastrophic injuries due to any form of accident is not pleasant. The good news is, if you are not at fault – i.e., if you did not cause the accident – you have the right to file for a no-fault case and get total compensation for your losses.