What Is a Catastrophic Personal Injury?

Rachel N. Woloshin

Author: Rachel N. Woloshin

POST DATE: 8.21.23
Ccha  Personal Injury

What Is a Catastrophic Personal Injury?

A catastrophic personal injury is a severe and life-altering injury with significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the victim. Unlike minor injuries that may heal over time with medical treatment, catastrophic injuries often cause long-term or permanent disabilities, impairments, and challenges that can have a profound impact on your quality of life and ability to function.

In this post, the Church Church Hittle and Antrim Personal Injury team will help you better understand a catastrophic personal injury claim. We will also help you identify some types and causes of catastrophic injuries and provide the next steps to consider if you have suffered a catastrophic injury.

Types of Catastrophic Personal Injury

Catastrophic injuries are serious injuries that result in long-term lifestyle changes. Catastrophic personal injuries can encompass a range of conditions, including:

  • Spinal cord injuries,

  • Traumatic brain injuries,

  • Amputations,

  • Severe burns,

  • Organ damage,

  • Multiple fractures,

  • Crush injuries,

  • Loss of vision or hearing,

  • Severe soft tissue injuries, and

  • Internal injuries.

This is not an exhaustive list; your injury may still be catastrophic even if you do not see it listed here. For instance, a doctor might diagnose you as having a catastrophic back injury but not specify whether it is spinal cord trauma, soft tissue injury, or fracture. Regardless, this may still qualify for compensation.

When another party causes catastrophic injuries through negligence, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. Be sure to see a medical professional as soon as possible after your injury occurs to address your injuries and support your claim. After receiving medical care, contact a catastrophic personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.


Image of injured woman meeting with doctor

What Causes Catastrophic Personal Injury?

Various accidents and incidents that inflict sudden and severe trauma on the body can cause catastrophic personal injuries. These injuries can have life-altering consequences for the victim and their loved ones. Some common causes of catastrophic personal injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents,

  • Truck accidents,

  • Workplace accidents,

  • Train accidents,

  • Medical malpractice,

  • Construction accidents,

  • Pedestrian accidents,

  • Bike accidents,

  • Motorcycle accidents,

  • Burn accidents or explosions, and

  • Plane crashes.

Catastrophic personal injuries can result in long-term physical and emotional suffering, substantial medical bills, loss of income, and significant lifestyle changes. If you think you have been the victim of an accident or deliberate hazard that resulted in catastrophic personal injury, contact the experienced Personal Injury team at CCHA Law today.

How Are Catastrophic Injuries Different Than Regular Personal Injury Claims?

Simply put, catastrophic injuries are personal injuries that grievously impact your ability to work and live independently. However, the definition may vary depending on where you live and whom you are suing. For instance, when you file a lawsuit against the U.S. government, an injury is considered catastrophic if it permanently prevents you from working again.

Catastrophic Injury in Indiana

In the State of Indiana, your injury may be considered catastrophic if it impairs your ability to live independently for at least a year. A catastrophic injury is usually measured by how much you can work, whether you can live independently, and how much help you need to perform basic tasks.

Catastrophic injuries often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care. This often places a significant emotional and financial burden on a victim and their family. Medical bills, ongoing therapy, assistive devices, modifications to living spaces, and loss of income due to disability can create substantial challenges.

Image of injured man getting physical therapy

Examples of Personal Injury vs. Catastrophic Injury

If you were injured in a car accident and suffered a broken arm, you might have a personal injury claim and be entitled to compensation. In that circumstance, typically your arm will heal, and you will likely regain full function again. That is your typical personal injury.

In the case of catastrophic injury, however, a car accident might cause an injury that leaves you without the use of your limbs. This would be severe, life-altering, and likely would prevent you from living independently. While you may heal some from your injuries, your life will never be the same.

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact CCHA Law today. Our experienced Personal Injury attorneys can help.

Speak with a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today

The Personal Injury Team at CCHA Law has helped injured victims for over 140 years. We are intimately familiar with how the insurance claims process works and the tactics insurance companies use to attempt to avoid paying you the money you are entitled to. Don’t risk your future settlement. Contact CCHA Law today to schedule a free initial consultation.


CCHA Law Personal Injury Team