Catastrophic Injuries – Causes, Claims, and Lawsuits

Jan 17, 2020 | Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are extremely severe accidents which result in long-lasting and/or irreversible impairments. These severe injuries are usually major health problems that could lead to permanent disability, decrease life expectancy and cause agonizing suffering.

Different from other types of injuries, the catastrophic injuries can affect everyone in your family in addition to the victim. The injured people of devastating accidents often need significant amounts of clinical treatment, rehabilitative treatment, medical equipment, personal care or assistance. It makes sense to hire an accident attorney in these cases.

Click to view the infographic in full size.

Causes of catastrophic injuries infographics


Catastrophic injuries impact a minimum of a single system of the human body, like the urinary system, respiratory system, neurological system, muscular system, or gastrointestinal system. A few good examples concerning catastrophic injuries might consist of the below:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal cord injury.
  • Amputation.
  • Congenital disabilities.
  • Loss of eyesight.
  • Loss of hearing.
  • Loss of speech.
  • Paralysis.
  • Severe burns.

The causes of catastrophic injuries are diverse. The most common causes include:

  • Auto Accidents. Collisions involving trucks, cars, and motorcycles are common causes of catastrophic injuries.
  • Construction Fatal Four. Construction work is one of the most physically demanding work.According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), there are four types of deadliest causes of catastrophic injuries and fatalities: fall hazards (38.8%), struck-by hazards (9.6%), electrical hazards (8.6%), and caught-in / -between hazards (7.2%).
  • Medical Malpractice. Whether it’s the failure to diagnose or a surgical error, medical malpractice can cause significant damages and even death.
  • Defective Products and dangerous drugs. Thousands of dangerous consumer products are recalled every year by federal safety agencies. Many times, these products are recalled only after victims report serious injuries or after legal actions have been imposed on the companies responsible.
  • Fires and Explosions. Injuries caused by fires and explosions are almost always severe and deadly. These incidents often cause awful pain, permanent scarring, and horrific emotional suffering.
  • Physical violence(especially those involving a firearm). Gunshot wounds, domestic violence, and other assaults can cause a variety of catastrophic injuries.


No matter what the cause, receiving appropriate medical treatment and proper care is critical. Catastrophic injuries can require follow-up care and surgeries over many years. The regimen of everyday lifestyle might have to change as well. Even where the chances for recovery may be positive, the process can span a lifetime and is likely to be extremely expensive, time-consuming, demanding, and difficult for both victims and families.

Because of the long-lasting implications for the lives of victims and their families, the legal claims associated tend to involve high economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages about the actual losses and expenses related to the injuries, including:

  • Surgeries
  • Emergency care
  • Doctor visits
  • Medical procedures
  • Medical equipment
  • Therapies
  • Home/Nursing care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future earnings

Calculating the economic damages can be extremely complicated as it requires expertise to consider continued treatment, attendant care, rehabilitation costs as well as lost future income, in addition to what has occurred to the victim.

Furthermore, non-economic damages, such as emotional stress, grief, and pain, are difficult for proving. In Colorado, there are limits on non-economic damages. The cap is $500,000 for “clear and convincing justification” and $250,000 for medical malpractice and most other civil cases.


Because of the burden of proof, required expertise, emotional stress, and high damages involved in a catastrophic injury case, it is important to work with an experienced attorney that will fight to seek the most compensation for the full extent of your injuries. In many cases, it is also important to find a personal injury law firm that has the resources to hire medical experts, economists, and other rehabilitation professionals to review your case and determine the damages during the negotiation process. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call the Denver or other Colorado offices of Franklin D. Azar & Associates for a free consultation.


Brain Injury Cost