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What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?

Far too often, individuals are left to deal with the long-lasting and daunting impact of an injury sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence. Whether it involves a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, or any other situation, thousands and thousands of these incidents occur each year.

Unfortunately, there are some injuries that may be considered more serious than others, depending on the type of injury, the severity, and the long-term impact. These are typically considered catastrophic injuries in the legal realm.

For individuals who have been harmed as a result of negligence, understanding exactly what is considered a catastrophic injury is very important because it may dictate the ways in which the legal matters are handled moving forward. Here are some of the injuries that are considered catastrophic.

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Other Head Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries occur in multiple ways and may be either closed or open wounds. Typically, open wounds are anything that pierce the skull and causes damage to the brain. Closed wounds don’t penetrate the skull, but still cause significant trauma.

When someone sustains this type of injury, they are left dealing with the long-term impact which can include some of the following problems:

  • Significant memory loss: In some situations, the traumatic brain injury can cause the victim to have serious memory loss ranging from short-term to permanent. In some cases, the individual won’t remember how they sustained the injury at all.
  • Loss of cognitive function: Some of the cognitive functions and motor abilities we utilize each and every day may be impacted by a traumatic brain injury, resulting in the loss of these abilities.
  • Development disabilities: Significant brain injuries can impact how an individual develops and the way they learn things. This could halt the brain’s development and the individual may be in the same developmental stages as they were when they sustained the injury or worse.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord injuries can vary depending on how serious the injuries may be and where the source of the injury is located. The damages can be as minor as soreness and difficulties moving, or as serious as complete paralysis.

Some of the injuries that may be sustained include disc damage or nerve damage that could impact mobility, but it wouldn’t completely immobilize the injured party unless the injury is more serious. However, one type of spinal cord injury is a lot more serious.

Paralysis is the most serious of the spinal cord injuries because it means that the individual is no longer able to move certain limbs. This may mean the inability to walk, or complete paralysis that prevents the use of both arms and both legs.

Burn Injuries

Almost everyone has experienced some type of burn injury, particularly of a smaller degree such as touching a hot item or liquid, or getting a sunburn. Many understand that these alone can cause a good amount of pain. Some of the burns that can be sustained are a lot more serious.

Injuries typically range through degrees, making it so that the mild burns are considered first-degree burns, but the most severe would be third-degree burns. The symptoms vary and while the mildest include pain and redness, some can cause significant nerve damage.

Understanding the causes of burn injuries is important for individuals to help avoid some of the long-term impacts of a burn injury. Some can be as simple as a sunburn or a heat source, while others may be caused by electrical outlets or chemicals.


When someone has a limb or body part significantly injured as a result of negligence, it can be severe enough to require the need for part of the limb to be amputated to avoid further problems. This means the part may be removed from the body completely.

In some situations, the amputation may be the result of a severe infection that results in the individual having to remove the part of the body to prevent the infection from spreading. Some accidents cause individuals to lose limbs completely.

These are more common in situations involving motor vehicle accidents because of the large frames of vehicles, large amounts of sharp metal and glass, and the impacts. It’s a difficult situation, but understanding how to move forward amputation is important for the individual to pursue forward in the most positive way.

Why You Need an Austin Catastrophic Injury Attorney

Any time someone sustains a serious or catastrophic injury caused by someone else’s negligence, the need for legal counsel is one of the top priorities. This is because the negligent party should be held fully accountable for their actions and responsible for the damages you sustained.

Taking legal action can be difficult alone, though, as building evidence, pursuing the strong case possible, putting everything into motion, and going through settlement negotiations and trial can be complicated without the experience and knowledge that a lawyer has.

At The Stewart Law Firm, we’re firmly aware of how difficult this time may be for you. It’s important to understand your rights and options moving forward if you or someone you love suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s actions.

We aim to stand by your side every step of the way and help you navigate the complex matters so you can focus on your physical well-being and recovery while we handle the legal problems. Trust that we have the experience, knowledge, and skill to help you.

Call us today to discuss your potential case with our legal team. We can explain your rights and options and help you pursue the most favorable outcome possible.

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