Catastrophic Injuries: What Are They and What to Expect

Any injury that a person sustains can be considered serious. However, in the legal world certain injuries are considered more catastrophic than others, and they leave those impacted with long-term effects that need care and medical treatment for years.

These injuries are some of the worst because they have the greatest impact on an individual, leaving them with serious physical, mental, and financial hardships. Unfortunately, these are often preventable injuries caused by someone else’s negligent actions.

It’s important for you to understand exactly what is considered a catastrophic injury, what to expect moving forward, and why it’s so crucial to have a skilled legal team on your side to help you pursue the most favorable outcome possible.

The Different Kinds of Catastrophic Injuries That Exist

When injuries are considered catastrophic, it means that the individual suffered significant, often life-threatening or life-changing damages. Recognizing the various types of catastrophic injuries is important so you can better understand your rights moving forward.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

You may have heard of the different traumatic brain injuries that a person sustains—at least the mildest injuries which include concussions. However, there are significantly worsening effects that a person may experience if the traumatic brain injury is more severe.

For instance, a moderate brain injury can cause significant confusion for an extended period of time—sometimes weeks or months—issues with memory or cognitive abilities, or loss of consciousness. These injuriesare more severe than a concussion, but the individual may still be able to treat some of the problems they’re experiencing.

The most severe traumatic brain injuries may include the possibility of coma or even life-threatening conditions. However, there may be other issues such as loss of memory, trouble with taste, smell, hearing, or vision, and much more.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can be one of the worst injuries to sustain because of the types of damages associated with it. There are countless situations in which these injuries are sustained including car accidents, slip and falls, pedestrian accidents, and more.

The more moderate spinal cord injuries may result from damage to the discs down the spine causing long term nerve damage. This could result in significant pain and difficulty completing even the simplest of tasks. These injuries can be much worse, though, when it results in paralysis.

When someone sustains paralysis, it could be either complete (resulting in total loss of motor function with all limbs) or incomplete (loss of motor function in two limbs below the area of the injury. Paralysis limits a person’s ability to do some of the things they enjoyed the most in their lives and may require changes to their living area in order to comfortably move around their own home.

Significant Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are sustained all the time for a number of reasons. There are significant damages that are associated with severe burns, as well as some that are not so serious but are very common. Similarly, some burn injuries are caused by natural instances while others are caused by negligence.

For instance, a person may sustain a burn injury simply from extended exposure to the sun—such as a sunburn. This is also true when someone touches or bumps into a heat source that causes a significant burn to the outer layer of the skin.

Other types of burns—including flames, electrical burns, and chemical burns—can also cause significant damage, sometimes damaging the top layer of skin and the layers underneath it. The most significant burns can cause damage to the muscles, nerves, tendons, and bones.


An amputation can occur as a result of a medical necessity or simply because of a random act of negligence. It’s important to understand exactly what can cause amputations and what can happen as a result.

For instance, if a person sustains an infection due to either contamination or because of another condition, the specific part of the body that has been affected may need to be amputated to prevent the spread of any potential problems.

Also, if someone is involved in a significant crash, there is potential for the injured individual to lose a limb as a result of the collision. This could be a significant loss for the victim, especially when the person relies on the limb lost for their everyday lives.

What Can Be Done to Take Legal Action?

If you or someone you love is catastrophically injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, one of the most important things to know is that you do have the right to take legal action against the responsible party.

This means you may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation and justice, and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Before you do this, though, it’s important to speak with a skilled legal professional who can help you understand your rights and options.

At Denver Trial Lawyers ®, we have a firm understanding of the tactics used by the responsible party’s insurance company to attempt to limit their own liability. As such, we build a strong case on your behalf, focused on helping you reach the most favorable outcome possible.

Our Denver catastrophic injury attorneys will stand by your side every step of the way, working to help you understand your rights and options, and guiding you throughout the entire process. Trust that our team will be there for you when you need us most.

Call our legal team today at (303) 647-9990 and speak with one of our skilled attorneys about your potential case. You can get justice and our team is here to help you from start to finish.