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What Makes a Personal Injury Catastrophic? - Jones Law Group

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What Makes a Personal Injury Catastrophic?

Doctor And Surgeon Examining X-ray Film Of Patient
Doctor and surgeon examining x-ray film of patient s head for brain, skull or eye injury. Medical diagnosis and surgical treatment concept.

Thankfully, most personal injury accidents don’t lead to permanent debilitation. But there are instances where a victim of negligence suddenly sees their life change in a devastating fashion. Catastrophic injuries can rob people of their ability to do even the simplest things. 

They can also require around-the-clock care.

The attorneys with Jones Law Group have extensive experience helping catastrophic injury victims obtain maximum compensation. We’ll work passionately to ensure those who caused your suffering pay dearly for their carelessnessContact us online or call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation.

What Does “Catastrophic” Mean in a Personal Injury Case?

In the context of personal injury law, “catastrophic” refers to injuries that have severe and lasting consequences, often resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities. These injuries go beyond the typical scope of injuries sustained in accidents and significantly impact a victim’s physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being.

Catastrophic injuries typically require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care to manage the physical and financial challenges they present.

Injuries Classified as Catastrophic

Catastrophic injuries encompass various types of harm, but two of the most common are brain and spinal cord injuries. Here’s a more detailed explanation of each.

Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when the brain sustains significant trauma, often due to a blow or jolt to the head. TBIs can range from mild to severe, and the consequences vary widely. Some of the key points to consider regarding TBIs include:

  • Concussions: Concussions are the mildest form of TBI. They involve a temporary disruption of brain function and are often characterized by headaches, confusion, dizziness, and memory problems. While most concussions resolve over time, repeated or severe initial concussions can lead to more severe complications.
  • Moderate to severe TBIs: Moderate to severe TBIs can result in long-lasting or permanent impairments. These injuries can cause cognitive difficulties, memory loss, language problems, mood changes, behavioral issues, and physical disabilities. A person with a moderate to severe TBI may require extensive rehabilitation, specialized therapies, and long-term support to regain or maximize their functioning.
  • Impact on daily life: TBIs can significantly impact a person’s daily life. The victim may experience memory, attention, problem-solving, and decision-making difficulties. They may require assistance with daily activities, face challenges returning to work or school, and need ongoing support to manage their symptoms.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete loss of motor function, sensation, and control below the injury site. Here are some key points regarding spinal cord injuries:

  • Paraplegia and quadriplegia: Spinal cord injuries can lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia. Paraplegia involves paralysis of the lower body, including the legs and sometimes the lower trunk. Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, involves paralysis of both the arms and legs. The severity and extent of paralysis depend on the level of the spinal cord injury.
  • Impaired sensation and function: Spinal cord damage can also result in various impairments, such as loss of sensation, muscle weakness, spasticity, and changes in bodily functions. These injuries may require extensive rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, and assistive devices to enhance mobility and independence.
  • Psychological impact: When someone suffers a severe spinal cord injury, they can experience a significant psychological impact. They may go through depression, anxiety, grief, loss, and challenges in adjusting to their new circumstances. Psychological support and counseling play a crucial role in helping individuals cope with the emotional aspects of their injury.

Both traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries require comprehensive medical care, rehabilitation, and ongoing support. The long-term effects of these injuries can be life-altering, necessitating specialized treatment and legal advocacy to ensure that the injured individuals receive the necessary resources, compensation, and support to adapt to their new

How Does a Catastrophic Injury Case Differ From a Regular Personal Injury Case?

Catastrophic injury cases differ from regular personal injury cases in several key ways. Here are just a few of them.

The Severity of the Injury

Catastrophic injuries involve more severe harm and often have permanent or long-term effects on the injured individual’s life. In contrast, regular personal injury cases typically involve less severe injuries that may heal over time.

The Extent of Damages

Catastrophic injury cases often require substantial compensation to cover extensive medical expenses, long-term rehabilitation, ongoing care, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity. The damages sought in these cases are typically much higher than in regular personal injury cases.


Cases where the victim suffers a severe injury are legally and medically complex. They require a deep understanding of the medical conditions, the long-term prognosis, and the potential impact on the injured person’s life. These cases often involve complex legal and insurance issues, making experienced legal representation crucial.

How to Choose the Right Catastrophic Injury Lawyer for Your Claim

Selecting the right catastrophic injury lawyer is crucial for the success of your claim. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing legal representation:

  • Experience: Look for a lawyer or law firm with extensive experience in catastrophic injury cases. They should have a track record of successfully handling similar cases and a deep understanding of the medical, legal, and insurance complexities.
  • Resources: Catastrophic injury cases often require significant resources for a thorough investigation, expert testimony, and building a solid case. Ensure that the lawyer or law firm you choose has the necessary resources to handle your claim effectively.
  • Compassion and communication: A catastrophic injury lawyer should be not only skilled but also compassionate and understanding. They should be responsive to your needs, communicate clearly, and prioritize your best interests throughout the legal process.
  • Reputation and reviews: Research the lawyer’s reputation and read reviews from past clients. Look for positive feedback regarding their professionalism, dedication, and ability to achieve favorable client outcomes.
  • Personal connection: Feeling comfortable and having a good rapport with your lawyer is essential. A catastrophic injury case can be emotionally challenging, and having a lawyer who understands and supports you can make a significant difference in your experience throughout the legal process.

Contact Jones Law Group to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

Jones Law Group understands the unique challenges people with catastrophic injuries and their families face. Our attorneys will tirelessly advocate for your rights, gather evidence, consult with medical experts, and build a strong case. We’ll provide you with experience and dedication and strive to obtain the compensation you deserve to help you on the path to recovery and secure your future.

Please use our online form or call (727) 571-1333 for a free review of your case.

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio