When a victim of an accident is left with a catastrophic injury, their lives can be permanently changed. Catastrophic Injury Attorneys specialize in helping people who have suffered these serious injuries.

These injuries include severe damage to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures, loss of limb, hearing or sight, and fatalities.

When it comes to accidents that cause catastrophic injuries, victims can remain permanently disabled, preventing them from moving on with their regular life. Catastrophic injuries often involve higher settlement amounts from insurance companies, which is why it’s important to work with the right lawyer.

The experienced attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah have helped clients across the country recover over $1 billion for their injuries.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a severe injury from a catastrophic accident, call the offices of Schuerger Shunnarah for a Free Consultation because you deserve a local attorney that will go to war for your family!

driver suffers a catastrophic injury in an accident

What Are Catastrophic Injuries?

In essence, a catastrophic injury is considered a life-threatening, or life-altering injury. Accidents involving these injuries may result in lost limbs, lost eyesight, loss of hearing, and other serious conditions diminishing quality of life.

There are six conditions that count as ‘Catastrophic Injuries,’ so you may talk to a catastrophic injury attorney if you want to know if your particular accident may apply for a catastrophic injury lawsuit.

These six conditions involve the following:


In essence, paralysis means partial or total loss of muscular functions. When an accident victim is paralyzed, they may be unable to make voluntary muscle movements. Paralysis happens when the nervous system can’t send signals to muscles so that they move.

Depending on the accident that caused the paralysis, there are two main types of it: partial and complete. As their names imply, partial paralysis implies that the person can recover their movements after a while, whereas complete paralysis leaves the person unable to move permanently.

It’s important to note that symptoms of paralysis may not show immediately after an accident, this is why it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible to assess any possible internal injuries. In these cases, an attorney may be able to assist the victim in getting all the information possible.


An amputation involves the surgical removal of a part of a person’s body, such as an arm or leg. There are different amputation types according to the injury.

While amputation cases may not only happen due to severe accidents, they still are a common reason for them. Doctors may have to amputate a person’s limb if it was so severely damaged that it cannot be saved.

Keep in mind that catastrophic injuries often involve deep tissue destruction or infections that make the limb impossible to recover. In these cases, it’s much safer for the victim to get their limb removed to prevent getting a disease.

Loss of Vision

It’s common to experience blurred vision after an accident since these accidents tend to cause concussions. However, some extreme accidents may cause retinal detachments or serious eye/brain injuries.

Keep in mind that eye-related injuries may also be linked to brain injuries, which can lead to permanent damage if they’re not treated accordingly.

Severe Brain Impairment

A severe brain injury is one that disrupts your brain’s normal function. These accidents tend to cause a period of unconsciousness for the victim, such as a coma, vegetative states, or minimally conscious states.

Even if the injured person wakes up, they may be experiencing trouble moving or processing information normally. In these cases, it’s critical for the family to contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.

Combination of Impairments

As its name implies, a combination of impairments refers to severe injuries that impair the victims in different areas. As a rule of thumb, a person is considered to have a combination of impairments if they’re experiencing at least 55% of impairment in their body.

Regardless of the type of accident the person had, they must seek medical attention as soon as possible to minimize the consequences of the catastrophic injuries.

Extreme Impairment from Mental Disorders

Accidents don’t only cause physical injuries. Most accident types tend to be traumatic for the person involved, making it possible to have mental issues in the future. 

Mental disorders may range from mild depression to schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are considered chronic disorders. These injuries are considered non-economic, so it may be harder for a jury or insurance company to determine how much money the person can get in compensation.

This is why it is essential to have legal representation to fight fair compensation for physical pain and mental anguish.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

As mentioned before, types of injuries that are considered catastrophic are those that cause permanent disability or death. There are a few common injuries that fall into this category, so read on if you want to know more about them.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Here, the brain is impacted by an external force, causing it to lose oxygen or shake rapidly. These injuries can cause different problems in the future that can affect the victim’s cognition, memory, sensations, thinking, and others. 

It may be possible for accident victims to recover from a traumatic brain injury, but in severe cases, they may require long-term care since they may never make a full recovery.

Spinal Cord Injuries

As its name implies, a spinal cord injury prevents the spinal cord from sending messages between the brain and the body correctly. In these cases, victims may experience partial or permanent paralysis.

The type of paralysis the victim may experience mostly depends on where the impact was and how severe it was. Spinal cord injuries are considered the most devastating catastrophic injury type, so victims must seek medical and legal attention immediately after the accident.

It’s important to note that most spinal cord injuries are permanent, so the person may need to accommodate special needs to move on with their life; this may require a higher compensation amount for them.

Burn Injuries

Depending on how severe the burn injury was, victims may experience long-term disability problems. Traditionally speaking, if there are third-degree burns on 40%of the body, or 40% of the face the burns are considered catastrophic.

Additionally, burn injuries tend to disfigure the body, which can affect the victim mentally and emotionally.


A person’s skull or spine may get damaged after an accident, which can lead to brain or spinal cord injuries. It’s important to note that it’s extremely risky to treat these fracture types, which is why they’re considered catastrophic.

What Can Cause a Catastrophic Injury?

As with any other injury type, several things can cause a catastrophic injury. It all depends on the severity of the accident.

Generally speaking, these are some of the most common causes of a catastrophic injury:

  • Truck Accident
  • Car accident
  • Defective product
  • Construction accident
  • Pedestrian accident
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace Accident
  • Dangerous premises accident

In case you believe someone else was responsible for your catastrophic injury, the best thing you can do is contact a legal expert to assess all your options.

Overcoming a catastrophic injury can be challenging, especially if you don’t get help. Keep in mind that some catastrophic injuries cause permanent injuries to the victim, changing their life forever. 

In case someone else’s negligence caused you a life-threatening injury, a personal injury attorney is the legal expert you need to talk to. Catastrophic accident cases tend to involve several factors, so it’s good to have someone on your side that can help you determine how much compensation you need to cover your expenses.

Depending on the accident, the victim may not be able to contact an attorney right away, especially if they got into an unconscious state. There, a family member can call the lawyer on the victim’s behalf and assess their options together.

What Can You Be Compensated For if You Suffered a Catastrophic Injury?

If you have experienced life-changing injuries after an accident, there are specific things you can be compensated for by the responsible party and their insurance company.  Some of the things your compensation claim will include is: 

  • Medical Expenses: Catastrophic injuries typically require extensive medical care, surgeries, physical therapy, and more. Your settlement will include payment for all medical bills associated with your injury.
  • Lost Wages: Due to the severity of the injury often the victim is unable to work. All lost wages, current and future, can be compensated.
  • Pain and Suffering: The accident can leave the victim with physical and emotional distress. The pain and suffering of the accident and injuries can be included in compensation.
  • Wrongful death damages– If the accident was fatal, the surviving family can be compensated for burial and funeral expenses as well as loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment: If the injured party loses the ability to do something they once loved they can be compensated for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Property Damage: When there is property damage that happened, such as in car accidents, you can seek payment for property repairs or replacement.
  • Punitive Damages: This can be granted from the judge to the guilty party in cases of gross negligence, recklessness, or intent to harm.

If you are the victim of the accident, and the other party is at fault they need to be held accountable and pay for your injuries. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney help you know your legal rights.

Man is put in neck brace after a catastrophic injury accident

Frequently Asked Questions In Catastrophic Injury Cases

How Much Do Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Cost?

Why Do You Need a Catastrophic Injury Attorney?

How Long Does It Take to Get Compensated?

How Much Could Your Catastrophic Injury Case Be Worth?

We’re Ready to Fight For You!

Catastrophic injuries are often life-changing for the victims, but they don’t have to deal with that alone.

The experienced lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have all the tools available to work with your personal injury case, regardless of its type, to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Our legal team has recovered hundreds of millions in lawsuits involving catastrophic injuries, so if you’re looking for a catastrophic injury lawyer to assist you, this is the right place, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. We are here 24/7 for you!