When you or a loved on are in a car accident or other incident that ends in injury, you deserve to fight for compensation. You will likely be dealing with medical bills, suffering and, if you endure a catastrophic injury, lifelong consequences.

The medical definition

The American Medical Association defines a catastrophic injury as severe and involving the spinal cord, spine or brain. Examples of a catastrophic injury include:

  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Amputation
  • Impairment of a limb
  • Loss of vision
  • Significant brain impairments
  • Severe behavioral and mental disorders
  • Severe burns
  • Organ damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Head trauma

The legal definition

A catastrophic injury is defined legally by its outcome. Any injury that causes permanent disability that can change the way the victim works or lives is catastrophic. When an injury has significant impact on the life of the victim, it is catastrophic.

For example, any injury like paraplegia or quadriplegia changes how one functions in daily life. housing situations likely need to be altered and many require daily medical aid. The loss of a limb or of vision can create challenges in going back to one’s job, especially if it was a physical one.

Every injury can affect the life of the victim outside of their physical health, but especially so with catastrophic injuries. They can create lifelong disabilities, significant periods of rehabilitation, assistance, supervision, stress and medical bills.

If you or a loved one are involved in an event the results in injury, it is important to understand if that injury is catastrophic. This definition can have a significant impact as you pursue compensation and justice.