What are Some Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?

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The National Safety Council reported that accidental injuries are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. These fatalities are often a result of a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries result from sudden, accidental events, including motor vehicle crashes, falls from heights, and other unforeseeable events.  These occurrences leave victims with severe, life-altering, and/or debilitating injuries that cause lifelong consequences.

The following informational guide examines the different types of catastrophic injuries that commonly occur. We also reveal what to do if you or a loved one is injured in an accident that resulted from another person’s accidental or intentional negligence.

How are Catastrophic Injuries Defined?

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The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research determines injury severity based on several factors. Injuries are categorized as catastrophic if one of the following circumstances result from the accident:

  • Fatality
  • Severe Head and/or Neck Trauma
  • Permanent Severe Disability

These injuries generally result in excessive damages, medical bills, long-term treatment, assisted living, chronic pain, and/or other issues.

Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

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Catastrophic injuries can be a result of bodily trauma, serious infections, disease, and/or other illness. There is a wide range of accidents, illnesses, and other events that can occur and lead to catastrophic injuries.

Causes of Catastrophic Injuries Could Include:

  • Slips and Falls
  • Burns
  • Infections
  • Disease
  • Chemical Exposure

These accidents can occur anywhere, including on the job, in an automobile crash, and even at home.

Direct Causes of Accidents Include:

A responsible party may be held liable for the short and long-term damages that occur when these devastating accidents are often a result of another person’s negligence.

Who Is Liable for Catastrophic Injuries

what are What are Catastrophic Injuries?

There are numerous parties who may be liable for an accident that results in catastrophic injuries. These parties could be another individual, a medical practitioner, an employer, or another organization and/or entity.


One example of employer negligence is inadequate or non-existent employee training. Employers are responsible for training employees and ensuring there are no communication barriers that would prevent training. An employer who fails to meet and enforce safe work practices may be liable in the event of an injury-causing accident.

The most common catastrophic injury that occurs on job sites is falling from heights. An employer may be responsible for an employee’s injury and/or death after a serious fall if the fall resulted from this form of negligence.

Other Responsible Parties Could Include:

  • A Driver
  • A Business
  • Another Person or Entity

Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries

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Common types of catastrophic injuries include head/neck injuries, brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and other life-altering issues. The following are examples are common types of catastrophic injuries that occur.

Birth Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can occur to the mother or child during pregnancy and childbirth. Common catastrophic injuries during pregnancy include maternal death, fractures, spleen, kidney, or uterine rupture, and loss of the fetus.

Loss of Senses

Loss of sight and/or hearing can have serious life-altering consequences. Learning to live without visual sight and hearing is a major adjustment and difficult to learn to live independently. These accidents also have significant effects on an individual’s mental and emotional health.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) reports that about 300,000 people suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and require hospitalization every year. Of these, 99,000 experience permanent disability from these injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury

The Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure reports that there are approximately 12,000 new spinal cord injuries (SCI) cases every year.


The National Limb Loss Information Center revealed that approximately 1 out of every 200 people in the United States has undergone limb amputation. This amounts to an estimated total of 1.7 million people who are living with limb loss.

Amputations can occur as a result of a wide range of accidents, including serious injury, infection, or disease.

Serious Burns

Overall, medical practitioners treat around 450,000 burn injuries a year. The American Burn Association reports that approximately 3,000 burn deaths occur every year from residential fires. An additional 500 burns result from occupational hazards, traffic accidents, and other causes.

What Compensation Is Owed for Catastrophic Injuries?

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Catastrophic injury survivors often require lifelong medical care and suffer from significant damages to their quality of life. Compensation may be due for these injuries if the liability of another individual or entity can be determined and proven by a personal injury attorney.

Compensation may be due for past, current, and future medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress. You will need to speak with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases to determine what your case may be worth.

James McKiernan Injury Lawyers

What are Some Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?

Do not accept a settlement with the insurance company without first consulting the team at James McKiernan. The insurance company knows which lawyers will fight them in court and which will settle for less than a client deserves. Let James McKiernan fight the insurance company for you.

Contact James McKiernan today if you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury as a result of another person’s negligence. The team at James McKiernan has helped 40,000 clients along California’s Central Coast recover compensation person injury cases.

Call 800-200-HURT or visit James McKiernan Lawyers online to learn more.

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