Catastrophic injuries can occur startlingly and without warning. This means that your life or a loved one's life can be changed forever. A victim of a catastrophic injury may have to undergo months or years of medical therapy due to the severe damage incurred. In many instances, the crash also has a detrimental impact on the capacity of the victim to function. Even though many survivors of personal injury get the chance to recover from their accident fully, not every victim of the incident is as fortunate.

Fortuitously, personal injury law offers a manner for the wounded to be 'made whole' once more. The law provides a means in which the victims get compensated for the damages. Compensation, in most cases, comes in the form of monetary value. In other conditions, compensation remedies may come in the form of different things, unlike money. For instance, a prosecutor may order a specific course of action to be taken in favor of the victim.

Therefore, if you or a loved one has experienced catastrophic injuries as a result of an unexpected accident, the experienced team at The Personal Injury Law Firm in California is here to help. Remember that not every injury firm has the diligence, resources, and knowledge to steer a catastrophic injury case to a successful outcome.

What Is A Catastrophic Injury?

This can be redefined as any harm that has a high degree of leaving a lasting or permanent change in the quality of life for the victim. Such injuries or illnesses are an immensely specialized class of injury. Hence they can mean adjusting to severe and long-lasting insinuations, frequently for the remainder of the injured person's life.

It usually has a significant impact on the lives of the victims and often on the lives of their loved ones. Situations where the victim was the bread provider, may cause financial turmoil to the family. This is because of the long term injury. For instance, paralysis means that the victim will not be able to get employment in any entity or area.

Having this in mind, seeking the services of a reputable and experienced personal injury law attorney will guide you and vigorously fight for your rights for compensation. The reckless individual that caused the accident may be forced to pay for the damages, compensate the victim as well as to cater for the medical expenses that may have been accrued.

Examples of catastrophic injuries include damages causing blindness or deafness, chronic lung illnesses, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, amputation, or other loss of use of a limb, spinal cord injuries, to mention a few.

Types Of Catastrophic Injuries

In a broad-spectrum, a few kinds of catastrophe tend to interrupt the functions of the central nervous system of the body and generate implications that most professionals would believe to be disastrous. Even a simple slip and fall can lead to tragic and life-threatening injuries. Below are the various types of catastrophic injuries.

1. Injury on the head

This type of injury can be explained as any shock to the scalp, cranium, or brain. Damage may be as a result of a trivial lump on the cranium or a severe concussion. Head damage can either be shut or open (piercing). Closed head damage implies that you experienced a harsh knock to the head from hitting an object, but the item did not crack the skull.

Injuries such as concussions, fractures, or internal bleeding may at first seem to be nothing more than a trivial lump on the skull. Moreover, as time goes by, they can be very severe and life-threatening wounds, particularly if not correctly handled. These kinds of injuries may happen in automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian crashes, and on-the-job accidents.

What causes Head Injury

As highlighted earlier, the injuries inflicted on the head may be described based on two categories depending on the cause. This can either be due to a hard knock on the scalp, or concussions due to shaking.

Such injuries triggered by shaking are prevalent in babies and young kids. However, they can also happen whenever you encounter brutal trembling. Head damages inflicted by a hard knock to the head are more often than not linked with; automobile crashes, physical assaults, accidents related to sports, just to mention a few. The various types of head injury can be classified as follows:


This is a condition whereby one experiences uncontrollable internal bleeding. It's advisable to seek out medical attention swiftly since such conditions may turn out to be fatal. With this type of injury, one may bleed in the space around your brain without one's attention or awareness.

This condition is well known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage. It often causes one to experience constant headaches, as well as vomiting. On the other hand, the victim may suffer bleeding within the brain tissue. This is referred to as intracerebral hemorrhage. This condition elevates its degree based on how much bleeding there is in the brain tissues. Thus it may lead the victim to experience a buildup of pressure.

Diffuse axonal injury

This is a type of head damage to the brain that completely destroys the brain cells without bleeding. This injury causes the cells in the brain to stop working immediately. It can also lead to swelling, triggering more detriment.

Although it is not externally noticeable as other kinds of brain damage, diffuse axonal injury is single-handedly the most hazardous type of head damage. It can significantly cause severe head trauma and even lead to demise. Therefore, it is highly advised to seek medical attention to any harm inflicted on the head.


This is the clotting or collection of blood outside the blood vessels. Medical practitioners consider this condition to being fatal in case it occurs in the brain. Clotting of the blood in the brain may cause a piling up of pressure in the head. Due to this, it may lead to the victim suffering from unconsciousness or, worse, may cause permanent damage to the brain.


It happens when the overall impact on the head is severe enough to trigger brain injury. It's believed to be the outcome of the brain striking the harsh surfaces of your skull, or the pressures of abrupt acceleration and deceleration. Note that the loss of function related to a concussion is short-term. However, recurring concussions may ultimately cause permanent harm.


This can be described as swelling of the head as a result of an impact of the head hitting a hard surface or the brain tissues. Edema involves the swelling of the tissues that results in building up pressure in the skull. Since the skull itself is not elastic to withstand the swelling, it may cause serious harm to the victim's brain. The pressure pileup may cause the brain to bulge out, inducing damage to the brain. In most cases, this may be fatal.

Fracture of the skull

The skull is the most robust bone in the human body. Due to its lack of bone marrow, it makes it sturdy and hard to break. This feature allows the head to withstand the pressures and blows it may be exposed to. A fractured skull means that it is not able to hold the blows and punches from the external bodies. Thus, this makes the brain cells vulnerable to harm.

2. Brain Injury

Brain injuries, also referred to as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), is caused by an external mechanical force that makes a non-degenerative and non-inveterate brain insult. This leads to lasting or short-term harm of cognitive, bodily, and psychosocial roles, with a related ebbed or distorted condition of consciousness.

What causes brain damage

Brain injury transpires when a person's brain is injured due to traumatic injuries, such as a fall or motor vehicle accident, or non-traumatic injury, such as a stroke. In the way a scar or other damage is mended in the body, the brain does not fully rebuild itself. Recovery and restoration to perform effectively can depend on the source of the incident and the person's indications. The various injuries may be classified as either traumatic or non-traumatic injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injuries 

This form of damage transpires as a result of a hard hit to the head, shaking, or a substantial gyratory injury to the head that damages the brain. The different types of traumatic injuries are as follows:

  • Contusion - This refers to the bleeding or a bruise on the brain that is caused due to a hit to the skull.
  • A concussion is any damage that causes impairment in brain functions. This can attributively be directed by a closed or penetrating head injury.
  • Penetrating injury is a kind of brain damage inflicted by an external item like a bullet, knife, or other sharp objects. It is widely known as an open head injury.
  • Closed head injury is a head injury when an outside force, such as a blow to the head, doesn't penetrate the skull, but it causes harm and brain swelling.
  • Shaken baby syndrome - Also known as abusive head trauma, this comes about due to the excessive shaking of a young child.

Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries

This type of injury is the opposite result of trauma and, in particular, traumatic injury. Medical practitioners also refer to it as an acquired brain injury (ABI). The various types of non-traumatic damages are as follows:

  • Brain Tumor - This can include brain cancer and cancer-related diseases.
  • Anoxic/hypoxic - This is a type of damage to brain cells as a result of a lack of oxygen.
  • Stroke - A stroke is rooted by the loss of enough flow of blood to the brain due to blood clots or brain bleed.
  • Brain infections/inflammation - Contagions such as meningitis can cause brain injury. 

3. Paralysis

This is redefined as a total loss of one's ability to move and feel anything in part or most of the body. While most individuals tend to believe that an accident to a portion of the body causes the illness, this is not always the situation. Paralysis is caused by harm to the nerve system. The loss of muscle function may be attributed as a result of poison, ill health, or injury. If you happen to experience it, you doubtless won't feel a thing in the affected body parts.

A medical therapy plan and assessment for the condition will rely on the fundamental basis of paralysis, as well as signs experienced. It's best to consult a medical doctor as they portray technological innovations and therapeutic interventions that may help you preserve your independence and quality of life.

What are the types and causes paralysis

Some individuals have been brought up paralyzed their entire lives. On the other hand, others develop the disease as a matter of fact of an injury or medical condition. Injuries to the brain may prevent it from relaying signals to other parts of the body. The brain may transmit messages, but it fails to acquire responses from the targeted body parts, due to injuries of the spinal cord.

A severe spinal cord injury may hinder the brain from sending or receiving signals. Medical practitioners tend to classify paralysis based on the flaccid, severity, duration as well as the location of the body.

Flaccid Paralysis

Also known as spastic, it tends to attack the muscles making them shrink. The attack causes the muscles to grow weak and later on may become numb. Spastic involves rigid and tough muscles and thus may cause the victim's muscles to go into spasm frenziedly.


This involves the level at which the condition attacks the muscles. For instance, if the victim has partial paralysis, he/she will have a little bit of control over the affected parts. However, if the victim suffers complete paralysis, then the victim will not be able to be in control of the muscles.


Some types of paralysis are short-term. For instance, a victim suffering from stroke may be in control of one side of the body. With time and medical therapy, one may regain full control of all the muscles or a section of the muscles of the body. However, it is unfortunate for some who may end up having all their muscles paralyzed.

Location Paralysis

Localized paralysis influences only a specific section of your body. This can be your facial appearance, leg, or hand. Generalized paralysis is a collection of conditions that influence several body sections. Examples of such conditions include:

  • Monoplegia, which is a condition that distresses a single arm or leg.
  • Hemiplegia, which is a type of location paralysis that influences a single arm and leg on the same side of one's body.
  • Paraplegia, which is a form of location paralysis, distresses both legs.
  • Quadriplegia is a form of location paralysis that influences both arms and legs. It is well known as tetraplegia.

Among the various causes of paralysis, research has it that stroke tops the list as the number of factors that explicitly causes this condition. The spinal cord is responsible for the transmission of signals between the brain and the rest of the human body. Injuries to the spinal cord are fatal. Hence could lead to a complete failure of motion and feeling.

Paraplegia and Quadriplegia are prevalent types of paralysis caused by severe trauma to the spinal cord. Aside from paralysis, the severe injury caused to the spinal cord can often result in nerve damage.

Any damage to the nerves largely contributes towards a victim getting paralyzed. Other causes of paralysis include traumatic brain injury cerebral palsy, neurofibromatosis, congenital disabilities, and post-polio syndrome.

4. Amputation and Fractures

This involves the elimination of a fraction or all  parts of a body that is enclosed by skin. In most scenarios, amputations occur when a victim has been involved in an animal attack, car accident, or on a battlefield. It is also performed as a surgical procedure. Victims that experience this procedure or situation face a series of challenges after a misfortune that can be life-changing and require compensation to muddle through with the alteration in their future.

Traumatic orthopedic injuries are fractures or dislocations of bones or parts of the body that take several surgeries to be corrected. Severe incidences may even contribute to the amputation of the maimed limb. Long-term signs of traumatic orthopedic injury include stiffness of parts of the body, pain, restricted range of movement as well as nerve damage.

In an instance where a victim may need special screws and metal plates to re-establish the broken bones, as well as extensive rehabilitative care to strengthen the weakened muscles. Hence if you are experiencing such difficulties, or know someone who might be suffering from this situation, it is best to seek advice from a qualified personal injury law attorney for guidance in getting what is rightfully yours.

5. Severe Burn Injury

A serious burn injury may lead to infectivity, loss of limbs, long-lasting scars, and lifelong disability, basing on the degree and location of the burns. Third and fourth-degree burns are considered detrimental over huge parts of the body. They harm both components of the body, known as the epidermis and dermis, the layer of fat covering the body, renowned as adipose tissue, and may even reach the legs, organs, and muscles.

Victims may have long-lasting nerve damage, disfigurement, neuropathic pain, scarring, an impaired spectrum of movement, as well as chronic pain. The treatment of severe injuries may require urgent medical attention, skin grafts, physical therapy, and surgery.

What Causes Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can occur at any moment due to a countless number of possible variety of circumstances that are unknown to anyone. Under CA law, there may be more than one party responsible for a catastrophic injury.

Additionally, to the negligent individual, there may be an owner, parent company, or insurer who can be of assistance to compensate the victim for damages. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you ascertain who is legally responsible for a catastrophic injury. The most common possible causes of catastrophic injuries include the following:

  • A head-on collision between a semi-truck trailer and passengers cars,
  • Falls from great heights - The victim may end up with fractured bones accompanied by lasting pain  
  • Pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists being struck by cars or trucks,
  • Violent crimes - A case whereby the mass goes rogue destroying public property, it may force the intervention of the security personnel. The use of force and armor may leave others injured during the battle as people will try to flee for their lives.
  • Boating accidents. A capsizing boat may cause trauma to the victims and as a result, may turn to be fatal.
  • Sports accidents, such as youth football, whereby some players may hurt each other.
  • Fires and explosions. These may largely affect the victim's body. Based on the degrees of burn, it may leave a lasting pain as well as disfigurement of the body parts.
  • Medical malpractice - A situation whereby a doctor is supposed to amputate the right leg, but makes confusion and instead amputates the left leg.
  • Jet ski accidents - These are extremely dangerous. The degree of survival is almost minimal due to its fatality.
  • Use of defective products - For example, using expired products or poisonous goods that are not fit for consumption. This may lead to food poisoning.

Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

If you still have any questions related to personal injury laws, catastrophic injuries, and the types of injury or any legal issues you may have, feel free to contact us. Speak to the Personal Injury Law Firm in California by calling 619-625-8707 to help you get compensated for the damages experienced. You will get a top-notch commendation as well as a free consultation service on the most viable approach to choose from. This path will assist you in determining the most appropriate strategy and the amount of compensation value that will be enough to cater for your lasting condition resulting from the catastrophic injury. Remember always to seek an attorney's help to guide you in protecting your rights.