What Does Catastrophic Mean?


Sustaining physical harm caused by another’s wrongdoing can be physically, mentally, and financially draining. For the sake of filing a compensation claim, an injury attorney can determine whether your injuries would be considered catastrophic.

But what does catastrophic mean, and how does that affect your case? A catastrophic injury lawyer can provide personalized guidance and put you on the path toward a favorable case outcome.

Catastrophic Injuries: A Definition

The term catastrophic, meaning “very bad” or “causing sudden and great harm or destruction,” relates to injuries that are devastating and severe.

More specifically, under Ohio law, catastrophic injuries generally include the following:

  • Physical deformity
  • Loss of use of a bodily organ system
  • Loss of a limb
  • Permanent physical injury that prevents a victim from caring for themselves

Catastrophic injuries can result for several different reasons. However, when another party’s wrongful actions cause you physical harm, you could have a valid injury claim, allowing you to pursue fair compensation for your losses.

Examples of Common Catastrophic Injuries

Numerous injuries could be considered catastrophic. Some of the most common types of severe injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Substantial burns
  • Birth injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Crush injuries

Catastrophic injuries can affect you physically but also mentally and emotionally. The road to recovery from these kinds of injuries is also long.

While suffering these injuries is challenging, the significant issue with catastrophic injuries is the potential for permanent consequences. Because of the severity of these injuries, it’s not typically possible to recover and go back to life as it once was.

For example, a traumatic brain injury can leave a victim with lasting cognitive or behavioral issues, and spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis. Lasting effects like these can substantially change a person’s life.

Additionally, catastrophic injuries require extensive medical care. Not only must you treat the injury itself, but you may also need treatment to manage the repercussions of your injuries well into the future.

Medical care is costly, and most injured victims don’t have the financial means to pay for the treatment they need. This is one of the primary reasons why pursuing compensation is critical.

What Has to Be Proven in a Catastrophic Injury Case?

What does catastrophic mean in the context of legal processes? Most catastrophic injury cases occur due to another party’s negligence. When someone is negligent, it means they have not acted in a way that another person in a similar situation would have.

To prove a party’s liability under negligence, you must establish certain key elements, which include:

  • Duty: The party owed you a duty of care
  • Breach: The party’s wrongdoing caused them to breach their duty of care
  • Causation: The party’s wrongful actions were the cause of your injuries
  • Damages: You suffered losses as a result

Proving the other party’s negligence is challenging but necessary. Without successfully establishing liability, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to obtain fair monetary recovery.

A catastrophic injury lawyer can do everything necessary to strengthen your case and establish fault, including obtaining pertinent evidence to help satisfy the elements of negligence.


Do Catastrophic Injury Cases Vary From Other Types of Injury Cases?

Yes, in most cases, catastrophic injury cases are different from other injury claims. When you suffer injuries caused by another party, you may have the chance to seek financial recovery, regardless of the severity of your injuries. However, the total amount of compensation you can pursue varies.

The more severe your injuries, the more monetary recovery you’re entitled to pursue. This is because suffering more serious physical harm comes with a slew of other losses, specifically financial losses and the impact on your life and well-being.

Seeking more substantial compensation comes with certain challenges. Insurance companies will put up a greater fight to try to avoid paying you what your claim is worth. Obtaining the money you need and deserve is often more difficult with catastrophic injuries.

For these reasons, hiring legal representation is key in catastrophic injury cases. Having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can help ensure you get full and fair compensation.

What Kinds of Damages Am I Entitled to in a Catastrophic Injury Case?

Your damages are directly related to your injuries and the impact of your injuries on your life. Therefore, the damages you’re entitled to depend on the specifics of your case.

When you take action against the at-fault party for causing your serious injuries, you could potentially recover compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Decreased or lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Enjoyment of life loss

Your catastrophic injury lawyer must examine many details to give your case a proper valuation. Once you understand how much your case is worth, you can pursue appropriate compensation to cover your damages.

How Long Do I Have to Pursue Legal Action After Sustaining Serious Harm?

Unfortunately, if you’ve sustained substantial injuries, you don’t have forever to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Under Ohio law, you only have two years from the date of the incident that caused you harm to file your claim. Should the injury occur from medical malpractice, there is a one year statute of limitations under Ohio law.

While two years may seem like plenty of time, it isn’t. Time goes by rather quickly, and these types of cases can be very involved. It’s important to seek legal assistance from a qualified attorney as soon as you can.

Allow a Skilled Attorney to Handle Your Catastrophic Injury Case

Suffering physical harm of such great magnitude can have negative impacts on the rest of your life. If someone causes your injuries, you shouldn’t hesitate to hold them accountable for their wrongful actions.

The legal team at The Moore Law Firm is ready to assist you with your claim. Contact our firm today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.