Top 5 Catastrophic Injuries

You may think that all injuries are the same. They all cause harm in varying degrees of severity. However, there are some distinct differences in what the law refers to as “catastrophic injuries.” All other injuries have devastating effects, but the law looks at catastrophic damages differently than most.

Catastrophic injuries are the worst of the worst because of the long-term impact they can have if you suffer from one. In any situation, when you suffer a catastrophic injury, you can deal with physical, mental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. You can also experience a financial burden for which you could never prepare.

When a catastrophic injury results from someone else’s negligent actions, you should know that you have rights. Not only can you file a lawsuit to obtain justice, but you can also pursue maximum compensation from the responsible person. Before this legal action, though, you should know which injuries top the list of the top five catastrophic injuries.

The five catastrophic injuries include:

Learn more about these severe injuries below.

Call our firm if you suffer a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s actions: (916) 520-6639.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (or TBIs) can have a devastating result on your life. Suffering from a TBI can leave you with significant disabilities you must work hard to overcome. In some cases, you may not be able to recover from the effects of a TBI at all. Other situations may rely on you partaking in countless sessions of physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Many situations can cause a traumatic brain injury, including the following:

  • Car accidents — You can hit your head on the frame of the vehicle or the dashboard, or the jolt of the crash can cause your brain to rattle within your skull.
  • Motorcycle accidents — You may think that helmets prevent injuries, and they do; however, they don’t always prevent concussions and other TBIs.
  • Surgical errors—Even a doctor’s negligence can cause you to suffer a brain injury if the doctor operates on the wrong body part, or if they puncture something they shouldn’t during the procedure.

Traumatic brain injuries range in severity and symptoms. No matter how bad the damage is, though, you should take all the necessary precautions to see a medical professional as soon as possible. You should start treatment to help improve your chances of recovering.

Spine Injuries

Any injury involving your spine is severe enough to cause worry and concern. You’re dealing with an injury that can have long-term ramifications, including potential paralysis. A spine injury is any damage you sustain to the various sections along your spinal cord.

Many acts of negligence cause spine injuries, including crashes, trip and falls, acts of violence, medical errors, and more.

In the worst-case scenario, a spine injury can cause you to suffer from paralysis. When you have paralysis, the location of the damage will determine your ability to use your limbs. For instance, below a certain level, a spine injury can cause you to lose all feeling and function in your legs.

When the injury occurs higher on the spinal cord, your ability to use all four limbs can suffer greatly. You may receive a quadriplegia diagnosis, which means you can no longer control your arms or legs.


You may hear about amputations occurring because of a medical condition, such as diabetes. However, amputations can also result from negligent actions. Severe car accidents that cause the frame of the vehicle to collapse into you can sever a part of your body.

In other situations, amputation may be necessary to prevent the spread of a serious or life-threatening disease, like cancer. To prove negligence in this situation, you may need to show that the doctor initially missed the cancer diagnosis, and they could have provided treatment before needing to amputate.

Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are catastrophic because of the pain, internal damage, and external scarring they leave in their wake. There are many causes of burn injuries, ranging from electrical currents to hot water. Their results are just as damaging.

The severity of the burn injury depends on how long the cause lasts and how hot the source is. For instance, if your burns come from scalding hot water, and it contacts your skin for more than a few seconds, the deeper the burn will go. Burns can impact deep under your skin and damage your muscles and bones.

Internal Organ Damage

Internal organ damage is severe because it often goes unrecognized. You can sustain internal organ damage in numerous ways, including assault, car crashes, and medical negligence.

In a crash, you may suffer a puncture if your seat belt collapses your rib cage, and the bone hits a vital organ. An assault can cause significant bruising to your body, including the organs within.

Internal organ damage can also result from medication errors or surgical errors following a doctor’s misdiagnosis.

At Kershaw Talley Barlow, we recognize the severity of catastrophic injuries. We know that when you suffer this type of harm, you must endure therapy, medical care, lost income, specialized medical equipment, and more.

You may not feel like you can afford legal representation during this time; however, you must have advocates in your corner.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis: if we don’t win, you don’t pay. There’s no risk to you to pursue the justice and compensation you need. We’ll go the extra mile to hold the negligent party accountable and protect your best interests.

To discuss your potential case in a free consultation, we encourage you to call our firm today at (916) 520-6639. We’re ready to be your guide on your path to justice.