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Overview of the Three Most Common Catastrophic Injuries

By Edited Apr 29, 2014 0 0

Damages awarded in catastrophic injury litigation usually come in large amounts due to its wide range of adverse effects to the victim.

Aside from the very expensive current and future medical expenses, these catastrophic injuries also results in significant emotional distress and pain and suffering.

The effects of the injuries will significantly reduce the person's enjoyment of life so the damages awarded should at least match that suffering.

The most common catastrophic injuries are:


This refers to the loss of motor function in one or more muscle group in the human body.

The most common causes of paralysis are vehicular accidents, slip and fall accident, and even violence.

Paralysis usually occurs due to damage in the spinal cord of the victim.

Damage in the spinal cord will disrupt the communication of the brain and the nerves throughout the body and it will result in immobility.

The two most common types of paralysis are:

  • Paraplegia – Paralysis in the lower extremities of the body or more specifically, the legs.

  • Quadriplegia – Paralysis of the four limbs (arms and legs) and the torso.

Catastrophic injury litigation will usually aim for current and future medical treatment, lost future income because of the long term or permanent effect of the injury, and other economic and non-economic damages.


In simple terms, this refers to the loss of a body part.

It could be the loss of a single finger or the loss of the whole arm or leg.

Many amputees also experience phantom limbs where they feel that the missing limb is still attached and they feel itch or even pain on the missing limb.

Catastrophic injury litigation would aim for compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost income, and compensations that will help the victim adjust to the life of being an amputee.


This refers to injuries that are sustained due to exposure to flame and other high temperature objects.

However, only third degree burns are considered a catastrophic injury.

Third degree burns damages the outer and inner layer of the skin; it also damages the muscles, tissues and the nervous system of the body.

Multiple surgeries and a lot of recovery time is required for a victim of 3rd degree burns.

And even if the victim recovers, there will also be heavy scarring that will be left by the injury.

Catastrophic injury litigation would aim to recover present and future medical expenses, lost income and other economic and non-economic damages.



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