What Types of Bodily Harm Qualify as Catastrophic Injuries?


Any type of accidental injury can be painful, but there are certain types of bodily harm that cause more devastating consequences – physically, emotionally, and financially. Medical experts at the Mayo Clinic include spinal cord injuries in this category, but any injury may qualify as being catastrophic if it causes:

  • Permanent, severe functional disability;
  • Serious head, neck, or spinal cord trauma; or,
  • Death, after a short period of suffering.


Obviously, the long-term complications can be extensive with such injuries. Many victims will lose most or all of their independence, and must rely on others for daily care and activities. Plus, shortened life expectancy is common. If any of these factors describe your situation, you should contact an Alaska catastrophic injuries attorney right away to discuss your rights. Meanwhile, some information may be helpful.


Types of Catastrophic Injuries

When injuries have a significant and/or incapacitating impact on at least one of the human body’s major systems, they may be considered catastrophic. Examples include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which can affect problem solving abilities, motor skills, sensory perception, and other functions, depending on the area of the brain that is affected;
  • Spinal cord injuries, since trauma can disrupt the messaging capabilities between the brain and the rest of the body;
  • Amputation, which primarily affects mobility in the lower extremities and dexterity in the upper extremities;
  • Damage to internal organs, particularly the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract; and,
  • Loss of sight or hearing, which are essential senses for daily functioning.


Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Negligence is behind most accidents, whether they lead to minor injuries or serious, catastrophic bodily harm. The most common incidents are:

  • Car crashes;
  • Truck accidents, especially considering the size differential between your car and the semi;
  • Motorcycle collisions, where serious injuries can result from the lack of a metal protective shell around the rider;
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents, which are often caused by drivers of motorized vehicles;
  • Slips, trips, falls, and other incidents that occur due to dangerous conditions on property; and,
  • Medical malpractice, when health care providers may critical errors in treating you.


You should note that catastrophic injuries are also commonly caused by intentional conduct, such as attacks, aggravated assault, shootings, stabbings, and other violent, criminal acts.


Your Rights as a Victim of Catastrophic Injuries

As you might expect, the medical costs related to catastrophic injuries can run sky-high – and you may need treatment for the rest of your life. You may be entitled to recover compensation for these amounts, as well as:

  • Your lost wages and future earning capacity;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Pain and suffering; and,
  • Many more.


Contact an Alaska Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Regarding Your Legal Options

When you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident that was not your fault, you need experienced legal representation to get the full range of compensation you deserve. Your losses will be extreme, and every penny counts when you are seeking monetary damages to make you whole. To learn more, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and get started on a strategy for enforcing your rights.