What Counts as a Catastrophic Injury?

A woman holding the hand of her daughter in a wheelchair.

A catastrophic injury is any harm that is so severe that it causes a permanent change to the victim’s day-to-day routine. In addition, the consequences of the injury also affect the victim’s family, often requiring long-term care. Here are some of the most common catastrophic injuries that a victim may suffer in an accident.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

This type of injury can happen whenever there is an impact on the brain or oxygen deprivation. While they are most common in car crashes, they can also happen from falls, construction accidents, and more. Severe brain damage can happen in a variety of ways, including:

  • Suffocation
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Surgical Complications
  • Drowning
  • Skull Fractures
  • Concussions

The resulting traumatic brain injury could be mild, moderate, or severe depending on how the injury was sustained.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can cause a permanent physical disability, restricting the victim’s strength, movement, and bodily functions. Often, these injuries result in paraplegia and quadriplegia. The most common causes of spinal injuries usually include car accidents, falls, medical malpractice, and defective products.


This category of injury can be one of the most devastating on the victim. Not only does it require rehabilitation, it can limit mobility and coordination. Often, victim’s need to use prosthetic devices or wheelchairs for the rest of their life. This is most often caused by auto accidents, but it can also be the result of a workplace injury involving heavy machinery.

Eye Injuries

While eye injuries may not seem serious at first, they can easily result in permanent blindness or severely reduced vision. As a consequence, many victims may not be able to travel without assistance or perform certain routine activities. Eye injuries can be caused by several things, including shrapnel, head trauma, and burns.

Need Help Financially Recovering from Life-Changing Injuries?

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another, call Shaw Cowart, LLP today at 512-499-8900 to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We proudly represent clients living in Austin, TX and other surrounding communities.