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How Do I Know if an Injury is Catastrophic?

A catastrophic injury is generally any severe injury to a major system that causes long-term functional impairment. A catastrophic injury can impede your ability to perform daily tasks, earn a living, and have meaningful relationships. This is not to mention the ongoing cost of medical care, which will be required for the rest of a person’s life.

If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, our Clearwater catastrophic injury attorneys will work to recover damages on your behalf.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Any of the following injuries are considered catastrophic:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

In 2021, there were a reported 69,473 deaths caused by traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is any violent bump or blow to the head that impedes brain function. A traumatic brain injury can fall into one of two categories: either a penetrating (object pierces the skull) or a non-penetrating injury (closed brain injury with no penetration).

Symptoms of a TBI can range from dizziness, nausea, and vomiting to prolonged periods of unconsciousness and death.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord can cause a person to lose function below the injury site. A spinal cord injury can be caused by a sudden blow to the spinal cord itself. Symptoms can include loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, exaggerated reflexes, numbness, weakness, and paralysis.


With more than two million people living with limb loss, an amputation is defined as a loss of function or removal of a body part. An amputation resulting from a traumatic incident could be due to surgical intervention or caused by the accident itself (known as an “accidental amputation”).

Future Earnings and Future Medical Expenses

In a personal injury case, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. Known as damages, this award is designed to help make you “whole” again.

In catastrophic injury cases, calculations will be made for present and future damages. Below, we discuss two types of future damages: loss of future earnings and future medical expenses.

Loss of Future Earnings

Loss of future earnings is a calculation of the amount of money that an individual would have earned if he or she was able to continue working and had not suffered an injury. It will be calculated by comparing your employability before and after the accident.

Future Medical Expenses

When you suffer a catastrophic injury, you will require ongoing care. This may be in the form of surgeries, treatments, physical therapy, and even modifications so that you can live comfortably in your home. Besides being constant, you can expect these costs to increase as you age.

According to Florida Statute §768.78, any future economic losses must reflect a person’s injuries, with adequate evidence justifying the amount. Additionally, if an individual is awarded more than $250,000 in future damages, periodic payments will be made instead of a lump sum.

Injured? Speak with our Clearwater Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Immediately

A catastrophic injury can place your future in limbo. The plans you once had are thrown out the window due to another person’s carelessness. If you need help recovering compensation following a catastrophic accident, our legal team is ready to assist you. To learn more, contact the office online or call (727) 441-9030 to schedule your complimentary consultation.