Who Can Be Held Liable for a Serious Catastrophic Injury?

Accidents can happen at any time with no warning, wreaking havoc in the lives of their victims and leaving them with lasting physical and emotional trauma. Besides the physical burden of these unfortunate incidents, victims also must bear the financial strain due to medical bills, costs of medical or surgical treatment, lost wages, loss of potential future income, incidental expenses, costs of occupational therapy and physical rehabilitation, and more. It can take years for a person to fully recover from the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of such accidents.

While most injuries acquired in accidents are eventually recoverable, some injuries, accurately labeled catastrophic injuries, leave their victims with trauma that can take years to heal. These injuries, while non-fatal, can have devastating and prolonged consequences for the victims and, depending on their severity, can result in temporary or permanent incapacitation or loss of function related to one or more body systems.

What Are Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries are physical injuries resulting from accidents that can have lasting physical and emotional consequences for an individual. These injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, limb loss, extensive burns, and more. The effects of such injuries vary widely depending on the extent and severity of the insult and can impact multiple systems of the body, most commonly the central nervous, circulatory, urinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems.

The determination of whether an injury is catastrophic or not depends on the severity or extent of the injury, not on the type of accident. As such, multiple types of accidents can result in these types of injuries, including car crashes, motorcycle accidents, workplace incidents, accidents involving natural elements like fire or water, and more.

Who Is Liable?

The liability for accidents causing catastrophic injuries is determined according to the particular liability law of each state. For states that do not observe comparative negligence, the victim can sue the defendant for the total amount in legally compensable damages regardless of their fault. However, in the states that apply the principle of comparative negligence to civil lawsuits, the number of compensable damages decreases according to the increase in the degree of the plaintiff’s fault for the accident.

To obtain compensation through a lawsuit, you must provide proof for each of the components of negligence. You should demonstrate in court that the defendant owed you a duty of care and took actions that resulted in the accident and thus violated the said duty of care. Additionally, you must prove that the accident resulted in your injuries and identifiable monetary damages and that if not for the actions of the defendant, the accident in question would not have occurred.


Navigating the challenging process of filing a lawsuit and collecting evidence on your own can seem like an overwhelming task. However, the ordeal can be made simpler by hiring a competent lawyer for legal representation. A skilled attorney will build a strong claim to establish the liability of the defendant and ensure that you will receive justice for your catastrophic injuries.