Catastrophic Injury

After a catastrophic injury, your focus should be on your rehabilitation and recovery. Let Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys focus on the legal process and getting you the compensation you deserve.

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What is a catastrophic injury?

EMTs help someone on a stretcher stabilize with a breathing device after an accident | Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

A catastrophic injury is a life-threatening or life-altering injury that can cause permanent disabilities.  Accidents resulting in these injuries may result in lost limbs, eyesight, hearing loss, and other serious conditions diminishing your quality of life.

At Alexander Shunnarah, we have seen the emotional and physical toll of catastrophic injuries and understand the intricate way they can change lives. Our team of attorneys has already helped 100,000+ individuals claim over $1 billion in compensation, ensuring they get the support and compensation they need. 

We understand that things may be overwhelming after a catastrophic injury or accident, and ultimately, we believe that teaming up with an attorney can help you by providing:

  • Legal knowledge about catastrophic injuries 
  • Negotiating skills
  • Focus and dedication to your case
  • Commitment to recovering compensation 
  • Motivation to proceed
  • Free consultation

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

As mentioned before, injuries that are considered catastrophic are those that cause permanent disability or death. Let’s break down some of the most common injuries that call into this category.  

Traumatic brain injuries

With Traumatic Brain Injuries, the brain is impacted by an external force, causing it to lose oxygen or shake rapidly. These injuries can cause various problems immediately and in the future, affecting the victim’s movement, cognition, memory, sensations, and more.   

It may be possible for accident victims to recover from a traumatic brain injury. But in severe cases, they may require long-term care as they may never make a full recovery. 

Spinal cord injuries

As its name implies, a spinal cord injury prevents the spinal cord from correctly sending messages between the brain and the body. In these cases, victims may experience partial or complete paralysis. The type of paralysis the victim may experience mostly depends on the location of the injury and its severity.

It’s important to note that most spinal cord injuries are permanent and often cause a significant reduction in independence. Survivors may need special accommodations and assistance to move on with their life, such as expensive medical equipment, caregivers, prolonged and frequent rehabilitation services, pain management, and treatment for other medical conditions that arise due to their injury.   

With the gravity of these factors in mind, these individuals may deserve higher compensation from the negligent party. 

Burn injuries

The severity of a burn injury isn’t just about the immediate pain. It’s also about its depth, location, and how much of the body is covered by second-, third-, or fourth-degree burns.  

Many burn injuries fit the description of “catastrophic” because they are life-threatening or leave scars that result in permanent disability, disfigurement, or emotional trauma. And while scars are a visible reminder, any burn causing a lasting impairment is typically seen as catastrophic.  

One factor to note is that third-degree burns, also known as full-thickness burns, are almost always treated as catastrophic injuries. Third-degree burns are severe, damaging both layers of skin all the way through to underlying tissue. 

If you get a severe burn because of someone else’s mistake, you should talk to a lawyer quickly. Insurance companies, aware of the extremely high payouts that might be involved, often push back harder against catastrophic injury claims. A skilled catastrophic injury attorney can use both strategy and experience to help ensure your potential compensation reflects both current pain and future challenges. 


A car wreck or a slip and fall can result in more than just a simple fracture (a.k.a. a broken bone) and immediate pain. Some fractures can result in life-long disability or alter your ability to live independently.  

Consider this: a severe fracture, especially of the skull or spine, could damage the brain or spinal cord. Furthermore, certain fractures, like compound fractures where the bone breaks through the skin, carry a risk of deadly infections. Such severe fractures can even damage vital nerves or block blood flow, leading to permanent disabilities.  

The road to recovery after serious fractures often demands extensive surgeries and prolonged rehabilitation. Remember, catastrophic injuries aren’t merely about the initial harm, but resonate with long-term consequences.

conditions that can be Caused by Catastrophic injuries

There are six primary conditions labeled as ‘Catastrophic Injuries.’ Due to the severity of catastrophic accidents, these conditions can overlap, be intricate, and may not neatly fit into one specific category. These six conditions include the following: 


Paralysis happens when the nervous system can’t send signals to muscles to move. Paralysis often coincides with numbness or impaired sensation in the body below the point of injury, meaning you can also lose the sensory input that keeps you safe and alerts you to harm or injury 

After a catastrophic accident, it’s essential to get medical attention right away since paralysis symptoms might not be immediately apparent and can worsen without immediate care.  


An amputation involves the surgical or traumatic removal of a part of a person’s body, such as an arm or leg. There are different amputation types according to the injury. And while amputation cases do not only happen due to severe accidents, they still are a common reason for them. For example, doctors may have to amputate a person’s limb if it is so severely damaged that it cannot be saved. 

Catastrophic injuries often involve deep tissue destruction or infections that make it difficult or impossible for the limb to heal. In these cases, it can be safer for the victim to have their limb surgically removed to prevent getting a disease. 

Loss of vision 

It is common to experience blurred vision after a catastrophic accident since these accidents often cause concussions. However, some extreme accidents may cause retinal detachments or other serious eye or brain-related vision issues. 

Remember that eye-related injuries may also be linked to brain injuries, which can lead to permanent damage if they’re not treated accordingly. 

Severe brain impairment 

A severe brain injury is one that disrupts your brain’s normal function. Catastrophic accidents often cause a period of unconsciousness for the victim, such as a coma, vegetative state, or minimally conscious state. 

Even if the injured person wakes up, they may be experiencing trouble moving, communicating, or processing information normally. In these cases, it’s critical for the family to contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance. 

Combination of impairments 

As its name implies, a combination of impairments refers to severe injuries that involve multiple acquired conditions. Typically, if a catastrophic accident affects 55% of a person’s body with various impairments, they are considered to have a ‘combination of impairments.’ 

Regardless of the type of accident the person had, they must seek medical attention as soon as possible to minimize the consequences of these catastrophic injuries. 

Impairment from mental disorders 

Accidents don’t only cause physical injuries. Most catastrophic accidents are traumatic for the victims involved, making it possible to develop psychological and emotional disorders in the future.  

Psychiatric and emotional disorders may range from mild depression to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be chronic. These injuries are considered non-economic, so it may be harder for a jury or insurance company to determine how much money the person can get in compensation. 

This is where your legal representation comes in to make your voice heard. Attorneys can fight for fair compensation for mental disorders and how they impact your life. 

How we can help your catastrophic injury case

Catastrophic injuries can cause immense financial and emotional strain, and you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even loss of enjoyment of life. 

An attorney from Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve, which could include coverage for future medical care and the impact the injury has had on your ability to work and live a fulfilling life. 

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Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys handles cases in all 50 states. Find a location or attorney to assist you with your case.

Frequently Asked Questions in Catastrophic Injury Cases

How much do catastrophic injury lawyers cost?

Our personal injury attorneys handle catastrophic injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs. Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also offer a free consultation. We only get paid if they get you a settlement.

We understand the financial strain a severe injury can cause and believe that catastrophic injury victims deserve financial recovery from the at-fault party. Because your attorney doesn’t get paid unless you win, there is no risk in calling for legal advice about your case.

Why do you need a catastrophic injury attorney?

Overall, hiring a catastrophic injury law firm will provide you with the support you need to get through your case as smoothly as possible. Expert attorneys gather crucial evidence, from medical records to police reports, to strengthen your chances of receiving appropriate compensation.

Although no amount of money makes up for a catastrophic injury and how it affects your life, an attorney can assist in securing financial compensation to help restore a sense of normalcy or peace of mind after the accident.

How long does it take to get compensated from a catastrophic injury?

The timeframe for compensation varies based on the specifics of each case. Catastrophic injury cases, depending on the extent of injuries, can span from a few weeks to several months before reaching a settlement.

Having solid evidence can expedite the process. Partnering with a knowledgeable attorney can help present a stronger case to insurance companies or in court, potentially speeding up the resolution.

How much could your catastrophic injury be worth?

Every case is different, and it may be challenging to calculate your case’s value depending on your injuries. A catastrophic injury lawyer can help you consider all the factors available and determine an approximate amount of financial compensation your case is worth.

Securing Results for Our Catastrophic Injury Clients


$6,500,000 Rewarded

18-Wheeler Accident: Paralysis



$4,000,000 Rewarded

Catastrophic Injury


$3,000,000 Rewarded

Construction Site: Catastrophic Injury


$3,000,000 Rewarded

Workplace Accident: Third Party Catastrophic Injury

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