Catastrophic Injury Claims Versus Personal Injury Claims: What’s the Difference?


Any injury can have severe consequences for your health and well-being. After medical treatment and rehabilitation, you may be able to heal from your injury and return to your normal life. However, in the worst cases, your injury may be catastrophic, causing you to suffer pain and disability for the rest of your life. 

When another person’s negligence causes you harm, you can seek compensation through a personal injury claim. However, after a catastrophic injury, you and your loved ones have the right to expect more extensive financial support.

The New York personal injury attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C. have provided the following information to help you understand catastrophic injuries and the type of claim you need to file after an accident. No matter the severity of your injuries, our lawyers are prepared to fight for your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Take the first step in your injury claim today by contacting Finz & Finz P.C. at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

Catastrophic Injury Versus Personal Injury

Accidents and injuries can occur under a wide variety of circumstances. Although sometimes these events are truly unavoidable, in many cases, another person’s negligent or reckless behavior may have caused you harm. If another person is responsible for your injury, you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

This type of claim allows you to seek financial support for economic and non-economic damages that result from your injury. For example, if you break your leg in a car accident, you may be able to seek economic compensation for medical bills and the cost to repair your car, as well as non-economic compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.

However, some accidents are much more severe than others, and you may be unable to recover from your injuries. If you suffer from permanent limitations or disability after an accident, you may be eligible to file a catastrophic injury claim.

The compensation available for a catastrophic injury claim is typically much greater than compensation for a personal injury claim. For example, if your leg was amputated after a car accident, you can seek compensation for lost future wages and life-long medical treatment, in addition to other standard forms of personal injury compensation.

Possible Types of Catastrophic Injuries

An injury may be classified as catastrophic if it results in long-term loss of one or more of your body’s functions. Every injury is different and may have a unique impact on your body and abilities.

However, under most circumstances, an injury may legally qualify as catastrophic if:

  • You are unable to continue working
  • You require life-long assistance, care, or accommodations
  • You need long-term medication or assistive devices, such as prosthetics or a wheelchair
  • You are incapacitated
  • The injury results in death or terminal illness

Many different kinds of injuries may result in these devastating changes in your life. However, some of the most common types of catastrophic injury include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury and paralysis
  • Internal organ damage
  • Amputations or loss of limb
  • Severe burn injuries
  • Injuries resulting in scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of sight, hearing, or other sensations

If you are unsure if your injury qualifies as catastrophic, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. They will discuss the details of your injury and help you determine whether to pursue a personal injury claim or a catastrophic injury claim. With a skilled attorney working by your side, you will not have to accept a settlement that is less than you deserve.

What Compensation Is Available for a Personal Injury Versus a Catastrophic Injury?

When another person causes your injury, you should never have to pay the price for the physical, emotional, or financial pain you have suffered. Your injury claim will allow you to seek financial support for the full cost of your injury as well as the psychological harm you experienced.

If you pursue a personal injury claim, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Lost income during recovery
  • Repair or replacement of damaged property
  • Pain and suffering

However, when you file a catastrophic injury claim, the type of compensation you can receive expands beyond personal injury damages.

Your catastrophic injury claim can provide compensation for long-term changes to your life such as:

  • On-going medical treatment and medication
  • Nursing care or assistance
  • Medical equipment or home renovation to accommodate a disability
  • Future medical care or assistance
  • Lost future income
  • Diminished ability to earn income
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Mental anguish and psychological injuries
  • Reduced quality of life or loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of companionship and consortium

No amount of money can take away the pain that you have experienced after a serious injury. However, your injury claim can help ensure that you have the financial support necessary to provide for yourself and your loved ones, as you navigate this difficult time in your life.

How Can an Attorney Help with My Claim?

No matter whether you are pursuing a personal injury claim or a catastrophic injury claim, you need to build the strongest case possible. The skilled injury attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C. understand the complexities of the New York legal system, and we are prepared to guide you through every step of this process.

Our lawyers will take the time to get to know you and your case, so we can provide personalized legal counsel. We will use our extensive resources to help you gather the necessary evidence, and we will collect expert witness testimony to strengthen your case. Most importantly, our lawyers will negotiate for the settlement you deserve, and we are always prepared to take your case to court if necessary.

With over 35 years of legal experience, the attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C. are prepared to take on your case and protect your rights after a serious injury.

Contact Finz & Finz P.C. Today

You only have a limited time to file your claim after an injury, so you need to take action on your case as soon as possible. Discuss your legal options with one the Finz & Finz P.C. attorneys during a 100% free, no-obligation case evaluation. Set-up your consultation today, by calling 855-TOP-FIRM or filling out our online contact form.


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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.